Forward-thinking sales reps and managers are forever on the quest to improve their performance forecasting, and the decisions made today will help set up success tomorrow and in the coming year. So with an eye on the horizon, here are 17 sales books, blogs and training courses to help everyone hit their number.
Best sales publications
- Sandler Training: Famous the world over for their sales training and methodology, the team at Sandler also maintains a long-running blog with material for reps on the floor, and content focused on sales leadership and professional development.
- Salesforce: The CRM giant’s robust blog features frequent posts of interest in the enterprise space on topics like sales leadership, management and efficiently scaling a sales organization.
- Geoffrey James: An author, speaker and professor, James has taken up the challenge of educating the masses on all things business. As a contributing editor to Inc., he writes the Sales Source blog, covering topics relevant at the individual level like techniques and productivity.
- HubSpot Sales: Arriving on the scene with software built around inbound marketing, HubSpot takes a similar approach to their sales methodology by “solving for the customer.” Their tips and advice for reps are geared toward the diagnostic and discovery phase to establish a good fit and genuine interest from the prospect. HubSpot also has one of the best marketing blogs which sales reps can read to discover new ways of generating and nurturing sales leads.
- Smart Selling Tools: Is a consulting firm specializing in boosting sales productivity and performance through the use of smart sales tools. The blog features actionable advice, as well as executive interviews and guest posts to bring additional voices and fresh perspectives to readers.
- Tenfold’s Sales Acceleration Magazine: For results-driven sales teams, our online magazine provides in-depth strategies for capturing, engaging and converting leads to grow your bottom line.
Top sales books
- “SPIN Selling” by Neil Rackham: No roundup of great sales books would be complete without Rackham’s legendary contribution to the business world. Built on personal experience and a 12-year research initiative involving thousands of hours spent testing and measuring the performance of sales techniques, SPIN Selling is an exhaustive overview of what works and what doesn’t.
- “Selling to Big Companies” by Jill Konrath: As an expert on navigating complex sales strategies, Konrath’s guidance on working in the enterprise space is as true today as it was in 2005, garnering praise for its suggestions for identifying and reaching decision makers in large organizations.
- “Selling to the C-Suite” by Stephen J. Bistritz: A research-heavy exploration on how to start at the top and engage the executives of target accounts. Bistritz presents the findings of his interviews with top executives, helping identify themes and common areas of interest.
- “Mastering the Complex Sale” by Jeff Thull: Leaning on his consulting background with Prime Resource Group, Thull helps readers connect their value as salespeople with the prospect’s performance metrics, quantifying their impact for the organization.
- “Sales 2.0” by Anneke Seley & Brent Holloway: As the name suggests, Sales 2.0 is focused on a new generation of sales tactics, illuminating successful strategies for a changing landscape. At its core, this Sales 2.0 world is the union of marketing, sales and technology to maximize the impact of all three.
- “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” by David Meerman Scott: Already a visionary marketing thought leader, Scott’s recently updated version of the BusinessWeek best-seller will find its home with Sales & Marketing Managers eager to explore the role marketing needs to play in lead generation and filling the funnel for reps.
Addictive sales training courses
- Coursera: Offered by major universities, Coursera’s tracks have a more academic feel. While there is less specialization on sales as a profession, they have countless options in related skills like negotiation, strategic planning, and the intersection of sales and marketing.
- Udemy: Featuring a low-cost (most are $20-$50) bevy of courses, Udemy’s sales library includes growth-hacking techniques for sales processes, tips on cold emailing and new approaches to prospecting that can boost the performance of any sales funnel.
- Lynda: Lynda offers an expansive mix of formal courses and short (3-6 minute) videos produced by experienced pros with an impressive track record in the field. With everything from introductions on sales management to the instructional how-to’s on pipeline metrics, Lynda’s crowd-sourced approach to aggregating curriculum offers something for everyone.
- Inbound Selling: HubSpot’s academy features several courses and certification programs, expanding their footprint in the marketing space with educational opportunities. Their Inbound Sales course helps folks “better identify, connect, explore, and advise today’s empowered buyer.”
- Rapid Learning Institute: RSI’s emphasis on bite-sized learning is built on a foundation of easily digestible 6-10 minute videos that are laser-focused on a given sales topic, allowing the sales pro to focus on their areas of desired improvement.
Consider these recommended reads for sales reps, sales managers and business leaders. Use these resources to gain new perspectives on selling and improve your existing skill set.