As we wrap up 2018, we took a look back at some of our most-read content. From email personalization to GDPR to an interactive sales personality quiz, there was a lot of variety in the articles you enjoyed this year!

The tie that binds it all? A mutual commitment to delivering a better sales experience for customers.

Did your favorites make the list?  Did you miss anything? Without further adieu, here are our 10 Best Sales Articles of 2018.

10. 5 Elements of a Winning Sales Cadence

Winning Sales CadenceThere’s a big difference between having the right tools and leveraging them effectively. Cadences allow sales reps to follow specific, top-performing playbooks in order to be efficient and effective in their sales process. They can massively improve the performance of a sales team… but only if they are set up and implemented effectively.

Our data science team analyzes millions of sales interactions; continually surfacing insights to help you optimize your sales cadences to improve outcomes while reducing the time and number of steps it takes to get there. Don’t rely on your gut.

9. 7 Deadly Sins of Selling {Infographic}

7 Deadly Sins of SellingThe original seven deadly sins are lust, pride, greed, gluttony, envy, anger, and sloth. Did you know there is a selling equivalent to those?

The “7 Deadly Sins of Selling” are scary mistakes that salespeople make in their sales processes. Learn more about each one and how they affect the buying experience in this infographic.

 

8. 10 Tips for Building a Strong Sales Pipeline

sales pipelineNo matter your organization’s size or industry, every salesperson needs a robust pipeline to be successful. Most leads aren’t ready to close right away. Therefore, building and maintaining a pipeline is vital. Nothing is worse than closing a string of deals… only to realize you’ve neglected the top of the funnel.

These 10 Tips for Building a Strong Sales Pipeline will help jump-start the top of the funnel and nail your quota in 2019.

7. 3 Ways to Leverage Cadences as a Full-Cycle Sales Rep {Video}

3 Ways to Leverage CadencesRegardless of your deal size or role within the sales organization, using well-defined sales cadences makes prospecting more efficient and effective. One of our own Account Executives, Brett Lange, recorded a video sharing 3 ways to leverage cadences as a full-cycle sales rep.

Brett’s cadences are set up to keep him on top of anything from scheduling first meetings and demos to sourcing referrals from and maintaining relationships with prospects or customers. Don’t miss the three specific use cases laid out by one of our top performing sales pros!

6. Analysis of 6M Sales Emails Reveals Optimal Time to Spend Personalizing

how the amount of personalization in sales emails impact performanceWhat if you could optimize the time your sales reps spend personalizing sales emails? Based on customer feedback, we decided to look at where in the email personalization has the highest impact and how much time sellers spend personalizing.

Building on our work examining over 200 million sales interactions and uncovering cadence best practices, the data science team decided to dig a little deeper, focusing solely on email interactions. This additional research answers questions about the optimal balance between effort and reward.

5. 5 Ways to Be Successful as an Account Executive

5 Ways to Be a Successful Account ExecutiveNo, that’s not a typo. It’s 5 for 5!

In your sales career, how many times have you dreaded making a sales call, wondering if the prospect really wanted to hear from you? The latest surveys and research indicate that customer experience is the most significant differentiator these days. Customers expect their experience with a company to include Nordstrom-level service.

As a sales professional, you are the main line of communication between a prospect and your company. You are the brand you represent. With that in mind, we put together a list of 5 ways to be successful as an Account Executive in this customer-focused business environment.

4. How Does GDPR Affect Prospecting?

How Does GDPR Affect Prospecting?The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) created some chaos in the sales community this year. How would it impact sales and marketing efforts in the European Union? Our VP of Information Security, Mike Meyer, developed a 3 part series explaining GDPR: what the heck it is, how it affects prospecting, and how to make sure your technology is compliant.

Read the whole series to understand GDPR terminology, best practices, and how it impacts the sales profession.

3. Sales Email Personalization Research Reveals Key to 2x Reply Rates

Sales Email Personalization Research Reveals Key to 2x Reply RatesSalespeople consistently struggle to connect with buyers in an overcrowded, noisy sales landscape. Conventional wisdom tells us that the more personal we are in our communications with buyers, the better results we’ll see. But do we know if sales email personalization is truly effective? What are the best practices related to the amount of personalization to include and the right balance of time vs. effort to maximize results?

Our data science team has been exploring the role of personalization and its impact on key performance metrics. The goal of the research is to answer many of the lingering questions that keep sales leaders and sellers up at night. Does email personalization really increase performance? What is the right “amount” of personalization? Find out here.

2. What’s Your Sales Personality?

Quiz: What's Your Sales Personality?Hunters, Farmers, Hybrids… not all salespeople are the same. What makes a salesperson thrive in one environment over another?

We’ve created this Buzzfeed-style 10 question quiz to help you determine: which sales personality describes you, what some of your strengths and weaknesses are, and what sort of environment you thrive in.

Share your results with us on LinkedIn!

1. Research on 200 Million Sales Interactions Cracks the Code on Cadences

Research on 200 Million Sales Interactions Cracks the Code on CadencesHow many touches does it take to get a contact to respond? Is it better to call or email a contact when reaching out for the first time? How long should you wait before following up with a contact after your first, fifth or tenth attempt? Is there a combination of sales touches that consistently outperform the rest? These are just a few of the questions that keep our customers up at night.

Over the course of a year, we analyzed more than 200 million sales interactions occurring on the SalesLoft Platform. By analyzing the behaviors of salespeople and their interactions with contacts, we developed the basis for machine learning which can predict the effectiveness of any series of sales interactions.

In our top article of 2018 – Research on 200 Million Sales Interactions Cracks the Code on Cadences – we extracted some of the most interesting and relevant research insights for you.


Thank you for reading along. We appreciate all of your help spreading the #saleslove.  Here’s to a prosperous 2019!

Looking for some light reading over the break?  Download our eBook on sales email personalization!