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Canadian Professional Sales Association

It’s Time to Close the Skills Gap for Canada’s Sales Professionals

Canadian Professional Sales Association unveils first-ever report on The New Sales DNA in Canada

TORONTO (February 1, 2018) – The Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA) today released the first-ever report on The New Sales DNA in Canada, which reveals key insights and areas for immediate action to help close a critical skills gap that exists in Canada’s commercial sales profession.

“Perhaps the most glaring reason for the shortage of qualified commercial sales candidates is that sales is largely absent from the post-secondary curriculum in Canada – and therefore not considered as a career option,” said Richard Louttet, Vice-President, Education & Certification. “Commercial sales must be recognized as a reputable career to dispel the profession’s troublesome image problem and to prevent people from simply ‘falling into’ sales – and the way to do that is through standardization of the profession.” 

The New Sales DNA in Canada: Report Findings

The New Sales DNA in Canada, released in partnership with Abacus Data, underscores the lack of formal sales training amongst Canada’s sales professionals – yet highlights commercial sales as a rewarding and promising profession with a very high level of job satisfaction.

Among its key insights:

  • Forty per cent of sales teams have received no formal training in the past 12 months.
  • Younger sales managers (under 34) are especially keen for training opportunities and are twice as likely to say they would invest time training their teams than their older 45+ colleagues (43 per cent vs. 22 per cent).
  • One in three (32 per cent) sales managers would devote extra time, if they had it, to training their sales teams.
  • Soft skills such as empathy, communication and agility are sought after most by sales managers (46 per cent).
  • An increasing number of women, non-Caucasian and Millennials are joining sales teams.
  • Commercial sales is a rewarding profession that carries a 90 per cent job satisfaction rate. In fact, 70 per cent of respondents are likely to recommend a job in sales to family or friends considering a new career.
  • More than 60 per cent of sales professionals are actively using social media and embracing new technologies as sales tools.
  • Three in 10 of respondents feel there is high or moderate risk of the sales function being replaced by AI in the next 12 months.
CPSA Introduces Three New Professional Designations to Close the Skills Gap

The CPSA is pleased to introduce three new professional designations to help close the skills gap and improve national standards for commercial sales professionals in Canada.  These designations were developed through a rigorous industry consultation and a competency framework was established outlining the core skills and behaviours of top sales performers.

The formal accreditations standardize the foundational knowledge and skills to help sales professionals at any level, progress their careers, while also helping organizations find and recruit qualified, trained sales candidates.

From building strength in such essential areas as prospecting, relationship development and negotiations, to mastering strategic account leadership and becoming an effective sales leader, the CPSA’s three new sales designations are:

  • Certified Sales Associates (CSA) demonstrate a solid foundation for success in sales.
  • Certified Sales Professionals (CSP) set the gold standard in the industry, with at least four years of experience in sales and a deep commitment to the highest levels of sales excellence on large, strategic accounts.
  • Certified Sales Leaders (CSL) are top professionals who are committed to skills development and positioned to take an entire organization to the next level.

The CPSA designations are now accepting applications at

The CPSA is continuously working closely with educators and sales subject matter experts towards accrediting and developing courses and programs across Canada that will produce more graduates with the skills needed to help professionals reach success.

About the CPSA

The Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA) is Canada’s most trusted sales leader. Their up-to-the-minute sales tools, training, and resources empower sales professionals from entry to executive to achieve and advance. Industry-leading certification programs recognize the best in the business and set the bar for excellence in sales at every career stage.

CPSA’s 20,000+ members include industry leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, managers, sales representatives, and agents from coast to coast.

CPSA: Advancing Sales. Accelerating Performance.


For interviews or a copy of The New Sales DNA Report, contact: 
Allison Daisley
Daisley PR / 416.986.4602

*The online survey of n=500 B2B and B2C sales professionals across Canada was conducted from November 25 to December 6, 2017 by Abacus Data, commissioned by the Canadian Professional Sales Association.

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