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I’m a big fan of practical, useful blog posts, articles, videos and other types of resources.

Learning how to do something new you can use for your buyer’s benefit, for your company’s benefit, or for your own benefit is essential for staying ahead in our work.

With this in mind, I curated four valuable resources for you this week. You need to read, bookmark and share these with your colleagues.

Let me know about other helpful articles, blog posts, quizzes or videos you really like related to this subject. It’s an important area in which to grow, both as a person and as a sales professional.

Return to this blog daily, especially every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career.

Be sure to bookmark and explore our Friday Sales Growth Links archives as well.

15 Ways to Handle the Competition Objection
Mr. Inside SalesMike Brooks (@top20percent), wrote this blog post for @EyesOnSales last week. I highly recommend it because of its practicality. It’s an extremely useful to read and bookmark.

KEY QUOTE While you may have to handle the objection of competition during the close – and I’ll give you some scripting to do just that later in this article – the best time to handle it is in the beginning, while qualifying.”

Pass this link on to a colleague and they’ll thank you for it. #HandleItCorrectly

[Reading Time of This Post: 4:30 minutes]


Rachel_Clapp_Miller_120x120Forbes Magazine
Articulating Differentiation: 5 Ways to Trap the Competition
Content generator Rachel Clapp Miller (@contentrachel) wrote this post for @ForceMGMT. In it, she discusses the three categories of differentiators, along with a list of what we need to remember about differentiators in an overall sense.

KEY QUOTE: “If you can’t describe to your customer your differentiators, you’ll lose the deal, or be forced to lower your price.”

This is an excellent advice on this important topic. #DifferentiateYourself

[Reading Time: 2:00 minutes]


Connor_Burt_120x120American Management Association

What Kind of Discount Can We Get? A Guide to Handling Sales Discount Questions
Don’t pull the trigger on offering a discount too soon. Connor Burt (@conburt) is head of relationships at @lessonlyapp. He wrote this interesting post for the @OpenViewLabs blog.

KEY QUOTE: “In order to effectively wade through sales discount discussions and negotiate like a pro, know that, to have a mutually beneficial outcome is to understand why a discount is needed. It lays a framework for how to field questions, objections, and the path forward.”

Always ensure you’re using the offering of a discount strategically…not just to generate [most of] another sale. #DiscountDoublecheck

[Reading Time: 3:00 minutes]


Sean_Gordon_120x120Harvard Business Review
Why (and How) Sales Teams Should Prepare For 2016 NOW
CEO of @IntelliverseSean Gordon (@SeanGordon22), wrote this guest blog post for @SalesHackerConftwo weeks ago. In it, Gordon borrows an idea from investing and appropriately carries it over into our sales world to help us ensure we start off 2016 strong in Q1.

KEY QUOTE: “If taking the Rule of 78 into consideration, it’s almost impossible to start activity in January 2016 and make your numbers throughout the year. This is because the average sales pipeline for most organizations is anywhere from three to four months, depending on your target audience. With that in mind, sales teams need to build a strong pipeline today to carry them through not only the first month, but also the first quarter of 2016.”

Don’t miss the “Putting The Wheels In Motion” section in this valuable post. #RuleOf78

[Reading Time: 3:00 minutes]

>>  Read past Friday Sales Growth Links posts <<


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B2B_Coffee_315_shadowThis week’s links covers content marketing for B2B organizations, effective prospecting tactics for email and other conversations, as well as some inspiration regarding the way you view your daily work in sales.

Come back daily and be sure to visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:


openview labs
7 Reasons Content Marketing Is Vital For Your B2B Business
Content marketing maven [and plant enthusiast] Kara Burney (@wkndatburneys with @trackmaven for @OpenViewVenture) uses some convincing data from the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report, and other sources, to make a strong case for the use of content marketing by B2B organizations.

KEY QUOTE: “92% of B2B companies produce content marketing in-house.”

Are you in the 8%? Then it’s time to get started. If you’re a part of the 92%, don’t settle for “doing content marketing.” Never stop improving. #areyouconvincedyet
[Reading Time: 3:00]


SalesLoft Blog
One And Done: The Email That Will Get You A Demo
Content marketing specialist [and amateur karaoke star] Leah Bell (@leahwinterbell with @SalesLoft) gives us more than just a good example of a successful sales email. She gives us a great example of how to look at testing and learning with the email messages we send out every day.

KEY QUOTE: “We’re not saying that this email will work forever (or even at all) — especially if you don’t test it regularly. Use A/B testing to find the right balance of customization in your email templates. Measure your results, and then test again. Every process is unique, which is precisely why personalization and semi-automation are crucial with sincerity at scale.”

