Of course we can’t highlight thousands, indeed tens of thousands of inspirational and experienced sales executives, but we’ve created this list of 21 influencers who constantly share helpful advice, sales tips & tricks on social media and make up the world of sales, including the social selling.
If you want to follow everyone on this list, check out the list on Twitter, where we’ve brought together all the sales influencers, so you can easily check their profiles and follow each person you want to.
Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer of Hubspot
Brian Halligan is the founder and CEO of HubSpot, which is an inbound marketing and sales software used by more than 40.000 customers worldwide. This year HubSpot celebrated its twelves anniversary. And it’s all because of Brian Halligan who used to invest in startups and became an investor at Hubspot’s venture capital over a decade ago. With over 1700+ employees so far, Hubspot, as a leading CRM, marketing, sales and customer experience platform brought in $114.6 million in total revenue in Q1 2018.
Brian Halligan is a well-known sales influencer with sales background, co-authored two books (“Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead” with David Meerman Scott and Bill Walton, and “Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs” with his co-founder Dharmesh Shah, who’ve also landed a spot on our list), named a highest rated CEO by Glassdoor, but Brian calls himself a “huge nap guy” because really good ideas come to him right during a nap.
Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer of Close.io
Steli Efti is the co-founder and CEO of Close.io, the CRM that helps sales teams close more deals. These three words actually have long been used on the homepage.
Steli hasn’t always been a sales guru and executive of one of the fastest growing SaaS CRM. But he always has an entrepreneurial spirit. His path of building a successful startup was fraught with pitfalls, but Steli Efti has proven that anyone, even having zero credentials can establish something amazing and incredibly successful. CRM, for example.
Steli Efti is also known for his video shorts that cover a vast amount of topics in sales, ranging from cold calling strategies to tips on how to get more referrals.
… and quite often shares great pieces of content on Twitter:
Chief Sumo at Sumo Group
Noah Kagan is a founder of Sumo.com and its sister business, AppSumo.com, a website with daily deals. Before building Sumo, he had served in Facebook where he worked himself up to 30th employee and contributed to the success of the Mint startup.
In the interviews Noah Kagan used to tell that at the outset, when Sumo was just launched, it was impossible to say no to customers as they strived to improve the overall performance and did it as fast as possible. As a result, the process was extremely slow. Then they set themselves a goal of getting 3,333 subscribers for their new course before year-end. And they did. In October. And celebrated the success with tacos.
Noah Kagan’s twitter account is constantly fueled with growth hacks, sales & marketing news and best practices to help you grow your business.
Must-read: What I Learned Growing an 8-Figure Business
Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Sales Hacker, Inc.
Max Altschuler is the founder and CEO of Sales Hacker, a media company which is made up of conferences, webinars and meetups all around the world, online publications, webinars and is mainly focused on the future of B2B sales. Max started his sales career path in Udemy, an online education startup where he had to create a sales process from scratch with the least amount of resources.
As it has become known, in late July 2018 Sales Hacker was acquired by Outreach, the sales and customer engagement platform, and Max took up his new post as Vice President of Marketing.
Max is also the author of bestselling book Hacking Sales: The Playbook for Building a High Velocity Sales Machine, where you won’t open up a whole new world of crazy hacks, but find his own proven experience on how to effectively build sales teams.
“I want all my employees, both men and women, to feel free to let a child-like sense of wonderment thrive with them at work. That means I have to do so myself, because setting the right culture starts at the top.”
Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer at Hubspot
Dharmesh Shah is CTO and one of the co-founders of HubSpot, a customer relationship management (CRM), inbound marketing and sales software. Though he hasn’t a sales background, Dharmesh managed to build a platform that helps businesses attract more visitors, convert them and close sales faster.
Dharmesh Shah is well known as an inbound marketing and sales influencer and is an active member of entrepreneurial community. Apart from handling technical issues in Hubspot, he also blogs on OnStartups.com — a top-ranking community for entrepreneurs and startup founders that hits 700,000 visitors.
His first paying customer Dharmesh Shah acquired during the days at MIT long before Hubspot was founded. It was his wife. And she was just testing credit card processing system for the newly-сreated portal for the students.
