Best Sales Training Programs

The Mastering the Selling Process Specialization program ranks number one.

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Sales training courses are available in online and in-person formats and many offer certifications that can enhance your professional credibility. The depth and breadth of content covered in these courses vary by program. Most sales training programs offer tools and strategies for identifying sales opportunities, improving sales presentations, and building relationships with prospects. 

Participating in sales training is a smart way to build essential sales skills. The best sales training programs teach you the processes and steps required to land more sales and, hence, earn more money as a sales professional.

Best Sales Training Programs of 2021

Best Overall : The Art of Sales : Mastering the Selling Process Specialization


Coursera

Coursera

Price: Audit for free; $49 per month for certification

Experience Level: Beginner 

Platform: Self-paced online training 

Why We Chose It

We chose this training program as best overall because it is offered by a prestigious university and immerses learners in core selling skills all salespeople need to master. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free option available

  • Professional certificate available

  • Includes role-play lessons for common sales situations

Cons
  • Advanced sales strategies are not covered

  • No live interaction with the instructor

Overview 

We like the Art of Sales training program for its practical, in-depth agenda plus its stellar provider reputation. Northwestern University offers the Art of Sales course through the online learning hub Coursera.org. Craig Wortmann, CEO of Sales Engine Inc. and Clinical Professor with the Kellogg School of Management, created all the lessons and training videos for the training.  

More than 21,000 people have already enrolled in this series which consists of four separate courses: 

  • Customer Segmentation and Prospecting
  • Connecting with Sales Prospects
  • Sales Pitch and Closing
  • Building a Toolkit for Your Sales Process

The Art of Sales training is offered in a self-paced, self-study format and includes dozens of videos, readings, and project prep assignments. The four courses in this series are broken down into 16 modules. Customer ratings for each course average between 4.7 and 4.8 out of five stars. 

You can audit the program for free, but if you want to earn a professional certificate, you’ll need to complete all four courses in the series plus a final project. You must purchase a subscription for the specialization $49 per month to earn a certificate, though you can cancel your subscription at any time.

With your Coursera subscription, you can take this training as well thousands of other courses offered through the platform. A seven-day free trial is available.

Best for Online Sales : Virtual Selling : How to Build Relationships Online


Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie

Price: $1,995

Experience Level: Beginner to advanced 

Platform: Live, instructor-led online training

Why We Chose It

Dale Carnegie & Associates, which has a stellar reputation in the training industry, offers this course that features timely lessons for landing more online sales. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Live online training led by instructor

  • Ability to interact with classmates

  • Focused on building relationships online

Cons
  • High price

  • Limited class schedule

  • No in-person training option offered

Overview 

Dale Carnegie was best known for his classic book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” The award-winning Dale Carnegie and Associates training company has been teaching timeless relationship-building skills to professionals since 1954.

Carnegie’s reputation for delivering results-focused training plus this course’s pinpoint focus on online selling are the top reasons this course made our list of the best sales training programs available today. The program addresses the unique challenges inherent in virtual selling, such as keeping the online sales presentation interesting and how to get leads to open up about their needs. 

The course includes instructor-led lectures and role-playing exercises where participants practice different selling techniques in simulated sales scenarios. Participants learn how to demonstrate self-confidence and competence, ways to earn trust, and how to engage buyers throughout the sales process. 

This Dale Carnegie Virtual Selling training is delivered one session at a time over five weeks. Each three-hour training session is conducted via Zoom by a certified Dale Carnegie instructor. The total fee for this sales training is $1,995.

Best Free Sales Training : Inbound Sales Course


Hubspot

Hubspot

Price: Free

Experience Level: Beginner

Platform: Self-paced online training 

Why We Chose It

This free training course for sales reps and managers is packed with actionable tips for identifying hot sales prospects and landing more sales. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Learn sales essentials quickly (course time is approximately 2 hours)

  • Hubspot Inbound Sales Certificate offered

  • It’s free

Cons
  • Not in-depth

  • Outbound sales techniques not covered

  • No live interaction with the instructor

Overview 

The Hubspot Academy offers a variety of free online certification courses that help you build sales, conduct marketing, and grow technical skills. Today there are more than 250,000 Hubspot certified professionals. The Inbound Sales Course is one of the most sought-after free certifications available today, which is why it made our list of best sales training programs.

