How do you see the process of good sales leadership? Some people have a better view than others.
As a kid, I would regularly venture to the end of my garden and peer over the top of the surrounding wall while standing on an old wooden fruit box. That simple fruit box gave me a small but significant boost of height, offering me views outside of my own realm and helping me to gain a deeper and clearer understanding of the world in which I, as a small boy, lived.
As we grow into the people whom we eventually become our lives are full of those fruit boxes; they come in the guise of books, libraries, and modern media which help us gain further understanding; the advice – both good and bad – of family and friends; the elation of happiness and the sharpness of pain which are the building blocks of our emotions; and from observing the deeds of others and learning from their experiences.
In the world of sales and sales leadership, sometimes we too need the assistance of a fruit box on which to stand.
Whether we’re looking for a deep breath of fresh inspiration, data-driven insights, or simply looking to discover the best resources, it’s always good to surround yourself with thought leaders – the fruit boxes on which you may stand to see further.
As Sir Isaac Newton so wisely expounded, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.
For that reason, I’ve curated a list of 100 of the top business, sales and marketing leaders, and masters in the process of sales leadership presented here in no particular order for you to follow and to help you see further, beyond the garden wall. From time to time we all may need a little help when it comes to viewing the role of great sales leaders and the process of great sales leadership; it’s time to step up and learn from the experts.
Enjoy the view!
1. Neil Patel
Neil Patel is a co-founder of KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg and Hello Bar. In his spare time he shares his expertise with companies like Amazon, NBC, HP, General Motors and Viacom and writes amazing online sales and marketing pieces.
2. Joe Pulizzi
3. Grant Cardone
A self-made millionaire, sales trainer, speaker and entrepreneur, best known as a New York Times bestselling author for his booksThe 10X Rule and If You’re Not First, You’re Last, Grant Cardone is also the host of The Cardone Zone podcast and founder of The Cardone Group.
4. Jay Baer
Jay Baer is a digital expert, New York Times bestselling author and founder of Convince & Convert. During more than 25 years in the business,
5. Gary Vaynerchuk
No matter which social network you prefer, GaryVee will reach you there. Founder of VaynerMedia, NY
6. Anthony Iannarino
7. Tim Ferriss
8. Joanna Wiebe
9. Nir Eyal
Author of Wall Street Journal Bestseller Hooked: How To Build Habit-Forming Products, Nir is also a keynote speaker, investor, behavioral scientist and product design consultant for some of the iconic world brands.
10. Marc Benioff
CEO of Salesforce, cloud computing pioneer and American internet entrepreneur. He is also one of the most important and recognizable faces in sales industry.
11. Matt Barby
One of the best SEO writers on the web. Matt is a real growth-hacking machine and a director of acquisition at HubSpot. In his spare time, he writes a fantastic personal blog that aims to help you land more customers.
12. Brian Dean
Brian Dean is an acknowledged link building, SEO and content marketing specialist with one of the finest SEO blogs online – Backlinko, which is full of smart tactics and invaluable insights.
13. Michael Hyatt
Michael Hyatt is a top-notch blogger, leadership mentor for marketers and entrepreneurs, speaker and author of NY Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Amazon bestseller book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.
14. Francesca Nicasio
Francesca is one of the most intelligent and well-researched e-commerce writers at Vend blog, where she shares her online retailing secrets.
15. Jeb Blount
Nicknamed as “the hardest working man in sales”, Jeb Blount is an author of 6 popular sales books and CEO of Sales Gravy – one of the leading sales acceleration and customer experience enablement companies.
16. Aaron Ross
17. Larry Kim
18. Rand Fishkin
Also known as “the wizard of Moz”, its former CEO and co-founder. Rand has also co-founded Inbound.org. Today, Rand remains one of the online marketing stars with a particular interest in startups and SEO.
19. Derek Halpern
The founder of Social Triggers, Derek is a marketer and entrepreneur who reaches millions of online sellers and is an expert at getting traffic and sales for startups by using human psychology.
20. Brian Halligan
CEO and founder of HubSpot, Brian Halligan lives and breathes inbound marketing, lectures at MIT and is passionate about scaling up startups.
21. Mike Weinberg
Mike is the author of New Sales Simplified, founder and CEO of The New Sales Coach – a consultancy group advising senior executives and coaching sales managers, teams and individual hunters.
22. Koka Sexton
Koka Sexton is a founder of Social Selling Labs, former head of social media at LinkedIn, startup mentor and social strategies master at Hootsuite. He surely knows his way around social media, so if you’re looking for solid advice on how to generate leads using social networks, Koka is the guy to follow.
23. Jill Konrath
Jill is a bestseller author of four sales books, keynote speaker and thought leader. She always looks for new sales strategies and her expertise is widely recognized in such publications as Fortune, Forbes, The New York Times, ABC News, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, Inc and many other prominent media outlets.
24. Talia Wolf
Talia Wolf specializes in consumer psychology, experience design and conversion rate optimization (CRO). As a founder and keynote speaker for Getuplift, she regularly shares great tools and practical advice that every e-commerce marketer will appreciate.
