While the principles of sales may stay the same, the actual strategies and tactics don’t. What worked a few years ago now seem hopelessly outdated. When it comes to sales, if you’re not right at the cutting edge, you’re going to struggle to make quota.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the world of cold sales. New technologies come and go, and the scripts and subject lines that used to work like magic can’t even get a single response.
To become a true cold sales expert, you need to keep sharpening your skills. The good news is that it’s easy to get an education from some of the greatest minds in cold sales, all for free, just by stopping by the right blog. Here are the best blogs for cold sales experts to read, all with the Reply stamp of approval.
Who: LeadFuze is lead generation software that aggregates the world’s professional data and the companies they work for, to give you an easy way to build the most targeted, and accurate list of leads imaginable.
Why you should check it out: According to the site, “Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze and is determined to kill the cold call. We plan on doing it with punchy, to the point, easy to implement tactics, drenched with useful visuals. Informal, personal, conversational tone.”
The blog’s divided into helpful categories like Behind the Scenes, Lead Generation Strategies, Sales Skills, and Sales Terminology. Along with Justin, you’ll be able to read insights from the rest of the LeadFuze team along with guests. The posts themselves cover everything you could want to know about cold sales, from getting started to top-level strategies. You’ll find articles on overall best practices alongside questions on specific practices. Whether you want to top-up your cold call skills or you’re wondering about personalized images in emails, you’ll find something for you here.
Top cold sales post: Email Subject Lines: 5 proven methods for mastering sales-centric subject lines
A quick read from Josh Sloane, with advice on how to write better subject lines that you can start putting into practice right away, including lessons from click-bait and experimenting with emojis.
Who: Sales Hacker has become the world’s largest community for B2B sales. Max Altschuler, the company’s founder and CEO, is also the VP of Marketing at Outreach.io. Alongside their events and conferences, they also produce free content (including blog posts) at Saleshacker.com.
Why you should check it out: The site is a fire hose of information, with new top-notch content published throughout the week. This is produced in more categories than I’ve seen before, covering every conceivable aspect of the sales process, from technology to psychology. Again, Max has plenty of guests adding their expertise. Whatever your role in cold sales, whether you’re just starting or managing a team, you’ll benefit from a visit to the sales hacker blog
Top cold sales post: Cold Outreach Pro Tips (6 Horror-Movie Villains You Don’t Want to Be)
A guest post from Becc Holland, which manages to combine an entertaining perspective alongside genuine insights you can use in all of your cold outreach. I’ll certainly be careful to avoid being like Jigsaw in my next email…
Who: Salesflare describes themselves as a simple yet powerful CRM for small businesses selling B2B. It’s a zero-input sales pipeline tool, with no manual data entry required.
Why you should check them out: While many of the other blogs mentioned offer general sales advice, Salesflare caters specifically to small businesses in the B2B space. The blog reflects that, with plenty of posts designed to help small businesses grow. For cold sales experts working in this niche, you’ll find plenty of high-quality posts put together by the team. Posts vary from giving a concise overview of a topic to in-depth guides and masterclasses, all of which with plenty of pics and gifs to break up the knowledge bombs.
Top cold sales post: The Subtle Art Of Following Up With Automation
The Salesflare Growth Strategist, Gilles DC, has produced one of the most complete and comprehensive guides on follow-ups, answering every question you ever had and a few more besides. The level of detail makes it perfect for cold sales experts.
Who: G2 (formerly G2 Crowd) is a resource for business software and services reviews. In their own words: “We’re changing the way decisions are made. Until recently, selecting business solutions was hard, risky, and inherently biased. G2’s real-time and unbiased user reviews help you objectively assess what is best for your business.”
Why you should check them out: Come for the software reviews, stay for the sales advice. While many of us have probably used G2 to check out what tool to add to our sales stack, they have far more to offer. Their learning hub covers a wider range of categories, including design and productivity, but they also offer plenty of posts on sales that can help you level up from a range of experts (including Reply’s very own Lucy Literado!).
Top cold sales post: Avoid Bad Sales Practices With Psychological Email Techniques
In this post, James Riddle goes beyond the surface level tips and tricks and delves into the underlying psychological triggers that we can use to write more effective cold emails.
Who: Hubspot offers marketing, sales, and service software that “helps your business grow without compromise.”
Why you should check them out: Hubspot has built a reputation for producing a serious amount of education content around the sales and marketing space. Along with their certifications, they also offer plenty of blog posts. The presentation is great, with plenty of templates and examples to help you get started, or infographics to visually convey tricky subjects. I particularly liked that not only can you filter by topic (Marketing, Service, Website and, yes, Sales), but you also have the option to see the topics relevant to your expertise. So, if you head on over to their Sales Process section, you can go through the process from beginner to intermediate to expert level.
Top cold sales post: 5 Reasons Your Objection Handling is Falling Short (And How to Fix It)
In this post, Jeff Seely dives into how to handle objections, something that is going to come up a lot in cold sales. Learn how to handle objections without getting defensive or becoming negative.
Who: Close is a CRM that’s popular with startups and SMBs, designed to be easy to use but with plenty of powerful features to optimize your workflow.
