Whether you’ve got lots of sales experience and are looking for new tricks or have just started a new job, every sales team can benefit from high-quality training and research outside of work. After much scouring, we have created a list of 2014’s must-follow sales and marketing professionals that are making great strides in the sales arena today. You should consider checking out their work and offerings as we roll into the new year.
From award-winning authors to internationally-recognized speakers, these 85 sales pros and technology advocates are changing the world one sale at a time with their contributions to social selling, sales management, and business-to-business sales.
Aberdeen is part of the big data movement in the business world and focuses on producing fresh marketing and sales research. They produce plenty of white papers, such as: “CPQ Everywhere: How Direct, Channel, Enterprise, and Middlers Seal the Deal.”
The Action Selling team, developed by Duane Sparks, has been designated as one of the top 20 sales training companies in the world many times over. Their posts cover a broad range of sales topics, and their SalesFails video series is a great pick-me-up for any sales meeting.
Alen Mayer’s sales acumen earned himself the number 2 spot on the list of “Top 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management” by the Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA). He is also the author of the books Selling is Better Than Sex and The Missing Piece to Sales Success.
Anneke Seley’s book, Sales 2.0, is one of the definitive books on the power of technology-driven sales tactics. Her Twitter feed is full of great resources such as @danielnewmanUV’s “9 Steps to Launching a Social Selling Program.”
Art Sobczak serves to help sales professionals make better cold calls, as well as providing general sales advice with his trademark humor and perspective. Typical posts include Using ‘Pick-Up’ Lines in Sales,” and How to Get Your Competitors to Say You Are the Best Choice.
Association for Talent Development
( @ASTDSalesEnable ) | Website: http://www.astd.org
Formerly the American Society of Training Directors (ASTD), this organization works to help managers in every field cultivate and hire better employees. They provide official training programs, certifications, conferences, and resources about the future of work and managing talent.
Mac McIntosh posts and tweets for increasing productivity and maximizing the marketing budget. In addition, he shares great cutting edge research posts like Survey: 62% Of Consumers Say Social Media Doesn’t At All Influence Their Purchasing Decisions.
Barbara Giamanco has been a contributing writer for the Harvard Business Review and Top Sales World and has a book titled The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media. She has also been recognized by InsideView as one of the top 25 Sales Influencers on Twitter.
Bob Apollo helps businesses blend creative ideas, technology, and management skills together to create better profit margins. His blog touts titles such as First Line Sales Managers: The Heart of B2B Sales and Sales Conversion Plans Should Be Skeletons, Not Cages
Brian J. Carroll
Bestselling author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and Executive Director of Applied Research at MECLABS, Carroll is a sought-after speaker about how to improve sales effectiveness and build better lead-generation strategies. He tweets daily white papers, research findings, and stats for helping businesses better target their leads.
Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, is one of the most referenced sales productivity tomes of all time, with more than 450,000 copies sold. He regularly blogs his insights about leadership, sales, and time management.
Bridge Group, Inc.
Trish Bertuzzi is the President and Chief Strategist of the Bridge Group, Inc. She is passionate about inside sales, and has created a list of resources for sales managers and professionals. Her bi-monthly blog includes research, tools, and tactics for creating inside sales campaigns.
Cam Aurer is an accredited funnel coach whose goal is to develop sales executives into high-performing salespeople. His site hosts webinars, interviews with high-level sales representatives, and insights into customer behavior and buying patterns.
Amarendra Bhushan is the brains behind the online magazine CEOWORLD. His tweets and posts highlight the most forward-thinking CEOs as well as relevant sales and management advice, like his recent post entitled How Ebola Showed One Company a $7 Management Solution.
Scott Brinker bases his blog on the principal that technology and marketing are no longer separate. His funny, Star-Wars-inspired tweets and articles about marketing, technology, and sales management keep readers smiling and learning at the same time.
Leanne Hoagland-Smith is one of the most well-published sales training consultants, with over 30 years in sales, 1600 published sales articles, and a published book: Be the Red Jacket in a Sea of Gray Suits. She is a unique sales voice that focuses on strategic thinking, sales processes, and connectivity.
Wortmann is the founder of Sales Engine, as well as developer of the course Entrepreneurial Selling at the University of Chicago’s School of Business. He is an author, keynote speaker, and blogger, sharing daily articles such as You Never Wanted to Be a ‘Salesperson’ But Here You Are on his Twitter feed.
