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Words can have the power to inspire, enlighten, lift and even teach you a thing or two. We’ve had the amazing opportunity to speak with some of the best thinkers and thought leaders in sales and marketing – from Jason Jordan to Jason Lemkin, from Jill Konrath to Aaron Ross. These conversations comprised the Expert Series on our blog, a segment we’re particularly proud of (Want to read the best interviews in full? Sign up on the sidebar or below!)

With so much great knowledge shared with us, it was nearly impossible to whittle down some of our favorite and most resonant lessons…but we did it anyways!

Without further ado, here are our 50 favorite quotes from all our Expert Series interviews, broken up by category – Sales in General, Sales Management, Sales Coaching, Sales Metrics / Sales Proccess, Marketing / Lead Generation, Startup / Software-as-a-Service Sales, Sales Hiring/Recruiting and Sales Careers.

Sales in General

People say ‘Death of a Salesman’ but I don’t believe that. I think sales isn’t going anywhere – our jobs are just evolving.”
Rob Merklinger, VP of Sales at Intronis. (Click to Tweet!)

“Most salespeople throw a great deal of product knowledge at their prospects; Sandler focuses on pulling people in instead.
Dave Mattson, CEO at Sandler Training. (Click to Tweet!)

 Teaching is the new selling.

- Jim Keenan

 “Teaching is the new selling. Becoming a teaching organization takes a commitment. It’s a cultural change. It doesn’t mean you no longer sell – it’s how we sell that changes.” – Jim Keenan, CEO / President at A Sales Guy. (Click to Tweet!)

Good salespeople sell value and social media is the best place to find this value because of its transparency.”
Gary Vaynerchuk, author of ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell your Story in a Noisy Social World. (Click to Tweet!)

Sales is an experiment – there’s no right or wrong, just varying degrees of effectiveness. Our job is to constantly seek ways we can increase our effectiveness.”
Jill Konrath, author of ‘Agile Selling’. (Click to Tweet!)

“Companies should be selling ideas more than benefits. Sell ideas. Not stuff.
Aaron Ross, author of ‘Predictable Revenue’. (Click to Tweet!)

Sales Management

“‘We need to do more’ is not very sophisticated thinking and not good sales management.”
Jason Jordan, author of ‘Cracking the Sales Management Code’. (Click to Tweet!)

“Bad sales managers push two buttons: ‘more’ and ‘panic.’ Great sales managers have one more button to push: the ‘how’.”
Chris Lytle, author of ‘The Accidental Sales Manager”. (Click to Tweet!)

Sales managers are afraid to change. We have to embrace testing.

- Rob Merklinger

 “Sales managers are afraid to change. We have to embrace testing.” – Rob Merklinger(Click to Tweet!)

“In the future, the best sales managers will be data-driven with an engineering mindset, yet still retain traditional people-centric values.”
Bob Apollo, CEO of Inflexion-Point Strategy Partners, (Click to Tweet!)

Sales management is the most critical – and underappreciated – role in the sales force. Companies struggle to find something powerful to train sales managers on.”
Jason Jordan(Click to Tweet!)

“New sales managers are the forgotten rookie – they were pros at selling, but all of a sudden they’re a rookie at management.”
Chris Lytle(Click to Tweet!)

“Over the long haul, salespeople come and go, but having top-shelf management in place is the ultimate answer.”
Jason Jordan(Click to Tweet!)

“You have to get buy-in as a leader, instead of demanding adherence to management. Phil Jackson sought Michael Jordan’s support before installing the triangle offense.”
Chris Lytle(Click to Tweet!)

Sales Coaching

Coaching is the number one activity that sales managers can do to drive performance.”
Steven Rosen, author of “52 Sales Management Tips – The Sales Managers’ Success Guide”, (Click to Tweet!)

“We ask sales managers what they would do if they had an extra hour in their week. They always say they would get out in the field and coach their reps. Yet, they don’t.
Jason Jordan(Click to Tweet!)

“To ‘coach’ comes from the physical horse-and-buggy coach, referring to something that gets someone from where they are now to where they want to be. You help someone get from where they are to where they want to be.”
Ian Brodie, Marketing Coach at The Rainmaker Academy, (Click to Tweet!)

 Managers are what-to-do guys. Coaches are how-to guys.

- Gary Milwit

 “Managers are ‘what-to-do’ guys. The sales coach is the ‘how-to’ guy.”
Gary Milwit, SVP at Stone Street Capital, (Click to Tweet!)

“I define coaching as launching the salesperson on a voyage of discovery by asking questions.”
Chris Lytle(Click to Tweet!)

“Sales managers need to get out of the nitty-gritty detail and stop doing another person’s job. Learn to develop sales reps, not manage them. A football coach can’t go on the field with his players.”
Jim Keenan(Click to Tweet!)

“Any change or coaching program begins with self-awareness of the behavior. Change is a challenging process, even if we want to change.”
Steven Rosen(Click to Tweet!)

“A lot of times your best sales rep, that A++ player, kills it on a regular basis…but can never describe how they do it. They look at sales as an art, not a science.”
Jim McDonough, VP of Sales at Attend.com, (Click to Tweet!)

“Sales coaches have to be willing to lose. They don’t take credit, they give credit. Coaches lose games, players win them.”
Gary Milwit(Click to Tweet!)

Sales Metrics / Sales Processes

“Sales metrics must do two things; they must be a measure that will drive revenue, and they should focus on an area where reps must improve.”
Dave Kurlan, CEO at Objective Management Group, (Click to Tweet!)

