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The Best Sales Advice of 2017


The past year brought an amazing number of new insights from the proven sales leaders who share their sales tips and wisdom on Quotable. From sales development and management to forecasting, prospecting, inside sales, artificial intelligence, and much more, we delved deeper than ever before into topics that we hope will inspire and empower you and your sales career.

Here, we take a look back at just a few of 2017’s most popular articles and advice to carry with you this year, too. Thank you for reading Quotable, listening to our podcast, subscribing to our newsletter, and sharing your thoughts and feedback on social media. 

Check out our collection of sales advice for 2018.

Build Muscle to Maintain the Pipeline

“If you can be rigorous and accurate with opportunity management, you can ask yourself if you have enough pipeline. If you don’t have enough, you know where to work, and sales goes back to being a numbers game. Like any muscle, opportunity management rigor takes work to build. But it’s worth the time and effort, and becomes easier to maintain as time goes by.”


From “Salesforce’s Inside Secret to Managing Sales Pipeline” by Tony Rodoni, EVP, Commercial Sales & Market Readiness, Salesforce

Dig Deep and Find Your Grit

“Grit is 100% commitment to your goals, no matter what. You need to have a very strong why behind each one. I spend 10–12 hours at the start of each year defining my goals and testing them with my business coach and close confidants in my tribe. When things get tough, what and who do you lean on and leverage into to make sure the hard work gets done? It’s being present in every moment and having the ability to reset and refocus when you hit setbacks.”

From “20 Ways Salespeople Can Build More Grit” by Colin Nanka, Senior Director, Enablement for Commercial Sales, Salesforce

Find Conviction in a First-Time Sales Job

“Imagine you were calling someone to tell them they won $10 million in the lottery. Think about how your tone, expression, and confidence would manifest themselves in that conversation. Would you be inhibited because you’d feel you were bothering the other person? No! You’d be excited because you know they should want to talk to you. Turning your attention back to your solution, think about the value it could provide to your customer in the same terms. What value proposition would you have to channel to generate the same level of enthusiasm and conviction in your customer? Then practice that value proposition over and over until your pitch radiates the conviction you need.”

From “The Top 5 Reasons New Sales Reps Fail” by David Priemer, Founder of Cerebral Selling

Make Artificial Intelligence Your Admin

“A sales rep can only be as productive as the time spent selling. Does anyone want to be putting emails and communication notes into the CRM system when they could be on the phone or working on a high-level meeting? Of course not. This is where the helper part of AI really shines. Let AI automate activity logging, identify high-priority emails, and create new contacts for you. Pass off that admin work and start spending your time in more productive ways.”

From “Why AI Will Be Your New Best Friend in Sales” by Lynne Zaledonis, Vice President of Product Marketing, Sales Cloud, Salesforce

Get Back on the Phone to Build Your Pipeline

“The phone was the first social selling tool, and the human voice is far more likely to gain attention than digital spam or social media noise. Yet too often today, the phone is just abandoned, with sellers treating it like it’s covered in spiders. But the phone alone will not yield the results needed. Nor will email alone or social alone. It’s the combination of activities in rapid succession — social, email, phone together — that makes the difference.”

From “3 Ways Sales Reps Can Build More Pipeline Now” by Tony Hughes, Speaker, Author, and Consultant

Use Energy to Get a Voicemail Returned

“Sales is the transfer of enthusiasm. You can transfer enthusiasm over the phone, not over email … When we leave monotone voicemails that make it sound like we couldn’t care less about what we do, why would we expect for anyone else to care? This is why you should stand up when making calls. When you stand up, your voice resonates better, and it’s a much more confident position than sitting down hunched over your desk praying that people around you aren’t listening to what you’re saying.”

From “7 Reasons No One Is Returning Your Sales Calls” by John Barrows, Owner, J. Barrows LLC

Align Metrics in Annual Planning for Sales Results All Year

“Establishing formal linkages among business results, sales objectives, and sales activities is the key to ensuring focused execution in the field that will lead directly to the achievement of the company’s overall goals. These linkages are the only means executives, sales leaders, and people on the ground have to connect company strategy with reality. Align these metrics, and your company’s sales force will be on the path to success.”

From “Using Your Annual Planning Process to Ensure Great Sales Results in 2018” by Jason Jordan, Partner, Vantage Point Performance

Check out the full list of our Best of 2017!

Grit is 100% commitment to your goals, no matter what.”

Colin Nanka | Senior Director, Enablement for Commercial Sales, Salesforce

Learn More

The 7 Sales Skills That CAN’T Be Taught By Dan Ross,
Sr AVP, Commercial Sales, Salesforce
Why It’s Now or Never for Social Selling with LinkedIn’s Mike Derezin Interviewed by Laura Fagan,
Product Marketer, Sales Cloud, Salesforce
Making the Tricky Transition from Sales Peer to Sales Manager By Keith Rosen,
Author of "Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions"



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