Your Holiday Gift Guide for the Sales Professional 

by in Sales

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The holiday season has arrived. In all likelihood, there will be at least one sales professional on your gift giving list this year. As your personal sales assistant, Node has come to the rescue with a list of the best new books for sales professionals. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and pinpointed the content that is most relevant in today’s ever-changing sales world. Here’s the run-down:

1. Account-Based Sales Development Playbook for Revenue-Driven Teams

For the better part of 2016, we saw Account-Based Marketing (“ABM”) take the sales world by storm. Only in the most recent months have we seen the focus shift to a less understood concept: Account-Based Sales Development (“ABSD”), a methodology that involves targeting sales efforts according to specific customers and accounts.

“Account-Based Sales Development Playbook for Revenue-Driven Teams” is one of the few books on the market today that is exclusively devoted to ABSD. The content is rich and is sure to be a page turner for any sales professional. Appropriately, the book opens with a discussion on whether or not ABSD is the right approach for your team. While it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and want to jump the gun in terms of implementing an ABSD strategy, it’s critical to appreciate that ABSD is not effective for every organization. Next, the book walks readers though an easy to follow framework for deploying an effective ABSD strategy (which necessarily involves seamless collaboration between sales, marketing, and customer success teams). Finally, saving the best part for last, the book concludes with a series of recommendations related to how to set up your CRM and track KPIs and other benchmarks so as to maximize the effectiveness of your ABSD strategy.

2. 7 Steps to Sales Force Transformation

“Sales transformation” can seem like an ominous concept. Fortunately, this book makes the concept easily digestible. It unravels   the notion of sales force transformation down to 7 bite-size pieces. In doing so, it instills the reader with confidence that the process is not only feasible, but also worthwhile. Lisa Redekop, Sales Enablement Specialist at Gartner, offers a strong endorsement, “Sales transformations are daunting but achievable with focus, partnership across the organization (inside and outside sales), and a plan. Take the time to make the changes and be brave – this book is a key guide on how to do this.”

“7 Steps to Sales Force Transformation” begins with a discussion on whether your sales organization should even attempt to spearhead a sales force transformation. Next, drawing on a combination of quantitative research, the authors’ first-hand experiences, and best practices from sales professionals, the book explains how to modernize a sales organization to achieve a transformation. One of our favorite parts is the fruitful discussion on how to communicate a sales transformation vision and sell it to upper management – certainly not a task for the feint at heart.

Hot of the press, this book will be a welcome addition to any sales professional’s reading list. The book’s forte is its actionable advice – it guides readers through a series of tasks, questions, and decisions related to successful sales force transformations.

3. Sales Manager Survival Guide: Lessons From Sales’ Front Lines

Far too many sales professionals get thrown into the throes of sales management unprepared for the journey ahead. Whether the recipient on your buying list is a sales rep or sales manager, this book is full of valuable lessons and insights. At 66 chapters strong, it’s full of beef. From hiring to performance improvement to compensation to firing, this book has it all. Our favorite parts include the section devoted to helping readers understand how to accelerate coaching impacts, and the section devoted to discussing the future of a sales manager (teaser: the sales manager of today is a very different creature than the sales manager of tomorrow).

Purchase this book and you’ll be learning from the best. Author Dave Brock is a true and esteemed sales influencer. In 2014, he was named by InsideView as a Top Sales Influencer – for the 4th year in a row. Brock doesn’t shy away from the difficult topics, he addresses them head on.

4. The Perfect Close: The Secret To Closing Sales The Best Selling Practices & Techniques For Closing The Deal

The vast majority of sales books are dedicated to early stages of the sales process. Very few properly address deal close, arguably the most important (and difficult) stage. This book is an exception – it is exclusively devoted to deal close. Author James Muir gets down to the nitty gritty and addresses pressing issues related to deal close (such as how to add continuous momentum to your sales process to reduce time to deal close, how to ease customer stress and convince customers to commit to making a purchase, and how to empower buyers to feel more educated and in control throughout the deal close process).

“The Perfect Close” includes incredibly rich content related to how to close a deal in today’s selling era. In doing so, it teaches readers a closing method that is (allegedly) successful approximately 95% of the time. Sales professionals will appreciate that the book shies away from aggressive and “pushy” sales tactics, which degrade customer trust and are far too commonly deployed during deal close.

5. Dealstorming

Author Tim Sanders is no stranger to the world of sales. As Yahoo!’s former Chief Solutions Officer, he comes with a wealth of experience and expertise in sales. “Dealstorming” is his terms for a structured process that aims to empower sales reps to overcome sales deadlocks: it’s “a Swiss Army knife for today’s toughest sales challenges.”

“Dealstorming” is especially relevant to sales professionals involved in large complex sales. The book is strategically divided into three sections: 1) The Case for Sales Collaboration, 2) The Dealstorming Methodology, and 3) Tools for Innovation. Throughout the pages of the book, readers learn how to navigate the increasingly complicated sales process. This process necessarily involves working as part of a collaborative team rather than in silos. The best parts of the book are the first-hand anecdotes from major giants such as Skillsoft and Oracle, as well as the interviews from nearly 200 B2B sales leaders. Readers are also equipped with an arsenal of exercises, templates, and strategies to guide them through the “dealstorming” process. This book is sure to be a good investment: the strategies described in the book have purportedly led to a 70% average closing ratio for teams across all major industries.

 

This holiday season, treat the sales professionals on your gift giving list with a boon that will pay dividends throughout all of 2017. They’ll be primed to embark on the New Year with a fresh perspective on sales and armed with the tools to stand atop the competition.

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About The Author

Rebecca Hinds
Rebecca Hinds - View more articles

Rebecca Hinds graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with a M.S. in Management Science and Engineering. In 2013, Rebecca co-founded Stratio, a semi-conductor company developing infrared sensors. The company was selected by the Kairos Society as one of the 50 most innovative student-run businesses in the world.