As business owners, it is important to stay informed, especially in today’s business environment. Fortunately, we have access to all kinds of information like never before. Most of us are subscribed to publications in the promotional products industry, as well as non-industry business publications that cover marketing and sales topics.
The problem is, there is too much information. Trying to take it all in can be like drinking out of a firehose. In the end, not all of it even applies to our B2B business models, business size, or markets. Ideally, we want to limit our reading to a handful of publications that will add something of value. We look for ideas we can try in our own business to increase sales.
To that end, I thought I’d share my top choices for each of the key areas of business. They have top quality information that’s easy to understand, and they provide actionable steps. Most importantly, they can be applied to a distributor businesses and help us grow.
Small Business Marketing
This is an excellent blog about marketing a small business effectively in today’s digital environment. The articles are usually short and with a lot of “substance”. Even though it’s not specific to our industry, as small businesses, their recommendations are spot on. I find them realistic and easy to translate into our business’s specific growth plans.
Jill Konrath is an author, speaker, and coach who specializes in B2B sales. Most specifically, she specializes in selling to big companies. Her approach to selling to executives is second to none. She has a clear understanding of today’s buyer and his/her crazy busy world and the effective ways to get their attention. Her blog is easy to digest and she also offers free webinars. I find her information very valuable and useful, plus easy to consume. I have read all her books and given them to my staff as gifts.
Sales Processes and Systems
Sales systems are key to closing more deals in less time, but it’s not so easy to set them up. Pipedrive is a popular CRM system, and even if it’s not the one you’re using, their blog has excellent information about sales processes. It’s practical and well explained, and easy to adapt to your business.
Social Media Examiner has become the top social media authority in the world. They have the top specialists in each of the -very many- disciplines write for them, so this is really the only blog you need to follow to stay on top of it all. Their articles are often in-depth, and very helpful in learning how it everything works. I’m not suggesting that you should go and try every new thing that comes out, in fact quite the contrary. There are many platforms that won’t ever make sense for your business, but you still want to how the basics about them. Keep in mind that your client might be using them so being familiar with them will give you an edge.
If you are willing to roll up your sleeves and tackle your website development yourself, WPBeginner is one of the most comprehensive resources on WordPress. From plugin reviews, theme comparisons, and much more, you are likely to always find answers to your questions. It has tons of easy to understand WordPress tutorials, from the basics to more advanced features.