Coach to SaaS founders, Chief instigator at DanMartell.com
Dan Martell is a serial entrepreneur, a world-famous business coach for SaaS founders and an angel investor since young years. But he’s good not only at the investing (40+ successful investments so far!). Dan Martell has also founded, led (and then sold) numerous technology startups, including Flowtown and Clarity. The last one is a web-based application to easily get connected with top business minds over the phone (acquired by Startups.co).
And like most successful entrepreneurs, Dan Martell’s earlier companies were nothing, but failures. In one of the interviews he shared his first experience – a web hosting company called NBHost. And that’s when he got a painful lesson that starting a web hosting company was the wrong way to go.
Dan Martell does a weekly YouTube video which helps entrepreneurs build and scale their businesses, covering new business strategies, advice on hiring a remote team and much more. The most unbiased out there!
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Echosign (now Adobe Sign, acquired by Adobe), founder of SaaStr
Jason Lemkin is the founder of SaaStr blog and EchoSign, that was acquired by Adobe and renamed to Adobe Sign. Jason has done $0 to $100m journey and it’s hard to find a SaaS startup founder who doesn’t know this sales expert.
Once upon a time Jason Lemkin realized that there was nothing he wanted more than to share his journey to success. He launched SaaStr, a popular community for SaaS and enterprise startups and grew it to more than a half of million visitors each month.
If you’re involved with sales or SaaS sales in particular, Jason Lemkin’s Quora answers might be something you can learn from. There he shares his advice on how to hire a great VP of Sales, how to get from $1m to $10m in revenue, and What is the most critical thing a new sales leader can do in a SaaS company to scale revenue once they get to 1M ARR?
Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Membrain.com
George is the founder and CEO of Membrain, a sales effectiveness CRM designed for teams performing complex B2B sales on a daily basis. He is passionate about software and even more he’s passionate about sales. Hence the idea of Membrain, a sales software.
George can be called not just a sales influencer, but CRM expert as well. He advises salespeople who do have a long way to go to understand CRM as a database surrounded with additional tools and user interface. And what really matters is that it’s crucial to be guided by that understanding when deciding which CRM (and additional tools) to purchase.
Founder & President, Chief Sales Officer at Business LockerRoom
Kelly Riggs is one of the most widely recognized sales influencers, two-time national Salesperson-of-the-Year and an experienced sales coach for companies of various industries throughout the United States and Canada.
Kelly believes that each sales leader must be able to identify, hire and retain new sales reps, teach them and develop a winning culture. As a sales trainer on his own, Kelly Riggs also teaches salespeople to achieve more positive results, create plans and sales forecasts.
Kelly Riggs has written three books on sales and management (“1-on-1 Management: What Every Great Manager Knows That You Don’t” and “Quit Whining and Start SELLING! A Step-by-Step Guide to a Hall of Fame Career in Sales” ) The last one (“Counter Mentor Leadership: How to Unlock the Potential of the 4-Generation Workplace”) was co-authored with his son, Robby Riggs, and published in January 2018.
“It is almost always true that the person with the best information is the person who wins the sale.”
Must-read: Sales Advice You will Absolutely HATE
Sales Coach & Chief Connections Officer at Make It Great Institute
Phil Gerbyshak is a high-energy sales expert, marketing speaker and author who’s really good at networking. Thanks to the unique speaking style, he engages audiences sharing the insider’s stories from the help desk industry proven tactics for exceeding customer expectations, boosting retention rates and overall profitability. Phil Gerbyshak coaches salespeople how to use LinkedIn and other social media networks to close more deals and earn more referrals by integrating social selling techniques into their sales process.
He’s launched LinkedIn Sales Blueprint for Speakers to help more people build profitable connections, network with confidence, and fill your schedule with a step-by-step repeatable process that brings you constant results.
Phil Gerbyshak is also working on the new book about his own sales strategies which will be released in late 2018. There will be gathered some anecdotal real-life stories from himself, his clients, prospects, friends and colleagues.
Must-listen: Conversations with Phil Gerbyshak on Apple Podcasts
Koka Sexton is the founder of the social selling movement. You might have heard that social selling exists because of him. And it is difficult to deny since he put social selling on the map establishing its best practices.
Over the years Koka Sexton held different sales and marketing roles at Paragon Software, InsideView, LinkedIn, Hootsuite and more. Now he does content marketing at Slack, the platform that connects teams with the apps, services, and resources they need to get work done.