Earning your Inbound Sales Certification from Hubspot is a terrific way to improve your sales skills while acquiring a professional credential that demonstrates you’ve mastered your craft. 

When you participate in this sales training from Hubspot, you’ll learn: 

  • How to identify and prioritize active buyers over passive buyers 
  • Ways to connect with sales prospects in a variety of common sales situations 
  • Top techniques for structuring sales conversations for optimal outcomes 
  • Best practices for creating effective sales presentations 

The program includes five lessons taught by five different instructors, 21 videos, and five quizzes that measure learning comprehension. To enroll in this certification course, simply create a free account on the Hubspot Academy website. It takes a little over two hours to complete this self-paced, self-study training.

Best for Beginners : Fundamental Selling Techniques for the New or Prospective Salesperson


American Management Association’s Effective Technical Writing

American Management Association’s Effective Technical Writing

Price: $1,889 to $2,195

Experience Level: Beginner

Platform: Live in-person and live online instructor-led options

Why We Chose It

This in-depth sales training from the highly-regarded American Management Association lets participants interact in real-time with the expert sales instructor and classmates.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • In-person and online options available

  • Extensive training agenda

  • Live, interactive training format

Cons
  • High price

  • Limited class schedule

Overview 

The American Management Association (AMA), headquartered in New York, New York, traces its training origins back to 1913. More than 10 million professionals have participated in AMA courses in the past decade alone. 

We like the live format of this program for beginners because you learn along with and from classmates. You also get your questions answered in real-time by your AMA expert instructor while building important contacts with others attending the program. 

This AMA course for new salespeople teaches a customer-centered sales approach to provide value to customers. The training covers the customer’s buying cycle, proactive listening,  closing strategies, and how to handle common sales objections. Participants learn different selling models, lead generation techniques, and how to manage relationships with sales prospects.

You can attend the two-day in-person training at one of AMA’s training centers located in major cities throughout the United States and abroad. A 100% online course option is also available. The online training consists of four three-hour lessons spread over two days. Schedules for both the in-person and online programs are a bit limited; you can find the current schedule on the AMA website. 

The price for this selling fundamentals program for AMA members is $1,995; non-members pay $2,195. Government employees who qualify for GSA pricing pay $1,889.

Best for College Graduates : Mastering Sales : A Toolkit for Success


Kellogg School of Management

Kellogg School of Management

Price: $1,590

Experience Level: Beginner to advanced

Platform: Online training via self-study and live sessions 

Why We Chose It

We like this training for college graduates because it offers an intensive learning regimen featuring live training sessions, fireside chats with global sales leaders, peer feedback, and practical sales tools. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • In-depth training agenda

  • Peer learning and feedback

  • Earn a Certification of Completion from the Kellogg School of Management

Cons
  • High price

  • Limited class schedule

  • 10-week training commitment

Overview 

This program from the prestigious Kellogg School of Management is ideal for college graduates ready to take their sales skills to the next level. The online training is a mix of self-study and live learning. A unique feature of this training is its fireside chats delivered by global sales leaders, including best-selling author Dan Pink.

The 10-week course consists of 10 learning modules. Plan to devote four to six hours per week to this training. Course segments include how to enhance your selling and persuasion sales, ways to make a terrific first impression, keys to nurturing prospects, and how to tell stories that increase your impact and lead to more sales. 

The training delivers more than 30 sales tools, such as Getting a Deal Unstuck, Mapping Stakeholders, the Objections Matrix, and Filtering Your Target Market. The course also includes skill and knowledge assessments, interactive application exercises, and a capstone project. A mobile learning app is provided so you can learn anywhere, any time.

A downside to this training is that the course schedule is limited. You can view available dates on the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management website. The price for this program is $1,950.

Best for Business-to-Business (B2B) : Iannarino's Sales Accelerator


Iannarino's Sales Accelerator

Iannarino's Sales Accelerator

Price: $997 for one-year access

Experience Level: Beginner to advanced

Platform: Self-paced online sales training membership

Why We Chose It

This training membership features unlimited access to dozens of practical sales scripts and tools along with more than 30 hours of business-to-business (B2B) consultative sales training.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • 30+ hours of training

  • Sales scripts included

  • Advanced training strategies included

Cons
  • No free trial available

  • No money-back guarantee

Overview 

The Sales Accelerator is an online program designed for B2B salespeople and sales managers. We like this program for its practical sales scripts as well as the intensive lessons that focus on B2B selling.

