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The Ultimate Guide to Enabling Your SaaS Sales Team

Finding actionable sales content is hard. Now, it's a whole lot easier.

Staying Educated Will Help You Close More Sales.

Keeping up with sales enablement tech and current trends is not an easy task. Every industry is over saturated with content. Much of it is invaluable even though there are good intentions to educate. So finding the gems feels like a stroke of luck at times. They pop up in a newsletter or Slack and you copy/paste them into your link hoarding workflow of choice. Well not anymore. Guru has you covered with an awesome and updated list of all things SaaS sales related. Bookmark it and dive in!
The Basics

First thing’s first. Let’s learn from the best minds in the game and touch on some of the basics of SaaS sales.

If SaaS Products Sell Themselves, Why Do We Need Sales? by Mark Cranney (a16z)

The three essential questions to ask for the customer: why buy, why you, why now. Mark Cranney, Partner at Andreesen Horowitz walks through these questions and breaks down the true purpose of SaaS Sales: creating new value for customers.

On Selling by Mark Suster (Upfront Ventures)

The first of three posts breaking down the 3 essential basic rules of selling. Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures discusses in depth the question of “Why buy anything?” focusing particularly on the lead qualification process and determining whether your prospect has budget.

The Ultimate Guide to Sales Qualification by Leslie Ye (HubSpot)

Epic, in-depth sales qualification guide from the folks at HubSpot. This guide will walk you through the fundamentals of qualification, five different frameworks you can use, and provide pointers on disqualification and conversational tip-offs to listen for.

The Ultimate Guide to Sales Emails by Pipetop Team

Want to master cold sales email campaigns? Find all the tips, examples, templates and tools you need with this impressive curated guide from Pipetop.

Y Combinator Alumni Sales School by Steli Efti (Close.io)

Want to learn the same sales tactics Y combinator alumni are using? Steli Efti at Close.io shares his bootcamp he ran for them earlier this year. Consume in any format you wish: Video, audio, slideshare, or transcript.

The Most Important Lessons in Sales by Eric Jorgenson (Evergreen Business Weekly)

This edition focuses on all things sales to give you best practices on negotiation, cold emails, and sales tactics/frameworks you can leverage today. Everyone should find something of value in this guide.

B2B Startup’s 11 Steps To The First 1,000 Ideal Prospects by Jakob Marovt (Pipetop)

Developing your Ideal Customer Profile is arguably the most important step your organization can take to ensure your leads are always high quality. Jakob Marovt of Pipetop focuses on identifying the “jobs” your product does for your potential customers in order to develop an effective prospecting strategy.

Demo Best Practices

The art of the demo is something that must be practiced. Below are a number of solid articles that show you a path the demo enlightenment.

The Ultimate Guide to Product Demos by Pawel Grabowski (Attach.io)

The importance of a good product demo cannot be understated. This guide by Pawel Grabowski of Attach.io will show you exactly how to prepare and deliver demos that engage prospects and improve your demo to close rate. A must-read if there ever was one.

How to Give Product Demos That Sell by Steli Efti (Close.io)

Steli Efti, CEO of Close.io shares everything you need to know to kill your next product demo. This actionable guide will teach you how to structure and open your demo, the rules of effective demo engagement, how to deliver a compelling presentation, deal with the various scenarios you can encounter when demoing to a prospect, and finally, how to close the demo.

How A Simple Checklist Rescued 80% Of Our Sales Demo Time by Jakob Marovt (Pipetop)

20-30% is the average close rate of qualified leads from appointments. So if you’re not taking away any learnings from the 70-80% of demos you have with people who don’t buy your product, then you’re wasting valuable time! Jakob Marovt of Pipetop came up with a 5 question, simple checklist that will help your team learn and improve their pitch across several business areas.

Product Demo Discovery: Qualifying Demo Attendees by Steli Efti (Close.io)

How can you conduct a successful demo if you don’t know their evaluation criteria? Without qualifying, you can only deliver a one-size-fits-all demo. Steli Efti, CEO of Close.io breaks down the types of questions to ask during a demo, and how to elicit meaningful answers from prospects.

The Psychology of a Demo and How to Make It Work for You by Zach Lawryk (Optimizely & SalesHacker)

Learn why Zach Lawryk, Sales Engineering leader at Optimizely believes during a demo you must tailor your message to both your customer and to a specific stage in your evaluation process.

On the Phone Strategies

You’re in sales. You’re on the phone constantly. You must hone your skills for a number of different situations.

The Ultimate Guide to Active Listening: How to Earn Trust Using Your Ears by Pete Kaputa (HubSpot)

Ask a Sales person if they listen to their prospects, 100% of them will tell you they do. But in truth, a majority of them are probably just waiting until they can talk. Pete Kaputa of HubSpot puts together a guide that defines what active listening is and shares sample scripts and videos so that your team can truly begin understanding and responding to each prospect’s unique needs.

How to Uncover Your Prospects Budget by Bryan Kreuzberger (Breakthrough Email)

Uncovering a prospects budget is a delicate situation to handle. Bryan Kreuzberger, founder of Breakthrough Email shares “The Bucket Technique” a framework he uses to find out how much your prospect is willing to spend. It’s a simple yet effective framework and he walks through some real life examples to help you get started.

