The 25 Best Sales Books to Read Right Now
Garrison Keillor once said “a book is a gift you can open again and again.” We couldn’t agree more here at Brainshark.
Sales books are not only an excellent source of inspiration and self-improvement, but they also give us a much-needed chance to recharge, reflect, and take a deep breath amid our busy schedules.
And whether you’re a first-time manager, a veteran rep, a CSO, or a sales enablement pro, there’s almost always something you can take away from a book that’s well-written and insightful – be it a new perspective on prospecting, keeping your team motivated, or developing great buyer relationships.
Ready to start reading? We’ve compiled the following list (presented in no particular order) to help anyone pick one or two of the top sales books in 2019. Enjoy!
The 25 Best Sales Books to Read in 2019
- Gap Selling
- Cracking the Sales Management Code
- Never Split the Difference
- Eat Their Lunch
- Sales Manager Survival Guide
- Crushing Quota
- How to Win Friends & Influence People
- Talent is Overrated
- New Sales. Simplified.
- Conversations That Sell
- Sales Enablement
- Stop Selling and Start Leading
- The Long-Distance Leader
- Rebirth of the Salesman
- The Introvert’s Edge
- More Sales, Less Time
- The Lost Art of Closing
- Combo Prospecting
- The Sales Enablement Playbook
- The Sales Development Playbook
- The Sales Acceleration Formula
- To Sell Is Human
- The Science of Selling
- Little Red Book of Selling
1. Gap Selling
How can salespeople focus more on the customer’s problems and less on the solution they’re trying to sell? That’s exactly what longtime sales consultant Keenan maps out in Gap Selling. He outlines a methodology for better understanding the business impact of the buyer’s challenges, and then creating value by identifying the “gap” between the client’s present state and desired future state.
2. Cracking the Sales Management Code
Authors: Jason Jordan and Michelle Vazzana
While many sales management books cover topics ranging from leadership to coaching, Cracking the Sales Management Code focuses squarely on the keys to managing and measuring a sales force. Jordan and Vazzana, co-founders of sales consultancy Vantage Point Performance, identify 5 processes for achieving strategic outcomes, share advice for changing rep behavior, and highlight 3 levels of sales metrics that leaders can use to manage team performance.
3. Never Split the Difference
Author: Chris Voss
Former hostage negotiator Chris Voss is no stranger to high-stakes situations, developing skills that helped save lives during a long and successful career with the FBI. In Never Split The Difference, he outlines nine principles of effective negotiation that can help readers of all backgrounds become more persuasive and improve their emotional intelligence in any discussion.
4. Eat Their Lunch
Author: Anthony Iannarino
Winning over your competitors’ customers might sound daunting, but that’s exactly what Iannarino aims to help sellers do in Eat Their Lunch. This B2B-focused book presents a guide for prioritizing potential clients, uncovering key priorities across the buyer’s organization – from the CEO down – and then creating a plan for earning buy-in from each of these contacts, in the right order.
5. Sales Manager Survival Guide
Author: David A. Brock
Brock’s comprehensive Sales Manager Survival Guide covers everything from coaching and training, to reviewing key sales activities (calls, deals, pipeline reports), to interviewing and hiring new reps, and even managing under-performing team members. Whether you’re looking for an all-in-one book to reference multiple times or an introduction to sales management, this one is a must-read.
6. Crushing Quota
Author: Michelle Vazzana
Although companies often acknowledge the value of sales coaching, it’s an unfortunate truth that many sales managers don’t provide effective coaching – whether due to lack of time, skill, or effort. In Crushing Quota, Vazzana explains how managers can assess rep performance and help their teams maximize every opportunity.
7. How to Win Friends & Influence People
Author: Dale Carnegie
Who couldn’t use a little tried-and-true advice for building (and managing) our relationships? The principles outlined in Carnegie’s classic hold up exceptionally well today and can provide sales reps and leaders with actionable tips for connecting with buyers, internal team members, or any other key stakeholders in your field.
Related: 3 Sales Management Lessons from Dale Carnegie
8. Talent is Overrated
Author: Geoff Colvin
While the scope of Colvin’s best-seller extends well beyond sales, Talent is Overrated does an excellent job of explaining what fuels success for the world’s elite performers – whether they’re musicians, doctors, or salespeople. Rooted in scientific research, the book identifies the specific approach of “deliberate practice” that high achievers share and how it affects performance.
9. New Sales. Simplified.
Author: Mike Weinberg
If capturing new business is on your organization’s mind (and hopefully it is!), Weinberg’s handbook provides a detailed process for sourcing, developing and closing deals. Examples, anecdotes, and humor are used throughout the book to help reps develop key sales skills, including prospecting, storytelling, cold-calling, and presentation skills.
10. Conversations That Sell
Author: Nancy Bleeke
Today’s buyers want meaningful, collaborative sales conversations. Bleeke shares a five-step system build around the idea of “What’s in It for Them” (WIIFT), and then provides tips for capturing a client’s attention based on the type of buyer you’re dealing with.
