Best 18 Sales Articles of 2018 from Sales Hacker

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With 2019 right on the horizon, I’m taking this opportunity to look back at the kickass year we had at Sales Hacker. As usual, we were lucky enough to play host to some incredibly brilliant people. And as usual, they wrote what are undoubtedly the best articles about sales and selling from 2018.

Thanks to ALL our contributors and readers (now over 120k! Wow!) for making Sales Hacker what it is. You rock! We look forward to engaging with you in new ways very soon! (More on that later…)

For now, if you’d like to write for Sales Hacker, please fill out our contributor survey so we can add you to our list of esteemed authors.

The Top 18 Best Sales Articles of 2018:

The SaaS Executive’s Guide To Building A Winning Go-To Market Strategy by Jacco Van Der Kooij

The Winning By Design Blueprint Series gave readers practical advice for optimizing every part of a SaaS sales organization. This particular article in the series outlines a tactical approach to building a go-to-market strategy. Read it, and learn how to diversify your revenue, make your business more resilient to economic setbacks, and help you plan for growth.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page views: 12,972
  • Total Shares: 62
  • Backlinks: 260

The Sales Hacker Deck On Sales Decks: Learn How To WOW Your Prospects And Convert! by Alli McKee

The demo-only approach doesn’t work in sales anymore. With an average of 6.8 people involved in each B2B deal, you need a deck if you want your message to travel from the champion you met to the buyer you didn’t. But if you’re not there to present it, it had better be stunning and effective on its own. This article will help you build the most compelling sales deck possible.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page views: 12,622
  • Total Shares: 112
  • Backlinks: 212

Do You Make These 13 Mistakes During Your Sales Conversations? by Chris Orlob

Some sales articles are kind of fluffy. We think there is a place for motivational stuff in the world, but Chris always brings cold, hard facts.

In this article, he points out that buyers have dozens of options and more power than ever before. That means you can’t afford to slip up during sales conversations. Your buyers won’t have it. Knowing the most common mistakes will help you avoid them. Chris analyzed over one million B2B sales call recordings to tease out what’s working and what’s not, based on hard data.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page views: 11,535
  • Total Shares: 380
  • Backlinks: 225

How To REALLY Run An Effective Sales Discovery Call by Richard Smith

Sales reps sometimes struggle to use the discovery call to generate urgency. Many sales leaders are equally unsure of how to coach their reps to have better discovery calls. This article breaks down how to run effective sales discovery calls within the sales process, in just 7 easy steps.

Ask the right questions and you’re well on your way to a sale.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 10,745
  • Total Shares: 59
  • Backlinks: 828

How to Write a Follow-Up Email That Actually Works by Sujan Patel

Unfortunately, effective sales follow-up these days isn’t always as simple as shooting off a “just checking in” message. Follow-up emails deserve as much attention as your initial outreach, and this article was designed to help you do just that.

There are even 6 templates for you to try out!

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 10,745
  • Total Shares: 59
  • Backlinks: 828

31 Simple, Yet Brilliant Lead Generation Techniques to Supercharge Your Sales Pipeline by Tom Whatley

Waiting for someone else to bring you leads is a sure way to an empty pipeline. But as Tom showed us, it doesn’t have to be a painful slog to generate your own leads.

In this article, you’ll learn 31 lead generation techniques across 14 categories to fill your own sales pipeline and build career-changing relationships that will last forever.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 8,151
  • Total Shares: 238
  • Backlinks: 176

Why Cold Calling Is the #1 Skill You MUST Master to Double Your Income in 2018 by Tony Hughes

Cold Calling is the top sales skill you should be developing to gain a competitive edge, not just for prospecting and landing meetings with C-Level decision makers, but at every stage of the funnel. This article presents some very convincing points to support that case.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 6,912
  • Total Shares: 352
  • Backlinks: 108

The Scientific Approach To Setting Sales Goals For Your SDR Team by Tito Bohrt

In the tactical breakdown offered by this article, you’ll learn how to understand SaaS costs basics, and how to accurately set sales goals and metrics that drive success for your sales team.

Tito also reviews how to determine if your team structure is working or not, as this is a crucial factor that impacts revenue goals. As an additional bonus, the article includes a handy checklist you can use to put your plans into action.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 6,848
  • Total Shares: 233
  • Backlinks: 215

If You’re Building Your B2B Marketing Strategy, Start Here by Andrei Zinkevich

I know we’re talking about sales articles here, but bear with us on this one.

It’s fun to think sales and marketing are separate, but maybe they’re closer than we think. After all, a lot of the best salespeople study marketing tactics (and visa versa).

