The ‘new normal’ presents a unique challenge for many professionals: remote work means that organizations have more options for recruitment, because they are not restricted by location. Given the option of remote work, more professionals can take on more commitments, thereby reducing opportunities for other candidates. Distinguishing oneself has never been more imperative than it is now. We have put together top five online sales courses that you can take to boost your profile and get more opportunities.
How important are sales courses?
Being an excellent salesperson takes more than a charming personality and the ability to persuade. It requires a deep understanding of customer behavior and psychology, sales tactics, effective communication, and market trends. Salespeople are often bound by sales targets, and hardly have time to think about building their knowledge and skills.
Why do you need sales courses?
My friend Geoffrey had been in sales for a couple of years, and then he lost his job. Naturally, I expected him to jump right back into job hunting but he didn’t. He was demotivated and felt like a failure. It seemed that he’d forgotten all the good work he’d done in his previous employment. His partner thought he might need a boost. So she paid for a course in sales management and made him promise to complete it (Geoffrey always felt he was not cut out for e-learning).
After a couple of months, there was something different about him. You could tell it in the way he raved about lead generation and how he couldn’t wait to manage a new team with all the information he had gained.
Soon he was job hunting again and was employed shortly after. Geoffrey was grateful for the lay-off; it seemed he had needed an opportunity to reassess his perspectives on team leadership and build more capacity.
Benefits of sales courses
Sales training, whether online or offline, can benefit sales professionals in a variety of ways.
- They keep you updated with best practices. Good sales courses are facilitated by professionals with a credible track record of performance, who can provide insights on surmounting the challenges of the industry. Taking a sales course is a chance to get a refresher, and identify ways in which you can improve on your job and distinguish yourself as a valuable professional.
- It’s a great way to connect with like-minded professionals. Your net worth as a sales professional depends on the connections you make. It is important to connect you to leads and valuable information on market forces and penetration. Perhaps you feel alone, dealing with the challenges of your job. One of the things you will quickly realize during a sales training is that you are not alone, and the situation is not peculiar to you.
- You learn how to communicate better. A career in sales is one that requires soft skills; it requires empathy, tenacity, patience, and emotional intelligence. Feeling unproductive at your telemarketing job? Perhaps it’s because you need to upgrade your communication skills. Whether you’re making traditional phone calls, emailing, or using a VoIP feature, a sales training will help to identify your weaknesses and show you how best to communicate with leads and reach your targets.
- Sales courses can also serve as good retreats! Yes, think of it as an opportunity for you to concentrate solely on the business and principles of sales, surrounded by fellow colleagues who are trading experiences with you and sharing insights on the latest trends and practices.
- It’s flexible. You can work and study without having to take time off work to go and get a degree. From the comfort of your home, it is easy to manage your time between getting an education and fulfilling the demands of your day job.
Top 5 online sales courses you should take right now
As the world further embraces virtual activities, it is important to take advantage of digital products that aid self-development and productivity. Online sales courses offer a digital option of acquiring credible sales certificates, and are an excellent way of networking with fellow professionals for collaboration.
#1: Learn more about sales negotiation strategies
The University of Michigan offers an online course on Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills. This free course is for beginners and those who have some experience in sales. Of the over eight hundred thousand participants who have enrolled, 28% began a new career upon completion, 26% got a career benefit, and 15% got a pay-rise and or promotion. In this course you will learn four steps to successful negotiation, practice negotiation, and take an exam (pass mark is 80%). It takes approximately 16 hours to complete and offers an optional certificate.
Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University offers a free course on Sales Management. This beginner course will teach you the role of sales within the marketing unit, the organizational structure of sales management, and how to develop an effective sales strategy. It takes approximately 22 hours to complete (but has a flexible deadline), and issues a certificate upon completion.
#2: Learn all about the sales process
In The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process Specialization course, beginners can learn a variety of processes required for a career in sales. At the end of the course, you will be required to create “several sales necessary tools that are essential to becoming a high-performer in sales”, based on the guiding principles taught so far. The course takes four months (although flexible), and offers a certificate from Northwestern University. 43% of enrollees started a new career upon completion of the course.
A participant had this to say about the course: “I personally got a holistic view on sales preparation, communicating in [sic] LinkedIn or email or sms, identify [sic] knowledge, skill & discipline required for a high stake meeting and most importantly sales conversation.”
#3: Update yourself with techniques and tips
In the Sales Training: Practical Sales Techniques course on Udemy, you will learn “essential sales skills, sales strategies and sales techniques to sell just about anything”. The course has been taken by over thirty thousand people, and is suitable for sales interns and anyone who wants to learn how to break into the sales industry. The course promises to teach you how to receive objection, simple winner-phrases, and how to confidently execute your sales strategy. It is free for 30 days with a money-back guarantee, and costs only $18.99. It takes just two hours to complete.
#4: Sales Writing is a whole new art you should pick up
This course on writing for sales: Advanced Copywriting Strategies for Online Sales, promises to teach you how to draft copies that inspire trust, and how to understand the conversion of online products. It takes about six hours to complete (with a 43-minute on-demand video), and comes with a certificate of completion. The price is $18.99.
Key indicators of the best sales course for you
Identifying the best online sales training for you can be like unearthing a whole new world. Completing an online sales course requires the same amount of diligence (and perhaps more) that an offline course would. This is why it is crucial for you to pick the right course that best suits your schedule, goals, and needs.
1) High completion rate
What’s the dropout rate? Do you know colleagues who have said the course structure was inconvenient for them and so they dropped out? How many reviews are there compared to the enrollment number? These questions are necessary for you to make a decision on the right course. If the completion rate is low, then the course is probably too demanding for your schedule, and you will likely drop out too.
2) Good reviews
Always read the reviews; they contain information that reveal the necessary details that can help you make the right choice. These details include the tutor’s knowledge transfer skills, the course work, the course content, and the benefits of the course.
Some courses are strict with their start and completion dates, and there is no room for flexibility. This will not be a problem if you are able to complete the course work and turn them in when they are due. But, if you suspect that you may be overwhelmed by the course requirements and may need more time to be able to fulfill them, then you should find a course that has a flexible course duration.
4) Specific goals
Look for courses with specific deliverable. What particular things will you learn? Is the course description a sweeping statement about what you are expected to learn, or is it a highlight of objectives? Is the course instructor’s mission obvious?
Strategically positioning yourself after a sales course
Now that your course is completed, you need to use it to your advantage. Here’s a list of things you should do:
- Update your LinkedIn profile.
- Update your CV.
- Talk to your boss about taking on new responsibilities that can open up to new positions within the organization.
- After you have gained new proficiency based on the above, start looking out for bigger opportunities.
Taking a sales course can be the best thing you do for your career. And with online sales courses, you have the freedom and flexibility to choose what works best for your career goals. But you have to make sure that you’re taking the right ones, and that you’re using your new knowledge to break new grounds.