Here’s what you might have missed from No More Cold Calling this month.

You may not have heard, but 2017 will be the year of referral selling. Why? Because as quotas continue to rise and competition gets stiffer, sales managers will have to accept that technology shouldn’t be the main artery to reach prospects.

Technology doesn’t close deals. People do. Whether you’re a sales leader, an account-based seller, a sales rep, or an entrepreneur, when you receive referral introductions, you get every meeting in one call. While everyone else is clicking away, salespeople who get in early, build relationships, share insights, and shape solutions with prospects are the ones who win.

Referral selling is your biggest competitive differentiation. And now is the time to make it your go-to prospecting strategy.

Learn more in this month’s blog posts from No More Cold Calling:

How Account-Based Sellers Make Money with a Proven Referral Program

Let me let you in on a secret: Account-based selling isn’t anything new. This lead generation strategy is the source of much hype in our industry. There are even new acronyms and monikers, such as “land and expand” and “seed and grow.” People talk about it as if it’s some recently discovered prospecting strategy. But it’s just a new word for what those of us who sell to named accounts have always done. Account-based selling is, however, an extremely effective way to sell, especially when it’s partnered with a robust referral program. Getting referrals is the #1 way for prospecting into named accounts and then expanding to other areas of a client company. (Read “How Account-Based Sellers Make Money with a Proven Referral Program.”)

Is Sales Automation Making Your Team Soft?

I used to add long columns of numbers and never had to check my math. I knew I got it right the first time. Not anymore. I usually still get it right, but I feel the need to double check. I’ve become reliant on calculators, because between my phone and my computer, I pretty much always have one on me. While adults are forgetting how to solve problems without machines, kids aren’t learning how to do it in the first place. I read a Newsweek article years ago about how kids now depend so much on calculators that many are unable to recognize basic mathematical patterns, like when the answer to a problem should be 150,000 and not 1,500. Why should this matter to sales leaders? Because sales automation could be making salespeople worse at their jobs. (Read “Is Sales Automation Making Your Team Soft?”)

Why Sales Leaders Need Vacation—and Why They Don’t Take It

During the winter holidays, most of the business world shuts down. It’s vacation time, family time, rejuvenation time. If you’re working through the “most wonderful time of the year,” or if you haven’t taken at least most of your vacation time this year, ask yourself why. Why can’t you take a vacation and actually unplug? Are you concerned that your team can’t do without you? That business will come to a screaming halt if you take some much-earned time off? Sales leaders often think they’re indispensable. But if you have the right sales team in place, it’s amazing how much gets accomplished even when you can’t be reached. Vacation is good for the soul, and for both creativity productivity. If you can’t tear yourself away from work, then you either have an overinflated ego, a subpar sales team, or a technology addiction. (Read “Why Sales Leaders Need Vacation—and Why They Don’t Take It.”)

Test Your Referral Savvy

I’m conducting a study on referrals, and I need your help. Please take my 14-question Referral I.Q. Quiz. The questions are mostly “Yes/No,” and it should take less than four minutes to complete. Rest assured, it’s completely anonymous, with no forms to fill out.

Once you’ve finished, you’ll be bounced over to a results page, where you can see the aggregated answers from everyone who has participated.

Take the Referral I.Q. Quiz now.

My goal is to get a 1,000-person sample, so please invite your network to take the quiz as well. Participation is anonymous, and I promise you won’t be added to any lists. Thanks in advance for your support!