If you’ve attended a lecture, listened to a keynote speech or read a book on sales you’ve probably gleaned some of the wisdom of these thought-provoking sales influencers, many of whom have also been known to appear on Shark Tank and even QVC. With dozens of books including best-sellers, these captains of industry have played monumental roles in crafting the modern sales strategy. The Modern Sale teamed up with Collective[i] to present this year’s groundbreaking influencers below.
Already considered one of the sharpest minds on the subject of digital marketing and social media, the serial entrepreneur has been on a streak of late, making big bets on Amazon and evangelizing the benefits of Facebook even after the company’s shares plunged 19 percent in July. But what continues to excite Vanyerchuck, who last year acquired the women’s lifestyle website PureWow.com, is the continued evolution of content, marketing and social media — blurred lines every salesperson should be aware of.
Mario Martinez Jr.
The CEO and founder of Vengreso has tallied 82-consecutive quarters in business-to-business sales and leadership roles, growing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue annually. The secret to his success is his uncanny predilection for the next big thing in digital sales, be it a new social media app or cutting edge tactic to develop personal brand identities. A staple on the lecture circuit known for breaking into a Salsa dance on stage, he regularly speaks to successful companies, including LinkedIn, SAP and Cisco.
An entrepreneur and angel investor, Hoffman founded his first company, Cyber Systems, while still just a junior at the University of California, Berkeley. From there, his star continued to rise, first with the launch of BridgePath, the enterprise software company, and, most recently, as the CEO of SafeGraph, a company on the bleeding edge of machine learning and artificial intelligence data. A contributor to Huffington Post, Business Week and his own blog, Summation, the San Francisco-based thought leader’s views on technology and politics have been consumed by thousands of entrepreneurs and sales professionals alike.
The CEO and founder of sales consultancy Reality Works, Seley has perfected the sophisticated art of inside sales while advising companies on how to build technology and data-driven sales organizations. A prolific writer and speaker, her 2008 manifesto, Sales 2.0, has influenced a generation of digitally inclined sales professionals while also launching a wildly successful sales conference of the same name.
A widely respected sales strategist, public speaker and author, Konrath’s bibliography seemingly lengthens at the speed of technology itself. With titles like LinkedIn Sales Secrets Revealed, and The Ultimate Guide to Email Prospecting, we can only assume that tomes on artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology will be available by the time you finish this sentence.
Among the most prolific inventors of retail products in modern history — launching everything from convertible bean bag chairs to exercise equipment — Greiner has become the face of sophisticated sales. An entrepreneur with her own show on QVC, Greiner has become a television fixture on shows like Shark Tank while trading in on her popularity with Invent It, Sell It, Bank It — Make Your Million Dollar Idea Into a Reality, which skyrocketed to No. 3 on the Wall Street Journal’s bestseller list.
The billionaire businesswoman got her start as a door-to-door fax machine salesperson, but with $5,000 and a brilliant idea, she transformed overnight into one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the past two decades, thanks to her moneymaking shape wear brand Spanx. Today, the company sells undergarments, leggings and maternity wear in 65 countries, and its founder, a frequent guest judge on Shark Tank, is worth $1.1 billion. Not bad for a one-time door-to-door saleswoman.
The coauthor of the upcoming book Connecting the Dots: Lessons for Leadership in a Startup World, Chambers, the former CEO of Cisco Systems, has inspired sales professionals and entrepreneurs alike with his perceptive take on investing in the 21st century while making shrewd bets as the CEO of JC2 Ventures on emerging technology companies like the storage vendor Rubrik.
The CEO of StoryBrand, a consultancy that helps businesses clarify their message and strengthen brand identity, Miller has published nearly a dozen books on messaging, religion and his own rocky road to success. In between, he’s found time to share his stories on the lecture circuit.
Arussy, the CEO of Strativity Group and the author of the recently published Next Is Now, has been described as a “triple threat of transformation by Fast Company founding editor William Taylor. A former executive with Hewlett-Packard, he’s spent years spreading the word that traditional change management has failed to foster innovation — and his litany of clients, including Mercedes-Benz, Royal Caribbean Cruises and FedEx, appear to be heeding the call.