There is no role that is under more pressure, on being ‘effective’, than a sales role. Over the last decade or so, with changes in marketing strategies, thanks to digital media changing the complete landscape, selling has become far more analytical and data-driven.
As a sales professional, if you don’t focus on growing your effectiveness, you might soon be out of the game. To simplify it – effectiveness can be seen as a measure of one’s ability to get the best output from a situation consistently and sustainably.
For sales and business development roles, we see the following as key skill areas to develop your competence, for growing into an effective sales leader:
- Analytical skills
- Communication skills
- Customer relationship skills
- Presentation skills
- Funnel (or pipeline) management
- Time management
In this article, we have curated a list of some of the best sales courses for managers to level-up. These courses will help you learn and improve your overall skill set and grow your career as a business leader.
Skill Set 1 – Analytical Skills
As a sales manager, it is essential for you to have an analytical mindset. From interpreting large swathes of data to analyzing market sentiments, the role of a sales manager is driven by quantifiable statistics. Thus, to have a promising long-term career in sales, you must learn and enhance analytical competencies.
Popular Sales Management Courses For Upgrading Analytical Skills:
- Marketing Analytics by the University of Virginia at Coursera
- Customer Analytics by University of Pennsylvania at Coursera
- Marketing Analytics: Stand Out by Becoming an Analytics Pro! By Udemy
- People Analytics by University of Pennsylvania at Coursera
- Excel Skills for Business Specialization by MACQUARIE University at Coursera
- Data Analysis and Presentation Skills: the PwC Approach Specialization at Coursera
- Applied Analytics (business application – non-mathematical) by Udemy
- Certified Strategic Sales Professional by GetcertGo
- Mindware: Critical Thinking for the Information Age by University of Michigan at Coursera
- Sales Analysis for Management Consultants by Udemy
Skill Set 2 – Communication Skills
If you look at the seven-step sales process (Prospecting, Preparation, Planning approach, Presentation, Negotiations, Sales closure, and Follow-up), on almost every step, having excellent communication skills is a must.
From approaching clients to taking repeat follow-ups and from handling objections to closing the sales; if you are not good at listening, speaking, writing, and/or presenting; you won’t be a performer! Thus, to help you groom your communication skills, we have collated a list of promising courses for you.
Popular Sales Management Courses to Learn Communication Skills:
- Improving Communication Skills Offered By the University of Pennsylvania at Coursera
- Storytelling in the Workplace by edX
- Communication Skills: Become More Clear, Concise, & Confident by Skill Share
- Business Fundamentals: Effective Communication by Future Learn
- Essential Selling Skills by Skill Soft
- Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills by edX
Skill Set 3- Customer Relationship Skills
The role of a sales manager doesn’t simply end on sales closure, and if you follow this practice, you are losing out! Every sales professional should ensure that they maintain a good relationship with their customers, listen to them, and resolve their complaints. It will not only mushroom them as repeat buyers but will also help in brand recall. For those who are at the mid-level and leadership roles, grooming CRM skills will give you various data-driven insights.
Popular Sales Management Courses For Improving Customer Relationship Skills:
- Relationship Management by RICE University at Coursera
- Customer Relationship Management by IIMB at edX
- Connecting with Sales Prospects by Northwestern University at Coursera
- Sales Training: Inbound Business Strategy by Hubspot at Coursera
Skill Set 4- Sales Presentation Skills
Most of the sales leaders know what they need to speak in their sales meets, client presentations, and events. But what most of them don’t know is ‘how to make every presentation effective and appealing. Certainly, having excellent presentation skills is as important as having detailed product knowledge. Giving persuasive presentations, syncing body language, and at the same talking sense to your audience requires practice and efforts, thus below courses can help.
Popular Sales Management Courses For Upgrading Presentation Skills:
- The Complete Presentation and Public Speaking/Speech Course by Udemy
- Presentations: Speaking so that People Listen the University of California, Irvine at Coursera
- Lesson | Video Conferencing: Face to Face but Online by Georgia Institute of Technology at Coursera
- Effective Business Presentations with Powerpoint by PwC at Coursera
Skill Set 5 – Time Management and Collaboration Skills
As you grow in your career, it’s not only about your individual action, but also, how you manage your time and collaborate with others. To align your action with the common goal, you must be proficient in time management, collaboration, and teamwork skills. The below courses can make you an efficient team-player. As a bonus, we’ve added a course to give you a booster in form of design thinking perspective:
Popular Sales Management Courses For Time Management and Collaboration:
- High-Performance Collaboration: Leadership, Teamwork, and Negotiation by Coursera
- Teamwork & Collaboration by edX
- Productivity Masterclass: Create a Custom System that Works by SkillShare
- Design Thinking Fundamentals by edX
Skill Set 6 – Pipeline/Funnel management
Pipeline management is the predefined central activity that defines how a sales deal travels starting from identifying sales prospecting to sales closer. Generally, there are six stages of a sales pipeline which includes:
- Lead generation
- Lead nurturing
- Sales accepted lead
- Sales qualified lead
- Deal closure
- Post-sales services
A research conducted by Vantage Point Performance and the Sales Management Association revealed that 44% of executives think their organization is ineffective at managing their sales pipelines.
Popular Sales Management Courses For Improving Sales Pipeline:
- Effective Sales at Coursera
- Build A Sales Tracking Pipeline
- Building a Prospect Pipeline (TM) for RV Sales Professionals
Skill Set 7 – Negotiation
In sales, negotiation is the bedrock for success. Negotiation is a very powerful psychological strategy and that’s why every sales guy must learn to become the master of his or her own mind and emotions. For instance, during a sales conversation, if the pitch sounds more like desperation or neediness, the customers will hardly fall for the offering.
Popular Sales Management Courses to Learn Negotiation:
- Selling and Negotiation Skills by IIM Calcutta
- Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator by Coursera
- Sales Negotiations by Skillsoft
All the best!
If you have recently completed a professional course/certification, click here to submit a review and get FREE certification highlighter worth Rs. 500.