Anthony Iannarino, author of “The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need” and “The Lost Art of Closing,” developed this membership program that delivers more than 30 consultative-based sales lessons via on-demand videos.

Training participants learn B2B sales skills, including how to identify and nurture dream clients, secrets to cold-calling success, ways to differentiate your offers from your competitors, and closing skills that land sales. Advanced sales topics covered include building consensus, team sales calls, gatekeeper strategies, and B2B account management strategies.

This program is offered as a membership; free trials are not available. Individual members get one year of unlimited access to all lessons, workbooks, quizzes, scripts, and sales tools for $997. Team access is available through custom-priced packages.

Best for Business-to-Customer (B2C) : Business to Consumer Online Sales


LinkedIn Learning

 LinkedIn Learning

Price: Free to $29.99

Experience Level: Beginner and intermediate

Platform: Self-paced online training

Why We Chose It

We like this short course from inLearning because it highlights practical business-to-consumer (B2C) strategies that can generate immediate increases in sales.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free trial available

  • Features short, engaging video segments

  • Linkedin Learning Certificate offered

Cons
  • Not in-depth

  • No advanced skills

  • No live interaction with the instructor

Overview

This program makes our list of best sales training programs thanks to its practical B2C sales applications. More than 29,000 learners have enrolled in this course taught by Jeff Bloomfield, author of “Story-Based Selling.” This sales training is hosted on LinkedIn’s inLearning platform, which features more than 16,000 on-demand courses.

This training consists of more than 20 short videos which introduce you to practical ways to improve your B2C online sales. Topics include B2C selling strategy essentials, how to develop customer personas, and valuable tips for leveraging social media in your selling process.

Since this program is 100% self-study, you aren’t able to ask the instructor questions. However, the inLearning platform includes a Q&A section where you can post your questions, and fellow participants may answer. Admittedly, these answers vary in quality, and you’ll likely find some spam content in the Q&A threads.

LinkedIn offers a free 30-day trial for full access to all its courses on the inLearning platform. When your free trial expires, you’ll pay $29.99 per month; you can cancel your training membership at any time.

Best for Customer Retention : Strategic Account Management


The Brooks Group

 The Brooks Group

Price: $1,195

Experience Level: Intermediate to advanced

Platform: Live instructor-led online training 

Why We Chose It

We chose this as our favorite training for customer retention because the course focuses on the proven-effective strategies required to develop profitable, long-lasting customer relationships.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Live interaction with a sales effectiveness coach

  • Includes The Brooks Group’s Strategic Account Planning tool

  • Money-back guarantee

Cons
  • High price

  • Limited class schedule

Overview 

If you’re looking for a training program that helps you with customer retention, check out this Strategic Account Management program. This course is one of the best around for helping you create customers for life.

SellingPower magazine included The Brooks Group on its list of top 25 sales training companies in 2021. This course from The Brooks Group focuses on account management strategies that help sales professionals identify high-potential clients and nurture business relationships for maximum retention and profit. 

In this course, you'll learn how to recognize business opportunities with current customers, ways to increase sales margins, and how to boost customer retention while earning more referral business from top clients. You also learn the 4-step process of account management and how to create an action plan for retaining customers and increasing sales over time.

This live, online training is delivered in four, two-hour virtual sessions that are scheduled from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST. The learning format includes both live instructor-led lectures as well as group and individual activities. 

The price for the course is $1,195 and The Brooks Group offers a money-back guarantee with its training. Scheduling is somewhat limited; you can view current course dates on The Brooks Group’s website.

Final Verdict

There are many training courses that can help you build effective sales skills. When reviewing sales training options, select a program that delivers training on the sales skill sets you want to develop. For example, if you want to learn how to sell better online, you might want to go with Dale Carnegie’s Virtual Selling: How to Build Relationships Online. If you need to improve B2B sales, Iannarino's Sales Accelerator could be the best option.

