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By state laws, workers in certain fields must have a certification or a license. Makes sense. It’s intended, according to career counseling sources, to ensure that only competent and ethical individuals practice in a certain occupation.

Occupations such as teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, building contractors, counselors, electricians, and so on. There are many more.

Conspicuously absent is salesperson.

That seems odd. In an industry that employs more than 14 million people, there are no standards, or no competency-based requirements. Just sign here, get your product training, here’s a map of the territory, and go get ‘em.

Some companies do much more than just “go get ‘em.” They train their people. They hire sales managers, they have training departments, and they bring in outside experts to work with their teams. That’s certainly a step in a better direction.

But still…something is missing. Shouldn’t there be some agreed upon standards for professional salespeople? Shouldn’t there be some assurances to the stakeholders of the company that the investment in training is actually paying off? Too often, it doesn’t. The trainees aren’t engaged. They are “hostages” that are sent to “be fixed.” The managers say, “That’s not how I did it when I carried the bag” and instead of reinforcing and cementing the training, they derail it. Sometimes (and you didn’t hear me say this), the trainer isn’t very good. They haven’t sold anything in years, and they are met with internal “eye rolls” from the participants. Salespeople are a finicky bunch.

Removing The Low Bar in Sales

Our training company is doing something about it. At Sandler, we aim to elevate the sales profession. We believe that it’s an important job. We believe that great salespeople bring a tremendous amount of value to the business world. Helping businesses solve complex problems, being a trusted resource who brings ideas, innovation, and positive change to the marketplace.

Our clients will now be able to go through our various levels of certification, from Bronze to the Master level. Sandler Sales Certification will ensure that our training has “stickiness.” It puts a measure of accountability on both the student – and the trainer. No more “the training was great, but I didn’t implement it” or “binders on the bookshelf.” Our sales certification program takes knowledge and awareness and begins to forge a path toward mastery of skill.

At our Sandler Training Center in Richmond, VA, we will be certifying many professional salespeople in 2020. We are raising the bar. I envision a day where, in your recruitment advertisement, it says “Sandler Certification preferred.”

Winging it and selling on charm and personality aren’t enough anymore. Buyers are sophisticated. They sniff out the friendly, professional visitors quickly. Certification is the next step in the evolution of the sales profession.

If you are ready to get started or want more information about becoming Sandler Sales Certified, reach out to me at

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