Dan Waldo’s leveraged his research on how 150 ordinary people overcame massive obstacles into a USA Best Book Award Finalist, Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Can Achieve Outrageous Success. The Wall Street Journal named his blog as one of the top sales blog offerings on the Internet, and his business insight has been featured on Business Week, INC Magazine, and Business Insider.
( @davestei ) | Website: http://davestein.biz/
Dave Stein has worked with clients such as Bayer, IBM, and Pitney Bowes to hire sales professionals and re-engineer selling efforts for better success. He is the writer of the sales and training column for Sales and Marketing Management magazine.
David M. Scott
With over 110,000 followers on Twitter alone, David Meerman Scott has a fan base that loves his no-nonsense sales and marketing strategy wisdom. His bestselling book, The New Rules of Marketing & PR, is considered by many sales professionals to be the definitive guide to using new media for sales.
Colleen Francis is a noted author and speaker, which has earned her induction in the Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame. Her book, Nonstop Sales Boom, has been hugely successful in establishing her as a cutting edge sales strategist.
Quintanilla is the founder of EQ Consultants Group, LLC, a digital marketing consultancy. She is also the City of Austin Commissioner on the Technology and Telecommunications Commission. She regularly tweets resources about Web 2.0 selling from her Twitter page.
A celebrated motivational sales speaker, Lofholm has presented for companies such as Time Warner, World Financial Group, and Ford Motor Company. He is also a sales instructor at the Networking University. His Twitter account is full of daily motivational quotes from celebrated sales leaders.
Eric T. Tung
Fans of Eric T. Tung love his hilarious spin on using social media to influence and drive revenue. His Twitter feed includes social media research and cutting-edge technology, with articles like “Building Customer Loyalty With Social Media,” and “A Thorough Analysis of Google’s Pirate Filter.”
Mehl’s blog is a wealth of current marketing research, opinion, and strategy. He shares information-rich posts like, “What Content Marketers Could Learn From Higher Education – But Won’t…” He is also a lecturer at top-ranked University of Stavanger in Oslo, Norway.
Fast Track Tools
( @FastTrackTools ) | Website: http://www.fasttracktools.com/
Ken Revenaugh created Fast Track Tools to allow sales professionals and business owners a way to create beautiful, convincing sales presentations. His website provides daily doses of presentation education, as well as e-learning tools to enhance your presentation skills and methods.
Craig Rosenberg is the co-founder of TOPO – a company dedicated to the research of sales, marketing, and high growth companies. He also edits The Funnelholic, a blog about “all things revenue.” In addition, his Twitter feed is full of daily articles geared towards SEO and social media marketing
Gerhard Gschwandtner is the CEO and founder of Selling Power, one of the most well-known sales resources on the web. He is the author of 17 books about selling and sales management, and was the recipient of the Sales & Marketing Executives Intl., Inc. 2010 Ambassador of Free Enterprise Award.
The self-proclaimed “King of Sales,” Jeffrey Gitomer shares excellent content both on his blog and on his Twitter feed. With articles like The POWER of Sales Success is 100% in Your Control, Gitomer’s passion for selling is contagious.
( @GregAlexander )
Alexander is the CEO of Sales Benchmark Index (SBI), with a client list that includes Adobe, Forrester Research, and Dow Jones. From his experience as a sales manager with EMC Corporation, he designed his SBI blog to tackle issues like marketing forecasting, talent management, and sales leadership.
A former Fortune-500 Vice President of Sales, Deming has an amazing track record of improving sales – sometimes as much as 110% in only three years. He shares excellent content on his website, including posts such as, “From Sales Hero to Leadership Zero.”
Matt Heinz runs this Seattle-based marketing agency focused on “sales acceleration.” His website offers free resources for things like Holiday Selling, Trade Shows, and Social Selling. In addition, he posts daily sales and marketing articles on his blog.
Ian Brodie has a top Twitter account, with over 105,000 followers that enjoy his marketing advice, posts, and coaching tips. He regularly updates his website with excellent articles about how to use content marketing, social media, and website design to make sales.
With over 30 years of experience as an effective sales recruiter and trainer, Knowlson has worked with companies like Barclays Bank and Hewlett Packard. His bimonthly blog includes articles such as, “Recruiters Don’t Steal Your Talent – You Let It Go!”
Ian Narino is the President of SOLUTIONS Staffing, the Managing Director or B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, and an adjunct professor at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. His popular blog includes posts like, “The Hustler’s Playbook: Hustlers Sweat the Small Stuff”
High Probability Selling is a program designed by Jacques Werth based on in-person sales calls he and his staff made with elite sales performers across 23 industries. Now, his program and processes have been adopted by clients like AT&T, Bank of America, and AFLAC, making him one of the most influential sales trainers in the world.