13 Killer B2B Sales Questions to Close More Deals by Steli Efti (Close.io)

Asking questions during sales calls enable you to control the direction of the conversation and engage your prospect in a more relevant and powerful way. Steli Efti, CEO of Close.io presents 13 questions that will help you to turn prospects into buyers.

Why Salespeople Should Ask The Same Question 5 Times In A Row by Mike Renahan (HubSpot)

The Five Whys method is a simple tactic sales folks can use to get to the root of their prospect’s problem. By using this method, you can truly understand and solve the customer’s pain point, and, in turn, make it a strength of their business. Mike Renahan of HubSpot shares how you can use this method today.

25 Essential Questions to Ask on a Discovery Call by Dan Tyre (HubSpot)

Ideally, a discovery call will either clearly surface a sales opportunity or definitively disqualify a prospect. You should come out of your calls with an understanding of your prospect’s needs and how you can help solve them. Dan Tyre of HubSpot shares 25 of his go-to questions you can ask on your next discovery call.

How to Call Prospects Who Open Your Email by Steli Efti (Close.io)

While the strategy of calling leads who have opened your email is good, assuming they’ll receive your call with open arms is wrong. Steli Efti, of close.io explains most effective ways of engaging—instead of frustrating—your prospects with your cold calls.

5 Ways to Get Prospects to Pick Up The Phone by Jesse Davis (RingDNA & SalesHacker)

Jesse Davis of RingDNA shares 5 tactics that can help you connect with far more conversations with your prospects every day. Lots of great SDR research and stats on best times to call, average number of dials and more.

8 Bad Conversational Habits That Are Undermining Your Sales Performance by Andrew Quinn (HubSpot)

Andrew Quinn, Sales training manager at HubSpot highlights 8 common linguistic mistakes that can damage your selling power as well as tips you can use to reverse these unintentional bad habits

Details Can Derail Your Deal by Steli Efti (Close.io)

Details are a double-edged sword. Initially, it’s a good sign when prospects ask detailed questions. But the more details you discuss, the more details need to be resolved. If you get lost in the details, you’ll lose the deal. Steli Efti of Close.io shares how to shift control of the conversation back into your hands.

Why to Call Low then Call High by Mark Roberge (HubSpot)

Prospecting Strategies

Where do you find the right people to buy your product? How do you get in front of them? Better yet, what triggers can you setup that will send prospects into you sales funnel?

How to Prospect with a Trigger Based Approach by Liz Cain (NetSuite & SalesHacker)

If you’re just relying on marketing to feed you leads, then you probably aren’t doing enough. Liz Cain of NetSuite shares how to build your own funnel with a trigger based approach. This includes identifying appropriate triggers (ie- recent funding round) and then executing on a touch plan to schedule out your calls appropriately.

Sales Prospecting Emails: 4 Great Examples by Craig Rosenberg (TOPO Group)

Whether it’s the first cold outreach to a customer or a follow-up email from a trial, Craig Rosenberg of TOPO breaks down 4 real prospecting emails to inspire you to create buyer-centric copy and give immediate value to potential prospects.

Automating Your Sales Prospecting by Jamil Vejli

Jamil Velji shares tools you can use to automate your sales prospecting. From creating and filtering your prospecting list all the way through to email outreach and call booking tools, Jamil has got your sales stack covered.

The Complete Guide To Finding Any Email Address: Tools, Tips, Tactics, And More by Bernie Reeder (Yesware)

Finding emails for purposes of cold outreach is one of the most time-intensive parts of the process. Bernie Reeder of Yesware shares 11 tools you can try in order to guarantee your cold emails reach the right prospects.

A Complete Taxonomy of Sales Triggers for Outbound B2B Prospecting by Misha Sobalev (ExecFile)

Prospecting based on triggers is often a very effective way to start a cold conversation with a prospect. Misha Sobolev breaks down a whole taxonomy of both internal and external triggers as well as show you why they are important, where to find them, and how to leverage them with sample emails.

3 Simple Ways to Improve B2B Sales Messaging and Pitching by Steli Efti (Close.io & SalesHacker)

Ask your customers, embrace objections, and test short/long email formats. Steli Efti explains how these 3 simple things can improve your messaging and examples of how he has implemented them at Close.io

The Game Plan for Successful Prospecting by Craig Rosenberg (TOPO Group)

How I Found 250+ Email Addresses of Silicon Valley Executives in 30 Minutes by Lloyed Lobo (HubSpot)

Sometimes the most efficient way to complete a task is to outsource it. Lloyed Lobo of Sidekick walks you through Amazon Mechanical Turk step-by-step so you can set up your own campaign to find email addresses with 98% accuracy and for as little as 7-10 cents per email.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding And Connecting With A Goldmine Of Prospects On Linkedin by Sam Laber (Datanyze)

Everyone knows prospecting on LinkedIn is a valuable strategy to pursue, but how can you make it valuable for your organization? Sam Laber of Datanyze walks you through step by step (with examples!) to teach you how to capture prospects from LinkedIn Groups, find ones using a competitive product, and finding the right person to contact at a company.