Even with that caveat, and it’s a wise note to add (or I may not have linked to it here), I believe each of you can definitely learn something new from this post. Find what that is for you, then apply it. #multiplysuccesses
[Reading/Listening Time: 2:30]


Score More Sales Blog
Great Questions to Ask Prospects
Speaker, author, trainer [and connector] Lori Richardson (@ScoreMoreSales) is back with another excellent, useful how-topost. This time, it’s geared toward prospecting. We all know we need to take advantage of it if there’s a way to make us even a little more effective with this task.

KEY QUOTE: “Get them talking and learn from them, without sounding like an interrogator. If you are truly curious and sound that way, it will be a more helpful conversation than if you have a list of questions to answer – so be flexible, and if they go a different direction with their answer, such as the need to find more good staff for their department, go with it and ask them more about that.”

Draw from Lori’s experience to make your next conversation with a prospect more profitable. #thequestionsyouaskmatter
[Reading/Listening Time: 2:30]

Selling Isn’t Meant To Be A Struggle
Speaker, author, trainer, podcaster [and Dad of two great daughters] Bill Caskey (@billcaskey) offers some great inspiration to help us change our mind sets about the effort we make in our sales work every day. We shouldn’t view selling as a struggle.

KEY QUOTE: “…when you are on purpose, prospecting behavior will never be a struggle.”

Doing hard work doesn’t need to equate to the idea of struggling. Be careful about the connotations you freely attach to things in your life. It really is your choice. #itstimeforchange
[Reading Time: 2:00]


>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<


Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »



Email_2_-_309_shadowThis week’s links offer A LOT of optimization advice for being as effective as possible in your cold emails, as well as 33 little ways to give you a big ROI for what you’re doing in LinkedIn.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:


Sales Hacker Blog
7 Sales Email Secrets to Drive Deals Forward
First off, you do NOT already know all of this information, so you should definitely check out this resource. It’s extremely useful and informative.

Director of Sales at Yesware, Mike Haylon (@mhaylon for @saleshackerconf) presented this information so you can either read it as a regular post or scroll to the end and press play and click through the slides in the presentation provided.

Key Quote: “Best practices:

1. Identify the top performing templates.
2. Understand why they worked well.
3. Share the good templates.”

Make use of this one, and be sure to pass it on to your colleagues. #usetheseeveryday
[Reading Time: 4:00]
[BONUS: Audio Presentation Time: 25:09]


Marketo Blog
Marketo Data Tells Us: Which Type of Emails Have the Highest Conversion Rates?
Platform Product Marketing Manager, Johnny Cheng (@marketerjohnny with @marketo) keeps us on the email optimization theme with these helpful findings you should put into practice starting today, beginning with your trigger email.

Key Quote: “Trigger emails perform 3x better than any other email type. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that’s done trigger emails. The power of personalized messages based on behavior is powerful.”

Don’t miss the “Key Take-Aways.” #bemoreeffective
[Reading/Listening Time: 2:30]


SalesFolk Blog
How to Write Unforgettable Cold Emails
Kathie Irwin (@buildingspeak for SalesFolk @HeatherReyhan) created a post to keep us going on the email topic with a strong focus on storytelling and story development.

Key Quote: “…the best stories are like little brainworms– sticking around in our brains, occasionally coming to the front of our minds when something triggers it. Most cold emails are a soulless march through benefit after benefit, ending in a desperate plea for your prospect’s business.”

Keep an eye on the SalesFolk blog for useful content you can read and immediately put into action. #onceuponatime
[Reading Time: 3:30]

33 Tweet-Size LinkedIn Tips You Need to Try
Lily Herman (@lkherman) created a post featuring this valuable infographic originally created by @Ethos3. It offers 33 bits of advice, each in 140 characters or less from a wide variety of people.

Key Quote: “Being fans of tweet-sized tidbits of career advice, we thought we’d make the process of learning the latest facts about LinkedIn way easier. Check out the infographic below to learn what you can be doing to make your professional profile the best one ever in just 140 characters or fewer.”

Think of this as tapas-style social selling optimization at its best (I didn’t even know that was a thing). #bitesizeadvice
[Reading Time: 3:00]


>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<


Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »



Bokeh_300_shadowThis week’s links run through the topics of the importance of better focus, help for your cold emails, average sales reps & sales hiring experts offering advice about sales hiring.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

HOW TO :::

Jill Konrath’s Blog
One Simple Way to Instantly Have Better Sales Conversations
Keynote speaker and award-winning author Jill Konrath (@jillkonrath) put together another great post with video and text. She calls this the “Instant IQ Killer,” and she backs up her claim well.

Just Between You & Me: I always enjoy reading posts like this while listening to the author’s voice. I secretly hope this will become a norm in the future for blog posts because the content comes alive a bit more when I can hear the emotional cues in the voice as I read.

Perhaps I’ll try this style of posts someday as well…with enough shadows to keep me anonymous of course.

Key Quote: Paschler’s study showed that dual task interference can cause a person’s intellectual capacity to drop from that of a Harvard MBA to an 8-year old.