25. Joel Comm
Bestselling author and entrepreneur Joel Comm has written 14 business books and currently specializes in live video marketing.
26. Ann Handley
27. Mark Hunter
28. Amy Porterfield
Fast Company, Forbes, Mashable, Entrepreneur and MSNBC are just a few publications that recognize the value Amy’s data-driven marketing wisdom.
29. Kunle Campbell
If there are genuine retail strategy experts, Kunle is definitely one of them. He explores e-commerce issues in his podcast and
30. Jayson DeMers
DeMers is the CEO of AudienceBloom, link-building, content marketing and SEO company and is an acknowledged marketing strategist who shares his tips with Forbes, Inc,
31. Michael Stelzner
32. Jim Keenan
33. John Lee Dumas
John Lee Dumas is American entrepreneur and podcaster. Known for his leading podcast on iTunes – Entrepreneurs on Fire,
34. Shanelle Mullin
Shanelle Mullin is a real gem on this list and is responsible for content and growth at Shopify. Previously she wrote for
35. Jill Rowley
After having spent over 20 years in Silicon Valley, Jill Rowley is an admired advisor and one of the greatest speakers in social selling space. Her core competencies include social selling, digital sales transformation, marketing and sales alignment and sales enablement.
36. Craig Campbell
Craig Campbell is a real deal and has been involved in digital marketing long enough to be able to distinguish between what works and what doesn’t. His consultancy company also offers a broad array of marketing services, such as PPC advertising, email marketing and others.
37. Daniel Wallock
Recognized as a must watch marketer in 2017 by Forbes, Inc and Huffington Post, 21-year-old Daniel Wallock already has an impressive resume. He was the guy behind viral crowdfunding campaigns of Perseus Mirrors and OneX and worked with BMW I Ventures, The American Heart Association and Amazon Studios.
38. Lori Richardson
Lori specializes in helping women achieve better goals in sales and is the president of Women Sales Pros.
39. Carolyn Hyams
40. Jeff Bullas
Jeff Bullas blog has over 5 million annual readers for a reason. He is a globally acknowledged CMO, digital entrepreneur, marketing blogger,
41. Lee Bartlett
Author of the favorite sales book The No.1 Best Seller, tech entrepreneur and sales leader.
42. Ryan Holmes
43. Lincoln Murphy
Lincoln Murphy is a synonym for customer success driven growth. His broad expertise helps companies to deal with customers,
44. Dave Chaffey
Dave Chaffey is a seasoned e-commerce marketing expert and is eager to share his expertise on social media. By the way, he is a co-founder and CEO of Smart Insights.
45. Ashley Friedlein
46. Max Altschuler
Max is the sales hacker who helps B2B tech startups to build high-velocity sales machines. He is also a founder and CEO of SUTRA
47. Shama Hyder
Shama Hyder is a digital marketing expert and leads the global PR and online marketing community Marketing Zen.
48. Heidi Cohen
Heidi is an integrated marketing expert and author of Actionable Marketing Guide which teaches how to achieve best results in content and mobile marketing, branding, blogging and social media. Follow her for more comprehensive insights on these and similar marketing topics.
49. Mari Smith
If you’re into Facebook marketing, the Queen of Facebook
50. Deb Calvert
Deb Calvert is all about sales effectiveness. Other than that, she is about to release her next book
51. Chris Brogan
Chris Brogan is beloved for his books on entrepreneurship, social media and trust building.
52. Brian Solis
Author of numerous bestsellers, digital analyst, futurist, entrepreneur and anthropologist…
53. Jonathan Farrington
Sales superstar Jonathan Farrington is the CEO of Top Sales World and editor of
54. Trish Bertuzzi
Ever read The Sales Development Playbook by Trish? If you haven’t, then it should be on your reading list.
55. Julie Joyce
56. Mark Roberge
Mark Roberge is a former CRO at HubSpot, author of The Sales Acceleration Formula,
57. Pam Moore
Pam has presented at companies like IBM, HubSpot, Adobe and many others, but that’s some of her less impressive achievements
58. Jeffrey Gitomer
The author of The Sales Bible himself,
59. Tamara Schenk
Tamara is all about sales enablement in B2B sales. Productivity, complex sales, customer-core strategies, conscious collaboration,
60. Scott Brinker
Scott is a digital marketing expert who blogs about technology-driven marketing changes, industry evolution, agile marketing and other exciting areas.
61. Art Sobczak
Art Sobczak is a cold calling expert and teaches B2B inside sales teams the fine art of effective calls.
62. Angie Schottmuller
Another well-known growth marketer and keynote speaker who helps organizations increase their ROI with conversion optimization, SEO and mobile marketing.
63. Tobias Lütke
This list wouldn’t be complete without the CEO and founder of Shopify. Despite incredible success, Tobi still shares interesting insights on entrepreneurship
64. Jack Kosakowski
Current CEO of Creation Agency, Jack Kosakowski is a lifelong learner and a social selling expert.
65. Alexandra Tachalova
If you’re a regular reader of Moz, Search Engine Journal or Entrepreneur you probably stumbled into one or two of her writings.
