IT training isn’t just for IT professionals — or even just for developers, data analysts, or security professionals. Not by a long shot. There are many non-technical, customer-facing professionals that can benefit greatly from basic networking or cloud training, especially sales professionals in tech industries.
‘Selling high tech solutions’ covers a wide range, but you can broadly divide it into two areas:
- Selling for a Value Added Reseller (VAR), solution provider, or systems integrator—companies that sell and implement solutions, based on specific manufacturer products, or
- Selling professional consulting services that span multiple vendor technologies, or are vendor-neutral—for example, think about IT and network security services.
So when you ask which certifications are relevant to a sales rep, you must look at the products and technologies that underpin what they are selling.
Let’s take a look at some of the best IT certifications to consider for sales teams. It’s fair to say that the best certifications will be found where the money is. That’s to say they’ll be in the tech that’s hot in the marketplace. We’ll be looking at cloud-based solutions based on public or private cloud technology, networking solutions, and cyber-security services.
If you’re new to tech and need a good starting point, then look no further than the CompTIA A+ training and certification. It’s a well-known certification and you’ll need only basic computer and internet skills to learn about the common hardware and software technologies in use today.
Kick off with our CompTIA A+ 220-901 and CompTIA A+ 220-902 courses as a good basis for learning more sophisticated and complex IT technologies.
MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate)
If you’re selling an IT solution that sits in a customer data center, whether physical or a cloud, there’s a high likelihood that it runs on Microsoft Server and Windows.
If you’ve got the CompTIA A+ under your belt, you could look at the training for Microsoft’s entry-level MCSA certifications — MCSA: Windows 10 or the old workhorse MCSA: Windows Server 2012.
MCSA: Windows 10
MCSA: Windows Server 2012
CompTIA Network+ and/or Cisco CCENT/CCNA
If you’re selling — or selling into — networked environments, then you should consider CompTIA’s Network+ vendor-neutral certification. However, if your customers and prospects are heavily into Cisco networking, then consider Cisco’s entry-level CCENT, and then perhaps progress to the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching certification.
CBT Nuggets courses for these certifications are:
CompTIA Cloud Essentials and/or Amazon Web Services (AWS)
If you’re selling in a cloud environment, then getting a cloud services certification is a smart move. A recent survey by Synergy Research revealed that Amazon Web Services is the leading public cloud services provider, with three times the share of Microsoft Azure, the nearest competitor. It’s your choice to go either for an AWS certification or the vendor-neutral CompTIA Cloud Essentials.
For AWS, start with the AWS: Technical Essentials course, followed by AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate.
Our final certification area is security. In this broad and complex subject area, our vote is to go for the vendor-neutral CompTIA Security+ certification. It covers a full range of network security, compliance and operation security, threats, and vulnerabilities. It also includes access control, identity management, and cryptography, as well as application, data, and host security.
We’ve covered 10 certifications that can provide salespeople with more tech credibility and help them be more effective selling to IT executives and professionals. good luck on your certification path. Go get ‘em and here’s to blowing away your sales quota.