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The Best Sales Stories, Breakdowns, and Guides of 2023

A look back on The Follow Up's best stories of 2023

Good Morning and welcome to the last Follow Up of the year. It just so happens that today is also National Call a Friend Day. Since we consider all of our prospects ‘soon-to-be’ friends, we’ll be giving them a ring to celebrate the holiday. 👫 

In today’s Follow Up:

  • Best sales stories of 2023 💡 

  • 25 proven sales letter templates ✍️ 

  • A sales call tip of the day 📞 

  • What are sales reps doing this week?

  • Sales jobs and a sales meme 😂 

The Best Sales Stories of 2023

2023 was quite the year. AI, layoffs, missed quotas, and much more.

You name it. This year had it.

As we finish out the year, let’s take a look back at some of the best sales stories, breakdowns, and guides of 2023.


From CEO back to BDR

In 2014, Brian started an office water cooler business and used cold calling to land over 1,000 B2B contracts. 5 years later, he sold the business for 7-figures, but that’s not where his story ends. Fast forward to today, and Brian is a remote 1099 sales rep, working 30-40 hours/week, and is on track to make $300K. Read the full story.

What it was like selling for WeWork

WeWork had a rough 2023. Once valued at $47 billion, the company was forced to file for bankruptcy last month. We sat down with an ex-WeWork sales rep to find out what it was like to work in sales at WeWork under Adam Neumann. Read the full story.

The 2023 Wolf of Wall Street

According to SEC filings, a firm created a classic Wall Street boiler using unlicensed sales reps to sell “private equity” investment opportunities. Their pitch claimed that they made no commission, and only profited when clients did. But according to the report, the sales reps raised over $35M from 300 investors, and took home $12.8M in commissions. Read the full story.

The First Sales Reps at Google

25 years ago, 3 sales reps based in the Bay Area made the decision of a lifetime. They joined a start-up that started as a school project to organize internet search results and turned into the 4th largest company in the world. Find out who the first salespeople at Google were, and what they’re up to today. Read the full story.


Are Extroverts Good Salespeople?

Most people associate good salespeople with fast-talking, outgoing extroverts. However, a 2012 study of 340 sales reps challenged this idea. Turns out, the best sales reps are actually somewhere in the middle. Read the full breakdown.

The Best Sales Reps Don’t Care About Recognition

A Sales Study from 1998 compared sales reps with a learning goal vs a performance goal to see who is more successful. Learning-oriented reps care about developing their skills while performance-oriented reps just care about being recognized for their skills and hitting targets. Read the full breakdown.

The Sales Playbook That Took Salesforce from $25M to $5 Billion

David Rudnitsky wrote the go-to-market enterprise sales playbook for Salesforce and helped take the tech giant from $25 million in revenue to more than $5 billion. David’s 11 rules started as a guide for his sales team and were adopted by the entire company. Read the full breakdown.


Google’s Update on Cold Email

On October 3rd, Google released an update on their 2024 spam policy, and cold emailers went crazy. Any company sending more than 5,000 emails/day needs to be aware of the changes, but the new guidelines will primarily affect B2C companies. Read guide one and guide two.

The Correct Answer to "Sell Me This Pen"

The notorious Wolf of Wall Street movie scene made this question famous. These days, it’s a common interview question used by sales managers everywhere. But if you’re basing your answer on what you saw in the movie, you’re probably answering it wrong. Read the full breakdown.

How to Write Better as a Salesperson

Good writing is a cheat code to better thinking, better speaking, and better communicating. But most salespeople aren’t great writers. Learn about 5 simple tips you can use to level up your sales writing. Read the full guide.

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Steal these 25 classic sales letters

Stop writing every damn email from scratch. That’s essentially the opposite of self-care, and we can’t bear to see you suffer. 

Here’s a pack of proven sales letters for first-touch, follow-up, and breakup communications — including a “last call” email with a 33% response rate, and a drip campaign that closed $100k in a month

Use what already exists before you hit another inbox. 

Sales Tip of The Day 💡 

After your prospect answers a question, use the 3-second rule.

As soon as they stop speaking, count 3 seconds before you respond. 1...2..3…

This shows that you’re listening to understand them. And in many cases, they’ll continue to speak and give you additional information.

When you speak too soon, you risk cutting them off and missing out on golden nuggets.

Sales in the News 🗞️ 

Cool Jobs at Cool Companies  

Sales Meme of the Day

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