” You cannot open a book without learning something” Confucius
You have recently joined a sales organisation and you want to make it to the top. You are a sales leader that has been recently promoted and has to learn how to drive team sales. You have started your new technology intensive business, your first customer is on-boarded and you are looking to replicate that success the faster you can without hampering your current relationship and your future growth potential.
You quickly understand that the challenges your new role imposes are different from the previous one. You practically see that succeeding as a sales professional is different than getting an A in an university class, you easily find out that achieving a team quota requires different skill set than overachieving your personal sales target. As business owner, the game is entirely different as you need to first sell and make sure that your product specifically in the fintech space is used. After that you need to hire the right people who can excel in that task better than you, but also keep them motivated along your company’s journey as well as coach them constantly. You also need to keep up with your daily tasks, so that the business keeps running.
The aforementioned situation do not sound ideal. Believe me, there are many people experiencing a very similar situation as you read this blog post. The good news is that some of them have documented their experiences and have produced really good reads about best practices around similar situations. In this Art of Selling post, Boris has rounded up 10 excellent reads. Feel free to scroll down.
Sales Management. Simplified. by Mike Weinberg
Critical look at sales departments today. It offers a comprehensive plan on how to inject energy and vitality into your sales team. It runs through the most common and chronic problems and provides practical advice that any manager can follow to avoid pitfalls and turn a sleepy sales department into a strong and unified team. Intended at people who would like to learn the basics of sales management as well as free lancers, entrepreneurs and sales leaders.
Lawyers, lairs and the art of story telling by Jonathan Shapiro
In todays’ world knowing how to tell the story of your product, company or even yourself is key to successful branding and establishing meaningful long term relationships with your current and potential customers. Jonathan Shapiro is a multi versed individual that is a screenwriter, journalist and practicing attorney. He establishes a parallel between screen writing and presenting legal cases. Knowing how to craft a compelling personal sales story is a skill that can help many sales leaders and entrepreneurs.
Crushing it! by Gary Vaynerchuk
In his latest book Gary Vaynerchuk emphasises the importance of building a strong personal brand across different digital platforms. Having a strong digital sales strategy in todays’ world where internet connected devices are settled to soon overtake the number of humans on the planet is the foundation for future success. Emphasizes how rapidly our world is shifting towards digital only marketing.
Coaching Sales people to sales champions: A tactical playbook for managers and executives by Keith Rosen
In today’s fast evolving environment one of the key success driver is the ability of sales people to learn new skills. Coaching your reps is crucial, as more than 80% seem to have forgotten what they have been told only 30 days after. The book includes many case studies as well as numerous coaching questions and scripts that you can directly use in your day to day activity.
Case study of Salesforce.com success. It reveals the secret sales strategy ingredients that made that company a multi-billion dollar company. It explains the process that needs to be followed if you would like to build a self sustainable business development team. Both authors have been in sales for about three decades and have loads of experience you can easily benefit from.
The psychology of selling by Brian Tracy
Teaches the basics in the field of psychology of consumption. It also includes tips and tricks by seasoned sales professionals that can help you perform in any market.
Purple cow by Seth Godin
This book explains why traditional marking does not perform as it used to. One of the best known personalities in the world of advertisement outlines why to be successful in building a remarkable product or service you need to stand out of the crowd. It also explains how you can reach your target market once you have found your own purple cow. Great read for entrepreneurs, product designers and senior sales people.
SPIN selling by Neil Rackman
This book needs to be read with a pinch of salt as we say. Although Mr. Rackman’s work remains to this day one of the most comprehensive qualitative researches into the sales process as such. It has started to date a bit as most of the empirical tests have been conducted in the 70s. It lets you find out why some of the traditional sales methods are limited and you will also explore the SPIN framework.
Race to amazing: your track to sales leadership by Krista S. Moore
Krista has been a public speaker and a sales coach for more than 15 years. She has completed various assignments for Fortune 500 companies as well as large number of start-ups. The book underlines the need for organisations to continuously up-skill their sales employees so that innovation can continue to happen. She also provides the information needed to build a winning sales strategy as well as well operating sales management system.
Sales management for Dummies by Butch Bella
Butch has been a sales trainer for the last 30 odd years. He has a lot of stories to share and also a very structured steps to help you start your career in sales, managing a sales team or even running your own company’s sales. The main topics covered include transitioning from an individual contributor to a leader, how to build and develop a team, running sales meetings as well as rewarding top performers and letting bottom ones go.
” Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn ” Benjamin Franklin
There are no shortcuts to success and experience is often what is really relevant. Reading these books or simply applying some of the ideas they bring will help you perform better in your job. Building credibility will also become easier as you will have some tools ready to use.