( @jcousineau ) | Website: http://amacus.net/blog/
As one of the pioneers in internet-enabled business, John Cousineau is a heavyweight when it comes to analyzing trends in informatics and big data. His blog is very sales-centric, and his Twitter account includes some of the most relevant voices in B2B sales strategy.
Jeff Sheehan has over 275,000 followers on Twitter, which has ranked him as the most influential marketer to follow on Twitter and the second most influential on all social media sites. His tweets and recent book Hired: Paths to Employment in the Social Media Era, focus on importance of social selling.
Konrath is the author of several bestselling sales books including SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customer. Her Twitter following is over 20,000 strong, as she daily shares valuable articles, white papers, and quotes to motivate and inspire data-driven selling.
Named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Sales and Marketing People” by Top Sales World Magazine, Jim Keenan has been featured in Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and SalesForce.com. His down-to-earth (and funny) daily blog includes titles like, 4 Things Sales People Do That Customers Loathe.
Keith Rosen is CEO of Profit Builders, named one of the “Best Sales Training and Coaching Companies“ by Selling Power. His book, Coaching Salespeople Into Champions also won five International Best Book Awards. He was named Inc. Magazine’s Sales Education Leader of the Year, and guest starred on HBO’s Mad Men.
Kelly Riggs is a two-time National Salesperson of the year, author of Quit Whining and Start Selling, and host of the weekly live Biz LockerRoom Radio Show. His honest, cutthroat sales advice is highlighted in blog posts like You’re an Average Salesperson, But It’s Not Your Fault.
Kendra Lee is a top-level IT sales advisor and best-selling author of Selling Against the Goal: How Corporate Sales Professionals Generate the Leads They Need. She received the 2002 Leadership and Mentoring Award by Women in Technology for her influential speaking and sales appearances.
Giunta is all about identifying problems with digital marketing and making more money from your website. With over 30,000 Twitter followers and almost-hourly posts, he is one of the biggest voices in digital and social selling.
Ann Handley designed her blog to guide individuals and corporations though the process of creating good content marketing. She is also the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content.
Mark Roberge is the current Chief Financial Officer of the Hubspot Sales Division, and the former SVP of Worldwide Sales. He regularly tweets top resources and articles from thought leaders in social selling such as The 5-Minute Email That Earned 200,000 Views from @GregoryCiotti.
Melonie Dodaro, founder and CEO of Top Dog Social Media, is also Canada’s Number One LinkedIn Expert. The author of The LinkedIn Code, her blog and tweets focus on using social media to increase sales. She’s been featured by media outlets like the Wall Street Journal and Social Media Examiner.
Kunkle currently works for GE Capital as a sales trainer, but his passion is for creating sales programs that balance analysis-driven strategy with a value-aligned sales team. His blog includes articles like, “Simple Sales Coaching Practices That Get Results.”
Miles Austin’s blog, Fill the Funnel, is a must-read for sales professionals and managers who use web tools to build their sales portfolio. His articles cover everything from webinar tools to CRM platforms, and, at over 25,000 Twitter followers, he has a significant impact on which tools people use the most.
Miller Heiman also trains sales professionals, with an impressive client list that includes Heinz, Kodak, and Medtronic. His website hosts a litany of informative white papers, workshops, and sales solutions. His Twitter feed shares great posts daily about how to better manage a sales team.
Hoffman is the author and presenter of the Why You? Why You Now? and Your SalesMBA sales programs, which have earned him clients like Google and Bank of America. In addition, he has been a keynote sales presenter for the Harvard Business School, and MIT Sloan School of Management.
Ned Elsha runs the Sales 2.0 blog about how sales professionals can utilize technologies like email marketing, social media, and sales tactics for smartphones. His Twitter feed includes resources from social selling experts, such as, “How to A/B Test Your Voicemails,” by @patrickrcahill.
( @paul_mccord ) | Website: http://www.dynamicsalesgrowth.com/index.html
Named one of the Top 30 Social Selling Thought Leaders by Forbes Magazine, Paul McCord tweets and blogs some of the most innovative ideas when it comes to digital marketing and sales. On his Twitter account each day, he publishes a curation of blog posts and resources from the social selling elite.