Koka Sexton has been recognized as #1 on the Forbes Top 30 Social Sales Influencer in the world, and also shares social selling insights and own observations with 57K+ followers on Twitter.
Must-read: Sales Teams and Slack: A Handbook
Ghostwriter, contributing editor to Inc. Magazine, LinkedIn Influencer
Jeff Haden is a highly diverse Ghostwriter and an Inc.com contributing editor. He’s also a keynote speaker and LinkedIn Influencer with almost 1 million followers. He’s a first hand experience in sales and management as he’s an impressive sales background and held a variety of leadership positions before he ran for a plant manager.
Jeff Haden also wrote a bestselling book, The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win, where as its name suggests, is described how high performers motivate themselves to achieve better results. It was ranked the top performing bestseller of New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Amazon. Besides this book, Jeff Haden has also written for BusinessInsider.com and Entrepreneur.com on a variety of subjects, ranging from management and entrepreneurship to leadership.
“Success is almost impossible – in any field – without solid sales skills.”
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Builder of the US division of Creation Agency
Jack Kosakowski is the Global Head of B2B Social Sales Execution at Creation Agency with a 13-year sales background. Previously he’s worked as a Regional Sales Manager at Act-On Software. There he was responsible for managing the social selling for Chillpuck.
Jack Kosakowski preaches completely non-traditional approach towards sales. When he started, he had no idea that what he was doing was social selling. He just did things a little differently than the other salespeople. The reason why Jack decided to revolutionize the traditional approach to sales and develop his own one, where both seller and buyer win was because of his passion for customer experience. He wanted to stand out and social selling allowed him to do that.
In one of the interviews Jack Kosakowski was asked about the tools he used and loved. Among other apps, he mentioned Sprout Social and Sales Navigator. We loved them too!
Jack is also fond of podcasts, in particular of one on sales techniques and strategies called “Sales Accelerate” which is recorded by Andy Paul.
Image is taken from Jack Kosakowski’s Twitter account
CEO of A Sales Guy Inc
Jim Keenan is a sales guy to the bone. He helps businesses accelerate their sales processes and hire better with A Sales Guy, a sales consulting firm whose CEO and founder he is. Jim Keenan leveraged sales tips in his book, Not Taught: What It Takes to be Successful in the 21st Century That Nobody’s Teaching You, to help salespeople understand the advantages of the 21st century that the information age has created for the sales success. He’s a sales guy and that’s that.
Jim Keenan is convinced salespeople need to continually learn and educate themselves to grow. “They need to read more, they need more business acumen, they need to understand the nuances and the business models of the customers they’re going after, they need to understand the complexities of their customers. They have to be able to have a business conversation with their prospects.”
Ben Sardella started his sales career path at NetSuite and is widely known as its first sales rep. He watched SaaS just started to expand long ago and was VP of Sales, Biz Dev and Customer Success at KISSMetrics. In 2012 Ben Sardella co-founded sales intelligence platform Datanyze, which now is used by over 50,000 sales development reps. In a nutshell, Ben knows everything about sales.
After 17 years of experience in SaaS sales he co-founded OutboundWorks. It’s a B2B lead generation company that helps to get highly targeted leads, craft outreach campaigns and convert leads into customers. At the beginning of 2018 OutboundWorks announced the acquisition of Hexa.ai, a technology platform that automates the personalization of outbound emails.
Despite the huge experience in sales, there is one thing Ben Sardella hates about being a salesperson. It’s a word sales in the title. He thinks that each sale rep should remove the mindset of selling, replace it with helping and look at himself as a customer success person rather than just a sales one.
President and Founder of InsideSales.com
Ken Krogue is the president and co-founder of InsideSales.com. It’s a leading cloud-based sales acceleration platform which brings together CRM and phone dialer software. Within different time frames of his sales career path, Ken held various sales leadership positions at Comanity, FranklinCovey, and Candlelight Publishing. He’s also a contributor to Forbes.com and one of the top sales influencers with 25-year experience in sales. True sales guru, what else is there to say?
Ken Krogue suggested a proactive approach of initiating communication and advocates for finding a balance between warm calling and inbound marketing. He knew from experience that it’s not enough to rely purely on inbound leads to generate big-name clients.