Also, choose a course that aligns with your experience level. AMA’s Fundamental Selling Techniques for the New or Prospective Salesperson is an excellent course for beginners. If budget is a consideration, Hubspot’s Inbound Sales course is a great free option. 

We feel that The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process Specialization is the best overall sales training program available today. The intensive four-course program was created by Northwestern University and is hosted on Coursera.org. You can audit the program for free or earn your professional certificate in about four months for $49 per month. 

Compare the Best Sales Training Programs

Course Price  Experience Level  Duration  Platform & Format 
The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process Specialization
Best Overall
Audit for free; $49 per month for certification Beginner 48 hours Self-paced online training via video and interactive quizzes
Virtual Selling: How to Build Relationships Online
Best for Online Sales 
$1,995  Beginner to advanced  15 hours total over 5 weeks  Live instructor-led online training 
Inbound Sales Course
Best Free Sales Training 
Free  Beginner  2+ hours  Self-paced online training via video and interactive quizzes 
Fundamental Selling Techniques for the New or Prospective Salesperson
Best for Beginners 
$1,889 to $2195  Beginner  12 hours  Live in-person and live online instructor-led options 
Mastering Sales: A Toolkit for Success
Best for College Graduates 
$1,950  Beginner to advanced  10 weeks; average 4 to 6 hours per week  Online training via self-study and live sessions 
Iannarino's Sales Accelerator
Best for Business-to-Business (B2B) 
$997 for yearly access  Beginner to advanced  30+ hours  Self-paced online sales training membership 
Business to Consumer Online Sales
Best for Business-to-Business (B2C) 
Free to $29.99  Beginner and intermediate  81 minutes  Self-paced online training via video 
Strategic Account Management
Best for Customer Retention 
$1,195  Beginner and intermediate  8 hours total over 4 days  Live instructor-led online training 

How to Choose the Best Sales Training Programs

Select a sales training course that will help you build the skills required to achieve success. Here are a few critical features to consider when choosing your sales training program:

  • Course Curriculum: Does the course agenda include the skills you want to build? 
  • Provider’s Reputation: Choose training from a provider that has a solid reputation for delivering high-quality training.
  • Your Level of Expertise: Are you a beginner? Or are your skills intermediate or advanced? Select a course that matches your level of experience.
  • Overall Value: Fees for sales training programs can run anywhere from free to $2,000 or more. Select a course that fits your budget and offers a good value for the enrollment fee. 
  • Course Duration: Don’t overcommit to training you don’t realistically have the time to complete. Always consider course duration relative to your schedule availability and the total breadth of skills you hope to acquire.
  • Instructor Interaction: If you want to interact with an instructor, make sure you select a program that offers a live training option. 
  • Course Format: Do you prefer to learn in person or online? Check whether the training you’re considering comes in the course format you prefer. 

Sales Training Programs vs. Sales Coaching

Sales training programs offer sales skills, strategies, and tools that can be applied across a wide variety of sales situations. With sales coaching, however, a sales expert works one-on-one with you to impart individualized performance-enhancing advice and strategic direction. Sales training typically has a set learning agenda. Sales coaching is always customized to the needs of the person receiving the coaching.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Sales Training Programs Increase Sales Conversion Rates?

Participants in sales training emerge with a more robust set of sales skills and practical tools that make them more successful in sales. Sales training programs often increase sales conversion rates, sometimes by double-digit margins.  

What Techniques Do You Learn in Sales Training Programs? 

The techniques you learn in sales training programs vary by course. Many programs cover the common sales situations and dilemmas, such as:

  • Overcoming sales objectives
  • Cold-calling strategies
  • Sales lead generation
  • Sales pitches and presentations
  • Account management
  • Developing strong customer relationships
  • Customer retention strategies

Can Sales Training Programs Motivate My Team? 

Sales training gives your team the chance to learn new skills and enhance their selling effectiveness. When your sales team recognizes the direct impact that training can have on their success—and on how much money they can make—sales training can be a powerful motivator. 

Methodology

To create our list of the best sales training programs, we reviewed more than 30 courses offered through a wide variety of solutions providers. Programs were evaluated based on course learning objectives, training format, special features offered, provider reputation, customer ratings, and cost. This list of best sales training courses includes only programs that deliver on-target course content and results-oriented learning.