This post is part of The Holloway Syllabus series. We’ll publish new Holloway Syllabi every other week, and you can read and search the contents of all of them in The Holloway Modern Work Library. To create this Holloway Syllabus, we put in more than 40 hours of research and worked with Tom Eisenmann from Harvard Business School to pull together and vet great resources (Tom credits Frank Cespedes at HBS for helping him). We believe this is the most comprehensive and authoritative list (over 100 resources!) to help you master the ins and outs of B2B sales.
Two salespeople may see exactly the same characteristics in a customer, but the successful one will spot the characteristic that matters above all others and establish a sales strategy accordingly.Philip Delves Broughton, The Art of the Sale, p.32*
When you’re new to sales and ready to learn, where do you begin? Whether you’re a founder who needs to figure out how to make the business work, someone who thinks they might make a great salesperson, or an employee curious how the sales department affects the rest of the company, it can be a struggle just to get started. First of all, sales is a complex topic, lingo-heavy and full of acronyms. Even when it comes to the kinds of sales you could research, there’s subtopic after subtopic: inside sales, outside sales, channel sales, direct sales, enterprise sales, and on and on. Googling can get you nowhere when you don’t even know the right words to search for.
Our goal in creating this syllabus is help people with no to some knowledge on the subject of B2B sales familiarize themselves with common sales parlance, and learn key sales concepts and strategies.
A lot of the resources in this syllabus focus on software sales, but the principles and concepts are relevant to folks who sell all kinds of things, from hardware to services. We cover everything from the very basic (“What is B2B sales?”), to methodologies, hiring for sales positions, resources for joining sales communities, newsletters and podcasts, and more.
B2B Sales 101
What is B2B sales?
Do I need a B2B sales team?
Overview of the sales process
General sales tips
How sales organizations evolve
Choosing a sales model
Managing conflict with sales and other functions
Specific sales tactics
Hiring sales senior management—who and when to hire
Hiring, managing, and motivating sales teams
Resources for B2B Sales
Books on sales for sales people
Books on sales strategy
Books on sales methodologies
Books on sales for everybody
Newsletters and blogs