Summer is starting and hopefully, you’ve got some downtime scheduled in the next few months. While you’re kicking back by the pool, the beach, or in a quiet cabin retreat, our PreSales Book Club leaders and members have book recommendations to make you a better PreSales professional. Here are the four books they think you should read this summer.
Steve Bullington, PreSales Book Club Leader
Steve’s top choice is all about how to live a more creative, productive, and happy life. In our busy world full of digital distractions everywhere, we pay in opportunity costs. We’re making tradeoffs against everything in our life - relationships, leisure, and more. And we make them without realizing it.
And at work it’s no different. Most PreSales professionals support 4-5 AEs and it’s hard to set expectations for availability and response time. This book is all about how we all need to find balance, and how we all struggle to do so. But this is a good time to build those new habits and rituals as we move into a post-pandemic world.
David Ledger, PreSales Book Club Leader
This book’s theory of how to succeed in every field is to develop broad skills and experiences while everyone else goes narrow - developing range, essentially. Trying lots of different things early on and avoiding specializing too early is essential.
Most PreSales professionals come from a varied background - sales, CS, product, or engineering, to name a few. And those experiences are not wasted, they’re actually really valuable. If you can only join one conversation or talk to one type of person, you’re not going to be successful in PreSales.
Carly Wennogle, PreSales Book Club Member
It’s possible to be a great boss while still being a human. This book gives advice and tells stories about every aspect of being a good boss and manager. It also allows you to see the perspective of managers and how to work better with other people, even if you’re not a manager yourself.
PreSales interfaces with so many different people and high-performing teams require giving feedback - but it’s awkward. The author gives lots of examples for giving and receiving feedback and how to be empathetic but also with candor.
You also don’t need to be a superstar, you can have a slower growth trajectory. That gives you more stability which is especially important for PreSales teams. You can gain and share knowledge in your role over time which is better for long-term growth instead of pushing for promotions too fast.
Mike Pastore, PreSales Book Club Member
Trust is the one thing that changes everything in an organization, which is what this book is all about. High-trust organizations move at a high speed and have low costs, while low-trust organizations go slowly and spend more. People trust those who have high character and high confidence, and you need to have both to succeed.
Trust can be rebuilt - you just need to make and keep commitments and explain your intentions. PreSales needs to be trusted advisors to their sales partners, executive, prospects, and more. The book gives a lot of highly actionable ways to build trust, like clarifying expectations, listening first, and keeping commitments. And trust makes selling much easier because it gives you high customer loyalty.
Reading is one of the best ways to develop your PreSales and general career skills on your own time, and these books should certainly help you do that. If you want to listen to the whole podcast episode about the summer reading list, you can do so here.
We're also hosting our third installment of PSC Book Club on the book: Demonstrating To WIN! by Bob Riefstahl. The next sessions are on June 23rd and July 14th. See you there!
And check out Podcast Ep #51, where Steve, David, Mike, and Clarly discuss PSC Book Club and their recommended books for summer reading!