With 2022 on its way, it’s natural to wonder what the new year has in store. Many are feeling a great sense of uncertainty in their personal and professional lives, yet we’ve been resilient and agile for the better part of the last two years and must continue to be.
When it comes to career growth, many factors play a role in our success, like meeting with managers to discover areas of improvement, attending events to network and rub elbows with industry peers, and participating in webinars to learn skills of the trade from experts.
But there’s another avenue for professional development you can put to use without having to schedule another meeting on your calendar – books. I’ve rounded up eight sales books from experts and influencers in the space that I believe carry key insights instrumental to our growth as sales professionals in the year ahead.
“Selling to Big Companies” by Jill Konrath
Big accounts are notoriously difficult for even the most experienced salesperson. But continuously using the same strategies won’t result in a sale. In “Selling to Big Companies,” Jill Konrath teaches readers to sell by targeting the right accounts, demonstrating how to engage busy executives, and developing an effective, multi-faceted account-entry campaign.
“Emotional Intelligence for Sales Leadership: The Secret to Building High-Performance Sales Teams” by Colleen Stanley
Emotional intelligence is crucial for strengthening relationships and improving productivity within sales teams. Colleen Stanley shows sales leaders the importance of developing these soft skills. These simple steps include cultivating sales cultures that embrace feedback and change and identifying key emotional intelligence skills needed in the hiring process.
With the move to remote work at the height of the pandemic, sales teams had to learn how to sell in a virtual landscape, which came with its own set of challenges and learning curves. But, as with all skills, mastery is possible. Co-authors Yuchun Lee, Mark Magnacca, and Tony Jeary guide sales professionals to adjust to a new sales paradigm and win in a virtual world.
“Leading from Your Best Self: Develop Executive Poise, Presence and Influence to Maximize Your Potential” by Rob Salafia
An intrinsic aspect of selling is connection. But being great at connecting requires being the best version of ourselves and improving how others – like key stakeholders – see us. Rob Salafia takes his background in theater to deliver techniques and exercises for developing greater self-confidence, leading with conviction, and connecting authentically.
“The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the Ten Commandments That Drive Sales” by Anthony Iannarino
Closing is often the most elusive part of the sales process. But Anthony Iannarino proves that doesn’t have to be the case. Iannarino demonstrates how to make closing look like child’s play by setting it up at each step of the sales process.
From cold calling strangers to waiting for email responses that never come, prospecting is intimidating. Ackers and Smith provide the framework, tips, and tricks to relieve anxieties surrounding prospecting.
“The Building Blocks of Sales Enablement” by Mike Kunkle
Although more sales organizations are adopting sales enablement practices, a disconnect still exists for what exactly sales enablement is and the formal strategies it needs. Kunkle offers clarity where he uses a building block concept of training, content and coaching that serves as a guide to achieving sales enablement success.
Companies often focus their strategies on accumulating new customers when their focus should also be on retaining existing customers. Peterson and Riesterer find a way to balance both. The authors provide everything you need to gain a competitive edge in the customer success space, including an explanation of the buying differences between new and existing customers and how to adapt strategies for each group.
In addition to reading their books, I recommend following these authors on social media to keep up to date on their sales insights.