Best Sales Books
Whether you’re new in your sales career or in search of fresh content to up your game, picking a solid sales book can be just the thing to get you back on track. Since there are endless options to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of the best sales books of all time.
Of course, like the badass Gap Seller you are, it’s imperative to start with the problem you want to solve before diving into the product you think could help. Looking for best sales books for beginners? Want to learn an entirely new selling technique? Struggling to close deals because buyers are going dark? Identify the “why” behind your search first, and then you’ll be in a position to make the right decision. Once you’ve nailed the “why”, you’re ready to make a decision.
Why do you read sales books? Sales is one of the most well read careers. We are constantly trying to stay up to date on new trends, methods, and tactics. Having an ongoing list of books to read allows us to keep our skills sharp. Consistent learning and growth is a crucial piece of a successful salesperson’s day to day life. We are lucky to have so many influential leaders in our space that choose to write books and we can learn from these people and be inspired by them through their writing. The best books for sales professionals have been written by sales professionals.
1. Gap Selling
Of course, we had to include Gap Selling as one of our favorite sales books. Gap Selling busts common sales myths and encourages you to forget about being “liked” or building relationships. Instead, the Gap Selling methodology shows salespeople how to find their prospect’s “gap”– the space between the current state and the future state. It’s only by identifying the gap and uncovering the root cause of the customer’s problem that you can truly understand how to help your prospect. Obvious bias aside, Gap Selling is one of the best books for selling.
2. The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
This sales book is on the list because its premise and thesis of challenging customers is spot on. The idea of embracing an approach and style that allows you to challenge and teach your prospects is absolutely a bad ass salesperson differentiator. Instead of playing the relationship-builder role, The Challenger Sale teaches you to step outside of being an order-taker and provide real value to your prospect by becoming a trusted advisor.
3. Hope Is Not A Strategy by Rick Page
An oldie but goodie! Being a “good closer” isn’t enough to consistently win at sales. Hope is Not a Strategy shows salespeople how to get away from pie-in-the-sky selling ideas and create a strategy for consistent selling. Easy to read and well-organized, Page’s simple strategies are great for any salesperson in search of a structured plan to close the deal.
4. Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount
If nothing happens until something gets sold, then nothing gets sold until you can prospect. Prospecting is where everything happens. It’s how we build our pipelines. It’s how we position ourselves for success. If your prospecting is suspect, nothing can save you. Fanatical Prospecting is designed to help you build a solid pipeline faster. Learn about the 30-day rule, the law of replacement, the P’s holding you back and more. If you want a bigger pipeline, this sales book can help you get it!
5. Discover Questions by Deb Calvert
We all know how hard it is to get a prospect to take a call. So how can you be the one salesperson that stands out from the pack? Discover Questions teaches salespeople how to ask high-value questions to challenge the buyer and help them understand their situation from a new angle. These research-driven questions are proven to help salespeople conduct more effective discoveries that make the buyer actually want to call you back!
6. The Lost Art Of Closing by Anthony Iannarino
It’s no secret that pushy closing tactics leave buyers with a bad taste in their mouth. In The Lost Art of Closing, Iannarino re-frames the idea of closing with a fresh set of techniques and examples. Instead of pushing the buyer and manipulating the sale, Iannarino shows salespeople how to ensure customer commitment at every stage of the sale, building up to the buyer’s final “hell yes!” This is one of the best sales books for anyone who’s sick of slimy closing techniques.
7. Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss
Chris Voss’s experience as an FBI hostage negotiator makes this negotiation book a killer read. In Never Split the Difference, Voss walks the reader through a series of negotiation techniques to help keep you in control of the conversation. Through practicing active listening and intentional conversations, these negotiation tactics place you as the salesperson in a position of understanding and influence.
8. The Go Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann
Hustle culture teaches us how to be go-getters, relentlessly chasing after what we want. In a surprising twist on this mainstream idea, The Go Giver argues that success comes when you’re able to give value instead of chasing it. Through a parable-like story, the authors describe five lessons on why giving leads to higher success rates than being a “go-getter.” This book is a game changer for those of us who have a hard time slowing down!
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3 Must-Read Books for Salespeople (That Aren’t Actually About Sales)
1. Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
There is no better book to prepare you to be successful in sales OR in business than Execution. What makes Execution so valuable is its ability to reshape your thinking processes. Execution trains your mind to think not only in terms of “what” you need to do but more importantly, “how” you are going to do it. When faced with a tough economy, a competitive space, or a high quota, knowing “how” you are going to make quota and drive the revenue number is the difference between the good sales people and the best.
2. Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Made to Stick is about messaging. The Heath brothers break down the fundamentals of messaging and how messaging sticks and gets a life of its own. Leveraging the acronym S.U.C.C.E.S, they lay out what is at the core of all successful communication that captures peoples attention and “sticks.” SUCCES, (simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, stories) creates messages that leave a lasting impression on people. In sales, stories are what we tell. Knowing how to craft and build stories that accomplish all the elements of SUCCES is how you capture your prospect’s attention and get them responding to your emails, your phone calls and increasing their engagement. Badass sales people are just better at getting their messages to stick.
3. How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
How We Decide is a killer book that breaks down the physical elements that go into how we make decisions. Our mind is a very powerful place and there are real physical processes happening in the brain when we are faced with a choice. How We Decide lays out what’s happening inside our brains and the brains of our customers when faced with a decision. Understanding how the brain is processing the information we put in front of them and how they are going to choose you over your competitor is a critical skill of badass sales people.
Got a different one on your list? Let us know – we want to know your opinion on the best sales books ever written.