4 Ways to E-stalk Your Sales Prospects Like A Journalist by Heather Morgan (Salesfolk)

How well do you really know your prospects? Especially when sending cold emails or on cold calls, establishing rapport is a crucial step towards closing a deal. Heather Morgan of Salesfolk, shows you how to leverage LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google to establish your buyer’s persona before you even talk to them.

6 Advanced LinkedIn Prospecting Tactics for the Outbound Sales Rep by Brandon Redlinger (PersistIQ)

Everyone in Sales uses LinkedIn to prospect, so to truly stand out you need to take your skills to the next level. Brandon Redlinger of PersistIQ shares 6 of his advanced prospecting tactics including using Boolean commands in LinkedIn search and how to hack InMail.

How to Generate 10,000 Leads from LinkedIn in Less than 10 Minutes: The 10X-Ray by John-Henry Scherck (DocSend)

Prospecting remains a very manual and time consuming process for your SDR’s. John-Henry Scherck of DocSend teaches you a technique, which albeit technical in nature can produce 10,000+ leads for your entire SDR team in less than 10 minutes. Get someone on your team to do it now!

Cold Emails

Who doesn’t love cold emails!? Ok, we’ve all used a shotgun approach at times, but cold emails can work when you target properly and actually send valuable info. This is where psychology plays a big role in your subject line and making sure you’re getting to the point quickly.

7 Sanity Checks for Cold Emails by Lincoln Murphy (16 Ventures & Gainsight)

Everytime you run another cold email campaign, make sure you run through this quick checklist put together by Lincoln Murphy to maximize your open and reply rates.

How to Send Mass Personalized Emails Using Mail Merge in Gmail by Sapph Li (The Art of Emails)

An amazing step-by-step walkthrough on how you can send hundreds of outreach emails in just 2-3 hours while still personalizing every single one and achieving high response rates.

9 Cold Email Formulas That Just Plain Work by Bernie Reeder (Yesware)

For years copywriters have used basic principles of persuasion and influence to come up content that reliably draw readers into reading it. These formulas just plain work – and can stop people in their tracks and compel them to read your cold email. Bernie Reeder of Yesware shares the nine best formulas and real-world cold email examples from Yesware sales reps and others.

23 Sales Email Subject Lines That Get Prospects to Open, Read, And Respond by Emma Snider (HubSpot)

No matter how good your email copy is, it won’t matter if your prospect’s never open it. Emma Snider of HubSpot shares 23 subject lines you can use today to up your open rates and response rates today.

23 Email Sales Lines to Spur Action by Aaron Ross (Predictable Revenue & SalesHacker)

The value of compelling subject lines is well documented but what about call’s to action within your email? Aaron Ross of Predictable Revenue shares 23 simple CTA’s that will help get your prospects to respond to your emails.

A/B Testing Cold Emails (without a statistically-significant sample size) by Steli Efti (Close.io)

A/B Tests only work with large sample sizes, but cold emailing 10,000+ people is the quickest way to get your emails in spam. Steli Efti, CEO of Close.io advises to keep cold email outreach small (50 emails daily to a targeted audience) and follow up with cold calls to gain qualitative insights into how your email performed.

Why Zenefits’ Cold Emails Lose Their Prospects by Heather Morgan (Salesfolk)

Even one of the fastest growing SaaS company in history can have some flaws. Heather Morgan of Salesfolk breaks down the cold email template she has seen Zenefits using, pointing out why your cold emails should do more showing than telling.

16 Psychology Tips to Upgrade Your Cold Sales Emails by Max Altschuler (SalesHacker & HubSpot)

Simple and actionable tips like “Sell to the individual, then the employee, then the company” that will help improve your cold emails. Max Altschuler of Sales Hacker highlights how you can use basic psych concepts to increase your cold email response rate.

What is the Best Opening Line you Have Received From a Cold Email? by GrowthHackers.com

Hear from Growthhackers.com community members including Lincoln Murphy and Sean Ellis on the best opening lines they have received from cold emails and their take on cold email strategies in general. Lots of actionable strategies to test out here.

Line by Line Breakdown of a Highly Effective Sales Email by Sapph Li (The Art of Emails & Datanyze)

Sapph Li of The Art of Emails, provides a line by line breakdown of how to capture the attention of your prospect from the subject line all the way down to your call to action. Lots of examples and templates you can try today.

How To Send Super Personalized Emails (That Prospects Actually Want To Read) by Elise Musumano (Yesware)

We all know personalized emails to prospects perform better than automated ones, but it’s easier said than done. Elise Musumano of Yesware shares 6 ways you can personalize your next prospecting email sharing some of her favorite examples from other companies.

I Analyzed 147 Cold Sales Emails And 93.9% Of Them Sucked by Anand Sanwal (CB Insights)

After raising a round of funding, Anand Sanwal, CEO of CBInsights saw the cold emails pouring in. After analyzing all 147 of them, he compiled his research so that you can learn from the mistakes of others.

