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Selling is harder than ever: Customers expect more, budgets are shrinking, and quotas remain sky high. More than 70% of reps expect to miss their quotas this year, according to our State of Sales report. But these 18 sales influencers are here to help.
This cohort, featuring experts in social selling, sales coaching, and diversity and inclusion, regularly provides actionable tips to help sellers boost their performance. Meet this year’s future-makers of sales.
CEO, Women in Sales, Chicago
Why you should follow Alexine: With over 10 years of SaaS sales experience, Alexine is backed by numerous President’s Club awards, which are given to high-performing salespeople who surpass quota and exceed professional goals. She’s CEO of Women in Sales, which focuses on helping women find success in sales. She’s passionate about elevating women’s voices in the field of sales to create more diverse teams. Follow her on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Align yourself with environments that match your energy and priorities for the year ahead. For example, if you feel strongly about equal opportunities for success, seek out employers and leaders who target attainable goals, prioritize diversity and inclusion initiatives, promote mental health and wellbeing, and provide a culture where everyone can win. Choose wisely and pick the people, spaces, and places that fuel you toward success — you’ll be surprised how quickly the rest falls into place.
President and Owner, LDK Advisory Services, Frankfort, Ill.
Why you should follow Anita: She’s a sales performance consultant, author, trainer, and coach with over 20 years of trench experience in B2B sales. Anita is dedicated to helping sales leaders and teams guide buyers to positive buying decisions using the principles of psychology. She’s also committed to elevating women in B2B sales. Follow her on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Stay close to your current and past customers. Proactively reach out to them without an agenda. Ask high-impact questions to better understand what’s going on in their world, and you’ll likely uncover potential opportunities.
Account Executive, Chili Piper, Portland, Ore.
Why you should follow Ashley: A former marketing intern turned successful account executive, Ashley is a lifelong learner on a constant quest for growth. She’s the leader of Proud Pipers, Chili Piper’s employee resource group for LGBTQIA+ Pipers and allies. Follow her on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Dig deeper. When on calls, reps are sometimes given absolute gems of information that they could mine, and yet they skip right over it because they think they need to get to the next question on their list. If you ask a couple more probing questions instead of moving on, you’ll find the actual business pain or problem that your solution can address.
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Managing Partner and Executive Coach, CGI Executive Coaching, Bradenton, Fla.
Why you should follow Cherilynn: As a sales coach, best-selling author, and internationally renowned sales expert, Cherilynn teaches clients how to develop growth strategies and innovative go-to-market models. She’s also passionate about giving sales professionals who are women of color the gentle nudge they need to change their lives for the better. Follow her on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Have a POV. Position yourself as a trusted advisor. Draw a hypothesis or develop your POV. Leverage triangulation:
1. What’s said or reported during the discovery interview
2. Intelligence from your research, and
3. Benchmark against competitors/peers.
Start the conversation with, “I’d like to bounce something off of you.”
Founder and CEO, National Association of Women Sales Professionals, Detroit
Why you should follow Cynthia: Cynthia is the first Black woman to keynote a national sales conference. She is a LinkedIn Top Voice and founder of the National Association of Women Sales Professionals (NAWSP). Her insights and unique understanding of what it takes for women sales professionals to excel have made her a sought-after expert on attracting, hiring, developing, and retaining women in sales. She has appeared in over 250 major media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and the Salesforce+ series Beyond the Quota. Follow her on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Seek balance. Successful sales professionals often prioritize their health, relationships, and personal life, in addition to their professional goals. Prioritize self-care to maintain a healthy and fulfilling life.
Founder and Owner, The Daily Sales, London
Why you should follow Daniel: He’s one of the world’s leading experts on LinkedIn as a platform for sales, Sales Navigator, and social selling. Daniel has generated millions of pounds (GBP) in sales from social media, built an audience of over 800,000 followers, and published two best-selling books, “The Ultimate LinkedIn Sales Guide” and “The Million-Pound LinkedIn Message.” Follow him on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Use as many different channels as possible to engage your prospects: phone, email, social media, text, etc. People use different tools to communicate and everyone has different preferences, so the more channels you use, the more chances you’ll have of reaching them.
