I don’t have an MBA (and have been known to call them overrated), and in part due to this I’ve always been impressed with the approach of the Personal MBA, which annually updates a core list of recommended books that, together, can help any professional gain the foundational, fundamental knowledge necessary to get an edge and succeed in business.

Most sales professionals I know don’t have an MBA, not do they need one. But if we were to create a Personal MBA program specifically for sales professionals, managers and leaders, what would it look like? What would it include?

According to Business Week, higher education is starting to get the idea.  As of mid-2012, 32 schools offered a major, minor or concentration in sales, and six offered an MBA program with a sales concentration.  But let’s assume these programs aren’t accessible to or practical for most sales professionals and leaders.  What if you want to go the Good Will Hunting route instead?

Here’s at least a start. Any virtual, ongoing and (mostly) free MBA program for sales professionals would need to include the following:

Sales Books
The Challenger Sale
SPIN Selling
Anything from Zig Ziglar
Mastering the Complex Sale
The Ultimate Sales Machine
The New Strategic Selling
SNAP Selling

Sales Bloggers
Anthony Iannarino
Dan Waldschmidt
Tom Searcy
Jim Keenan
Sales Benchmark Index
Kelley Robertson
Dave Brock
Lori Richardson

Sales Newsletters
SmartBrief on Sales
Selling Power

Sales Communities & Associations
American Association of Inside Sales Professionals
Inside Sales Experts
Top Sales World
Fresh Sales Strategies
Sales Gravy

This list is far from complete, but I’m quite interested in creating and maintaining something like this as a resource for sales professionals. Eventually, we could have separate lists for contributors vs. managers/leaders. But right now, let’s start with a single Personal Sales MBA list.

Consider what’s above a good start. What would you add? What books, newsletters, bloggers, and other information sources do you consider essential for successful sales professionals to consumer?

  • Ray Collis

    Good idea. Might I suggest adding another dimension to the Sales MBA (particularly if you’re in B2B sales). That is understanding buyers and how buying decisions are made in large organizations. This is important given the increased sophistication of buyers and the challenges of geeting the purchase order. You can see examples here: http://www.BuyerInsights.com

  • Matt, thanks for listing me as part of what you’d think a self-done,sales MBA program might look like. I try to share things of immediate or at least fairly quick value – but know everything doesn’t hit the mark for everyone. Appreciate your support and we’ll keep at it to help sellers grow revenues quicker and better.