Tips to Keep Your Sales Team’s Emails Landing in Inboxes and Out of Spam Folders by John-Henry Scherck (DocSend)

The worst thing that can happen to your SDR’s is have their emails go to spam. John-Henry Scherck of DocSend gives 9 suggestions that you can share with your team to limit the chances your email goes to spam.

Email Templates

Email templates help a tremendous amount. Whether you have writer’s block, want to send the perfect follow-up, or are trying to push a prospect farther down the funnel. Find what has worked best for others and make it your own.

101 Sales Email Templates You Can Use Today to Close More Deals by Ryan Gum (Attach.io)

A collection of over 100 sales email templates to use in a variety of scenarios whether it’s a follow up, cold outreach, a break-up email, and more. Attach.io puts together this killer list to inspire you to write effective emails in any situation.

Here are the Scripts for Sales Success — Emails, Calls and Demos That Close Deals by Peter Kazanjy (TalentBin)

The definition of actionable sales tactics is this post by Peter Kazanjy of TalentBin. He goes through the what, why, and how to approach each channel and shares templates upon templates for you to try on calls, demos, and in email.

16 Templates For The Sales Follow-Up Email by Sidekick Team

Generic “check-in” follow-up emails are the quickest way for them to get deleted instantly. The Sidekick team shares 16 templates you can use today for various use cases whether it’s after a conference or for your break-up email.

Wake Up Your Sales Prospects With These 9 Ingenious Email Templates by Jakob Marovt (Pipetop)

You follow the product demo advice in the guide above and crush it, the sale is practically in the bag. Then you go to follow-up….and radio silence. Every sales rep has experienced this situation before. Jakob Marovt, co-founder of Pipetop shares 9 email templates to use to reignite your conversations with prospects who’ve gone dark.

26 Cold Email Templates & Resources Which Guarantee to get a Response by Dmitry Dragilev (Criminally Prolific)

More cold email templates never hurt nobody. Dmitry Dragilev shares 26 cold email templates you can try using today and runs down why they are so effective in getting recipients to respond.

Sales Follow-Up Emails the Pros Use by Emma Snider (HubSpot)

Emma Snider of HubSpot ask 5 sales experts for their most effective follow-up email templates. Get sample templates for situations such as: After a voicemail, after a trade show, after a first conversation, and a break-up email.

Effective Sales Follow Ups that Revive Prospects Gone Cold by Sapph Li (Art of Emails)

4 email templates for follow-ups in any situation: After a trade show event, moving forward a sale, or overcoming a pricing objection. Sapph Li of Art of Emails gives you 4 email templates you can use today to tighten up your follow-up emails.

3 Proven Follow-up Email Templates by John Sherer (ColdEmailing)

Effective follow-up emails are essential to a functioning sales machine. John Sherer from HubSpot breaks down 3 poor follow-up templates and shares 3 of his own that have worked well, to help you reconnect with a prospect.

Steal These High-Converting Sales Email Drip Campaigns From 2 Killer Startups by Steli Efti (Close.io)

Learn how Hubspot and TrunkClub use drip email campaigns to move free trial accounts down the sales funnel. Steli Efti, CEO of close.io breaks down each individual email and in particular focuses on the power of the “break-up” email.

Optimizing Your Email Signature by Jeff Deutsch

Email signatures are probably the last thing on your mind to optimize, but Jeff Deutsch explains why Steli Efti’s creative email signature caught his attention and established instant credibility. An easy, quick tactic that could give results immediately.

Nurturing & Follow-ups

Did you ever buy anything from someone who didn’t follow-up at least once? Probably not. Conversion rates skyrocket when you put some TLC into nuturing your leads.

7 Sales Email Secrets to Drive Deals Forward by Michael Haylon (Yesware & SalesHacker)

Analyzing over 500,000 sales emails from Yesware users, Director of Sales Michael Haylon draws 7 important insights including optimal subject lines, send times, and follow up strategies among others.

The Ultimate Guide on How to Write a Follow-up Email by Sidekick Team

In this ultimate follow up email guide, you’ll find: How To Write A Follow Up Email in 5 Steps, Tools To Improve Your Follow Up Strategy, and 3 Collections of Follow Up Email Templates (Sales, Networking, and Job Hunting)

Best Practices for Following up on Inbound Leads by Derek Singleton (Software Advice)

Did you know that calling a buyer only 11 minutes after converting on your site can lead to below average qualification rates? Derek Singleton from Software Advice collected data from over 6,000,000 unique visitors to offer insights into B2B buyer behavior focusing on best times and dates for the highest qualification and conversion rates.

The Breakup Email: Before You Stop Following Up, Send This by Steli Efti (Close.io)

The breakup email is one of the most effective follow up email templates you can use when a prospect isn’t responding to your emails. Steli Efti, CEO of Close.io shares why and gives you templates you can use today to take advantage of this underutilized email strategy.

Lead Nurturing Secrets No One Ever Taught You by Andrew Nguyen (Bizible)

Andrew Nguyen of Bizible shares examples of how you can improve your lead nurturing problems. Plenty of actionable email templates to look at with a focus on different copywriting tweaks you can make to ensure your emails have high open rates.