66. Cyrus Shepard
Cyrus Shepard is all about SEO, online marketing and digital publishing. His background includes working as a head of SEO and Content for Moz. Now he runs his own digital media company Fazillion and consults the best companies in the world.
67. Tucker Schreiber
Tucker is still young, however, that didn’t stop him from founding four successful e-commerce companies. Former product manager at Shopify now does the same for
68. Kim Garst
Kim Garst is a social selling specialist with prolific knowledge of live streaming, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
69. Matt Heinz
Award-winning blogger Matt Heinz is a pipeline management, B2B demand generation, sales enablement and content strategy expert.
70. Richard Lazazzera
A Better Lemonade Stand is one of the most helpful e-commerce education platforms and Richard Lazazzera is its creator.
71. Tony J. Hughes
Tony J. calls himself the most read B2B seller on LinkedIn and for all the right reasons – just check out his
72. Scott Galloway
Scott Galloway is a professor of marketing at NYU Stern School of Business and founder of the top digital research agency
73. Avinash Kaushik
Avinash wrote two best books on web analytics and currently works as a digital marketing evangelist at Google.
74. Kath Pay
Email marketing is Kath’s bread and butter. She is a founder of Holistic Email Marketing and advocates for treating email inboxes with care and love.
75. Aleyda Solis
Aleyda is a terrific entrepreneur with several companies on her profile, but an SEO expert first. In fact, she’s one of the best SEO experts there is.
76. Tibor Shanto
“Success in sales is all about execution – everything else is just talk” is Tibor’s mantra. Chief sales officer at Renbor Sales Solutions and strategic advisor for Charlie app,
77. Dan Barker
Freelance retail strategist Dan Barker is also a qualified CRO, email marketer, PPC, SEO and analytics professional and works with the most prominent e-commerce brands. The best part is that he is keen on sharing his insights with his followers.
78. Zaid Ammari
Zaid is the CEO of PPC Masterminds, the number one PCC management company and a data-driven marketing guru and is known for his
79. Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the founder and owner of MyBlogU, ViralContentBee,
80. Murray Newlands
A serial entrepreneur, author, advisor and motivator Murray Newlands is also a certified lawyer and advises entrepreneurs on everything from funding to growth hacking.
81. Glen Gilmore
Attorney Glen Gilmore has written Social Media Law for Business
82. Elinor Stutz
83. William Harris
William Harris is the founder of Elumynt consultancy, growth strategist at Sellbrite and Dollar Hobbyz.
84. Andrew Chen
Andrew is responsible for growth at Uber. In his free time, he writes about tech, mobile marketing, growth and data and consults various startups such as Dropbox and
85. Kotton Grammer
Founder of Kotton Grammer Media and OMGmachines, marketer and entrepreneur
86. Linda Bustos
Linda Bustos is an e-commerce specialist. She works at her own agency Edgacent and recently
87. Ken Krogue
Ken is the founder of InsideSales and one of the best inside sales evangelists there is. He shares tips, webinars, ebooks, research and best practices for remote selling,
88. Sean Ellis
Sean Ellis coined the phrase “growth hacking” when he used it to cultivate Dropbox, Eventbrite,
89. Tom Hopkins
An acknowledged expert in the field of sales training since 1974, Tom Hopkins wrote 18 sales books, including
90. Joanne Black
Joanne Black is known as America’s top referral selling expert and a real advocate of her trade.
91. Ramit Sethi
I Will Teach You To Be Rich is Ramit’s signature piece and his blog attracts more than 1 million monthly readers. Ramit’s areas of expertise range from psychology,
92. Bill Slawski
Bill Slawski has been working with an extensive list of top-tier companies. He is a professional in content creation, SEO analytics, e-commerce, blogging,
93. Andy Paul
Founder of Zero-Time Selling and the host of
94. Brynne Tillman
Brynne Tillman is a digital selling expert and author. She wrote the book The LinkedIn Sales Playbook
95. Sujan Patel
Neil Patel’s cousin Sujan is a tough nut himself. A data-driven marketer, growth hacker and entrepreneur Sujan is a co-founder of
96. Arnie Kuenn
CEO of Vertical Measures, Arnie is a skilled leader in content marketing and strategy and has written two content marketing books:
97. Mike Kunkle
He is a writer, consultant and speaker. Sales transformation, enablement and support are just a few things taken out of Mike’s wide portfolio, since he is also an expert in analytics, diagnostics, talent management, sales process, sales methodology, and technology.
98. Peep Laja
One of the most influential conversion rate optimization experts, Peep Laja founded
99. Barbara Giamanco
Barbara is amongst the top sales leaders. A keynote speaker, social media and sales strategist, corporate podcast and webcast host, the host of the
100. Mark Schaefer
During his 28 years in the field of global sales and marketing, Mark Shaefer became an award-winning writer,
Glad you made it to the end!
It sure was a long list, but hopefully you discovered some new thought leaders to follow and perhaps learn the skills of sales leadership from. These 100 individuals are my top picks of living
legends who exemplify the most meaningful aspects of business, sales, and marketing leadership.
But who are your top examples? I am looking forward to hearing your suggestions in the comment section below.