Castain’s rock star attitude has led him to be one of the most sought-after sales trainers in America. His book (Castain’s Sales Playbook), podcast (The Sales Playbook Podcast), and blog (You’re Not Selling As Much Because Not Enough People Know You) have garnered him over 30,000 Twitter fans.
Patricia Fripp is a noted speaker and sales presenter, and was elected as the first female president of the National Speakers Association in 1984. Her books help develop presentation skills for sales professionals, and include Inside Secrets of Superstar Sales Presentations and World Class Speaking.
Ramon Ray is a speaker, freelance journalist, and publisher. In addition to producing his own online magazine, Smart Hustle, Ramon has published an Amazon bestseller, The Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing. His regular tweets combine marketing, entrepreneurship, and motivation.
Joanne Black is the developer of the No More Cold Calling system and website. Her focus is on helping sales professionals build networks of referrals rather than making cold calls. Black’s blog includes videos and daily posts to this end, designed for everyone from small business owners to enterprise level corporations.
Bohn calls himself “the oldest living independent CRM analyst.” On his blog, he shares the basics of how to identify the right CRM for your business, as well as provides monthly updates about new CRM products. Daily, he tweets top articles from sales leaders like Social Media Examiner and Forbes.
Ron Karr’s 20 years of experience has led him to help companies like Hewlett Packard and Sprint to accelerate their sales growth and empower their sales team to Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way. He is also the President of the National Speakers Association for 2013-2014.
Geoffrey James is the author of How to Say It: Business to Business Selling Power, as well as a regular contributor to Inc.com. His articles focus on improving sales and entrepreneurship, with titles such as “9 Traits That Sales Stars Share,” and “5 Reasons Entrepreneurs Make Bad Decisions.”
( No Twitter ) | Website: http://predictablepipeline.co.uk/
Business consultant Peter O’Donoghue levered his successful B2B sales consultancy into a huge online sales training success story. He shares excellent sales-centric posts such as, “Are You Struggling to Get Attention With Your Sales Pitch,” and offers free 20-minute consultations on his website.
( @SalesDuJour ) | Website: http://www.salesdujour.com/
Gary Hart is the driver behind this daily sales blog, focused on organizations multiply their profits through productivity enhancements, CRM diagnosis, and understanding economic pressures. InsideView named Hart as one of the “Top 25 Sales Influencers of 2012-2013.”
With almost 100,000 followers on Twitter, Jeb Blount’s Sales Gravy blog is one of the most used sales employment websites in the world. In addition, he tweets links to his evocative blog entries full of sales tips, management insights, and personality hacks.
Author and sales consultant Jennifer Abernathy runs this fun, friendly, live sales arena. Her focus is on social media marketing, and her blog and Twitter feed are full of interesting facts, helpful hints, and engaging posts that will help you build your online presence.
Steve Cadley, a former sales professional turned Change Management Consultant, shares daily information and advice about how to improve sales performance. His blog includes advice about connecting with customers, using change to improve processes, and marketing yourself through social media.
This is a very well-organized compendium of sales information from celebrated sales strategists Gary Boye and Jeff Blackwell. They discuss lead generation, personal attributes for good salespeople, and how to use human behavior to sell better.
Sales Progress founder Tim Hagen is at the forefront of managerial training, and uses his influence to help managers deal with the cutting-edge issues in sales management. His blog discusses topics like “Connectivity in the Workplace,” and he provides full-scale sales coaching kits and seminars.
Founder and CEO Nancy Bleeker is both blogger and award-winning sales author. Her book, Conversations That Sell, was one of the Top Sales & Marketing Books of 2013. In addition to her own blog’s down-to-earth sales advice, she is a contributor to Top Sales World and Sales Gravy.
Bill Todd’s exciting spin on hotel sales motivation has made him the choice for clients like Marriott, Disney Destinations, and Hyatt. In 2011, he was named one of the top 35 sales experts in America in Front of the Class to Top of the Sales Rankings. His Twitter feed is full of great resources like “2014’s Best Business Books.”
Social marketing guru Chris Hamilton shares excellent tips for sales professionals and managers such as his webinar, “5 Marketing Tactics to Grow Your Business.” In addition to being a prolific blogger and tweeter, he releases a daily podcast with general sales tips for the technology-driven sales associate.
Social sales guru Lori Richardson has been recognized by both Forbes and Top Sales World as one of the most influential sales and marketing voices in the world. Her well-read blog includes articles like, “How Salespeople Goof Up on LinkedIn,” and “How to Hire the Right Sales Rep.”