Why you should check them out: Close has developed a reputation for top-quality content that helps sales teams. Steli Efti, the company’s founder and CEO, regularly shares his insights on B2B sales (including in several free ebooks).
It shouldn’t be a surprise then that the Close blog is jam-packed with practical and actionable advice for cold sales. There’s a wide variety of topics covered, from big-picture planning to specific tricks and tips (such as napping on the job) that you can use to improve your sales skills.
Top cold sales post: 36 B2B cold calling tips for sales success in 2020. In this compilation post, Ramin Assemi presents a ‘greatest hits’ of the best posts on improving your cold calling from the Close blog. The posts have advice on everything from creating a sales script to dealing with aggressive prospects; if there’s something you’re struggling with relating to cold calls, chances are it’s covered in this collection.
Who: SaaStr is the largest community of SaaS founders and entrepreneurs, and is known for putting on top-quality events around the world.
Why you should check them out: From a simple blog sharing what Jason Lemkin had learned going from $0 to $100m ARR at EchoSign, SaaStr has become a must-read for anyone involved in SaaS. However, even if you don’t work in SaaS, that’s no reason to skip this blog.
If you work in sales, you’re bound to find something useful here as Jason shares his experiences and insights. In particular, founders and sales leaders can learn a lot from the blog. It’s easy to find the posts that are applicable to you, with a handy search function that allows you to filter the posts based on your company stage, your role, and the specific topic you’re interested in.
Top cold sales post: 10 Things New Sales Reps Are Taught. That Maybe They Shouldn’t Be.
Here Jason covers some of the ideas that are commonly passed on as gospel to new sales reps, such as ‘insta-discounting’ and competition bashing, then sets you straight on what you actually should be doing. A handy post to make sure you haven’t fallen into any of these bad sales habits.
Who: The brains behind the book of the same name, the team now helps with training for your sales team as well as providing outsourced sales services.
Why you should check them out: The original book Predictable Revenue, originally released in 2011, is widely revered and followed by many of the top Silicon Valley companies. Since then, they’ve kept producing top content for anyone who wants to optimize their revenue.
Along with their latest podcast interviews, the blog highlights the trends salespeople need to be aware of, together with the strategies they can implement to perform at the top of their game. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the team has kept the blog updated with the latest insights to help sales teams to identify and adapt to the new normal.
Top cold sales post: 5 Tips to Building Rapport on a Cold Call
Cold calls are notoriously difficult, but they’re still a necessary part of the job for salespeople. Sujan Patel goes back to the fundamentals of succeeding in cold sales calls with this post, covering five ways salespeople can build rapport and have more effective sales calls.
Who: Gong is a revenue intelligence platform for sales teams, capturing and providing insights into customer interactions. As a result, sales leaders can make data-based decisions to improve their sales strategy.
Why you should check them out: One of my favorite things about the Gong blog is their preference for data-driven lessons. Rather than simply repeating the same old tips and tricks that you’ve heard a million times before, Gong regularly dives into their own data to provide analysis and original insights you won’t find anywhere else.
Whether you’re managing a sales team or trying to improve your own sales skills, there’s plenty of knowledge here to go through. The blog goes into impressive detail, going from the best ways for managers to handle remote one-on-ones to when exactly you should bring up pricing in your sales calls.
Top cold sales post: This (Surprising) Cold Email CTA Will Help You Book A LOT More Meetings
I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve my emails, and getting the CTA right is essential for a sales email to succeed. That’s why I found Gong’s post on cold email CTAs particularly interesting. By looking at over 300,000 emails, they’ve been able to pinpoint the best kind of CTA for both cold emails and emails in the sales cycle.
Who: Founded in 2006 by Jeb Blount, Sales Gravy provides training and enablement solutions for sales organizations.
Why you should check them out: Jeb Blount, the man behind Fanatical Prospecting and other books, knows a thing or two about sales. The blog is a thorough and comprehensive resource for anyone who wants to improve their prospecting and fill the top of their sales funnel, with thousands of posts and videos.
Besides prospecting, you’ll also see posts covering sales team management, specific techniques, and tips for multi-channel campaigns. Along with Jeb, there are lots of other sales experts from different industries, ensuring diverse views and fresh takes on familiar subjects. Whether you’re a fresh-faced sales rep or a seasoned manager, there’ll be something for you here.
Top cold sales post: Win The Internal Game: 3 Forces That Drive Your Behavior
While picking up on neat little tips and tricks can sometimes help, it’s far more useful to identify and master the major strategies that affect your overall sales performance. Unfortunately, it also takes a lot more effort to implement than that next ‘ninja’ tactic. That’s why Mark Heerema’s post on the underlying internal forces behind our sales should be on your read list.
Cold sales is always going to be a challenging field, but you can make it easier by staying on top of the latest trends and strategies. By regularly investing time into learning from others and sharpening your skills, you close more cold sales with better prospects. Making the time to read blogs like the ones above will help you to become a true cold sales expert.
While I love all the above sites, a post about helpful blogs wouldn’t be complete without mentioning you can find everything you need to know about cold sales, from tutorials to templates, right here on the Reply blog. Have a look through our recent posts and be sure to sign up to hear about the newest posts first.