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19 sales articles we published in 2019 that will help you win in 2020

19 sales articles we published in 2019 that will help you win in 2020

Another year is in the books—so it’s time to ready your sales game-plan for 2020 . In this post, we look back at the sales posts and topics that sparked the most engagement in 2019.

This year we saw even more physical and software subscription services emerge, increasing competition in already aggressive markets. As players seek to get a one-up in their markets, the focus on data driven sales strategies continues to dominate the conversation, from accurate forecasting to in-depth reporting.

As you devise your own sales approach for the next year, incorporate the outreach, negotiation, and sales development tactics shared below.

Make 2020 your most kickass sales year yet. 🙂

1. Overcoming objections in sales: 40+ examples, tactics, and rebuttals

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“Your price is too high.” “Now is not a good time.”

We've all encountered these objections. And wouldn't it be great if they never happened? The reality is, your prospects are always going to have objections. Instead of wishing to live in an objection-free sales world, you'll want to be prepared and ready to conquer every objection that comes your way.

Some of what you'll learn:

  • Sales objections explained, plus why getting an objection from a client is a good thing!
  • 10 proven sales objection strategies with pro tips on responding, asking the right questions, and satisfying concerns.
  • The most common sales objections including detailed analysis and ways to counter each one.
  • Dealing with different types of 'no's — how to identify the type of 'no' and respond appropriately.

This is an article rich with great sales objection advice. Give it a read, then bookmark it for future reference.

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2. B2B appointment setting: How to book more (and better quality) sales meetings

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Appointment booking is both a science and an art, and quite possibly one of the most under-appreciated opportunities sales teams have.

Think about it: if a prospect won't agree to talk to you, you'll never be able to sell them anything. Closing the deal depends on whether or not you can book high-quality meetings.

This article covers everything you need to know about setting better appointments: how to set more appointments, when and how often to send reminders, what to do after the call, and so much more.

Some of what you'll learn:

  • Getting the appointment booked and why you have to sell the meeting before you sell the product.
  • How to handle no-shows and the best approach for getting them to set a new appointment.
  • The anatomy of a good sales appointment
  • What to do immediately after your appointment

I know appointment setting probably isn't the sexiest topic, but read this article and you may change your mind!

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3. How to get more sales referrals from your current customers

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One of the most valuable sources of quality sales leads is right in front of you: your existing customers. Most companies already know the value of referral sales. The problem is that most companies are doing it wrong...or not at all.

Some of what you'll learn:

  • Why referral leads are better, plus two different qualities of leads you should be aware of.
  • How salespeople are doing referral sales wrong and how you can use this to your advantage.
  • The right way to do referral sales, including specifics on when to do it, how to do it, and who to target.
  • Referral templates and scripts along with hypothetical conversations you may encounter.

Go where others are afraid to go and you'll find massive opportunity. Referral sales can be your #1 source for new hot leads.

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4. Sales email subject lines: 50+ tips, examples, and biggest mistakes

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With cold emails, the subject line is your first point of contact with a lead. When your email hits their inbox, you have one chance to capture their attention. One could argue the subject line is as important as the contents inside the email (or even more!).

This article will give you everything you need to absolutely nail the sales email subject line—including tips, tricks, templates, and more.

Some of what you'll learn:

  • Characteristics of a good subject line: an in-depth look at contents, length, messaging, and personality.
  • How to write a good subject line, including a variety of examples you can steal for yourself.
  • Essential questions you should be asking yourself such as "what are you selling?" and "who are you selling to"?
  • 9 advanced subject line hacks that will take your email game to the next-level. (Sales reps swear by these!)

This article is a treasure-trove of subject line goodness. Ready to explore?

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5. Five ways to overcome the "Your product is too complicated" sales objection

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If you're selling anything more complex than a paper clip, your product can come across as intimidating. And that's when prospects start to get nervous. So what's the best way to calm their fears? How do you handle the "your product is too complicated" objection?

This article dives into five unique strategies for resolving this type of objection. Ultimately, the goal is to reframe their fear as an opportunity for growth—it's no easy task, but with the right approach it can be done.