How to Optimize Your Sales Emails Through A/B Testing by Max Altschuler (SalesHacker)

When cold emailing prospects its important to A/B Test not only subject lines, but your CTA’s and message copy as well to drive higher email metrics. Max Altschuler, CEO of SalesHacker shows you how he sets up his own A/B tests and shares metrics showing what success should look like.

How to Craft and When to Send a Breakup Email by Sabrina Bianchi (Predictable Revenue)

The breakup email, when used strategically, is one of the most effective ways to get the attention of a prospect who isn’t responding. Sabrina Bianchi teaches you when to send it and how to craft one that will get your prospects talking.

9 Trigger Events That Can Revive Lost Deals by Leslie Ye (HubSpot)

It’s not impossible to bring a dead deal back to life – all it takes are the right circumstances and for you to act on them. Leslie Ye of HubSpot shares nine trigger events to keep an eye on to bring stalled or lost deals back into play.

6 Common Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Follow-Up Email by Elise Musumano (Yesware)

Follow-up Emails are so crucial to reengaging prospects and moving them down the sales funnel. Elise Musumano of Yesware, shares 6 of the most common mistakes that are killing the effectiveness of your follow-ups.

Sales Funnel Strategy

What’s the point of driving leads into a funnel if you have no strategy to get them to convert? Did you say, “Nothing”? Because you’re correct. It’s a constant work in process and you’ll always be learning and adjusting. You have to start somewhere though!

ICP + TAM = A Sales Qualified Lead Machine by Max Altschuler (SalesHacker & Mattermark)

Max Altschuler of Sales Hacker shares his 4 most important tactics to building a sales qualified lead machine: 1) Find your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), 2) Define your Total Addressable Market (TAM), 3) Enrich your customers, 4) Meet your future customers. He dives deep into each of these steps so you understand what it takes to be successful.

Finding Your Best Customer: A Guide to Best Current B2B Customer Segmentation by Tien Anh Nguyen (OpenView)

An epic, step-by-step guide on effective customer segmentation by Tien Anh Nguyen of OpenView Labs. He focuses on Value-based segmentation and details how to quantitatively calculate the value of your current accounts in order to inform your segmentation strategy.

An Actionable Guide to Key Sales Activities by Timo Rein (Pipedrive)

Co-founder of Pipedrive, Timo Rein, breaks down how they define their key sales activities into 3 actions: Approach, meet, and demo prospects. Then he quantitatively shows how you can define your weekly sales schedule with these key actions in mind.

Sales Funnel Optimization For SaaS Startups by Tomasz Tunguz (Redpoint Ventures)

With some sample numbers and metrics of 3 different sales funnels, Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures proves why improvements at the top of the funnel, especially early lead prospecting and qualification can dramatically reduce customer acquisition costs.

The Untapped Power of Sales Discovery Skills by Mike Kunkle

Sales Discovery skills are often overlooked as they are basic “Sales 101” skills every sales rep should know. But having a discovery plan and asking the right questions an be the difference between winning and losing a deal. Mike Kunkle gives a detailed breakdown of how you can structure a Sales Discovery plan today.

For Sales Leaders

Being a leader, you’re expected to teach your team best practices, how to close more sales, and provide the best value possible to your customers. This can be a daunting task. Learn what’s worked best from those who have been around the block a few times and combine it with your own experience.

The Challenge of Sales/Marketing Alignment in a Digital World by Scott Brinker (MarTech)

The real challenge of Sales/Marketing alignment is the “context gap”: Sales knows that a prospect downloaded a white paper, viewed their blog, but not the context behind it. Scott Brinker of MarTech discusses in-depth about the challenges of lead scoring and “digital body language” and why interactive content may be the key to bridge the context gap between sales and marketing.

Customer size dictates your sales strategy by Russ Thau (Intercom)

To be a successful B2B company you have to tailor your sales and product approach to meet the changing needs of your customers and potential customers as they grow their own businesses. Russ Thau of Intercom shares how to tailor your sales strategy based on the size of your customer’s company.

Why You Should Stop Using BANT by Ash Alhashim (Optimizely & SalesHacker)

The BANT framework works when you’re selling to early adopters, but its biggest downfall is that it assumes the prospect is aware of the fact they should be buying a product like yours in the first place. Ash Alhashim, Director of Sales Development at Optimizely introduces the GROW-ROI framework, ideal for prospects who not only don’t know about what you do, but do not recognize the learning deficit.

Back to the Future in Enterprise SaaS Selling by Nino Marakovic (Sapphire Ventures)

While the “bottoms-up” sales model has been a key SaaS selling strategy to drive early rapid growth, eventually “old school” enterprise skills are needed to maintain growth and sell to larger organizations. Nino Marakovic, CEO of Sapphire Ventures shares his thoughts on how to appropriately adapt your teams process to this new reality.

SLA Template for Sales Development by Sean Kester (SalesLoft & SalesHacker)

Service Level Agreements are crucial to any thriving organization with Sales and Sales Development teams. Sean Kester and Anthony Zhang from Salesloft share their internal SLA which outlines each team’s role in lead qualification, passing, ownership, and marking demos.

