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Getting through isolation: The books our team are reading

Here at Workbooks we encourage a culture of continuous learning and development. Reading or listening to a book every month and then reviewing it as a team is a great example of this. The books we choose are usually sales related or have a self-development theme and once we’ve completed them and had a team review, we constantly look at how we can implement the topics and ideas raised in the books. Right now, as we are all working from home and isolated from each other we have more time on our hands which is an ideal opportunity to focus on our own self development. I’d like to share with you just some of the books we’ve read in the last six months with a brief synopsis and our Workbooks sales teams rating.

Fanatical Prospecting – Jeb Blount

This book was particularly well received by our internal business development team, it talks a lot about resilience, good habits and effort, which is a really good summary of what sales prospecting is all about. It doesn’t talk about short cuts or sales 2.0 or swopping the phone for social media. It talks about how you pull everything together to make you and your team as effective as possible in all aspects of prospecting.

Workbooks Sales Team rating 4.5 out of 5 Stars

New Sales. Simplified: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development – Mike Weinberg

Full of practical advice and examples, we found this book to be very useful and is often used to refer back to certain topics and chapters. Mike’s book is very well aligned with a lot of the information in other books like the Challenger Sale and Fanatical Prospecting, which shouldn’t be a surprise. The ideas around having dedicated time in the day for prospecting, research, admin, etc and sticking to them without fail is great, sales is about the numbers, focus and discipline. The best message from the book is ‘stop talking about yourself/your company and start leading with insight, pain, issues and value outcomes. This is a sales 101 must read for anyone in sales.

Workbooks Sales Team rating 5 out of 5 Stars

Mindset – Dr Carol S Dweck

The concepts in this book can actually be boiled down to two types of people or two types of mindset. The fixed mindset: ‘I can’t do it.’ The growth mindset: ‘I can’t do it yet.’ The premise is that by having a fixed mindset you are limiting your ability to develop and learn. Carol gives some great examples of very clever people who go on to fail because they have a fixed mindset, believing your abilities and skills are natural talents rather than things that can be improved upon with effort. A good lesson for everyone and very relevant for sales where success is all about continuous and consistent effort.

Workbooks Sales Team rating 4 out of 5 Stars

Never Split the Difference – Chris Voss

The team absolutely loved this book, the real-life hostage negotiation stories, the practical advice such as mirroring, lowering your tone and our favourite, asking ‘how am I supposed to do that?’ have all been widely and successfully adopted within the sales teams. We followed up this book review by watching some Chris Voss videos on YouTube to get further insight from the book.

Workbooks Sales Team rating 5 out of 5 Stars

The Challenger Sale – Matthew Dixon & Brent Adamson

The Challenger Sale was relevant after the last crisis in 2008 and demonstrated how salespeople, specifically those with ‘Challenger’ sales traits were still able to sell successfully in very difficult economic conditions. With the current global Covid-19 crisis, this book will again become a very useful point of reference for anyone in sales & marketing. We are big fans of Account Based Marketing (ABM) here at Workbooks and the Teach, Tailor and Take Control mantra of the Challenger sale fits very well with ABM. The book does a good job of explaining the different salespeople’s personas and why the Challenger profile has worked the best. It gives some good examples of where it has been used successfully and can help set you on the path to becoming a Challenger organisation. Their follow up book the Challenger Customer is also a must read.

Workbooks Sales Team rating 4 out of 5 Stars

Objections – Jeb Blount

One of the toughest aspects in sales is identifying a genuine objection and knowing how to deal with it. This book does a great job of going through the different types of objections, we especially liked the chapter on dealing with Red Herring Objections that can so easily knock us off track. Jeb talks a lot in his books about just asking the question, literally if you don’t ask you don’t get, so ask for what you want and see what happens. This is covered more in chapter 7 when he discusses the need to handle rejection and get the no’s so you can move on. What the team loved the most was the use of the word ‘because’ and the research and examples of why this word is so effective. We use this a lot now in the team because it works!

Workbooks Sales Team rating 4.5 out of 5 Stars