Successful salespeople and leaders should constantly be looking to learn more and hone their skills. And reading a book is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to up your sales game.
Here are some of the top sales books for sales professionals in every role:
Top Sales Books for BDRs
Baseline Selling: How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know About the Game of Baseball
by Dave Kurlan
Using baseball as a metaphor, Kurlan outlines what new salespeople really need to know about qualifying process and the sales process. Kurlan’s guidelines help BDRs learn how to identify the most likely prospects and devote resources towards them. Even non-baseball fans can receive value from this detailed breakdown of the different stages in the sales process. Kurlan explains how to receive buy-in from prospects at every stage of the game.
The Best Damn Sales Book Ever: 16 Rock-Solid Rules for Achieving Sales Success
by Warren Greshes
In this accessible, entertaining guidebook, Greshes lays out the basics of what new sales representatives need to know. The first half of the book provides a step-by-step guide for BDRs to plan for future success, discussing topics such as the right attitude for success and how to self-motivate. Then, Greshes delves into how the best salespeople succeed by selling value—not just a product or service.
Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling
by Jeb Blount
By keeping the pipeline full, BDRs can set themselves up for success. Yet prospecting remains one of the dreaded BDR tasks. Blount provides a wealth of information of how to prospect successfully using both new and old methods. This book offers concrete rules on a range of prospecting-related topics, including how to keep the pipeline full, social selling, email prospecting, and cold calling.
How to Master the Art of Selling
by Tom Hopkins
Hopkins’ classic, bestselling book has been updated for the modern era. It now includes information on how to sell successfully through email and other online resources. Additionally, Hopkins explains classic sales techniques that are always helpful for sales success. This book will help BDRs of all experience levels get into the mindset of a successful salesperson. Hopkins offers systemized processes for vital tasks such as qualification, handling objections, and closing the deal.
Smart Calling: Eliminate the Fear, Failure, and Rejection from Cold Calling
by Art Sobczak
BDRs spend much of their time cold calling prospects, yet even many experienced salespeople fear the sound of a ringtone. Sobczak explains how to make smart cold calls so that sales representatives can hear a “yes” more frequently. The book provides a step-by-step guide to prospecting, preparing for a call, formulating a value proposition, and following through with a successful call.
Top Sales Books for Account Executives
The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation
by Matthew Dixon and Brett Adamson
Dixon, Adamson, and colleagues at the Corporate Executive Board studied thousands of sales representatives to discover the key to sales success. Their findings upended conventional wisdom about customer success. According to Dixon and Adamson, sales isn’t just about building relationships; the most successful salespeople are able to challenge customers, not just cater to their every whim. This book presents a guide for identifying challengers within your organization, empowering them to succeed, and teaching all sales reps to become challengers.
Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine
by Jeanne Bliss
Account executives are essentially chief customer officers who are charged with satisfying the needs of existing customers. However, many organizations have siloes in place that inhibit great customer experiences. In this updated guide for executives in customer-facing positions, Bliss lays out a five-competency model for promoting customer happiness. By attending to customers’ needs, Bliss argues, executives can create a model for long-term growth.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
by Dale Carnegie
While Carnegie’s classic book isn’t specific to sales, it is a must-read for everyone who manages client accounts. This text lays out clear, easy-to-follow rules for essential skills: getting other people to like you, handling a diverse range of personalities, and convincing people to come around to your point of view. These skills are highly transferable to a range of sales situations and are particularly useful for cultivating strong client relationships.
SPIN Selling: Situation Problem Implication Need Payoff
by Neil Rackham
Rackman, founder and former CEO of Huthwaite corporation, outlines the SPIN approach to selling high-value B2B products and services in this classic text. The SPIN approach helps account executives tackle this essential question: how to increase the account values of major accounts? According to Rackman, the same techniques that work for smaller sales just don’t cut it for larger accounts. By implementing the simple SPIN principles, drawn from Rackman’s experiences at Huthwaite and IBM, AEs can expand business with major accounts.
The Trusted Advisor
by David Maister, Charles H. Green, and Robert M. Galford
Trust is essential for client success, especially for companies that sell services. In this book, Maister, Green, and Galford break down what trust really means with their “Trust Equation.” The equation includes both rational and emotional factors that build trustworthiness. Working from there, the authors show how account executives can take actionable steps to become trusted advisors to their customers—and keep clients’ business and loyalty.
Top Sales Books for Enterprise Account Executives
Dealstorming: The Secret Weapon That Can Solve Your Toughest Sales Challenges
by Tim Sanders
Every deal has roadblocks, and large enterprise deals have more than most. In this new book, Sanders demonstrates a process for getting past major roadblocks by mobilizing the entire team’s talents and energy. In particular, people outside of sales can add a lot of value to the dealmaking process. The seven-step process outlined here has worked for companies such as Yahoo!, Regus, and CareerBuilder.