Why Cold Calling is Dead by Russ Thau (Intercom)

Russ Thau, VP of Sales tells you why cold calling is dead, with a compelling break down of the costs and ROI needed to make it worth hiring dedicated outbound BD reps.

Scaling Your Sales Team (Hiring & Onboarding)

This has been done a million times, but it’s never easy to get right. Gleen some insights from these articles written by some of the pros. And give Guru a try so you save 60% of your time onboarding new reps ;)

The Zero B.S. Method To Recruiting A Killer Sales Force by Lars Dalgaard (a16z)

For those looking to scale and hire more reps, Lars Dalgaard of a16z shares his Zero-BS method for recruiting sales folks. Unsurprisingly, it starts with data so that going into an interview there is 100% transparency on a candidates’s sales record and there is no chance they can oversell themselves.

The Sales Development Team: A Proven Framework for Success by Craig Rosenberg (TOPO Group)

Want to know how to create a killer sales development team, but don’t know where to start? Craig Rosenberg of TOPO Group gives a thorough run-down on how to do so from start to finish. He covers topics such as how your SDR team fits in the larger sales organization, defining what “qualified” means to your team, as well as compensation/hiring/training.

How to Onboard New Sales Hires by Steli Efti (Close.io)

The average new sales rep at a SaaS company takes 5.3 months to reach full productivity. Proper onboarding is the most powerful way to close this gap, and get your sales reps quickly up to speed. Steli Efti, CEO of Close.io shares a few tactics you can implement to improve the quality of your rep onboarding program.

The Anatomy of the Perfect Sales Hiring Process by Peter Kazanjy (TalentBin & First Round Capital)

Sales is a unique function to hire for, requiring different criteria and strategy. TalentBin Co-founder Peter Kazanjy has the process nailed down.

Sales Development Onboarding Framework by Bryan Gonzalez (TOPO Group)

Rapidly growing your SDR team? Bryan Gonzalez of TOPO Group introduces their onboarding framework for new SDR hires. The core of the framework revolves around leveraging your SDR playbook, designing an onboarding curriculum, and reinforcing lessons through ongoing coaching.

Tips for Scaling a SaaS Sales Team by Keely Schurr (Intercom)

While many in SaaS sales are hailing this the “Year of the SDR”, Intercom has taken a slightly different path. Account Development Manager, Keely Schurr explains why they use ADR instead of SDR as well as sharing 5 steps for how you can scale your SaaS Sales team.

The Sales Structure that Grew SalesLoft into the Fastest-Growing SaaS Company in the US by Eric Siu & Kyle Porter (GrowthEverywhere & SalesLoft)

Eric Siu of Growth Everywhere interviews CEO of Salesloft, Kyle Porter about how they got from $200K to $3.7 million in ARR in the last 10 months. They touch on the sales process and structure at Salesloft where they execute over 300 demos per month amongst other interesting facts.

The Secret Weapon to Scaling Sales: Sales Operations by Jeff Bussgang (FlyBridge Capital)

One of the largest friction points to scaling a startup is rapidly growing your salesforce. So much time must be dedicated to onboarding & training new employees, as well as making the existing sales team more efficient. Jeff Bussgang of Flybridge Capital shares why sales operations is vital when scaling your salesforce.

SaaS Metrics, Sales Reports & Benchmarks

Metrics, reports, goals. You can’t grow without them! Learn how to implement and use them right now if you’re not.

2016 SDR Metrics and Compensation Benchmark Report by Bridge Group

This report provides valuable benchmarking data showing how metrics and compensation have changed over time for sales development teams.

The Sales Leader’s #1 Key Growth Metric by Jason Lemkin (SaaStr)

It’s incredibly hard to predict sales. Pipeline reports are extremely subjective, and sales numbers are lagging indicators of the hard growth work you’ve down. Jason Lemkin of SaaStr and Aaron Ross of Predictable Revenue show why Qualified Lead Velocity Rate (LVR) is the best predictor of sales growth.

How to Use Sales Productivity to Sell Smarter, Backed by Data by Ryan Gum (Attach.io)

Sales productivity is not about making more calls or sending out more emails. It’s about being smart with your time to increase the velocity of your sales process. Ryan Gum, of Attach.io gathered data from the top sales research firms like TOPO, Forrester, and the Bridge Group to share key stats around topics like prospecting, follow-ups, and time management.

35 Crucial Stats Every B2B Sales Professional Should Know by CeCe Bazar (OpenView)

Did you know leads responded to within 5 minutes are 100X more likely to be contacted and 21X more likely to be qualified? Here are 34 other stats every B2B sales professional needs to know in order to increase buyer retention, response rate and overall customer satisfaction.

2016 Pacific Crest SaaS Survey – Part 1 by Pacific Crest

The 5th annual Pacific Crest SaaS Survey is out. They surveyed 305 SaaS companies to compile this data that serves as a great benchmark for overall performance. Get stats like median growth rate based on sales strategy, percentage of ACV from upsells, and much more to see how your team compares.

