If you are an ambitious sales professional, it doesn’t matter whether you are selling one of the world’s most luxurious islands or small insurance contracts. You must continuously improve your sales techniques and skills to stay ahead of the competition. Sales, more than any other industry, is heavily performance based.
However, learning how to become a high-performing salesperson with a seven figure income is challenging and time consuming. Brian Tracy has spent his entire life trying to figure out why some people become self-made millionaires and others don’t. In his "Secrets of a Self-Made Millionaires" speech, he mentions that he himself used to be a lousy salesperson while one of his colleagues was outselling everyone else with the same product and the same price.
His conclusion: in order to be the best, one must do what the best do.
Easier said than done! Most sales people are part of a team and even though some team members might perform better than others, the difference is not significant enough to observe and adopt truly groundbreaking sales techniques. So what can ambitious sales professionals do to learn more and faster than their competitors?
One way is to substitute having a rockstar salesperson on-site by following their efforts on the internet. The following list features some of the sales industry’s brightest consultants and coaches, their websites and blogs, as well as valuable insights on their respective target groups and contents. From B2B selling and recruitment to performance, prospecting, social selling and leadership skills, the list is diverse and meant for sales professionals who want to improve their skill set.
10 10: The Funnelholic
The Funnelholic is a blog created by sales consultant and entrepreneur Craig Rosenberg. It is one of the few blogs that does not have categories but focuses on the most recently published articles. Topics include but are to limited to social selling, cold calling, startup selling, sales leadership, productivity hacks for sales people, and marketing - you guess it - for sales people. The vast majority of blog posts share Craig Rosenberg’s confident opinion on industry trends and best practices.
9 9: Selling Power Blog
Gerhard Gschwandtner is the founder and publisher of Selling Power magazine and best known as the host of the Sales 2.0 Conference series. The Selling Power Blog mainly targets sales professionals in managerial or executive positions and covers basic sales training advice such as selling skills, sales compensation, sales management, recruitment, and presentations as well as social media, mindset, motivation, and innovation. The blog will celebrate its first anniversary in July 2014 and currently features around 300 articles.
8 8: Partners in Excellence Blog
Dave Brock, the creator of the Partners in Excellence Blog, is widely recognized as a thought leader in sales. He consults a variety of clients, including but not limited to industry giants like IBM, HP, Nokia, AT&T, Microsoft, SAP, Motorola, Panasonic, CAP Gemini, Verizon, and Bank of America but also startups and smaller companies. The blog has well over 2500 articles on sales and leadership related topics.
Dave Brock is one of the traditional sales professional who started out as a salesperson, moved up the ranks within large corporations, and finally started to work as an independent consultant. There are only a handful of sales consultants in the world who can compete with his portfolio and his extensive experience is what makes this blog so special.
7 7: What’s In Your Pipeline?
The Blog “What’s In Your Pipeline?” is highly targeted at ambitious sales professionals who work in corporate environments. Tibor Shanto, owner of the blog and Principal of Renbor Sales Solutions Inc., has over 25 years of experience in B2B sales and has been included on seven top sales lists on 2010 and 2012 either as individual or as part of his company.
The blog was started in December 2007 and covers proactivity, sales techniques, sales training, selling to executives, pricing, listening, humor, pipeline management, and prospecting, among other topics.
6 6: Score More Sales
Lori Richardson, the owner of Score More Sales, is best known for her expertise in selling B2B tech but has a long list of achievements. Among them working in sales for Apple, IBM, HP, and Siemens. She was recognized as one of the 20 Women To Watch in Sales Lead Management in both 2012 and 2013 by SLMA, as one of the Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2013 by Insideview and by OpenView Partners (2012 and 2013) and was most recently named number twelve on Forbes’ Top 30 Social Sales Influencers 2014.
Her blog offers insightful articles about lead generation, reaching prospects, social selling, and how to have a successful career in sales.
5 5: Intrepid
Todd Schnick is the blogger behind Intrepid, and is also a radio host. He frequently writes about sales and closely related topics with a twist. In contrast to many other sales bloggers, Schnick doesn’t come from a traditional career in sales. On the contrary, his career is the mirror of his diverse interests and displays how creative work can be. In addition to hosting the Intrepid radio show and blogging, he is also a distance runner, former political campaign manager, four time book author, radio show producer, and speaker. His view on sales is pragmatic and closely knit with every day life.
4 4: Chaos In My Head
“Chaos In My Head” is run by sales consultant Tim Ohai. Rather than focusing on sales strategies and best practices, he is focused on issues among sales team members. Team dynamics and uniting diverse personalities is his area of expertise.
Even though his blog has only around 1600 followers, he is one of the Top 40 Sales Influencers on Twitter. He also touches upon topics that are usually avoided, such as credibility, detours, destroyed relationships, and purpose.
3 3: A Sales Guy
Strong headlines, opinionated articles, and provoking takes on sales are what he excels at. This father of three is also a passionate skier and entertaining speaker.
2 2: Fearless Selling
“Fearless Selling” is worth visiting because of the quality and quantity of resources made available on the site. It is part of The Robertson Training Group, run by sales trainer Kelley Robertson. He is best known for turning Sony’s retail success around in 1995 when he gave up a successful career in the hospitality industry to join Sony’s retail division in Canada.
His sales training programs have since been used globally and he was listed among the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers 2012 and the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Blogs 2012 among other achievements. Robertson has an affinity for content and does not only provide catchy content, but also shows his marketing skills when it comes to graphics and design.
1 1: Sales Productivity Blog: Sell Smart
Nancy Nardin is not only one of the currently most celebrated sales professionals but also runs one of the most successful sales blogs. By featuring detailed interviews with fellow sales experts on a biweekly basis, Nardin has created a competitive edge and network that is hard to beat. Her blog won the silver medal for the category Top Sales and Marketing Blogs 2012 by Top Sales & Marketing Awards and the International Blogging Award 2013 by Best Sales Blogger Awards.
Nancy Nardin won the 20 Women To Watch Award 2013 by Sales Lead Management, was listed as one of the Top 25 Sales Influencers 2013 by Openview and by InsideView. HubSpot named her as one of the Top 25 Sales Bloggers in the World for 2013. She lays out her expertise in sales productivity tools on her blog and is very active in social media.