Some of what you'll learn:

  • Why this objection happens: (spoiler) it's not about your product, your company, or even you.
  • What you need to do before handling the objection to ensure you and the prospect are on the same page.
  • Five different ways to handle the objection, with guidance on why and when to use each one.

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6. Ultimate guide to sales emails: How to write sales emails that convert (templates, examples and case studies)

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B2B buyers receive hundreds of sales emails everyday. Your email being one of the few that actually gets noticed, clicked on, and read is not something that should be left up to chance.

This in-depth guide teaches proven techniques that will get your sales email noticed. It breaks down every aspect of the sales email: The subject line, the opening, the body, the pitch, and more.

Some of what you'll learn:

  • The 5 key components of a good sales email, and how to optimally craft each one to drive maximum interest.
  • The 10 most common types of sales emails, including effective templates and examples for each type.
  • 4 sales email tools that'll help you manage lead generation, scheduling, meetings, and more.
  • When to send sales emails, plus insider advice on how to increase response rate.

Following this extensive guide, you’ll learn how to write winning sales emails that actually get noticed, opened, and responded to.

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7. Why more sales teams should embrace a leaderboard

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Is competition in the workplace a good thing? We think so. Fostering healthy competition can energize your sales team, increase sales, encourage transparency, and a lot more.

But to avoid any negative consequences, it needs to be done carefully. This article explores the benefits of using a leaderboard as a way to promote healthy competition among your sales reps. You'll learn the advantages of using a leaderboard, the insights it can provide, and tips on how to motivate and encourage your team.


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8. 23+ sales forecast templates (and how to use them the right way)

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Every sales forecast has the same goal: to give you a glimpse into what your business will look like in the future. It allows you to paint a clear picture that the work your team is doing today is going to pay off months down the road—in a big way.

If you haven't implemented sales forecasting in your business, this article is a great place to get started.

Some of what you'll learn:

  • The importance of sales forecasting (spoiler: it can give you a huge advantage over your competitors)
  • How to setup sales forecasting, plus 23+ downloadable templates to help you get started.
  • 7 methods of sales forecasting: how they work, what they track, and who they're designed for.

This expansive article covers everything you'll need to know about sales forecasting. You'll learn how they work, which metrics to track, and get access to a huge pool of downloadable templates.

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9. The 3 stages of sales reporting

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Sales reporting seems like it should be a simple process: throw some numbers in a spreadsheet and you're on your way, right?

Surprisingly, most companies are doing it wrong. And approaching it wrong can have disastrous results. Want to avoid that fate?

In this post, you'll learn about the 3 stages of sales reporting:

  • Stage 1: You don't know what you're doing
  • Stage 2: You think you know what you're doing
  • Stage 3: You actually know what you're doing

If you're in Stage 1 or 2, this article is for you. If you're in Stage 3, this article is also for you, because you're probably not in Stage 3.

This article outlines the appropriate steps you should take in each stage: which tracking tools to use, which metrics to track, and most importantly, key pitfalls to avoid when collecting data.

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10. Inbound or outbound sales—which one should you focus on?

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What's the difference between inbound and outbound sales? Essentially it comes down to the direction or flow of first point of contact.

With inbound, the prospect does the searching, finds your company, and initiates contact. With outbound, sales people rely on methods like cold calling and cold emailing to find the prospect and initiate contact.

So which one it better? This article explores this question and details how to choose the best growth channel for your business.

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11. Guide to outbound sales: Best strategies, tools, and tips

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Is outbound sales still a relevant strategy in 2020? Absolutely. It can be a powerful channel for generating revenue when executed correctly. If you're not convinced, this article may change your mind.

Some of what you'll learn:

  • How to build an outbound sales system, broken down into five comprehensive steps.
  • Essential outbound sales tools that'll help keep your team organized, track progress, and improve communication.
  • Common outbound sales techniques including cold calling, cold emailing, and outreach automation.
  • The best outbound sales strategies featuring scripts, automation ideas, and channel recommendations.

An effective outbound sales strategy requires a lot of work up front. You need a solid plan, a lot of information on your prospects, and the right tools to support outbound selling. But when properly executed, the benefits are enormous.

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12. The ultimate guide to sales development

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Sales development is the process of identifying high quality leads for further outreach, bridging the gap between marketing and sales to reduce the time and resources spent on low-quality leads.

