2019 is almost a wrap. This has been an eventful year (more on that in a coming blog post and podcast) that’s included my recognition among the recent LinkedIn Top Voices in Sales and Top Sales World’s Top 50 Sales Blogs. Those awards are especially meaningful, as one of my goals is to continually grow the thought leadership resources for the sales community, to help you ignite your sales and make a leadership impact.
From the dozens of posts in 2019, here’s a recap of the sales blog content that most captured your attention and can provide you with important lessons you can bring with you into the new year.
The Future is Now: Top Skills for Sales Leadership in 2020
The future is now. We’re at the doorstep of 2020. But we need to be looking well beyond it, to continue learning about the forces that will shape our sales organizations and the talent economy at large. As I travel the country and meet with sales leaders and other organizational executives, some common themes emerge around the competencies, skills, and resources needed for modern sellers and modern sales leaders.
This list of skills for sales leaders below is by no means exhaustive, but it will expand your idea generation as you build out your sales organization.
Sales Mindset: Your Best Investment and Biggest Payoff
Sellers experience more objections, rejections and pressure than most other professions. How do the best sellers maintain their drive and sense of optimism? One skill helps them stand apart– a growth mindset.
A growth mindset sets the stage for every activity we undertake on the path to sales success. If you’re not already familiar with this concept, watch this short TED talk by Carol Dweck, a leading researcher on growth mindset and its antithesis, fixed mindset.
The great news is that growth mindset can be built, using tools and techniques like the ones below. You’ll cultivate resilience and to be ready take on your next opportunity.
Your Best Investment: A Case for Lifelong Learning
What are the secrets to longevity? After considering the traits of one very exceptional nonagenarian, I can boil it down to two things: self-care and lifelong learning.
This post digs into the second of those two… what lifelong learning can do for us personally and professionally. It’s the best investment you can make.
Top Effectiveness and Productivity Tools for Sales Professionals
Tools can help us work more efficiently so we can sell more and increase our impact.
There are many options for productivity tools out there – it becomes important to find the tools that work best for each individual. Of course, it can take some experimentation to get there. This week on the blog, I share some tools I’ve found to improve my effectiveness and productivity in the sales profession. What are your favorite productivity tools?
How *Not* to do Social Selling
LinkedIn can be a powerful social selling tool. But as Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker in Spider-Man, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
When I’m building relationships with potential clients, LinkedIn InMail and invitations are part of my social messaging rotation. These tools are very effective for background research and opening doors for that next step in a conversation IF they are used effectively. When done wrong, this outreach can very quickly shut down a conversation and a potential relationship.
After I received a message that I’d file under the social selling “done wrong” category, I took a look at the message and share tips for how you can be sure to not make the same mistakes.
Accelerate Your Sales Results Over the Next 90 Days with These Prospecting Strategies
If you’re like most sales professionals, you don’t love prospecting. But it doesn’t have to be that way. A prospecting plan that’s strategic and worked consistently improves the quality and quantity of leads in your pipeline.
In this post, I share four strategies for uncovering new opportunities with your loyal clients, and also opening the door with new prospects. I invite you to try them out over the next 90 days, and let me know your results!
Sales Agility is a Top 5 Sales Skill; Here’s how to Build It
Sales agility makes us more innovative, better able to accelerate opportunities, and reach our sales goals. One way sellers build sales agility is to fill in blind spots.
Our prospects and clients are dealing lots of ambiguity in their industries and organizations. They’ll never have all of the information they need, and this can create blind spots in decision-making and strategy. When we can help them fill in those gaps, we gain credibility and earn their confidence.
Learn three strategies you can use as a seller to help your prospects and clients fill in blind spots.
Sales Culture is the Key to Growing Next-Generation Leaders
Has your organization filled its leadership pipeline?
For success into the future, you’ll need more professionals selling as part of your succession planning practices. When your professionals are equipped to sell, you’ll create more client opportunities, you’ll generate stronger revenues and profits, and you’ll be in a better position to diversify your services.
I share four strategies for growing your sales culture and developing next-generation leaders with the experience and know-how to generate revenue.
The 7 Sales Books Every Sales Professional Needs to Own
Statistics show that top business leaders read a book a week. They know…. you are what you read. So, as a sales professional or sales leader, what books are on your bookshelf?
As I consider my own library, there are dozens upon dozens of titles in it you’d recognize. And some that you wouldn’t. Out of all my books, a handful jump out as having made the biggest impact on me as an entrepreneur, sales professional and sales leader.
These are the seven books I recommend for sales professionals and sales leaders.
Five Must-Watch TED Talks for Sales Professionals in 2019
What are you watching? According to Hubspot, 78% of people watch online videos every week, and 55% view online videos every day. You can make the most of your video consumption by creating a list of talks that can inspire your sales success. Two years ago, I shared a list of my favorite TED talks for sellers. Today, let’s look at this updated list.
BONUS – My all-time most viewed post.
What is Self Leadership and Why Do You Need it?
When you think of leadership development, what comes to mind?
For most, the concept of leadership development involves the process of building leaders of other people—creating a connection between managers and the front line. Topics in a leadership development course might include communication, conflict management and delegation, to name a few.
It’s not often though that we stop to look in the mirror. Have you thought about what it means to lead yourself? That’s self leadership, and it’s the most important pillar in the leadership development process.
I look forward to sharing more insights with you in the new year. Happy Holidays, and here’s to your continued success as a modern seller!
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