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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=Sales Management'>Sales Management</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Training'>Training</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Sales'>Sales</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Certified Sales Professional'>Certified Sales Professional</a>
Training & Resources
Chris Pedersen, CSP, CCMC lock
For a long time, professional sales was a sink-or-swim business. Unlike accounting, medicine, law or engineering, the field lacked standardized training and certificates. Sure, certain university and college programs offered sales components, though these were neither rigorous nor uniform. And that’s why Certified Sales Professional (CSP) Certification is so valuable.

As a member of the executive leadership team at National Tire Distributors, I recently had 90 staff go through CSP certification. Here are the four reasons why:

1. It keeps us current

I firmly believe in a philosophy of continued growth – that’s what CSP certification represents. Sales quickly and continuously evolves. Yes, basic tenets remain the same: it is about creating a relationship and acting not only as a provider, but as an active partner. But it goes further than that. 

The tire market is undergoing an evolution. Traditionally, we sold to baby boomers and technology played a minor role in our work; as we look more and more to sell to millennials, we have increased our use of digital tools and the pace at which we’re doing business. CSP training better prepared us to adapt to these changes.

2. It establishes a standard

In the past, hiring required a bit of faith, as no specific designation could validate credentials. CSP certification changes that. Prospective employers know what they’re getting from a certified professional – a qualified candidate with an up-to-date skillset. Moreover, it is a point of pride. It gives our employees a recognized way to substantiate their training and, in turn, their skills. They can say, with confidence, “I am a certified professional sales person.” 

3. It provides practical skills that translate to better performance

CSP training develops, refines, and teaches effective territory and account planning; SWAT analyses; and how to make impactful sales calls.  Admittedly, we previously had a very transactional approach. Now, we are better positioned as true partners to existing and prospective clients, and we have a simple, repeatable system that is already paying off with better performance.

4. It sets us apart and keeps us engaged

For employers, finding and retaining top sales talent is competitive. Offering CSP training gives us an edge, proving our commitment to talent development. This is attractive to potential hires and long-time employees alike. That is, after all, why I’ve been a CPSA member for seven years.

Our staff that took part in CSP certification included all eight sales managers, every one of them coming away with a stronger understanding of their craft, practical insights, and real-world tools. The change was immediate and invaluable. In short: I know for sure that we all know how to swim.

About the Author:
Chris Pedersen, CSP, CCMC
Chris Pedersen is the Senior Director of Inventory at National Tire Distributors (NTD) – Canada’s foremost tire distribution company serving 100,000 retail customers and 150 Distribution Centers across Canada and the United States. Prior to joining the Canadian Executive Team, Chris held of the position of E-Learning Sales Deployment Manager where he was involved in the professional training and development of sales managers and field staff across the network.

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