Building out a process and investing in technology to support a sales development effort can have a HUGE impact on your sales organization's ability to close business.

Some of what you'll learn:

  • Sales development team explained: how it's structured, the required roles, and how it operates.
  • Hiring and training, including a step-by-step guide for building important skills.
  • Tools and software to provide information and insights into buyers without wasting time or effort.
  • Important sales development FAQs to ensure you're headed in the right direction.

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13. Sales cycles: An actionable guide to sales cycle management

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Companies with a defined sales process see 18% more revenue growth than companies without one. Do you have an iron-clad sales process? If not, this article is for you.

Some of what you'll learn:

  • The sales cycle explained and 7 reasons why you need one.
  • The sales cycle length explained by category: typical, full, long, and short — plus what to aim for and how to shorten it.
  • Sales cycle examples and templates to help you develop a repeatable, fast sales cycle.
  • 7 tips to improve your sales cycle process including data collection, lead generation, bottlenecks, and more.

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14. Sales objection: We're already doing this in-house

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Even the most experienced salespeople can have trouble with this objection. How do you convince your prospect that your product solves a solution if they think the problem is already taken care of?

This article reveals the true reason behind this objection and how to overcome it using specific qualifying questions, follow-up techniques, and sales tactics (including a risky approach for the brave reps).

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15. B2G sales: How tiny startups can sell to government agencies

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Business-to-government sales aren't limited to multi-billion dollar contracts. Governments purchase from all types of companies, and deals can be as little as a few hundred dollars.

This article explores the topic of B2G and how companies of all sizes (even tiny startups) can land large government contracts using the right approach. You'll learn where to find opportunities, how to close government deals, and why B2G is a space ready to be disrupted.

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16. How to close deals when you have bad reviews

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"I heard your company sucks." This is a tough objection that's bound to pop up from time to time, regardless of your company's reputation. It might have come from a single bad review. It might have come from word of mouth. Whatever the case, it's important to deal with it appropriately.

This article outlines the best course of action to take when dealing with this type of objection. You'll learn exactly what to do and what NOT to do. Using the techniques described in this article, you can defuse the situation and get back on track towards a sale.

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17. Sales dashboard templates, examples & KPIs for high-performing teams

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The sales dashboard is the perfect tool to help you make smarter decisions, find new opportunities, and crush sales targets. It allows you to monitor valuable sales data and keeps you and your company focused on the goals that matter most.

Not all data is created equal, though. It's crucial that you track the right metrics and how that data is displayed is just as important. This article covers everything you'll need to setup a perfect sales dashboard.

Some of what you'll learn:

  • Sales dashboard explained — what it is, why it's important, and how it should be used.
  • How to build the right dashboard: a 5 step guide for tailoring a dashboard to fit your company's needs.
  • 17 important KPIs to track including sales targets, pipeline status, win/loss rate, and much more.
  • The best dashboard providers with details on who it's for, how it can save you time, and the metrics included.

Ready to learn how to build the right sales dashboard for your team?

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18. The only kick-ass guide to sales operations you'll ever need

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Sales operations handles the non-selling tasks inherent in the sales process: generating leads, setting up incentive programs, managing sales analytics, etc. Essentially, Sales ops adopt the tasks sales people don't have to do, so the sales team can focus on what they're best at: selling and closing.

This guide is a massive resource for all things Sales ops. You'll learn about the team structure, the metrics you should track, operation strategies, best practices, and much, much more.

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19. 18 essential sales KPIs: What to measure and how to track everything

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Unlike revenue, more isn't always better when it comes to sales data. If you're tracking your data—great! If you're tracking every piece of incoming data imaginable—not so great.

This post covers 18 essential KPIs and metrics every sales team should be tracking. It also features important KPIs specific to role (sales, managers, execs) and industry (B2B, SaaS, small business).

If you're wanting to make smart decisions, optimize your sales process, and close more deals—look no further!

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Ready to kickstart your sales in 2020 ?

We recently launched an exclusive sales bundle featuring 11 templates, checklists, worksheets, and guides that'll help you achieve your best sales year yet! Grab our 2020 Sales Success Kit today for free!

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