How real is stress in the sales world? Just ask any professional desperately trying to meet quarterly goals. The coffee. The insomnia. The last-minute pitches. Exhilarating? For newbies, perhaps. But after a few rounds of conversion drama, it gets old.

Rather than suffering through another three months and a nail-biting, last-minute rush to flip prospects from no to yes, savvy (and exhausted!) salespeople are seeking resources to improve rates consistently. Tools and programming vary, making it practical for individuals from all industries and backgrounds to choose resources most applicable for their learning styles and objectives.

Sales shouldn't be a never-ending cycle of popping Tums. Get off the roller coaster of 11th-hour quota scrambling with help from any or all of these five top-notch players.

1. One Call Close

Who wouldn't want to close deals as rapidly as possible and slay the long sales cycle once and for all? Published by the CEO of a fast-growing marketing firm, One Call Close provides an initial sales call recipe featuring tactical strategies to close deals faster. What separates it from competitors is its fresh process that promotes turning strangers into clients in one call. Not a template but a blueprint, this system is available as a power-packed video series.

Perfect for: salespeople and sales teams struggling to keep up with customer acquisition expectations, and those who seem to be spinning their wheels on needlessly lengthy sales cycles and chasing deals that will never close.

2. Sandler Training

Think you've heard of Sandler Training? You're not imagining it. The sales consultancy business has been around for decades. Strategically, Sandler balances reality with idealism. After all, every sales pro says she wants to increase sales. Sadly, few apply the skills they learn. That's where the company's consultants come into play. Using customized reinforcement in a variety of forms, Sandler sets the stage for long-term success.

Perfect for: people in sales who recognize they need handholding and motivation to apply new ideas.

3. The Center for Sales Strategy

Another sales consultancy option, the Center for Sales Strategy offers one-to-one and group trainings led by its consultants and analysts. It offers in-depth training on every aspect of selling, from understanding the "what" and the "why" to working with those tough-as-nails clients who drive every sales pro to distraction. The Center for Sales Strategy approach is to dig deep and unearth possibilities with individuals and among teams.

Perfect for: newer salespeople, or salespeople who have misplaced their mojos (think Willy Loman) who really need exhaustive help on all the nitty-gritty elements of the sales process.

4. LinkedSelling

This marketing firm specializes in business-to-business lead generation and sales improvement using the LinkedIn platform. Its eagle-eyed focus on LinkedIn is a novel approach in the world of sales resources and enables small-to-midsize-business owners and their salespeople to create relationships, generate leads, and close deals via LinkedIn. Plus, the company offers LinkedUniversity, a training program for entrepreneurs who are willing to sell utilizing LinkedIn but need more direction.

Perfect for: sales professionals in small to midsize businesses who know deep in their hearts that they could be using LinkedIn more effectively to get and close deals.

5. Lessonly

Familiar with Salesforce? Lessonly is a learning and training software that integrates beautifully as an SaaS. It streamlines the workflow among Salesforce-connected sales team members, ultimately making customer and prospect contact and service more transparent and seamless. Sales pros can learn innovative yet proven methods to push more people through the pipeline and ultimately exceed even stretch quotas.

Perfect for: teams of salespeople already using the Salesforce platform.

Your mission? End every quarter as if you were breezing through a finish line miles ahead of the competition with a beverage in one hand and a smile from ear to ear. If that sounds dramatically better than the nerve-racking Q1 you just finished, you owe yourself -- and your employer -- a little sales training enlightenment.

Published on: May 9, 2017