Metrics for Sales Emails & Cold Emailing by Greg Pietruszynski (Growbots)

In emailing, response rate is the key metric you should be optimizing. Greg Pietruszynski, CEO of Growbots prepares a step-by-step guide for how to achieve high response rates. He gives tips on subject lines, timing, content, and follow-ups and shares an email template that got a 75% response rate.

Top 5% Outbound Prospecting and Cold Calling Metrics by Steve Richard (Vorsight)

Steve Richard of Vorsight shares the exact activity metrics that make up the top 5% of Vorsight SDR’s. The only caveat being these metrics reflect SDR’s focused solely on outbound prospecting and appointment setting.

How to Build Your Sales Stack

This is always fun. So many toys. Which ones do I play with!? It tends to feel that way with all of the great tools out there today. However, you’re better off avoiding analysis paralysis when it comes to your sales stack. These articles are a few that we think offer some great advice.

How to Build the Perfect Sales Stack for Your Company by Brandon Redlinger (PersistIQ)

There are so many sales tools these days, how do you decide which tools work for the specific needs of your company? Brandon Redlinger of PersistIQ walks through creating a sales stack by mapping it to the sales process: lead generation, lead management, demonstrating the product, and closing deals. Plenty of great tools to research and try out in this post.

Designing Your Sales Stack so that Customers Come to You by Max Altschuler & Jorge Soto (SalesHacker & First Round Capital)

Sales is all about the right message to the right person at the right time. Max Altschuler and Jorge Soto of Saleshacker share with you the sales stack that will uncover your ideal customer persona, find their contact info, research your prospects, and automate your outreach. Following these steps turns outbound marketing into qualified inbound interest.

Lessons For Sales Ops: Buying Tech by Vishal Sunak (InsightSquared)

If you work in Sales Operations for a B2B focused company, you’re going to have to evaluate and purchase sales tech at some point. Vishal Sunak shares advice for making the buying process informative and productive.

10 Technologies for Outbound by Max Altschuler (SalesHacker & Predictable Revenue)

The outbound sales process has increasingly become automated by software. Max Altuscher, CEO of Sales Hacker highlights some useful tools to build a list of your ideal customer, email at scale, and research leads that will help your reps sell better.

My Killer Sales Prospecting Stack by Sam Laber (Datanyze)

Datanyze surveyed 451 B2B companies and found the average SDR has 8 prospecting tools they use everyday. But sometimes, less is more. Sam Laber shares the 4 tools he uses for prospecting that’s just as effective as any 8 tool stack.

Pricing & Discounting

We all have to be honest here. No one ever gets this right in the beginning. There are so many factors that go into pricing. And just when you think you’ve got it right, someone or something in your business tells you it’s not. The rabbit hole is deep for this one. But hopefully these articles will give you something to test.

Picking Your Pricing Model by Des Traynor (Intercom)

Des Traynor shares quick, but enlightening primer on the broad pricing strategies you can employ and the pros and cons of each.

How-to Use SaaS Pricing Discounts to Grow Revenue by Lincoln Murphy (16 Ventures & Gainsight

Lincoln Murphy outlines the three rules for when to use discounts: 1) Price objections are really value objections 2) Discounts should get people to pay you more, not less 3) Discounts require scarcity to be successful

Data Shows SaaS Discounting Lowers LTV by over 30% by Patrick Campbell (Price Intelligently)

Data from Price Intelligently shows that discounts in SaaS can reduce lifetime value by over 30%. Patrick Campbell breaks down why discounting works in retail, but not in SaaS and shows the data to prove why discounting is the laziest path to a customer conversion.

3 Questions to Diffuse a Sales Price Objection by Andrew Quinn (HubSpot

One of the most common objections a salesperson faces daily, is about pricing. Andrew Quinn, Sales training manager at HubSpot believes you should respond to their pricing question with a question of your own to understand the context behind why they are asking about price in the first place.

Lowering Your Price: When to Drop It and How by Charles Green (Trusted Advisor)

There is no one “right” approach to offering discounts. But when you do, Charles Green says you have to ensure you have a policy regarding when to discount and that you are willing to live by that rule.

Negotiating & Objection Handling

Who wants to hear “No” all day? Not anyone we know. On your quest for “Yes”, read some of these great articles. They will give you some confidence the next time you hear that awful, awful word.

How Sales Reps Can Get to Yes Despite the Constant Barrage of No’s by Sam Laber (Datanyze)

A great article that focuses on both the internal and external challenges of dealing with constant “no’s” from prospects. Sam Laber of Datanyze shares how to stay mentally tough when faced with a “no” and common reasons prospects say no and how to get them to a “yes”.

Learn to love the “no” (and win in sales) by Steli Efti (Close.io)

If you can’t tell we’re big fans of Steli Efti and the Close.io blog. Mainly because he gives great counterintuitive advice and is big on actionable tactics. In this post he shares how to embrace the “no” and analyzes the variety of different types of “no’s” you will encounter.

How To Turn Emails Into Meetings: 4 Proven Tactics To Overcome Sales Objections by Bernie Reeder (Yesware)

Bernie Reeder of Yesware shares four strategies you can use to convert initial cold emails or calls into meetings to handle objections like: I’m not interested, this isn’t a priority, or we work with a competitor already. He provides real world email exchanges to drive home the effectiveness of his outlined tactics.

