If you're in one of the parts of the country that is buried under snow right now, you might be needing a way to fight off cabin fever this weekend. We can’t change the weather, but we can offer your brain some stimulation to help you keep your sanity.
These 10 books offer great material for B2B marketers looking to sharpen their skills. Browse through these selections and use the extra time indoors to learn something new.
Author: Chris Kocek
As the name alludes, The Practical Pocket Guide to Account Planning offers up practical advice to understanding account planning. Even if your title doesn’t have the word “planner” in it, knowing how account planners operate is valuable information. This quick two-hour read outlines what really goes on during the day-to-day of account planners for a better real-world understanding.
Author: Dan Pink
To Sell is Human focuses on the idea that no matter your position, you are in sales. Not everyone has sales in their title, but we are all selling something in our lives. The argument that author Dan Pink makes is that the art of persuasion is fundamentally human and to succeed in our careers, and in life, we need the proper tools to perfect it. Pink offers up solid suggestions for becoming comfortable with selling that nearly anyone can apply.
Author: Lee Cockerall
For anyone who interacts with clients directly, The Customer Rules is a must-read. It’s written by a former EVP of Disney and goes over rules for dealing with customers, but lays out facts that are critical in dealing with people in general – not just consumers. The Customer Rules can apply to any B2B marketer that is trying to find simple, yet effective, ways to develop better client relationships.
Authors: Nicholas A.C. Read and Dr. Stephen J. Bistritz
The title of this gem should appeal to any B2B marketer immediately. So often, the decision-makers in B2B sales are executives in the C-suite. Although we would all like to think that selling is selling, the C-suite is often a different beast. To put together this book, authors Nicholas A.C. Read and Dr. Stephen J. Bistritz interviewed more than 500 executives at different organizations. That extensive research is exactly why you can trust what this book is trying to teach you about interacting with the C-suite.
Author: Ram Charan
Another customer-centric book, What the Customer Wants helps readers understand the sales cycle from the customer’s point of view. Ram Charam takes a complex process and encourages readers to rethink how they approach sales. Changing attitudes about how you approach problems can totally transform your marketing if you take Charam’s advice.
Author: Steven Van Belleghem
No, The Conversation Company is not another boring manual on how you need to “keep open communication” or some other overused phrase. Steven Van Belleghem’s book pinpoints an opportunity that so many B2B companies miss – using happy customers and employees to market the business. With proper trust, satisfied customers and employees can become the best and biggest brand advocates anyone could need. The Conversation Company works to make readers see how to take hold of this underused resource.
Author: Jill Konrath
Another tasty title for B2B marketers, Selling to Big Companies seeks to help readers do just that. The book focuses in on what is needed to sell to enterprise companies. Author Jill Konrath identifies the major challenges of selling to big companies and then offers tools to over come them. The book walks readers through the B2B process from prep to pitch so all parts are clear. In particular, Konrath’s ideas on how to break into seemingly faceless huge corporations are stellar.
Author: John Westwood
Often the simplest ideas are the best. Simple and straight forward are exactly what you get when you dive into John Westwood’s How to Write a Marketing Plan. The title is pretty clear about the topic of the book. What makes How to Write a Marketing Plan great is that it gives you real, hard actions to take. If you follow the directions, you will have a marketing plan by the time you finish. How many other books produce those kind of quick and solid results?
Authors: W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
In Blue Ocean Strategy, W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne bring a different way of approaching business. The premise of the book is the theory that lasting success in business comes from creating what they call “blue oceans,” or untapped new markets. The idea isn’t coming out of thin air, either. The blue oceans theory was derived from 150 strategic moves from businesses in 30 different industries spanning more than 100 years.
Author: Patrick Renvoise
The study of marketing and sales often focuses on social behavior and interaction. In recent years, a new wave of marketing theory has grown in popularity, focusing on actual neurological functions in the brain. This new study and practice, dubbed “neuromarketing,” was driven in large part by the book Neuromarketing: Understanding the “Buy Button” in Your Customer’s Brain from Patrick Renvoise. Renvoise is the founder of SalesBrain – the first neuromarketing agency. By the time you reach the back cover, you will have a better understanding of the theory of neuromarketing and how the human brain responds to different marketing stimuli.