Former Chief Revenue Officer, Lattice, San Francisco
Why you should follow Dini: She’s passionate about leading authentically and building high-performing, diverse teams with a strong culture. Dini offers a wealth of expertise on scaling companies from the Series A stage to unicorn status. Follow her on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Build resilience this year. The best reps will continue to believe in themselves, their product(s), and their company to power through the noise. One tactical way to do this: Celebrate the incremental wins along your professional journey and document key accomplishments in a hype doc. Include things like feedback from a client, performance reviews, awards, etc. These can be helpful reminders when navigating difficult circumstances in the future.
Donald C. Kelly
Founder, The Sales Evangelist, Greencares, Fla.
Why you should follow Donald: As a former top-performing technology sales professional in both the public and private sectors, Donald has cracked the code to helping teams thrive in B2B sales through his cohort programs. He’s the host of “The Sales Evangelist,” a top B2B podcast focused on helping sellers build a pipeline and convert a higher percentage of it. He’s also the author of “Sell It Like a Mango: A New Seller’s Guide to Closing More Deals.” Follow him on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Focus on fewer relevant accounts/contacts and tailor your email outreach with personalized “meaningful engagement.” These engagements will lead to better replies.
Founder and CEO, She Sells, Durham, N.C.
Why you should follow Elyse: She’s the founder of She Sells, an organization that empowers entrepreneurs and sales professionals to revolutionize how they sell, elevate their income, and leap ahead in all areas of life. Follow her on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: This year, it’s critical to re-examine and reimagine everything you’ve been doing in your sales processes. Take a hard look at what’s actually producing results for you versus what you’re doing just because you’ve always done it. Just because something worked in 2022 doesn’t mean it will work in 2023.
Founder and President, Ian Koniak Sales Coaching, Inc., El Segundo, Calif.
Why you should follow Ian: He’s a leading sales coach who helps account executives perform at their full potential without sacrificing their time, health, and personal life. As a speaker, trainer, and expert on enterprise sales, Ian has led national training workshops for Fortune 500 companies. Follow him on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Your sales success is a direct reflection of your customers’ success. So, rather than obsessing about your own sales goals and targets, focus on helping your customers achieve their goals — and watch your results skyrocket.
CEO, SellBetter by JB Sales, Boston
Why you should follow John: He’s trained some of the fastest-growing sales organizations in the world including Salesforce, Linkedin, Box, Slack, Amazon, and Zoom.. His goal is to change the negative perception of sales because he believes that when sales is done right, it’s one of the greatest professions in the world. John is also the co-author, with his daughter, Charlotte, of the Amazon bestseller children’s book “I Want to Be in Sales When I Grow Up.” Follow him on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Treat everything as an experiment: A/B test everything, fail fast, and celebrate the little wins to build positive momentum.
Larry Long, Jr.
Founder and Chief Energy Officer, LLJR Enterprises, Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
Why you should follow Larry: A former college baseball player (go Terps!), Larry is passionate about helping sales professionals stay motivated and inspired. He’s an international keynote speaker, emcee, host of the YouTube series “Midweek Midday Motivational Minute,” and author of “JOLT!” Follow him on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Commit to always growing your skills. Seek opportunities to learn — whether it’s about your prospects/clients, industry, company, product, tools/resources, selling skills, or yourself. Proactively and intentionally work to level up.
Global Director of Sales Development, Quantum Metric, Raleigh, N.C.
