Whether you’re just getting started in your sales career or you’re a seasoned pro, there’s one inescapable truth: success requires constant improvement and adaptation. Even the highest-earning sales reps can’t afford to rest on their laurels or let their skills stagnate. No matter how big yesterday’s win was, there’s always another goal to reach — and your income depends on reaching it.
That’s why the most successful salespeople are lifelong learners; they’re driven by their curiosity to look for the best ways to improve their skills and increase their sales numbers. As part of this continued effort, many sales reps will read countless books and attend numerous conferences and seminars over the course of their careers. But in a sea of resources and thought leaders, which ones are actually worth your time? Here are a few great options to help you get started:
For the most meaningful career growth, nothing beats personalized, one-on-one sales coaching. Sound pricey? You’d be surprised! If you’re going with a high-profile thought leader, maybe. But some of the very best coaching you’ll get throughout your career in sales will come from sales managers and more senior sales reps at your own company.
Since your manager’s success hinges on your ability to make more sales, they should be more than willing to do whatever they can to help you become more effective at your job. Whether it’s by listening to your customer calls to give you concrete feedback about how to keep the conversation moving forward, or by giving you pointers on what to include in follow-up emails for the best response, their timely and specific advice will go a long way toward helping you improve.
Sales managers and other sales reps can also be excellent resources to help you increase your understanding of the product. The better you know what your company is offering, how it stacks up to competitors, what pain points it solves for clients, and other important details about your product, the better you’ll be poised to perform.
The specifics of selling have changed a lot in the past few years. With more tools at your disposal than ever before, it may seem like the whole sales process has fundamentally changed. But while your job looks different than it would have several decades ago, there are some principles and tricks of the trade that remain as useful as ever. These classic sales books still make best-of lists regularly, and with good reason:
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
For some more recent thought leadership, here are a few of our favorite books written by sales experts in the last few years:
- Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss
- The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon
- Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to Go From $0 to $100 Million by Mark Roberge
Blogs and podcasts
Prefer your sales information a little more bite-sized? Podcasts and blog posts are a great way to get useful insights when you don’t have time to sit down and read a whole book. Here are a few of our favorite podcasts:
Here are some blogs with food for thought and great actionable advice:
By taking advantage of the resources available to you in your workplace and learning new approaches from trusted thinkers in the sales industry, you can continually improve your skills to become more effective.
We have another way to power up your performance: having a clearer picture of your progress toward your goals. With QuotaPath’s sales performance management app, you can get real-time data about where you stand. Create an account here.