Vivek Agarwal’s Portal/Java Blog

An IBM Gold Consultant’s weblog about IBM, Lotus, WebSphere, J2EE, IT Processes, and other IT technologies

Just took an IBM Sales Mastery Test, and boy was it hard!

Posted by Vivek Agarwal on October 6, 2009

With the recent push to meet IBM’s requirements for business partner certifications, we have been working through the process of getting the required sales/technical certifications in a few areas that we were missing them. We certainly did not have all the sales certifications, and Xtivia has been working on getting them locked up. We already had the M197 IBM WebSphere Portal Family Sales Mastery and Related Lotus Products certification, but given that it was in my area of expertise, and I was curious what a sales certification test looked like, I took the test myself last week. And it lived up to my expectation – EASY, and I knocked it out in 33 minutes out of the available 90 minutes.

Today, I was asked by my boss if I could take the M159 WebSphere Sales Mastery Test for the Sales Professional v3 certification test as we needed it. Based on my earlier experience with M197, I fully expected this one to be a trivial task. IBM offers a virtual class “IBM TGVL: WebSphere Solutions & Competitive Selling” as prep for this test, but I was obviously too good to spend 16 hours preparing for a sales test (or so thought me and my inflated ego). Without further thought and effort, I launched the test and quickly realized that I was in trouble; not a good idea to skip the prep course! 😦 I spent 74 out of the allowed 75 minutes on the test, and my head was SPINNING – reading, and re-reading the questions and answers, and confusing the heck out of myself.

When I finally submitted my test, the Prometric site took over a full minute or more to grade it – that’s how tough the test was! 🙂 The good news is that I passed it with some room to spare, but it certainly was not what I expected as a test for a sales guy. I guess if you do the prep course, you probably get exposed to all you need to know, and you can pass the test even if you are a sales guy. Yes, some major trash talking here! But seriously, I am not a believer in certifications proving that I can either implement or sell a particular solution – I have passed every cert test that I have ever taken – so no, it is not sour grapes talking! All these tests simply have some irrelevant questions – sometimes ingeniously framed to confuse candidates, but none that help in real-life scenarios.

However, at the end of it, I must admit that I am proudest that I managed to get this “WebSphere Solution Sales Professional” certification; more than when I got my “IBM Certified System Administrator – WebSphere Application Server, Network Deployment” or my “IBM Certified Solution Developer – IBM WebSphere Portal” or my “IBM Certified System Administrator – IBM WebSphere Portal” certifications. Yes, I know, blowing my horn hard, aren’t I! 🙂

PS: no malice intended towards any sales guys – I love them! Love them more when they close sales but love them nonetheless!

One Response to “Just took an IBM Sales Mastery Test, and boy was it hard!”

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