“We tell our portfolio companies that it’s really important to be metrics-driven and to track their conversions. It goes back to building that scalable sales model.”
Devon McDonald, Director of Growth Strategy at OpenView Venture Partners, (Click to Tweet!)

“The data-driven movement has highlighted the value of sales leaders having an engineering– or process-driven mindset.”
Bob Apollo(Click to Tweet!)

“When I moved into management, it was all about managing people and keeping them motivated – I didn’t use sales metrics to drive my business. Now, everything comes from the numbers.”
Jim McDonough(Click to Tweet!)

 To assume that a bigger pipeline is a better pipeline is dangerous.

- Jason Jordan

“To assume that a bigger pipeline is a better pipeline is a dangerous assumption.”
Jason Jordan(Click to Tweet!)

“Many people focus on the volume and value of opportunities in the pipeline, but there’s a 3rd metric that is just as important – velocity, how fast opportunities progress from stage to stage.”
Bob Apollo(Click to Tweet!)

Marketing / Lead Generation

“Without the right marketing metrics, you are shooting in the dark. The only way to know if things are working for you or not is those metrics.”
Ian Brodie(Click to Tweet!)

 Without the right marketing metrics, you’re shooting in the dark.

- Ian Brodie

The number of committed leads has to exceed the revenue growth rate – if you want to grow 100% this year, marketing has to deliver 120% more qualified leads.”
Jason Lemkin, Managing Director at Storm Ventures, (Click to Tweet!)

“Top-of-funnel marketing activity has to demonstrate a clear path to revenue. Yet, marketing can’t be confined to just top-of-funnel activities.”
Bob Apollo(Click to Tweet!)

“One of the biggest mistakes companies make is brute force lead generation – “give me more leads!” – when they don’t understand that not all leads are the same.”
Aaron Ross(Click to Tweet!)

“Every study that’s been done on email marketing has shown that increased frequency brings better results. If you’re only emailing somebody once a month, they’ll forget you.”
Ian Brodie(Click to Tweet!)

Early-Stage Startups / Software-as-a-Service

“Building an app might be simple, but building a startup is not. Often, the companies that struggle are the ones that bypass finding an ideal customer and market.”
Lincoln Murphy, Customer Success Evangelist at Gainsight, (Click to Tweet!)

“The biggest challenge to startups when it comes to sales is the product team and the sales team have got to be absolutely embedded with each other. They have to be Siamese twins.”
Jim Keenan(Click to Tweet!)

The really good SaaS entrepreneurs can tell me the future.

- Jason Lemkin

“The really good SAaS entrepreneurs can tell me the future. They can tell me exactly how their market will look in 4 or 5 years.”
Jason Lemkin(Click to Tweet!)

“At the expansion stage, it’s really easy to lose focus and chase the shiny object, instead of staying focused on what you’re good at and the customers that are already successful.”
Jim McDonough(Click to Tweet!)

“Growth teams have the skills to be able to influence any part of the funnel at any given moment. Engineering and design should be more heavily integrated into growth teams.”
Brian Balfour, VP of Growth at HubSpot, (Click to Tweet!)

“Until you’ve sold your SaaS product to someone that isn’t your friend or your ex-boss, it doesn’t count. There is no Minimum Viable Product, only a Minimum Sellable Product.”
Jason Lemkin(Click to Tweet!)

The seeds of churn are planted early. It may be that you’re attracting the wrong audience and trying to sell your product to people who shouldn’t sell your product.”
Lincoln Murphy(Click to Tweet!)

“SaaS doesn’t have to mean cheap. Cheap doesn’t scale.”
Lincoln Murphy(Click to Tweet!)

Customer success doesn’t mean making your customers happy. Happy customers are not necessarily what we’re looking for. Your best customers are often those who never seem satisfied.”
Lincoln Murphy(Click to Tweet!)

Sales Hiring / Recruiting

“It’s important for any manager to hire talented people and position yourself as you working for them, as opposed to them working for you.”
Matthew Oley, VP of Sales and Marketing at Swipely, (Click to Tweet!)

“When adding people to a sales team, I suggest viewing that addition not as hiring, but rather seeing it for what it truly is – an investment in revenue.
Lee Salz, author of “Hire Right, Higher Profits”, (Click to Tweet!)

“I’d rather hire someone who is extremely disciplined and process-oriented, than someone with all of the experience in the world.”
Devon McDonald(Click to Tweet!)

 What I really look for is someone who knows how to compete.

- Bill Binch

“What I really look for in a salesperson is someone who knows how to compete.”
Bill Binch, EVP of Worldwide Field Operations at Marketo, (Click to Tweet!)
 
 
 
 

Sales Careers

“If you want to move within a sales organization, ask yourself, “Why? Where do you want to be a few years from now, and why?”
Jordan Rackie, VP of Sales at QASymphony, (Click to Tweet!)

 If you want to move within a sales organization, ask yourself, ‘Why?’

- Jordan Rackie

“Sales reps who want to go the management route have got to start thinking about it before the opportunity arises. The average tenure of a sales manager is only 18 months.”
Jonathan Farrington, Managing Partner at Jonathan Farrington & Associates, (Click to Tweet!)

“The best advice I got throughout my career was understanding what my current managers’ pains and challenges are – it’s not always just about hitting the number.”
Jim McDonough(Click to Tweet!)
 

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