Yes, best performing salespeople learn from experience and develop “grit” without the help of sales books.
But a commitment to lifelong learning is just as important; it keeps our minds sharp and gives us a wider perspective of the world outside our own backyards.
With that said, here are five of the books and blogs we love.
1. The Sales Development Playbook by Trish Bertuzzi
“As you well know, arousing curiosity, generating interest, and getting prospects to open up about their priorities is about as easy as potty-training a coyote.” Does this comical remark from Trish Bertuzzi sound familiar to you?
If, like Bertuzzi, you’ve ever struggled to get the attention of your prospective clients, then you’ll enjoy her insight on sales development. Through years of trial and error, Bertuzzi has established a revolutionary step-by-step model for building and managing a modern sales team, publishing these tactics in her book, The Sales Development Playbook.
From strategy and segmentation to recruiting and retention, and, finally, execution and leadership, Bertuzzi has the big picture in mind to help companies achieve big time growth and success. We find her perspective genuinely eye-opening. In addition to her book, you can also find her insights online on her blog.
2. The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
Most salespeople would readily argue that the foundation of sales is relationship building. This book, written by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson, challenges that perspective, going so far as to say that it’s a “losing approach.” If that challenge intrigues you, it’s worth picking up this book.
The two authors spent years studying thousands of sales reps and concluded that there are five specific profiles those reps fall into. The highest performing of those profiles is the “Challenger.” This is the person who brings a unique perspective to the table, pushing back against a customer’s demands, reshaping their expectations, and creating change that leads to greater sales results and builds customer loyalty.
The Challenger Sale suggests that the characteristics of the Challenger sales profile are teachable and provides a strategy for coaching your team of salespeople towards higher performance. Sound interesting? Don’t hesitate to check it out.
3. Ziglar on Selling by Zig Ziglar
Here’s a classic. If you’re in sales and haven’t heard of Zig Ziglar, we can only assume you’ve been living under a rock. Ziglar was a celebrated motivational speaker and sales trainer who believed that selling is more than a career, but a lifetime experience. However, he also recognized that, as a lifetime experience, it could be highly stressful.
Ziglar on Selling shares a host of inspirational tips and strategies for reaching higher sales performance while simultaneously staying sane. These are tips that draw on his more than forty years in sales and include everything from ethics and prospecting to people skills and organization.
No matter where you are in your sales career, this book is a foundational resource. Plus, we guarantee you’ll be laughing at some of Ziglar’s priceless stories and examples.
SalesBuzz.com offers online sales training, but they also deliver an outstanding blog with a wealth of sales insight. From newbie sales reps to industry veterans, there’s something here for everyone. Whether you need daily reminder tips for sales best practices or insight into better sales strategies, SalesBuzz is an excellent blog to subscribe to.
Take this great example: A blog post on “Eliminating Common But Not So Obvious Opening Value Statement Mistakes.” This post is a great reminder that reaching out to prospective clients with statements like, “We work with companies like yours…” is extremely impersonal.
Or, perhaps your sales strategy is to open by telling a prospect you’d like to learn more about their company and their needs. But the truth is people don’t want to spend the time telling you how you can help them, so it’s a tactic that falls flat on a regular basis.
Ultimately, SalesBuzz.com delivers tips and tricks that help you build a better inside sales strategy. Check it out!
5. Sales Hacker
Sales Hacker is an online publication and event organizer focused on reshaping sales. Their belief is that although strategies like Zig Ziglar’s are important, they also haven’t evolved with the times. Technology has completely transformed the sales cycle, and any sales insight that doesn’t recognize this fact is only going to get you so far.
Thus, they’ve created an online library of sales advice, bringing new perspectives to the table and asking the questions that will challenge the status quo. Definitely worth hitting the subscribe button if you want to take your sales strategy to the next level. There’s also great engagement on this blog, with comments and conversations from salespeople in a wide spectrum of industries.
This is obviously only the tip of the iceberg, but it’s definitely enough to get you started. Our own salespeople aim to get a daily dose of insight and expertise so they can continue to build their inside sales strategies to greater heights.
While trial and error is key to developing your sales experience, no man is an island; gaining a wider perspective and fostering a lifelong learning mentality are essential to long term success.
Oh yeah, and then there’s our blog… We focus our content on supporting those of you that are on the ground executing today’s sales and marketing tactics while aligning strategy that is flexible enough to handle the constant pivot.
The army of smart go-getters looking to put ABM or ABS into play. Those that are investigating predictive and building integrated tech stacks to reach their prospects and build a better narrative. That’s right, you. Go ahead and subscribe to get a Saturday morning roll-up of our latest content.