11. Sales Enablement
Authors: Byron Matthews and Tamara Schenk
Written by Miller Heiman Group CEO, Byron Matthews, and CSO Insights Research Director, Tamara Schenk, “Sales Enablement” is a practical introduction to delivering smarter sales training, content and coaching. Schenk and Matthews carefully lay out the complexities of the sales enablement space, outline step-by-step approaches to implementation and illustrate real-world practices via case studies. The result is a comprehensive plan for improving sales force productivity and increasing revenue.
Author: Jeb Blount
With modern buyers more informed and skeptical than ever, “no” has become an all-too-common part of the average salesperson’s lexicon. Jeb Blount, CEO of Sales Gravy, uses his expertise to break down the realities of facing objections, and how sellers can use human influence best practices to overcome deal roadblocks and win more business.
13. Stop Selling and Start Leading
Authors: James Kouzes, Barry Posner and Deb Calvert
James Kouzes and Barry Posner, co-authors of award-winning best-seller, The Leadership Challenge, team up with leading sales consultant, Deb Calvert, to explain the shift in mindset needed for sellers to meaningfully connect with buyers. The key to more effective selling, they write, can be found in the behaviors and traits of successful leaders.
14. The Long-Distance Leader
Authors: Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel
As more employees work remotely, sales leaders and managers must combat the unique challenges that come with leading a distributed sales force. In this book, written by Remote Leadership Institute co-founders, Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel, leaders of all backgrounds can learn how to keep employees on task, productive and engaged, whether they work an ocean away or in the same building.
15. Rebirth of the Salesman
Author: Cian McLoughlin
It’s no secret that the sales industry has changed significantly, as better-informed buyers come to control more of the sales process. This shifting landscape becomes the background against which Cian McLoughlin, co-author of Secrets for Business Success, explores the traits and skills needed to become a more effective seller in this new world.
16. The Introvert’s Edge
Authors: Matthew Pollard with Derek Lewis
The traditional sales rep demeanor is gregarious and insistent. For those who are naturally reserved, however, a traditional approach might feel forced or insincere. In “The Introvert’s Edge,” sellers can learn how to better prepare for buyer interactions, objections and closing opportunities regardless of their personality profile.
17. More Sales, Less Time
Author: Jill Konrath
Between product updates, emerging technologies, social media and industry news, sales veterans and newcomers alike struggle to stay on top of their schedules in the digital age. Acclaimed sales strategist, author and keynote speaker, Jill Konrath, tackles this challenge head on in “More Sales, Less Time,” combining research and her own expertise to provide tips and practices for better sales time management.
18. The Lost Art of Closing
Author: Anthony Iannarino
Closing has always been tricky business, and with new buyer expectations and technologies changing the reality of sales, reps are still looking for effective ways to clear this final hurdle. Consultant Anthony Iannarino explores closing at length in this book, focusing not so much on the final commitment but rather the commitments buyers should be making over the course of the sales cycle.
19. Combo Prospecting
Author: Tony Hughes
In a world where buyers are in control, getting prospects to engage with salespeople might be the most difficult part of the sales process. In his new book, Tony Hughes – noted sales consultant, speaker, author and blogger – explains how a blend of time-tested prospecting tactics and new-age technology best practices is the key to connecting with today’s “Chief Executive Buyers.”
20. The Sales Enablement Playbook
Authors: Cory Bray and Hilmon Sorey
“The Sales Enablement Playbook” shares strategies designed to help readers establish a “culture of sales enablement” in their organizations and, ultimately, guide them toward their role within the evolving, maturing sales enablement function.
21. The Sales Development Playbook
Author: Trish Bertuzzi
Bertuzzi, sales development expert and founder of The Bridge Group, Inc., uses her more than two decades experience to show sales development teams how to build more qualified pipelines to skyrocket growth. She outlines 6 elements of success that include aligning your sales development model with your buyer’s journey, tactics for hiring and retaining reps, and more.
22. The Sales Acceleration Formula
Author: Mark Roberge
How can your sales team build a predictable, scalable approach to growing revenue? If you’re looking for a blueprint, this is it. Roberge, the former CRO of Hubspot, uses his engineering background to outline his metrics-driven, process-oriented approach to building an efficient revenue machine.
23. To Sell Is Human
Author: Daniel H. Pink
In this New York Times best-seller, Pink – author and presenter of one of the most-watched TED talks of all time – argues that everybody is in sales at the end of the day. He draws on important social science findings and survey research to refocus the way salespeople see the world, help them become more persuasive, and better understand the perspective of others.
24. The Science of Selling
Author: David Hoffeld
There’s a science behind what makes us choose, purchase, and trust the people selling to us, and Hoffeld – CEO of the Hoffeld Group – breaks it down in this book. He discusses how to engage buyers’ emotions to increase their receptiveness, discover underlying objections to neutralize them, and guide buyers through the purchasing process.
25. Little Red Book of Selling
Author: Jeffrey Gitomer
Many in the sales industry consider the Little Red Book of Selling to be a classic. Each chapter includes its own table of contents, pull quotes, and key takeaways on the fundamentals of selling. This is one to keep at your desk!
In addition to these great sales books, check out our exclusive sales enablement eBook, 14 Hacks to Upgrade Your Sales Enablement Strategy.
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