Sales Test Guide

The Sales Test Summary
What: Professional sales certification programs offered by SMEI.
Who: Sales reps, account managers and sales executives are eligible for certification.
Where: Exams are offered online with a proctor.
When: The test is offered year-round but tests must be scheduled with a proctor according to a schedule provided by SMEI.
How: Multiple choice
Type: Online
Why: Professional certification demonstrates one’s competency in core sales areas and a dedication to the sales career.
Time: Not given.
Language: English
Preparation: SMEI provides a textbook and an online resource center to help candidates prepare for their exam.
Cost: $595-$845

By: Erin Hasinger, Tests.com


Sales people and sales managers alike can benefit from professional certification. Certification helps sales pros demonstrate their mastery of several core knowledge and skills areas in sales, and also helps to show a commitment to the sales profession. Having a professional designation after one’s name also helps sales execs stand out among their peers. Sales & Marketing & Executives International (SMEI) is one professional industry organization that offers certification programs in sales.


SMEI offers two certification programs for sales professionals. The Certified Sales Executive certification program leads to the CSE designation and is aimed at sales managers, directors and executives. The Certified Professional Salesperson program offers the SCPS designation and is aimed at sales professionals, including sales reps and account managers. Certification is granted following a passing score on the certification exam.


The CSE exam covers sales and marketing management and ethics and is broken down as follows:


-     Organization and Management

o   Planning, forecasting and budgeting

o   Sales force organization

o   Communication

o   Team building

o   Motivation and incentives

o   Legal issues

-     Personnel

o   Recruitment

o   Sales training

o   Performance reviews

-     Sales and Marketing

o   Marketing strategy

o   Pricing and trade practices

o   Integrated marketing communication

o   Emerging channels

o   Sales technology

-     Ethics


The SCPS exam covers fundamental sales skills, planning, execution and ethics. Topic areas are as follows:


-     Foundation skills

o   Segmentation

o   Differentiation and positioning

o   Self-knowledge and professionalism

o   Product and company knowledge

o   Communication and listening skills

-     Planning

o   Setting goals

o   Forecasting

o   Understanding motives and needs

o   Decision influencers

o   Features and benefits

-     Executing

o   Qualifying prospects

o   Negotiations

o   Overcoming objections

o   Closing

o   CRM

-    Ethics


Candidates can apply for either certification at smei.org.


After applying for certification, candidates receive a SMEI text that covers each of the core competency areas for the exam in-depth. The text is available as a printed book or as an e-book. The registration fee for the exam varies depending on whether candidates select the e-book or the printed copy. In addition to the text book, SMEI offers online resources for test candidates, which are made available following successful registration.


Registration for the CSE exam with the e-book is $595 for members of SMEI and $795 for non-members. The fee with the printed book is $645 for members and $845 for non-members.


Registration fees for the SCPS exam with the e-book are $595 and $645 for the printed book. There are no discounts for members taking the SCPS exam. All fees must be paid during the online application process.


Exams are offered on select Mondays and Thursdays year round between 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.; a schedule with exact dates is available at SMEI.org. All exams are offered online, but test candidates must find a proctor to host the exam for them. Information about scheduling exams is provided to certification candidates following acceptance of registration materials. Test candidates must schedule their exams within one year following approval to test.


For more information on sales exams and test preparation, please visit the Sales Test Directory.