In this Expert Insight Interview, Douglas Cole discusses his book The Sales MBA: How to Influence Corporate Buyers. Douglas Cole is a sales leader at LinkedIn, an advisor with start-up accelerators in North America, and a part-time university lecturer at The Rotman School of Management and The Schulich Executive Education Centre in Toronto.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- Douglas Cole’s career path and the genesis of his book
- What it takes to write a book and how Douglas decided to do it
- The different concepts outlined in the book
Marrying Consulting and Sales
Douglas joined LinkedIn about five years ago and immediately became quite obsessed with the craft of sales, becoming a practitioner and sales leader. Over the course of his learning journey, he developed a mini-MBA for sales for the global sales team.
He tried to marry his previous career, which was consulting, with his newfound career in sales by introducing principles of business acumen and the like, which he felt would add value to the global sales team.
The Genesis of the Book
While he was building his mini-MBA program, he was getting much feedback from the global sellers on the different modules, and throughout that journey, he realized that this was something that had to be turned into a book.
It needs to be more painful not to write a book than to write a book because writing is quite an arduous task, so unless it would cause you more pain not to write it, you shouldn’t even start. Thankfully, Douglas did get to the point where he had to do it, and he took three months off work to write his book.
Becoming a Strategist
Part 1 of the book is all about becoming a strategist. Some salespeople might find that somewhat highbrow, but that is part of Douglas’ intention. He believes there is much sophistication in the craft of selling, so he is trying to elevate and dignify the profession and discipline of sales by using weightier labels.
Douglas believes that people who are very good at B2B sales can see that different overlapping filters apply to each conversation. The components involved are external, organizational, and interpersonal. When he talks about the strategy side, he focuses on these external dynamics because he believes that you need to have a way of speaking the language of strategy if you’re to be helpful to a client.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.