Moving to a Sales career is never easy, and if you are considering the (Kellogg Sales School: Professional Certificate in Sales) program, then this blog will help you understand what to expect.
I took this course two years back and below you can find my certificate of completion to prove it.
This is not a full review about the course, but hopefully it will shade some lights and help you decide whether this is a good fit program for you.
Before we start, have a look at the Professor Craig Wortmann (your instructor) as he explained the nature of this course:
Start with a WHY? I believe this Kellogg Sales course is good for people who are starting a career in Sales or shifting to more sales oriented role. If you have years of experience in Selling and you are assigned a territory and target, then I doubt this course will add value.
This Kellogg Sales course also can add value to someone currently in a pre-sales role or consultant role who is managing many customers and want to excel in his career or perhaps looking in the near future to transition to a full sales job.
For me, I was a technical resource who specialized in cloud computing and slowly transitioning to business development role where I sharpened my business skills by taking the Harvard CORe program, and finally moving to a full cloud sales role. For me, I took the Kellogg Sales course before transitioning to a full sales role and I can say it helped me in finding the right balance between discipline, skills, and knowledge required in any sales role.
I was searching for such Sales programs on the internet without finding a proper structured program. You can find small courses in LinkedIn Learning or other online platforms, but none had a proper structure.
What is great about this Kellogg Sales program is that it has a well define structure that walks you to the full journey of any selling process. It is divided into 18 Chapters, each with some required reading (not much), assessments, video recordings, and some useful sales tools.
Remember also that you are getting a certificate from Kellogg School of Management which is one of the oldest and most prestigious business schools in the world.
The Kellogg Sales program focuses on three essential factors to master sales: discipline, Skills and Knowledge. It starts by introducing the growth mindset and hence any one of us can master the sales game. Next is a brief history about Sales followed by the most essential factor: deliberate practice to sharpen you sales skills.
What comes next is interesting, as you will learn how create a win plan and understand customer persona, and how to properly introduce yourself in any occasion.
We all go to networking events and conferences. There is a dedicated chapter that will change your mindset on how to approach those events and up-skill your self with techniques to capture insights and leads.
Then comes asking questions and insightful listening. The idea is not to jump and start promoting for your product, but rather listening to the customer needs and unlock valuable insights. You will also have two chapters to learn the power of story telling and even how to create your own story.
In the last chapters of the Kellogg Sales course, you will learn how to present and develop professional presentations. Finally, you will learn about personal branding and a little bit about deal closure.
For me, while I enjoyed the Kellogg Sales course, here are my thoughts:
- The course is long, there are a lot of content and weekly deadlines for assignments. I would rather have the whole thing in 2-3 months max.
- Pretty expensive. At my time, it was around $6000 for the course. This is too much many for an online course delivered completely online.
- No Interactions with the instructor. Before joining the course, I did a research on who will deliver the course, and I was under the impression there sill be some live sessions or interaction with the instructor. Instead, each week you get new chapter unlocked on the online platform, with couple of on-demand videos and assignments. It’s self-learning experience.
- No much peer-to-peer learning. At my time, we were 6 people enrolled in the course and there was almost zero interactions between us. Instead, when I enrolled in the Harvard CORe program, we were at least 600 students and it was full of interaction and peer learning.
- Not all assignments make sense to me. We are supposed to learn about Sales process, and a lot of the assignments fail to add value to the learner. It would make more sense if we are in a live classroom with interactions or group assignments so we can learn from each other’s experience.
In Summary, if you enroll in this course, you are by your own. You pay the money in advance and you get new chapter each week. You have to watch the on-demand videos yourself and deliver the assignments on time. You will get links to extra readings also. It really depends on how much you are willing to spend time digesting all the information and doing extra reading. For me, I read most of the extra reading and downloaded 2-3 books recommended in the course and read them while driving to home (Audible).\
Finally, there is no exam at all. You only need to finish all assessments at time, and there is a small project at the end of the program (nothing to fear). At the completion, you will receive the previously shown certificate of completion.
A little bit about the instructor. You can do your own research on Professor Craig Wortmann. He is pretty knowledgable on the topic and you will never get bored from his videos. One thing I like is that in some chapters, he bring one or more guests and start exciting discussions about a sales topic. This was my best part of the program as you get to listen from people in the field.
Kellogg Sales Course Modules
Module 1: Cultivating a Growth Mindset Define a growth mindset and recognize how it supports successful learning and selling. Distinguish the three pillars of sales performance: knowledge, skill, and discipline. Apply research-based techniques for effective studying and transferable learning.
Module 2: Sales is Progress Discover the history of sales, the best-known sales processes, the unique characteristics of the sales role, and the Entrepreneurial Sales Process used in Kellogg Sales School.
Module 3: Deliberate Practice Recognize the difference between deliberate practice and repetitive practice, the necessity of feedback and coaching, and how to create achievable sales goals.
Module 4: Plan to Win Create a plan to win prior to customer engagement. Practice managing raw customer data and transitioning it into a deliberate approach for one precise customer persona, complete with a new elevator pitch and competitive talking points.
Module 5: Networking Readiness Cultivate powerful networking skills and techniques to drive meaningful conversations with potential customers. Develop readiness for networking situations and codify the follow-up process for capturing insights in your personal or professional CRM database.
Module 6: Proactive Pursuit Identify the planning process for a successful sales pitch and for creating and maintaining client relationships (cold calling, cold emailing and competitive talking points).
Module 7: Running High-Impact Meetings Learn valuable strategies for running high-impact, memorable meetings, both with customers and internally. Practice the discipline of running sales meetings that yield tangible value and strengthen relationships.
Module 8: Questions and Conversations Design and lead conversations that leave your customers feeling heard and respected. Make space for trust by differentiating between the three levels of listening and learning how to effectively handle customer objections.
Module 9: Storytelling — What’s Your Story? Recognize the powerful influence of stories and how they can be used throughout your sales process. Organize stories you currently use and find future stories that can be adopted as effective tools of persuasion.
Module 10: Storytelling — Tell Your Story Sharpen your storytelling techniques to allow for precise messaging, clarity about the business arc, and a smooth listener journey. Practice infusing your stories with emotion while keeping them crisp and impactful.
Module 11: Presenting with Panache Employ elements of persuasion in powerful and compelling sales presentations. Create captivating visuals to accompany impactful sales presentations. Identify and practice performance characteristics that enhance your ability to share your message.
Module 12: Show Up, Stand Out, Break Through Build sales tools that will help you stand apart as a seller—within a company and with clients. Create a plan for team selling situations and networking within an organization.
Module 13: Negotiating and Closing Employ negotiation strategies to build trustworthiness and overcome bumps and obstacles along the way when closing a sales deal.
Module 14 & 15: Entrepreneurial Selling, Selling Healthcare, or Selling Technology Specializations Design specialization-specific tools under the guidance of industry experts to become an exceptional entrepreneur, healthcare sales professional, or salesperson who sells technology.
Module 16: Building Your Personal Brand Identify the impressions and impact you want to make through your personal brand. Develop practical strategies for encompassing your personal brand via in-person and virtual professional relationships.
Module 17: Generating Positive Energy Develop tools to harness your positive energy, a power asset necessary for driving growth and effective sales solutions.
Module 18: Putting It All Together (Capstone) Mark the end of your Kellogg Sales School journey by completing your capstone project: a ready-to-go sales portfolio consisting of Win Book records, Interview Readiness Tools, and a demonstration of growth and sharpened presentation skills.