Books

The following books are featured or referenced on this site. Some are new and others are classics. But all are viewed by the editors of Sales Insights as important reading for executives seeking to enhance the strategic impact of the sales function.

Aligning Strategy and Sales

That gap between your company’s sales efforts and strategy? It’s real—and a huge vulnerability. Addressing that gap, actionably and with attention to relevant research, is the focus of this book.

In the book, Harvard Business School senior lecturer Frank Cespedes equips you to link your go-to-market initiatives with strategic goals. He offers a road map to articulate strategy in ways that people in the field can understand and that will fuel the behaviors required for profitable growth. Without that alignment, leaders will press for better execution when they need a better strategy, or change strategic direction with great cost and turmoil when they should focus on the basics of sales execution.

With thoughtful, clear, and engaging examples, Aligning Strategy and Sales provides a framework for diagnosing and managing the core levers available for effective selling in any organization. It will give you the know-how and tools to move from ideas to action and build a sales effort linked to your firm’s unique goals, not a generic selling formula.

The Science of Selling

The Revolutionary Sales Approach Scientifically Proven to Dramatically Improve Your Sales and Business Success

Blending cutting-edge research in social psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics, The Science of Selling shows you how to align the way you sell with how our brains naturally form buying decisions, dramatically increasing your ability to earn more sales. Unlike other sales books, which primarily rely on anecdotal evidence and unproven advice, Hoffeld’s evidence-based approach connects the dots between science and situations salespeople and business leaders face every day to help you consistently succeed.

Available on Amazon.

Quotas! Design Thinking to Solve Your Biggest Sales Challenge

Quota setting is consistently at-or-near the top of the list of sales issues for most companies. Sales organizations often receive “the number” from corporate, with no visibility into what went into it. And often, “the number” has been padded at each step in the process, so when it finally reaches the field, it has no clear connection to the original number or the actual market opportunity. That can lead to dissatisfaction, frustration, and ultimately, falling short of achieving the goal.

Mark Donnolo sheds light on new ways to approach quota-setting by applying the Sales Design ThinkingSM process and taking into account the levers that hold the key to setting the number and meeting the company goal.

Order your copy here

Superconsumers

Find and Feed Your Superconsumers

In Superconsumers, growth strategy expert Eddie Yoon lays out a simple but extremely effective framework that has helped companies of all types and sizes achieve more sustainable growth. He shows how to find, listen to, and engage with your most passionate and profitable consumers, and then tailor your decisions to meet their wants and needs. Along the way, he lets you into the minds and homes of all kinds of superconsumers, revealing what makes them tick and why they’re willing to spend so much more than other consumers. Available on Amazon.

From Impossible to Inevitable

The book “From Impossible To Inevitable”, the growth bible of Silicon Valley, was co-authored by Aaron Ross (PredictableRevenue.com) and Jason Lemkin (SaaStr.com). It answers three questions:

    1. Why aren’t you growing as fast as you want?
    2. How can you speed up growth?
    3. How can you sustain it?

The new 2nd edition contains pieces such as How Twilio Nailed A Billion-Dollar Niche, How Sagemount Triples The Value Of A Company, and Uncommon Approaches Of Hypergrowth CMOs.

For more information: www.FromImpossible.com.

The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired

This book by Lou Adler is written for everyone involved in the hiring process. It will help hiring managers and recruiters find and hire more top-notch people for any job, from entry-level to senior executive. Using a two-question, performance-based interview, anyone who is involved in assessing candidates will quickly be more effective and more accurate.

Just as important, it will help job-seekers find better jobs by giving them an inside view of how most companies look for, assess and hire new employees. Hiring top talent starts by clarifying expectations up front. This has been shown to be the primary reason people perform at peak levels.

This book is based on the Performance-Based Hiring process Lou Adler introduced in his Amazon bestseller, Hire With Your Head.

Objection Handling Handbook

As the author Tibor Shanto explains, there is no way to avoid objections when telephone prospecting. The skill is in managing them when they come, and using them to create a sales conversation.

The Objection Handling Handbook explores the most common objections we face when prospecting. You will learn to understand the dynamics involved in objections, and how to overcome the prospect’s reluctance to take time out of their busy day, and engage with you, the sales person.

In addition to managing the most common objections, you will also learn how to discourage specific objections by how you structure your talk track. Using techniques covered in the Handbook, you will convert more leads to opportunities and sell more as a result!

The Wish

The Wish: A 360 Business Development Process that Fuels Sales by Elinor Stutz reveals essential communication and business development strategies for business owners of all sized companies. Everything Stutz learned from her professional sales career as a top producer to becoming a top 1% influencer, according to Kred, is shared in this book.