Alice Kemper has perfected the concept of the short sales meeting, touting her 30-minute meetings’ successes driving up revenue and motivating better sales performance. She also keeps a regular blog with great tips on productivity and no-nonsense sales management.
( @ShellyKramer ) | Website: http://www.v3im.com/
Noted by TwitterGrader as one of the 20 most powerful women on Twitter in 2010, Shelly Kramer is a animated social media marketing advocate and digital sales design. She shares daily posts on sales presentations, content marketing, and branding with her almost 80,000 Twitter followers.
The Sales Management Association
The SMA offers sales managers a way to standardize their performance and provide additional education in regards to best and current sales management practices. Their research-based blog offers insights for sales managers into current sales trends, sales forecasting, and talent management.
Smooth Sale is a sales training company founded by international best-selling sales author, Elinor Stutz. Her blog focuses on both traditional and social selling tactics, and almost every post benefits from stunning infographics that her 37,000 followers regularly share.
Steven A. Rosen
While Rosen is one of the premiere sales speakers in Canada, he is also well-known for his quintessential sales management book, The Sales Manager’s Success Guide: 52 Sales Management Tips. His blog focuses on data-driven ways to improve management to see better sales.
( @StrategicGuy ) | Website: http://thestrategicguy.com/
Marc Hausman is not only the CEO of Strategic Communications Group, but he is a professional comedian and stage hypnotist. His writing and tweets focus on leadership and content marketing, with blog entries such as BizJournal’s “How to Win Business with Dynamic Content.”
Tamara Schenk is the Research Director at the MHI Research Institute, which gathers and analyzes data relating to sales productivity and sales force engagement. Her blog is focused on Sales Enablement – meaning strategy, methodology, processes, and technology that help people sell.
Tech Sales Ops
The Tech Sales Ops blog was developed by Neal Murphy as a way to disseminate information and research about software sales. It also offers great advice for sales managers as far as strategy, general leadership, and compensation structure.
The Sales Hunter
Mark Hunter is a blogger, speaker, and marketing professional with a passion for helping salespeople make more money. His impressive client list includes Coca-Cola, Mattel Toys, and Sony Entertainment. He is also an avid guest blogger, and regularly uploads to his series of Video Sales Tips.
An award-winning author and sales guru, Tibor Shanto has been guiding sales teams to more successful strategies for over 25 years. He is regularly among the top 25 Influencers in the Sales and Marketing world, and he was voted the 8th most Social Salesperson of 2014 by Forbes.
( @toddschnick ) | Website: http://intrepid-llc.com/bio/
Todd Schnick is a media and marketing strategist that was named one of the “Top 50 Sales and Marketing Influencers” by Top Sales World. He has published several books, and runs the Intrepid Radio Show, where he interviews influential business leaders about the future of sales and marketing.
Tom Hopkins Sales
The self-named “Builder of Champions,” Tom Hopkins has been training sales professionals since 1976. He regularly tweets sales tips, and his weekly blog includes articles such as, “Vital Telephone Skills for Sales Pros,” and “The 5 Skills Every Sales Person Needs.”
Tony Zambito is at the forefront of defining and utilizing buyer personas for sales efficacy. He is also an author, blogger, and speaker whose passion is researching buyer motivations and using that to create better sales strategies. His past client list includes FedEx, Symantec, and IBM.
Tom and Zig Ziglar
With both Tom and Zig Ziglar as contributors, The Ziglar Way is based on the sales philosophy that changed a generation. The Ziglar Way Newsletter provides quotes, motivation, special guest interviews, and coaching.
Tom Pisello is the CEO and founder of Alinean, the first company to use a value marketing model in conjuction with ROI and TCO sales tools. His blog posts show how new technology affects the sales funnel, such as “The Modern Day Social Seller: Empowered Buyers Mean Empowered Sellers.”
Founder of BOOM! Sales and author of The Naked Salesman, Trent Leyshan still finds time to develop great blog content that is funny, fresh, and actionable. Located in Australia, Leyshan has presented his unique take on “naked selling” to the best-in-class advertising and digital agencies around the world.
Umberto Miletti is one of the major thought leaders and influencers when it comes to where technology and content meet. He was one of the first people to develop CRMs for business use, and innovated e-learning technology. The Inside View blog focuses on using technology to increase sales.
What do you think?
From top-level sales executives to the heavyweights of social selling, these well-established professionals have created a repository of content and experiential advice for you to learn from. Let us know who inspires you in the comments below.