sales books

14 Books Salespeople Should Read

Ongoing sales training is crucial to increase the knowledge you need to improve your sales game. It takes practice and a commitment to be the best you can be, and good sales professionals are always looking to sharpen their skills and sales acumen. 

Luckily, there are a ton of resources out there to help you grow as a salesperson and stay at the top of your game. We compiled some of the top sales books we think will add value to anyone in a sales profession:

Art of War

It’s hard to know whether Sun Tzu would have appreciated that his Chinese military treatise, Art of War, has become something of an unofficial playbook for sales reps, corporations, and sports teams. While it was written in the 5th century, the strategies for defeating the enemy still apply.  

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie’s seminal self-help guide for interpersonal skills and business savvy was an instant success when it was first published in 1936. Since then, the book’s advice on leadership, happiness, effective persuasion techniques, and enhancing your likability has influenced hundreds of thousands of people including Warren Buffet.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey is the author. This book was published in 1989. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was heralded as one of the top business management books by both Forbes and Time Magazine and has sold over 25 million copies in 40 different languages.

How to Master the Art of Selling

Tom Hopkins, the founder of Tom Hopkins International, Inc. and hailed as a top sales professional and trainer, wrote How to Master the Art of Selling to document his rags to riches experience of going from a failing businessman to a millionaire in just three years. If nothing else, think of Hopkins as a lesson in successful self promotion.

The Psychology of Selling

Salesman-extraordinaire Brian Tracy helps you refine your technique and sharpen your presentation skills in just one of his 30 books on the art of effective selling.

Secrets of Closing the Sale

Motivational speaking legend Zig Ziglar’s book on the power of persuasion remains a must-read for sales professionals 16 years after its original publication. The guide includes tips from top business leaders and lessons about presentation skills. Closing arguments, all of which Ziglar claimed to have tested and proved himself.

Selling to the C-Suite: What Every Executive Wants You to Know About Successfully Selling to the Top

Prepare yourself for pitching to the CEOs with this guide to making it to the big leagues. Culling from interviews with leaders of over 500 organizations, the book details how to get time with the big wigs. Just what makes high level execs lean in and take notice and how to grow and maintain those new relationships.

SPIN Selling

Neil Rackham, author of SPIN Selling, teaches readers his SPIN strategy, outlining each facet of the Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need payoff components.

Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play: Transforming the Buyer/Seller Relationship

Mahan Khalsa and Randy Illig pick up where Spin Selling left off and modernizes the consultative sales approach. They argue that it’s possible to create win-wins where both the customer and the salesperson get what they want. But it’s the salesperson’s responsibility to show value. Nothing groundbreaking about that. But Khals and Illing introduce the concept of a sales culture that helps reduce fear through clarity, authenticity, and emotional intelligence. Steven R. Covey adds credibility by writing the introduction.

How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling

Another oldie but goody, Frank Bettger’s 1947 classic outlines key skills he practiced in order to turn around his life and business. It also includes what he believes to be the recipe for building positive relationships and accomplishing goals.

To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

The bestselling guide by Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind, argues that anyone is a salesperson. We’ve all had to persuade someone to do something, even if it doesn’t directly involve buying a product or service. Using thorough research and concrete examples, Pink lays out everything you need to know about how people pitch and convince in their daily lives and how you can use it in your sales career.

Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness

If you’re looking for a quick-read, this book by Jeffrey Gitomer is for you. This book is filled with selling tips you can act on immediately. This book isn’t just a quick-fix to help you close more deals. But the no-nonsense tips you’ll learn in this book will help you throughout your career.

7L: The Seven Levels of Communication: Go From Relationships to Referrals

Michael J. Maher tells an inspiring story of how a mortgage professional built a successful business through referrals to show how the various levels of communication provides better client interactions. When your interactions with your clients are better, you sell more and your get more referrals. Your improved communication can also lead you to a better personal life.

New Sales. Simplified.: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development

A lot of the books on this list address the all-important mental aspect of selling. But if you’re looking for a practical strategy in the digital age to tackle your sales challenges , this is the book for you. It provides a framework to understand the mistakes you may be making. And ways you can correct those mistakes to build a winning strategy.

Mastering your sales game is the one thing you can control that can set you up for success. If you are serious about mastering your sales game, you have to learn new strategies and techniques. You also have to stay motivated. These sales books are full of motivation and practical sales and business advice.

James Meincke

James is the Head of Marketing @ Demodesk, the intelligent meeting platform for remote sales. Previously he was the Director of Marketing at CloserIQ.