Subjects include: • Put sales on a higher plane • Develop a highly regarded personal brand • Power branding • Social media and communication strategy • Sales crash course • Convert the entire effort to sales.

Elinor’s wish for every reader: May you gain the information needed to move your business and sales effort forward, and enjoy the Smooth Sale!

Marketing 4.0

Marketing 4.0: Moving from Traditional to Digital is the much-needed handbook for next-generation marketing. Written by Philip Kotler and other world-leading marketing authorities, this book helps you navigate the increasingly connected world and changing consumer landscape to reach more customers, more effectively.

Today’s customers have less time and attention to devote to your brand—and they are surrounded by alternatives every step of the way. You need to stand up, get their attention, and deliver the message they want to hear.

This book examines the marketplace’s shifting power dynamics, the paradoxes wrought by connectivity, and the increasing sub-culture splintering that will shape tomorrow’s consumer; this foundation shows why Marketing 4.0 is becoming imperative for productivity, and this book shows you how to apply it to your brand today.

SPIN Selling

Written by Neil Rackham, former president and founder of Huthwaite corporation, SPIN Selling is essential reading for anyone involved in selling or managing a sales force. Unquestionably the best documented account of sales success ever collected and the result of the Huthwaite corporation’s massive 12 year, $1 million dollar research into effective sales performance, this groundbreaking resource details the revolutionary SPIN (Situation, Problem, Implication, Need payoff) strategy.

In SPIN Selling, Rackham, who has advised leading companies such as IBM and Honeywell delivers the first book to specifically examine selling high value product and services. By following the simple, practical, and easy to apply techniques of SPIN, readers will be able to dramatically increase their sales volume from major accounts.

The New Human Capital Strategy

It is often said that the only true source of sustained competitive advantage is people. But what does that mean and how can this be measured and managed? How many organizations know whether their human capital outperforms their competitors’, or even whether it improves year-over-year? And what is the strategy for continually improving that performance?

The New Human Capital Strategy, written by Bradley W. Hall, Ph.D., is a roadmap for delivering measurable business results by systematically improving the performance of those in roles most important to customers and shareholders. Proposing a radical shift in the way organizations measure and manage their people, the book asserts that competitive advantage is a function of four areas of strength: • effective executive teams • leaders who deliver results • outperforming competitors in key positions • workforce performance. Using examples, research, and metrics, this essential guide provides readers with a system for ensuring that their people are more valuable this year than the last.

Shockproof: How to Hardwire Your Business for Lasting Success

Reinvent your company to deliver sustained profitable growth.

As performance lags in the midst of economic cycles, many companies turn to magic bullets such as EVA, Kaizen, or Six Sigma. Unfortunately, these initiatives-along with how they’re implemented-often deliver only short-term positive impact or cause more pain than the preexisting condition.

Returning to competitive health and profitability in the face of economic downturns requires a dynamic realignment of business strategies, organizational design, and talent management. Based on timely research conducted by Axiom Consulting Partners, Shockproof empowers and enables business leaders, owners and managers to make and maintain the necessary connection between strategies and organization to achieve sustainable performance.

Sales Quotas: An Analytical Approach to Quota Setting

Sales Quotas is a comprehensive guide on how to set better quotas for salespeople. Written by a top sales force consultant, the book identifies common bad habits and explains how to break them.

Sales Quotas is the first book to focus exclusively on quota setting. Previously, managers were flying blind with little to no analytical guidance. Now managers can follow a proven process and apply a comprehensive set of tools to set better quotas.

The benefits of a rigorous quota setting process are substantial. In short, better quotas increase sales force utilization and motivation, which in turn leads to higher sales and profits.

Sales Reengineering From the Outside In

Published by Mark Blessington and Bill O’Connell in 1995, this classic sales strategy book made prescient predictions about how digital disruption would dramatically change the sales profession. It provided a roadmap for determining how customers want to be served as they move through their procurement processes (a precursor to what is now commonly referred to as “The Buyer’s Journey), and illustrated how to design sales strategies to meet these needs. The concepts and methods described are still highly relevant today. Available on Amazon.

Author profile

Mark is the editor of Sales Insights. He is a highly experienced sales and marketing consultant and has published four books and over 50 articles.

Mark has served many of the world’s largest corporations, including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, American Express, Allstate, Nationwide, GE, AT&T, Verizon, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Kellog’s.

Prior to co-founding Consentric Marketing, Mark had his own firm and was a consultant at Sibson Consulting. At Sibson, he was a board member and sales effectiveness practice leader for most of his 17 years there.

Mark currently resides in Tucson, AZ.