Every year on the Membrain blog, we publish more than 100 articles. Of those 100, a few inevitably rise to the top in popularity.
Inevitably, too, there are a few perennial favorites that continue to show up as our most popular posts, year after year.
Here’s a round-up of the top 3 most popular new posts from 2018, the top 3 perennial favorites, and the most popular 3 from our guest bloggers. Enjoy.
Top 3 new 2018 posts
The topic of sales effectiveness was a winner this year. The top 2 posts both had the word “effectiveness” in the title, while the third helps sales professionals avoid mistakes that damage their effectiveness.
Here they are, in reverse order.
Reaching “the decision maker” is a common goal in the sales process, but most salespeople do it wrong, and most sales organizations don’t support them doing better.
Common mistakes include thinking there’s only one decision maker, assuming that person is the budget owner, and equating the organizational hierarchy with buying influence.
Everyone may have been talking–and reading–about sales effectiveness in 2018, but I’m not sure most sales professionals are any closer to agreeing on a definition.
In this post, I suggest a simple working definition, and explore how that definition can be used to improve performance within the organization. I also show how to establish effectiveness benchmarks by territory, process stage, tenure, and other factors so that you can begin to measure and systematically improve effectiveness in your organization.
We were thrilled to find this piece in the top most popular slot for 2018. This piece was part of a push to introduce and explain the wealth of new product features available through our newly redesigned interface.
Our product is specifically designed to meet the explicit and most pressing needs of sales teams, so it’s no coincidence that our top 7 new tips for improving sales effectiveness correspond to 7 new features in the product.
- Increase collaboration on your teams
- Let salespeople operate in their native language
- Provide productivity tools inside the workflow
- Make their tools intuitive to use
- Include coaching inside the workflow
- Include enablement also inside the workflow
- Give them a work environment that is pleasant and comfortable
To see how Membrain’s 2018 redesign makes all of this possible, read the full article. Also, check out the features we’ve added since, including our content hub and (what other things were released in 2018?).
Top 3 all-time favorite Membrain articles
Two of our top 3 all-time favorite articles have now won those honors for three years in a row, while one is a new contender from 2017. Two of them directly challenge some big-name players, while the other covers a general topic of perennial interest, the history of sales methodologies.
Here they are, also in reverse order:
In 2017, we decided it was time to go explicitly head to head with the gorilla in the room. The gorilla was not happy, and we got a few unhappy letters from their PR department. Nevertheless, this piece, which names them directly and begins to unravel why they’re so often a bad choice for organizations, became popular and stayed popular.
In the article, we talk about how the Salesforce base price is never your actual price, how prone it is to breaking during customization, and why it is that it probably won’t meet your needs even after you pay through the nose to try to set it up the way you want it. Read the full article here.
This article, which we published in 2016, continues to hit the top of the charts month after month. We wrote it after interviewing the leaders of the top 7 methodologies, and publishing a white paper comparing and contrasting the methodologies based on their responses to our questions.
I’m still proud of this piece and the white paper, which ended up winning an award from Top Sales World that year against big name competitors. You can read the whole blog article here.
In 2015 and 2016, a new methodology contender stepped into the ring. They claimed to challenge everything anyone had ever known about effective sales approaches. Appropriately, they called themselves “Challenger Sales.”
And, for a while, they were the talk of the town. In this piece, we outline their key arguments, and then go to experts in other methodologies for their responses. The result is a piece that addresses the strengths and weaknesses of the Challenger Sales approach, and challenges (see what I did there) organizations to look carefully at how they go about “updating” their methodologies to meet the needs of today’s environment.
Clearly, this is a topic that is still hot, as it continues to hit our #1 all-time most-read slot. Read it here.
Top 3 guest posts
Every week, we invite sales experts and thought leaders to share their expertise with our readers as guest bloggers. We are honored and thrilled that so many of our favorite thinkers contribute to our blog in this way, and excited to share with you the top three guest posts from 2018.
Frédéric Lucas is an entrepreneur, business owner, speaker, trainer, coach, and adviser with Prima Resource. We love this piece, and so, apparently, do you. In our #3 most popular guest blog slot, Lucas offers up:
- 7 questions to ask every week
- 6 questions to ask every month
- 4 questions to ask every quarter
- And 1 question to ask at every single meeting
These deceptively simple questions get right to the heart of what CEOs need to know to help their sales managers stay on track and to ensure their work aligns with organizational strategy.
Tony Hughes is a bestselling author, award-winning blogger, and the most-read LinkedIn Author globally on the topic of b2b sales leadership. We’re always honored and thrilled when he contributes to our blog.
Our #2 most-read guest post of 2018 is on the same topic as our #1 most-read post of all time: The Challenger Sale. Hughes takes a slightly different approach, starting first with why every sales professional must read The Challenger Sale, before diving into its problems, its value, and how to apply it in the real world.
It’s a worthy read, and I highly recommend you visit the full article here.
Dave Kurlan is a best-selling author, a speaker, and the founder and CEO of Objective Management Group. He’s a regular contributor to the Membrain blog, and we’re thrilled to have him in the #1 most popular blog post slot for 2018.
This piece reviews data from 1.7 million salespeople assessed by Kurlan’s organization, and presents the most important core competencies of the top 10% of performers. Some of the core insights are off the beaten track, including “rejection proof” and “positive thinking.”
I recommend you definitely read the full article, which you can find here.
If you’re curious how this year’s most popular articles line up against last year’s, you can review 2017’s most popular list here.
Top Company Blog
I want to issue a huge thank you to everyone who visited the blog this year and made it our best ever, and especially to every single contributor. This team effort won us the Gold Medal for Best Company Blog in the Top Sales Awards. For that, we're both proud and humbled! We’re excited to wrap up the year and dive into a new one with you.