This article breaks down a proven B2B marketing strategy framework that will help you identify the most prolific market segments, your ideal customer profile, and the right marketing channels to generate leads. You’ll get a fresh perspective on what to improve in your marketing strategy and how to create a new one from scratch.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 6,714
  • Total Shares: 92
  • Backlinks: 446

Demystifying Sales Enablement: What Is It, Why It Matters, And How To Do It Right by Roderick Jefferson

To see what selling on steroids looks like, check out companies with the best sales enablement strategies.

You’ll discover a lively place: things like revenue, productivity, and win rates are going up.  Speed to revenue, sale cycle period, customer churn, and staff attrition rates are going down.

This article explores the secrets that drive sales teams to peak performance, and customers to peak loyalty.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 5,708
  • Total Shares: 124
  • Backlinks: 257

7 Habits of Highly Successful SDRs by Dan Murphy

Although it’s sometimes considered an entry-level job for those with little to no experience, that is less and less the case. The SDR role is a surprisingly complex one, often requiring both sales and marketing skills with a numbers-driven approach.

After a lot of research about the different daily and weekly habits that Sales Development Team can focus on, this article has boiled it down to the 7 key habits that end up making the biggest difference.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 5,674
  • Total Shares: 144
  • Backlinks: 89

35 Most Influential Women in Sales by Max Altschuler

This exclusive list honors not just female leaders that promote their own sales platform but those that take it even a step further by also promoting the next generation of female salespeople.

They say “You can’t be what you can’t see,” and the sales floor is no exception. We were pretty proud to be able to publish this article and draw some extra attention to these incredible people doing an amazing job paying it forward.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 4,695
  • Total Shares: 764
  • Backlinks: 14.4k

6 Discovery Call Questions To Help You Prioritize Your Pipeline by Bardia Shahali

Another sales article about discovery calls made our top-18 list! A trend, maybe?

We know the risk of doing discovery poorly (or not at all) is getting stuck in “the land of no decision” with the deal and your quota on the line. That’s why it’s so important to ask the right questions at this crucial step in the sales process.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 4,070
  • Total Shares: 71
  • Backlinks: 638

4 Ways to Ask Indisputably Better Probing Questions in Sales by Emily Meyer

On the first call, regardless of what you’re selling, the questioning should always start the same. Start broad and then narrow down. Often reps make the mistake of only asking leading questions that are not open-ended, looking for “yes”.

This article talks about probing questions in sales and how to craft them perfectly.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 3,774
  • Total Shares: 68
  • Backlinks: 82

What Not to Do in B2B Sales — 7 Signs You’re About to Kill the Deal by Manish Nepal

B2B sales is full of blind-spots.

You can optimize your prices, comply with necessary regulations, and have the best sales tools at your disposal. But the deal can still fall apart if you don’t know what NOT to do in B2B sales. This article highlights the seven hidden traps in the B2B sales process that might be holding you back.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 3,019
  • Total Shares: 69
  • Backlinks: 259

How to Own it, Crush it, and Stay Motivated in Sales [9 Tips for AEs] by Nima Mogharei

To say that sales can be a grind would be an understatement. Here are some of the key takeaways on how to stay motivated by a seasoned salesperson. Follow these 9 steps and don’t let the hustle get to you.

Want to share some motivation with your team or a colleague? Check out this collection of motivational quotes, curated with salespeople in mind.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 2,638
  • Total Shares: 87
  • Backlinks: 417

Why You Should Throw Your Sales Playbook in the Trash (And What to Use Instead) by Pavel Dmitriev

The sales playbook is a tale as old as time, and that’s exactly the problem.

This time-honored tool is now dusty and dated. Yet it continues to be the main resource for many organizations.

So even though he’s a data scientist, Pavel wrote an article for salespeople. He wants you to know why a static playbook can be problematic, and how to transform the traditional playbook with the most powerful tool – data.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 2,560
  • Total Shares: 70
  • Backlinks: 209

How to Become a VP of Sales by the Time You’re 30 by Christien Louviere

This article explores the A to Z of how can you become a VP of Sales. Are you prepared to be in charge of the company’s most critical assets? Are you ready to hire and retain a sales team of the best and brightest? Can you spot sales performance issues before they blow up? Are you ready to create predictable revenue based solely on your leadership skills?

Christien addresses all of those questions and offers some gold nuggets of wisdom.

Notable Readership Stats

  • Page Views: 1,970
  • Total Shares: 28
  • Backlinks: 1500
Colin Campbell

Colin is the Director of Marketing at Sales Hacker. Before that, he led the strategy team at a marketing agency, and worked with hundreds of B2B brands to build winning inbound strategies. Outside of work, Colin is the world's biggest dog lover, and spends as much time as possible outside.