Looking for elite sales content? You've come to the right place. Here are the Ambition Business Team's picks for 2015's best-in-class sales blogging.
Lots of people blog about sales and the art of selling. And yet, you can pore through dozens of online articles on Sales Blogs, LinkedIn, and elsewhere without acquiring a single actionable insight, unique idea, or newfound sense of inspiration.
Finding timely content that offers an actionable solution, immediate value-add, or insightful perspective feels like striking gold. That kind of sales content is truly rare.
And it's the kind our Business Team shares, curates, and uses in our own revenue generation efforts here at Ambition.
The Top 10 Sales Blog Posts from 2015
As with our 2014 list, we started building this list by consulting our internal directory of impactful Sales content. The Blog Posts that won out shared a consensus trait -- they helped us close more deals. Here are Ambition's picks for the Top 10 Sales Blog Posts from 2015.
The next guest on our Sales Influencer Series also wrote one of the most emphatic, outstanding takedowns of an inaccurate statistic that's somehow become industry gospel over the last few years.
Citing to a must-read study by SiriusDecisions, Weinberg opens our eyes to a new reality of the modern, digital sales funnel -- prospects are engaging your salespeople at the very outset of the buying process.
Content marketing, automated drip email, marketing automation and social media are moving prospects along the sales funnel - but a scarce number of them are 67% of the way through the buying process before initial contact with a sales rep.
Which means sales organizations need to rethink their perceptions of sales-marketing alignment in 2016 and get smarter and more strategic about how they're moving prospects through the buying process.
Source: OpenView Labs Blog
2) The Best SDRs Don't Suffer From a Lack of Focus
By Ralph Barsi
Such an important article. *Note: We wrote that before scrolling down to the Comments section of the post and seeing Lars Nillson make the exact same declaration -- the verdict is in on this article.*
In a perfect world, sales organizations are always well-oiled machines that give clear, explicit direction and instruction on how to prioritize sales development efforts.
In reality, it's often a s***show.
For SDRs stuck in those organizations (and their embattled managers), Mr. Barsi is your knight in shining armor. This may well be the premiere sales article of 2015.
Source: Sales Hacker
Dovetailing with the Barsi article is Stephen Meyer's investigation into the driving forces behind the emergence of the SDR.
If you have any interest whatsoever in the modern B2B sales landscape, this is required reading. If you run an old-school sales model and want to know what all this "Sales 2.0" fuss is about, this is required reading.
And if you're looking to adopt or optimize a modern, inside sales model within your organization, this article is the perfect starting point.
Bonus points to Meyer for going a step beyond and offering some actionable insights for recruiting, structuring and training your SDRs -- excellent sources, excellent insight and, combined with the Barsi article, an excellent 1-2 punch for understanding "The Year of the SDR."
Of all the articles we read in 2015, this post carries its own unique merit. In a few short paragraphs, Steve Richard unleashes a clinical, dispassionate and highly necessary critique of the Sales 2.0 Bible.
To the casual reader, the article's very premise seems, in and of itself, extremely bold and purposely controversial. Once you dive in, though, it becomes clear just how razor sharp the sales mind behind it truly is.
Richard doesn't set out to de-legitimize Predictable Revenue, just set proper parameters as to its applicability. In doing so, he performs a huge service to the greater sales community at-large -- it's clear that this article was borne out of necessity.
As CRO of VorsightBP, a sales consulting firm, Steve Richard has no doubt seen firsthand the havoc wreaked by ill-fated attempts to adopt the Sales 2.0 model where it simply cannot work.
Every sales leader contemplating the adoption of the Predictable Revenue model should read this article first before making their final decision.
Source: The VorsightBP Blog
This article has it all. Its title alone belongs in the sales blogging Hall of Fame - and fortunately, Douglas Burdett backs it up with a hilarious, universally understandable and compelling premise.
What B2B sales rep hasn't followed up on an eBook download or similarly tepid new lead with a rushed calendar invite and follow-up email that acts like the prospect just requested a full-court sales press?
Burdett's sharp analysis distinguishes what separates overzealous follow-up from proper sales courtship. If you have a couple sales reps on your team who take aggressiveness too far into "19 Year Old Dude" territory, have them read this article, ASAP.
Source: The Kitedesk Blog
By Peter Gracey
Heather Morgan may be the Queen of calling out offensively bad cold emails, but Peter Gracey is the only person we saw nuke one back into the Stone Age in 2015.
The rapid proliferation of cold email over the past 5 years has created an increasingly desperate, over-the-top approach to stand out from the hordes of other inbox prospectors vying for attention.
Which is why it's so satisfying to see Gracey take the gloves off with an insipid "Alligator" stick that's been en vogue, in some form or fashion, over the last year.
It's a beautiful execution. And Peter Gracey may not have been the hero the B2B sales world wanted in 2015, but he was the one it deserved.
Source: The Quota Factory Blog
By Kayla Kozan
We're furious that we didn't write this.
We've written thousands of words and published at least a dozen articles focused around de-mystifying the Millennial sales force on the Ambition Blog and elsewhere. Kayla Kozan's piece one ups us -- big time.
If you're looking for a ridiculously on-point, well-sourced, definitive article on understanding the Millennial sales rep, this is your article.
Major hats off to Ms. Kozan for helping to #SaveTheMillennials -- we'll be requesting a guest article from her on this very topic in Q1 of 2016.
By Nikita Ovtchinikov and Sam Laber
Our anonymous Guest Blogger, The Apex Predator, declared this to be an essential read for sales professionals. And we co-sign completely.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about this post, besides its depth, comprehensiveness and all-around practicality, is that its main writer isn't a seasoned sales leader, but an Account Executive at Marketo.
Given the elite level of proficiency on display, we can only assume Mr. Ovtchinikov wrote this post in between closing a never-ending stream of 5 and 6 figure deals for Marketo.
Lucky them. And major props to Sam Laber at Datanyze for running one of the best SaaS sales blogs on the planet last year.
Source: Datanyze Blog
The only repeat author from our 2014 list, Tamara Schenk continued to churn out her unique brand of high-brow industry analysis in 2015.
This post showcases what Schenk does best -- diagnosing an underlying problem across B2B sales processes, placing it in the context of an easily-understood paradigm and then proscribing a clear strategy for remedying the issues.
Here, Schenk distinguishes a major flaw in how sales organizations evaluate lead viability -- by assessing their position relative to the prototypical "buying process," as opposed to the "customer's journey."
Sound pedantic? It's not. Read Schenk's post and think deeply about how you evaluate prospect viability in your sales organization.
Source: CSO Insights
Both PersistIQ and its Marketing Director Brandon Redlinger are rising stars in the B2B sales world.
In a year when countless posts were written recommending sales tools, this one stands out as the most definitive, objective and empathetic to the varying needs and budgets of B2B sales organizations.
If you're looking to add new technological artillery to your sales operations in 2016, this post is a must. And don't sleep on Brandon Redlinger or the PersistIQ Blog, either. We'll be reading them closely in 2016.
Source: The PersistIQ Blog
Who Inspired Your Sales Growth in 2015?
We want to know who to be reading in 2016, so cough up your sources! Feel free to Tweet us your or add them in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading, now let's crush 2016.
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