Description and Prerequisites
The CTSP is OPTAM’s baseline sales engineering certification. Achieving the designation involves successfully passing a multiple-choice online examination. Upon successful completion with acceptable passing rate you are awarded the Certified Technical Sales Professional (CTSP)® designation which you may use (along with logo) on all professional communications.
The recommended test taker is a practicing field SE with 1+ years of experience. OPTAM refers to this test as a “baseline” instead of “entry level” as candidates with no prior field experience will have great difficulty in passing the exam and should not be attempted lightly. Having emphasized that, OPTAM recognizes that individuals may wish to leverage this certification to demonstrate a high level baseline in proficiency in sales engineering work prior to breaking into the field. This is encouraged, but only with the full understanding that it requires excellent understanding of all domains of excellence including the recommended preparatory material.
With the exception of paying the exam fee, there are formal prerequisites for applying for and sitting for the exam.
The exam is made up of 80 questions and is 120 minutes in duration. 10 of those questions will be considered “beta” and not tallied in the final score. The exam questions are grouped into domains, though they are not denoted as such in the exam itself. The candidate must achieve a 75% score overall. This is done in order to protect existing credential holders from value erosion of their investment in OPTAM. At the completion of the exam you will be provided your overall score as well as breakdown by domain which facilitates further study in the event a passing score is not achieved.
The Domains of Excellence are a group of 9 key success areas for demonstrating proficiency as a sales engineer. Each of these domains has an established set of recommended reading resources that adequately cover the subject matter to a sufficient depth in order to provide exam material.
A set of sample questions can be accessed here.
Registration and Fees
The registration process consists of 1) registering as a member of OPTAM (currently no cost), and 2) completing the registration form. Upon completion you will receive a test ID and URL which will allow you submit your exam fee of and to sit for the exam using our exam partner.
The exam fee is currently $350. However, you may wish to complete 1 or more of our discount options for the exam which can refund a significant portion of the exam fee. There is also a referral program you may wish to take advantage of once you achieve certification which can actually result in a $0 cost certification. Retests are always $150.
OPTAM does not believe in a mandatory ongoing re-certification program. Once you pass the exam you may use the title indefinitely. Your member number will include the month and date of your certification achievement. That number is available in a registry on a site that can be queried by name (unless you opt out). You may choose to retest at any time at the reduced rate. Passing the exam will update your completion timestamp in the online registry.