He always points out the number of tools salespeople and marketers can benefit from nowadays. His own sales tool stack seems to be pretty impressive. But even off hours Ken Krogue regularly uses LinkedIn, Evernote, Twitter and Buffer. With SalesLoft and KiteDesk and iHance Ken’s team do also pretty well.
“If you want to go upmarket, which you absolutely must to grow, you have to go outbound. Winning large customers is much more about causing sale, not just catching one.”
Must-read: Inside Sales Best Practices
Founder of NexLevel Sales
Julio Viskovich is the founder of NexLevel Sales. His company helps businesses and sales executives implement social selling strategies and use social media channels to communicate with customer. He also created his own formula that makes it easy for sales leaders to fill out their LinkedIn profiles the way they maximize thought leadership.
Over the years Julio Viskovich’s helped various Fortune 500 companies (including Microsoft and IBM) create social selling programs and strategies. He has also worked with HootSuite as a global social selling trainer to develop brand awareness.
In 2014 Julio Viskovich published his first book Sellarketing: A Tweetable Guide To Aligning Sales and Marketing where touched the marriage between sales and marketing (hence the term “sellarketing”) and gathered tips and tricks on how to use social media to build customer trust and provide more value.
Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude
Janice Mars, Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude, her own consulting firm that helps businesses build efficient sales and customer service teams, optimize resources and improve the overall sales processes. Before, Janice Mars worked at SunGard where grew from a sales rep to one of the top sales executives in 10 years.
She is an expert that’s passionate about sales. Looking back on nearly 30 years of sales background, she encourages new salespeople just starting out to enjoy the extensive training and education they are provided. 30 years ago Janice Mars learned by observing sales executives of that time, reading books and asking her managers tons of questions.
“It takes a village to close a deal, and the earlier sales management gets involved to qualify the deal and establish relationships at the right levels, the sooner they can ask the tough questions, handle any initial objection(s) and ensure everyone’s time is used in the best possible way.”
Director of Sales at Slack
Since 2017 Dannie has been leading Slack’s Mid-Market & Sales Development organizations, with 4 teams in North America. Prior to her working at Slack, she worked for AirBnB and HubSpot. In the last organization she spent 5+ years and rose from Senior Account Executive to Director of Product. Dannie worked closely with CEOs, CMOs, and marketing directors to provide them with an introduction to inbound marketing by reviewing their websites showing how HubSpot’s tools can help.
Chief Executive Officer of Pipeliner
Nikolaus Kimla is the founder of Pipeliner CRM. His tool helps sales individuals and teams understand their sales process and accelerate opportunities toward a close. More than 20 years ago in Europe, Nikolaus Kimla developed a banking solution ITechnologies Inc later purchased by Thomson Reuters for almost $530M.
The idea of developing a CRM emerged after he talked to several salespeople and got a feedback on the tool they used and reasons they didn’t love it. He saw an opportunity and created a solution to help salespeople, not management, do their work more efficient. It took Pipeliner many years to get to where it’s now, but the fight was worth the sweat.
At Pipeliner Nikolaus Kimla and his team treat buyers as managers. They say it’s much easier to sell the CRM to a manager, because users are one of the biggest obstacles facing most CRMs.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer at TopDog Social Media
Melonie Dodaro is also the founder and CEO of Top Dog Social Media, a marketing agency specializing in social media marketing, social selling.
She’s the author of two books devoted to LinkedIn. The newest one LinkedIn Unlocked: Unlock the Mystery of LinkedIn To Drive More Sales Through Social Selling promises to be another Amazon bestseller, just as her first book The LinkedIn Code: Unlock The Largest Online Business Social Network To Get Leads, Prospects & Clients for B2B, Professional Services and Sales & Marketing Pros.
Melonie Dodaro is a social media guru, but not only. She is also one of the most famous social selling and sales influencers. Melonie’s Twitter and LinkedIn accounts are must-follow for everyone striving to turn LinkedIn into a lead generation machine.
Melonie Dodaro’s also created an online training course on LinkedIn and social selling where 27,000 businesses and individuals have been enrolled in so far.
Screenshot is taken from the TopDog Social Media’s website