Why you should follow Lindsey: She’s an accomplished global sales leader with over a decade of experience working for startups, SMBs, enterprise businesses, and Fortune 500 companies. Lindsey also co-founded UNCrushed.org, a nonprofit for mental health, where she shares people’s stories in an attempt to break the stigma of mental illness, especially in the workforce. Follow her on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Instead of dropping someone into an automated email cadence with zero personalization, mention something specific you know about them or their company. For example, you could note insights from their recent earnings statement and indicate that your company has a product or service that could help boost revenue.
President, Women Sales Pros, and CEO, Score More Sales, Boston
Why you should follow Lori: A longtime sales influencer, Lori is the author of “She Sells: Attract, Promote, and Retain Great Women in B2B Sales,” host of the award-winning podcast “Conversations with Women in Sales,” and a keynote speaker. She’s committed to inspiring others to build inclusive B2B sales teams. Lori consults and coaches on hiring stronger sellers and helping leaders evaluate their existing sales teams to improve revenue growth. Follow her on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Focus on the fundamentals: Be a student of communication, psychology, negotiation, empathy, and taking action. Find your inspiration through learning new things, and know that success leaves clues.
Founder and President, Venli Consulting Group, Portland, Ore.
Why you should follow Marcus: Before becoming a sales coach, Marcus was in corporate America for 14 years, where he consistently ranked in the top percentile, won multiple President’s Club awards, and was promoted 10 times. Today, he’s passionate about helping sales pros achieve similar results. Marcus also wrote the Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-selling book “Six-Figure Sales Secrets: The Ultimate Guide to Overfilling Your Pipeline, Closing More, and Earning in the Top 1% of Salespeople.” Follow him on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Don’t chase quota. Do this instead:
1. Write out 3–5 achievable goals for the quarter that are deep and meaningful to you.
2. Identify the skills, habits, mindset, and values you must have to achieve these goals.
3. Give 100% to acquiring those skills and living out the habits, mindset, and values you aspire to have.
When we focus on becoming the best version of ourselves, hitting quota happens naturally.
Sales Coach and LinkedIn Trainer, Everybody Works In Sales, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Why you should follow Niraj: After 23 years selling in London, Niraj wanted to raise the standards of sales, so he wrote the international bestseller “Everybody Works in Sales.” Niraj has delivered LinkedIn training and 1:1 mentoring to over 450 companies including Barclays, Natwest, Sainsbury’s, Informa, and The Guardian. Follow him on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Invest in yourself. Read several books a year on sales, hire a coach, or attend conferences. If you don’t invest in yourself, it shows: Why would anyone want to buy your product or service when you show a lack of knowledge and abilities?
Founder and CEO, The Harris Consulting Group, San Francisco
Why you should follow Richard: He has more than 20 years of SaaS experience and teaches revenue teams how to earn the right to ask questions, which questions to ask, and when to do it. Richard’s clients include Zoom, Salesforce, Google Cloud, PagerDuty, DoorDash, Salesloft, and Gainsight. He’s also the co-founder of Surf & Sales. Follow him on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Remember that a demo is a demo, not product training. Nobody wants to die a death by 1,000 mouse clicks. And avoid asking, “Does that make sense?” That doesn’t help you determine the value of your solution. Instead, ask, “How does this compare to how you normally solve this problem?”
CEO and Founder, Scott Leese Consulting, Austin, Texas
Why you should follow Scott: Through domestic and international consulting as a strategic advisor, Scott has trained an army of salespeople and sales leaders thousands strong. He was named a Top 25 Inside Sales Professional by the American Association of Inside Sales three times, is a three-time author, and is regularly sought after as a consultant, advisor, leader, and sales trainer. Follow him on LinkedIn.
Pro tip: Diversify your income by monetizing your work in different spaces. Consider coaching, building community, or creating digital/physical assets to help sales teams.
The tips keep coming
These top-tier sales influencers are changing how you win at sales, while building inclusive communities where everyone is welcome. They’re eager to share their knowledge and experience to help others, so follow and connect with them to get the networking opportunities and sales tips to help you grow.
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