Professional Sales Certificate

Kelley School of Business

What are the topics?

Kelley School of Business


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Who should attend

No matter your role in an organization, your success and value to the organization will likely rely on your ability to foster and nurture relationships with your colleagues, your stakeholders and your customers.

The professional sales program is designed to teach current salespeople and non-sales business leaders the professional sales skills that will help you sell and create value for your organization.

  • Individuals or managers of sales teams
  • Entrepreneurs selling their solution or product
  • Professionals making a career shift
  • Business leaders who want to be more persuasive and influential

About the course

A Strategic Approach to the Selling Process

Whether you pursue a career in sales, management, finance, entrepreneurship, education, medicine, etc., the argument will be made that everyone sells; thus, everyone needs to learn how to sell. The Professional Sales Certificate Program is taught by the Kelley School of Business Center for Global Sales Leadership award-winning faculty. This unique online program is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for professional sales.

When selling a product or service, or even persuading an organization for more resources for an internal project, your success relies on your ability to develop and retain relationships with others while generating value for all involved. This course covers a wide range of topics within professional sales including the complexity of buying & selling, sales prospecting, needs identification, demonstrating capability, closing the sale, and the tools and best practices for ongoing sales success.

Students who complete this certificate will:

  • Improve their ability to successfully navigate the full sales cycle, from prospecting to close and follow-up.
  • Recognize the changing selling environment and gain an understanding of various professional sales roles.
  • Learn prospecting best practices to identify potential buyers with initial outreach strategies based on research and insights.
  • Recognize how customers make buying decisions and how the selling process lines up with the buying process.
  • Ask value-based questions that lead to high-value sales results.
  • Create and deliver a compelling value proposition.
  • Understand and develop the fundamental skills needed for the “human-side” of selling and apply those skills to any career.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the different steps of the sales process and various sales skills through short quizzes, written exercises, and video sales role plays.

Integrated Curriculum for Sales Professionals

Founded in 1996, The Center for Global Sales Leadership at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University is focused on value-added, complex, consultative sales. Our distinguished faculty members are delighted to share with you over 75 years of research, teaching, and practitioner excellence in the field of professional sales.

This certificate will require three to four hours of work per week, half of which will consist of a live synchronous session. The program is designed to have maximum career impact and includes interaction between the faculty and fellow students.

The curriculum is divided into four three-week courses. Each course runs for three consecutive weeks.

The Changing Sales Environment and The Complexity of Buying/Selling

The first of four courses in the Professional Sales Certificate Program introduces you to the foundational elements of a professional sales career. You will learn about various types of sales roles and selling environments and identify what type of sales roles might be best for you. You will gain an understanding of the complexity of the buyer and seller roles and learn skills to make the buying process easier for your customers and the selling process more manageable for you as the seller to drive better sales results.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how sales roles and various types of sales environments differ.
  • Introduction to social selling styles.
  • Identify buyer types and understand the complex buyer and seller roles.
  • Learn to manage the buyer/seller relationship.

The Sales Process (Part 1) – Prospecting to Needs Identification

The second of four courses in the Professional Sales Certificate Program introduces you to the sales process and focuses specifically on researching and targeting prospects, opening the sales meeting, introducing your value hypothesis based on industry specific insights, and investigating customer needs to identify and qualify opportunities.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify and use prospecting best practices to identify potential buyers and to increase prospecting success rates.
  • Develop rapport with potential buyers and make professional introductions that include a value hypothesis based on industry-specific insights.
  • Gain confidence in opening a sales call.
  • Learn the importance of listening and empathy for prospecting and qualification.
  • Identify explicit buyer needs through questioning techniques that uncover opportunities to add value.

The Sales Process (Part 2) - Demonstrating Capability to Closing

The third of four courses in the Professional Sales Certificate Program teaches you how to present valuable solutions based a customer’s needs, overcome objections, close the sale, and sets you up for post-sale success.

Learning Objectives:

  • Navigate through and lead the steps of a consultative sales meeting with a customer.
  • Demonstrate the value of your solution to align with the buyer’s needs in a compelling, persuasive, and professional manner.
  • Learn and use skills to acknowledge, clarify, and overcome customer objections effectively and efficiently.
  • Confidently summarize the meeting to obtain customer commitment and “close the sale” with clear expectations and next steps established on both the buyer and seller side for post-sales success.

Creating Ongoing Value - Best Practices and Tools for Sales Success

This final course in the Professional Sales Certificate Program provides you with best practices and tools for continuing sales success.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn to effectively communicate cost-benefit analysis and/or ROI to customers or stakeholders tailored to their specific needs.
  • Identify best practices for account planning and territory management for your ongoing sales success.
  • Manage your time, stress levels, and build resilience to stay motivated for a successful sales career (or, any career).


Charles Ragland

Charlie Ragland is Executive Director of the Center for Global Sales Leadership and Clinical Assistant Professor of Marketing at Areas of Expertise Managerial topics in sales and marketing with an emphasis in international sales management, B2B marketing, and strategy Academic Degrees D.B.A., Ke...

Dennis Spahr

Dennis is a highly rated speaker and author of over one hundred speeches and articles on sales compensation and sales Areas of Expertise Sales Organization Effectiveness, Sales Management, Personal Selling, B2B Marketing and Sales, Sales for Social Impact, Sales Compensation, General Marketing Ac...

Michelle Shaw

In her role as lecturer, Michelle Shaw brings nineteen years of direct B2B sales, sales management, channel management, Areas of Expertise Sales and marketing, with an emphasis in consultative selling, sales management, channel management, international business, B2B marketing, and emotional inte...

Professional Sales Certificate at Kelley School of Business

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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