Selling to Big Companies
by Jill Konrath
Konrath offers a comprehensive guide to landing major accounts in B2B sales. She discusses major mistakes companies make in enterprise sales and how to better understand the decision-making processes behind large deals. The book walks salespeople through the entire process of identifying the best process, finding the right people to contact at large companies, landing meetings with decision-makers, and articulating a value proposition that sells.
Selling to the C-Suite: What Every Executive Wants You to Know About Successfully Selling to the Top
by Nicholas A.C. Read and Stephen J. Bistritz
Many account executives have wondered: What do top-level executives really want from salespeople? Read and Bistritz talked with executives across more than 500 organizations and derived simple principles for how to effectively reach C-Suite buyers. Contrary to popular belief, these decision-makers actually welcome sales pitches—provided they are approached correctly. The authors guide salespeople through the process of a successful enterprise sale.
Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company
by Tom Searcy and Barbara Weaver Smith
In this guide to enterprise sales, the authors use whale hunting as a metaphor. Although landing a major account can appear to be an insurmountable task, Searcy and Weaver Smith break it down into a nine-step process. The book focuses on how sales leaders can transform the sales force to be more oriented towards enterprise sales, focusing on larger strategy over nuts and bolts.
Top Sales Management Books
Coaching Sales People into Sales Champions: A Tactical Playbook for Managers and Executives
by Keith Rosen
Learning how to coach effectively is a skill that every sales manager must develop. Rosen offers a comprehensive guide for sales coaching, drawing from evidence-based strategies. The book’s content includes the six basic principals of masterful coaching, mistakes to avoid, and tips for real-life scenarios managers encounter (such as underperforming sales representatives). Rosen offers a step-by-step guide to effective coaching.
Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance
by Jason Jordan and Michelle Vazzana
Every sales manager is hungry for success—but defining success can be more complicated than it seems. In this book, Jordan and Vazzana break down what it really means to manage a sales force effectively. They cover exactly which sales metrics managers should track and what processes to implement in order to succeed. While this book is heavy on data and formulas, it breaks down complex concepts into real best practices for managers.
The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million
by Mark Roberge
As former CRO of HubSpot, Roberge built a dynamic sales force from the ground up. In this book, Roberge takes the guesswork out of scaling and provides his formula for successfully scaling a sales team. This includes clearly defined formulas for hiring successful salespeople, training them, managing a sales force, and generating a strong volume of leads every month.
The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales
by Trish Bertuzzi
Bertuzzi offers a practical guide for sales managers who need to scale their teams quickly, focusing on effective recruiting and team building. Not only does Bertuzzi demonstrate how to strategize and recruit when scaling, she also covers how to build a team that prioritizes retention and team development. Drawing from her thirty years in sales, Bertuzzi argues that building the right team through proven methods is critical for growth.
Sales Management. Simplified.
by Mike Weinberg
This book presents a concise, actionable guide to sales management. In the first part, Weinberg reviews 16 common mistakes that sales managers make which end up hurting their teams. Then in part two, he shows how managers can create a successful sales machine. His tips cover a range of sales topics, from how to structure compensation plans to running sales meetings that are actually helpful for your team. Weinberg, a longtime sales consultant, uses real-life anecdotes to illustrate his points.
Top Sales Fundamentals Books
7L: The Seven Levels of Communication: Go from Relationships to Referrals
Michael J. Maher
This book follows Rick Masters, a real estate agent who turned his struggling business around by learning how to better leverage referrals. Masters’ remarkable story reveals much about how personal relationships shape business success. Salespeople can learn from the basic principles of communication and relationship-building outlines by Maher. These ideas are applicable in a range of different selling situations, including B2B sales.
The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service
All salespeople need to deliver stellar customer service, regardless of specific role. Here Cockerell lays out 39 rules for providing excellent service, delivered in highly digestible chapters. The rules, such as “treat every customer like a regular” and “don’t try too hard,” are simple yet profound. By remembering the basics, salespeople can better serve customers at every level.
Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
by Oren Klaff
Pitching is oftentimes described as an art form, but to Klaff it’s a simple science that can be hacked using the principles of neuroeconomics. Klaff presents his STRONG method for delivering an effective pitch, which he himself has used to raise more than $400 million in funding. The method can be applied to a variety of pitching situations.
To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
by Daniel H. Pink
Pink, a noted linguist, argues that selling is a fundamental part of the human condition. Yet not everyone knows how to sell effectively. Using a range of example, Pink illustrates how salespeople and non-salespeople alike sell on a daily basis. This book will help salespeople add tools to the arsenal and rethink the way they sell to prospects.
Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth
by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
Most startups fail not because they lack original ideas, but because they can’t acquire new users at a healthy rate. So, how do you find users? The authors break down how to effectively acquire new users, drawing on interviews from successful startup founders such as Paul English (Kayak) and Dharmesh Shah (HubSpot). By following these tips, startups can find their users and lay the foundation for long-term success.
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