Prospect Says They’ll Buy Soon? Ask This Question! by Steli Efti (Close.io)

Even if a prospect says they will buy “this week” it’s never a done deal until the contract is signed in your inbox. Steli Efti of Close.io shares why asking “Is there anything that could stop this deal from happening?” can lead to uncovering new stakeholders or closing the deal right then and there.

In a Tough Negotiation? Try Strip-Lining by Robert Moore (RJMetrics)

The idea of Strip-Lining is simple: When counter parties express grief over a perceived shortcoming of yours, ask point-blank whether the issue will make it impossible to work out a deal. Robert Moore of RJMetrics shows how you can make use of this technique today.

Overcoming B2B Sales Objections by Sales Coach World

The ability to turn a sales objection into a positive is one of the greatest assets a salesperson can possess. Sales Coach World produced this extremely detailed guide on 6 common objections and how you can handle them.

5 Reasons Why Prospects Object to Your SaaS Product and How to Overcome Each Objection by Neil Patel (Kissmetrics)

In almost every sale, you will have to satisfy some kind of objection by the prospect. Neil Patel, co-founder of Kissmetrics breaks down how you can overcome tricky objections including security concerns, scalability questions, and 3 others.

7 Customizable Sales Scripts For Handling Objections Over The Phone by Alex Nunez (HubSpot)

Listening and responding to your prospect’s unique needs will always work better than reciting a sales script verbatim, but that doesn’t mean they have no value. Alex Nunez from HubSpot shares 7 scripts you can customize to tackle common objections like “We don’t have budget” or “It’s not a good time.”

The 1 Thing You Need to Win Every Negotiation by Steli Efti (Close.io)

Gain the upper hand in every negotiation with this one tip from Steli Efti of Close.io: be willing to walk away. He shares the questions you must consider when negotiating, as well as the story behind Close.io’s first big enterprise customer. You guessed it, they closed the deal by walking away first.

7 Steps to Turn a “No” Into a “Yes” by Dan Tyre (HubSpot)

Every salesperson encounters the situation where you have a great feeling a deal is going to close, only to hear they’ve gone with a competitor. Dan Tyre of HubSpot shares his 7 step process to turn a “No” into a “Yes”.

Create the Ultimate Sales Battle Card Using Social Proof from Glassdoor by John-Henry Scherck (DocSend)

Every good sales team is armed with competitive battle cards. John-Henry Scherck of DocSend has an interesting approach that uses Glassdoor reviews as a form of social proof to turn a doubtful prospect into a committed buyer.

Account Based Everything

Account Based Everything follows in the foot steps of Account Based Marketing. It works really, really well when you know who you should be talking to (like your ICP, right?). If you haven’t yet given this a try and the shotgun approach isn’t working for you, now’s the time.

The Difference Between Account Based Marketing and Outbound Sales by Craig Rosenberg (Topo)

Account Based Marketing is a process where the plays, messaging, and go-to-market plan are based on a specific targeted account. Craig Rosenberg of TOPO Group runs through the key elements of the Sales/Marketing relationship in ABM and how it differs from outbound sales alone.

Ideal Customer Profile: The Ultimate Guide to Focused Sales by Nicolaj Christensen (Pipetop)

Nailing your ideal customer profile and buyer personas are critical to crafting a proper ABE strategy. Nicolaj Christensen from PipeTop walks you through a 7-step framework to create your ICP and buyer personas that you can implement today

Account Based Sales Development: A New Methodology in Lead Execution, Target Outbound, and Pipeline Generation by Lars Nilsson (Cloudera)

Learn from VP of Field Operations at Cloudera, Lars Nilsson, as he dives into their sales stack and the results of implementing an account-based sales development strategy. In 3 months they targeted 24 companies with individual ABSD campaigns, had 86 qualified meetings set up, resulting in 45 opportunities created, equating to $3.7M of new forecasted pipeline.

Designing Plays for Your Account Based Sales Development Playbook by Brandon Redlinger (Engagio)

Brandon Redlinger of Engagio shares the essential elements of well designed outbound sales plays to help your SDRs penetrate target accounts in an ABM strategy.

Events and Conferences

We’re big believers in events and conferences. They may not be everyones ideal distribution channel, but they work. They’re a great place to introduce your company and setup follow-up meetings. Just remember to be human and personable. Then it won’t actually feel like networking. Everyone wins!

How to Get Non-Crap Sales Leads at a Conference by Grigoriy Kogan

Conferences are a great place to get a stack of business cards, but getting 500 leads is only beneficial if the leads aren’t crap. User acquisition expert Grigoriy Kogan shares his tips on how to maximize your quality of leads at your next conference. This includes defining measurable objectives, and segmenting your leads in order to send better targeted follow up messages.

5 Tips for Booking Productive Sales Meetings at a Conference by Lucas Walker (HubSpot)

Lucas Walker of Hubspot shares his tips on how he prepares for conferences to make the most of these events.

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