April 24th 2017

Nonstop Sales Boom. Powerful strategies to drive consistent sales growth year after year. Colleen Francis

Ipod sales per fiscal quarter

Nonstop Sales Boom. Colleen Francis.  2014,. ISBN 9780814433768. I can not believe I missed this book when it came out.  I am voting it my Sales Book of the Month already.  It is a great resource for B2B sales for product and service companies.  It is based on the pioneer work of Alan Weiss (Million Dollar Consulting) and then some.  It is also useful for the brand  new to very experienced sales person.  Definitely a book to have on your reference shelf to refer to often.

April 17th 2017

Hacking Marketing. Agile practices to make marketing smarter, faster, and more innovative. Scott Brinker.

English: A business ideally is continually see...

Hacking Marketing. Agile practices to make marketing smarter, faster, and more innovative.  Scott Brinker.  2016. ISBN 9781119183174.   The author makes a terrific analysis of how today’s digital marketing has evolved and the need for marketers to develop and maintain new skills.   The application of agile tools and techniques to all aspects of marketing just makes so much sense. The author does an excellent job in showing how this is as much a management  tool as a software tool. Highly recommended for any and all marketers and schools of marketing.

April 10th 2017

More Sales . Less Time. Surprisingly simple strategies for today’s crazy-busy sellers. Jill Konrath.

English: Journal of Personal Selling & Sales M...

More Sales . Less Time. Surprisingly simple strategies for today’s crazy-busy sellers. Jill Konrath. 2016. ISBN 9781591847267.  The author has penned several highly valuable books on selling and you can count on her to be very current.  In this book she turned attention on the increasingly busy life of effective salesmen. She really looked at her own behavior and decided to work on herself first,how could she do as much or more in less working time? . What followed is a very timely book on how salespeople can not only become more effective using the time they have while enjoying selling even more.  I appreciated the time saving apps she has found as well as the way she rethought how we usually go about doing things. Once again Jill has really done her homework on this topic and created an immediate and long lasting impactful book that is  a delight to read.

April 3rd 2017

Discover Questions Get You Connected. Deb Calvert

Circle-no-questions

Discover Questions Get You Connected. Deb Calvert. 2016.   Written for sales professionals it takes little effort to apply this to anywhere you need to ask questions.   For sales it is exemplary, enough that this will become my 2016 Sales book of the year.  The author makes a great case for  asking the right question early enough so the seller can communicate value.

The book has three major sections

  • How questions help us get better connected.
  • The types of questions to use
  • Practice

The author puts the questions in eight groups that you can remember using the word DISCOVER:

  • Data questions
  • Issue questions
  • Solution questions
  • Consequence questions
  • Outcome questions
  • Value questions
  • Example questions
  • Rationale questions

She works hard to put the materials into context with good examples of situations that any salesperson will recognize.

The book for all sales reps and managers to have right on their  desk to read and reread and apply every day.

March 27th 2017

Illuminate. Nancy Duarte & Patti Sanchez

Twelve (Patti Smith album)

Illuminate. Nancy Duarte & Patti Sanchez. 2016. ISBN 9781101980163.   The sub head says,  Ignite change through speeches, stories, ceremonies, and symbols.   This is a book for change agents, almost a blueprint for change.   Liberally sprinkled with recognizable examples the text is logically organized.  The impetus for the book was a serious reorg that Duarte had to undergo when her business really took off.  Likened to changing jet engines in mid air, Duarte carried it off.  This is a book that you need t read end to end.

March 20th 2017

Confessions of a Pricing Man. How price affects everything. Hermann Simon

World map showing countries by nominal GDP per...

Confessions of a Pricing Man. How price affects everything. Hermann Simon. 2015. ISBN 9783319203997.  I follow pricing literature quite closely.  Each book has its value, but many times it can drop rather quickly into the weeds of economic theory.  This author is not afraid of complexity, but her does know how to create value for the reader.   Pricing discipline for profit does drive everything and it is always wiser to maintain profit over volume.  The analyses he presents with the multiple real world examples ( and you will likely recognize most of them)  builds a very readable book in a genre that too often is not known for readability.   Again I am struck by the contrast between firms understanding  that they need to deliver value to a customer to stabilize/grow their profits, yet in North  America it is all about commission sales based on volume, not profits.   Every CEO, CFO and Sales manager should read this book.

March 13th 2017

Competing Against Luck: The story of innovation and customer choice. Clayton M Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, & David S. Duncan.

Photo I took in Rochester, Minnesota 2005-12-3...

Competing Against Luck: The story of innovation and customer choice.  Clayton M Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, & David S. Duncan. .2016. ISBN  9780062435637.   As ever any book from Christensen is a delight to read. This one fleshes out the concept of a Job to Be Done as the driving force behind successful innovation.  Many successful and  innovative companies start out with a clear focus on the users job to be done and they are wildly successful. Later as this focus gets muddied by all the reams of data coming from the marketplace, many companies lose their way.   Using experience gained from the numerous companies they  have worked with over the years, the authors clearly show how the successful companies like Amazon, Intuit, The Khan Academy ,  The Mayo Clinic and others continue to stay focused on their North Star.  I recommend this book to anyone in a position of leadership to read, ponder , reread and implement.

March 6th 2017

A Truck Full Of Money. Tracey Kidder.

Soul of a New Machine

A Truck Full Of Money.  One man’s quest to recover from great success. Tracey Kidder. 2016.  ISBN 9780399589553.  I read Kidders seminal book , The Soul of a New Machine when I was first selling computer hardware.  It was a book that changed and then reinforced my outlook to these wonderful machines.  This  book takes a look at the career of Paul English – who co created Kayak and then struck big time money.  With his easy to read, cogent style, Kidder makes this into a novel that pulls you along English’s career track.  You will come away, knowing much more about the challengers and pull of programming/software engineering and the mindset of these very creative often difficult folks.  I recommend this book to anyone in the software industry today as well as those contemplating a career in it.

February 27th 2017

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need. Antony Iannarino.

English: Journal of Personal Selling & Sales M...

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need. Antony Iannarino. 2016.   This is a very refreshing and complete book. You will first develop the mind set and then the skill sets of a well developed salesperson.  By working through this text, you will develop  maturity and insight needed to sell in today’s business world.  There is something for very sales person and sales manager in this book , regardless how long you have been doing this job.  Buy it, read it and re read every year.

February 19th 2017

The Dead Zone. Stephen King

Cover of "The Dead Zone"

The Dead Zone. Stephen King. 1980.  This book is oddly prescient. It follows two characters. One is a young man who at times has a form of second sight when he touches some people and he can glimpse their future. The other is a career huckster , with  a vicious self importance who builds a business, then becomes sheriff,  mayor and the Congressman. At that time the young man gets to touch the Congressman and he sees a portent of the future that is terrible. The congressman bears an uncanny resemblance to Trump in his growth an actions.  This book is 37 years old.  Like other king novels, it is a galloping good read, but the story is often too close to home these days.  Soon to be a TV series.