Don’t miss this one. #focusononething
[Reading/Listening Time: 2:30]


SalesFolk Blog
3 Copywriting Mistakes That Make Your Cold Emails Look Stupid
Founder/CEO of SalesFolk, and economist, Heather R. Morgan (@HeatherReyhan) is better known to her clients as a copywriting genie when it comes to writing cold emails. She caught my attention with this blog post and I wanted to pass it on to you.

Key Quote: Your prospects crave simple messages that speak directly to their needs and goals. So, if your cold emails are the butt of everyone’s jokes, you’re probably making at least one of these copywriting mistakes…

Don’t miss clicking this link if either you currently write cold emails, or if you coach those who do. #warmupyouremail
[Reading/Listening Time: 3:00]


J. Barrows Blog
Death of the ‘Average’ Sales Rep
Sales trainer John Barrows (@johnmbarrows) wrote this excellent post back in March but it’s important you don’t miss it. In it, Barrows explains three disturbing trends keeping so many sales reps in the “Average” category (or perhaps “Below Average” for some). He also goes into the solution, so it’s a story with a light at the end of the tunnel.

Key Quote: If marketing and clients are getting smarter and sales reps are staying the same (or getting worse) what do you think is going to happen?

Learn from this one and come away better for it. #riseaboveaverage
[Reading/Listening Time: 3:00]


Sales Hacker Blog
32 Sales Development Leaders Share Their Best Hiring Advice
Digital Marketer Alex J. Burkholder (@alexjburk) recently wrote this guest post for the Sales Hacker Blog (@SalesHackerConf). It offers a great collection of tips if you’re in a sales hiring position for your organization.

Key Quote: What is a single piece advice you’d give to another sales professional who’s currently scaling or who is about to start building a sales development team?

Learn from those who’ve already learned. #dontregretahire
[Reading/Listening Time: 8:00+]


>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<


Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »



Storytelling_3_317_shadowThis set of links for sales professionals includes a couple of important “How To” blog posts from industry leaders, as well as quite a bit of vital information you really need to know about B2B sales.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

HOW TO ::: Blog
How To Master Storytelling In Business (And Sales)
Business leader Ago Cluytens (@acluytens) put together this valuable look into the topic of storytelling for sales professionals. He takes a look at some of the ways in which great sellers harness the power of storytelling in business.

KEY QUOTE: Rather than simply conveying [your] points, stories enable you to do so in a way that evokes emotion, as well as reduces the danger of your prospect seeing you as yet another chest-pounding salesperson full of themselves.

Read it and you’ll be rewarded with an upgrade to your storytelling skills, and ultimately to your skills in earning more sales. #onceuponatime
[Reading/Listening Time: 3:00]


Jack Malcolm’s Blog
How to RULE the Sales Conversation
President of Falcon Performance Group, Jack Malcolm (@jackmalcolm) introduces us to the idea of Motivational Interviewing, then breaks it down in a way that can clearly relate to sales.

KEY QUOTE: The premise is that clients are ambivalent about changing their behaviors, and trying to get them to change before they are ready only increases their resistance. So, the idea is to ask questions and manage the conversation so that the client talks about their own reasons for changing and arrives at their own commitment to change.

Malcolm explains the RULE acronym and shows how it can be immediately incorporated into your selling today. #RULEoutlostsales
[Reading/Listening Time: 1:30]


RAIN Selling Blog
5 Changes in B2B Buying Behavior You Need to Know About
It’s Ago Cluytens again (@acluytens). This time, he penned a post for the RAIN Selling Blog (@rainselling). It offers some key information B2B sellers need to know about today’s B2B buyers.

KEY QUOTE: Today’s buyers are well-educated and often aware of the various options available to them. They tend to have a clearly articulated opinion about what it might take to address the challenges they’re facing.

What they seek, therefore, is not simply information, which they already have in abundance. They’re looking for a sparring partner—someone who can help them find the best way to move forward, and cut through the complexity of the decision making process itself.

Cluytens has the helpful background of being a former buyer. Receiving these insights from that perspective make this worth reading. #changeistheonlycertainty
[Reading/Listening Time: 3:00]


openview Labs
35 Crucial Stats Every B2B Sales Professional Should Know
Sales Strategist CeCe Bazar (@howbazar for @OpenViewLabs) recently put some quality time into compiling this list of helpful information that’s important for B2B sales pros to know to increase buyer retention, response rate and overall customer satisfaction. You’ve heard some of these before, but not all of them.

KEY QUOTE: A new decision-maker enters the fray in the last 5 – 10% of the buying experience. Often times, this person needs to be engaged, educated and sold from scratch.

Some of these nuggets will come in handy in a sales conversation, others will motivate you to do more to keep up with and exceed what your peers are already doing. #theressomethinginhereforeveryone
[Reading/Listening Time: 2:30]


>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<


Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales


Read more »