Best Sales Books to Boost Your Skills & Performance - PeaksLead
Best Sales Books To Boost Your Skills & Performance

Sales books can help you unlock your hidden potential and the potential of your sales team. Researchers have found that reading helps prevent stress, depression, and dementia, while also enhancing confidence, empathy, decision-making, and overall life satisfaction.

Above all, books are modern-day mentors. They’re like having unparalleled access to the greatest minds of our generation and generations past. This is why it’s so important to carve out time in your day to sit back and plow through some pages.

So how do you find the best books on sales, business, or on being successful?

-> Sales Strategy and Process

1. The Joshua Principle: Leadership Secrets of Selling
Author: Tony J. Hughes

Joshua Peters is a salesman in crisis – after losing a key deal his boss threatens him with the sack and he has doubts concerning his choice of career. Meanwhile his father is a sales veteran who progressed all the way to CEO but with their relationship at an all-time low he struggles to help. Then a mentor’s invitation from the other side of the world powerfully transforms everything as Joshua’s RSVP sets him on the path to discovering leadership secrets of strategic selling. He applies the principles to the biggest and most complex deal of his life and his journey culminates with a powerful meeting that finally reveals The Joshua Principle.

2. Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition
Author: Anthony Iannarino

The first-ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition, 
Like it or not, sales is often a zero-sum game: Your win is someone else’s loss. Most salespeople work in mature, overcrowded industries, your offerings are perceived (often unfairly) as commodities. Growth requires taking market share from your competitors, while they try to do the same to you. How else can you grow 12 percent a year in an industry that’s only growing by 3 percent?

3. Selling to Big Companies
Author: Jill Konrath
It’s time to stop making endless cold calls or waiting for the phone to ring. In today’s crazy marketplace, new sales strategies are needed to penetrate these big accounts. Discover how to:
  • Target accounts where you have the highest likelihood of success.
  • Find the names of prospects who can use your offering.
  • Create breakthrough value propositions that capture their attention
  • Develop an effective, multi-faceted account-entry campaign.
4. The Pirate's Guide to Sales: A Seller's Guide for Getting from Why to Buy
Author: Tyler Menke

Ever notice how no one likes to be sold, but most of us enjoy buying stuff?  Where is the disconnect?  In a business world that rapidly and exponentially adapts to change, our selling methods fail to keep up with human expectations.  The problem with most sales books is they’re written by either behavioral researchers with no real-world selling experience, or are first-hand accounts from top sales professionals and contain little to no supporting data.  The Pirate’s Guide to Sales uniquely blends years of selling concepts with real-world experience in a framework anyone can learn.

5. Demand-Side Sales 101: Stop Selling and Help Your Customers Make Progress
Author: Bob Moesta

For a lot of us, selling feels icky. Our stomachs tighten at the thought of reciting features and benefits or pressuring customers into purchasing. It’s really not our fault. We weren’t taught how to sell, plus we’ve been sold before, leaving us with a bitter taste.

Here’s the truth: sales do not have to feel icky for you or your customers. In fact, with the right approach, sales can be an empowering experience for all.

-> Sales Development and Prospecting

1. The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales
Author: Trish Bertuzzi

Raise your hand if your company needs more new customers. I suspect your hand is (figuratively) up. This book is about not just growth, but high-growth, explosive-growth, the kind of growth that weather satellites can see from space. The success of any business-to-business company is directly linked to how effectively they acquire a new pipeline. To skyrocket growth, sales development is the answer. This book encapsulates author Trish Bertuzzi’s three decades of practical, hands-on experience. It presents six elements for building a new pipeline and accelerating revenue growth with inside sales.

2. Predictable Prospecting: How to Radically Increase Your B2B Sales Pipeline
Author: Marylou Tyler

If your organization’s success is driven by B2B sales, you need to be an expert prospector to successfully target, qualify, and close business opportunities. This game-changing guide provides the immediately implementable strategies you need to build a solid, sustainable pipeline ― whether you’re a sales or marketing executive, team leader, or sales representative.

Based on the acclaimed business model that made Predictable Revenue a runaway bestseller, this powerful approach to B2B prospecting will help you

3. Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations
Author: Jeb Blount

Fanatical Prospecting gives salespeople, sales leaders, entrepreneurs, and executives a practical, eye-opening guide that clearly explains the why and how behind the most important activity in sales and business development—prospecting.

The brutal fact is the number one reason for failure in sales is an empty pipe and the root cause of an empty pipeline is the failure to consistently prospect. By ignoring the muscle of prospecting, many otherwise competent salespeople and sales organizations consistently underperform.

4. Sales Development: Cracking the Code of Outbound Sales
Author: Cory Bray

Sales development is one of the fastest-growing careers in the United States. It is fast-paced, often on the leading edge of technology, and people in the role have the possibility of making a ton of money!

Unlike accounting, medicine, or law, most salespeople do not study their profession in college. Instead, they are tossed into the fray without much training, context, or support, and are left to sink or swim. This method proves neither efficient nor effective for the individual or the company.

5. Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You
Author: John Hall

What do many successful businesses and leaders have in common? They’re the first names that come to mind when people think about their particular industries. How do you achieve this level of trust that influences people to think of you in the right way at the right time?

By developing habits and strategies that focus on engaging your audience, creating meaningful relationships, and delivering value consistently, day in and day out.

-> Sales Pitching and Closing

1. The Science of Selling
Author: David Hoffeld

Blending cutting-edge research in social psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics, The Science of Selling shows you how to align the way you sell with how our brains naturally form buying decisions, dramatically increasing your ability to earn more sales. Unlike other sales books, which primarily rely on anecdotal evidence and unproven advice, Hoffeld’s evidence-based approach connects the dots between science and situations salespeople and business leaders face every day to help you consistently succeed

2. Secrets of a Master Closer
Author: Mr. Mike Kaplan

f you want to know, step by step, how to quickly, easily, and smoothly walk anyone from being a skeptical prospect to a happy customer that refers you friends, family, and colleagues…then you want to read this book. Here’s the deal: At its core, selling isn’t a patchwork of cheesy closing techniques, annoying high-pressure tactics, or gimmicky rebuttals. True salesmanship follows very specific laws, has very specific steps and stages, and leaves a customer feeling happy and helped. It’s honest, respectful, enlightening, friendly, and done with real care.

3. Sales Differentiation: 19 Powerful Strategies to Win More Deals at the Prices You Want
Author: Lee B. Salz

f you want to know, step by step, how to quickly, easily, and smoothly walk anyone from being a skeptical prospect to a happy customer that refers you friends, family, and colleagues…then you want to read this book. Here’s the deal: At its core, selling isn’t a patchwork of cheesy closing techniques, annoying high-pressure tactics, or gimmicky rebuttals.

True salesmanship follows very specific laws, has very specific steps and stages, and leaves a customer feeling happy and helped. It’s honest, respectful, enlightening, friendly, and done with real care.

4. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It
Author: Chris Voss ft Tahl Raz

Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’s head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles—counterintuitive tactics and strategies—you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.

Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for buying a car, negotiating a salary, buying a home, renegotiating rent, deliberating with your partner.

5. Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
Author: Oren Klaff

When it comes to delivering a pitch, Oren Klaff has unparalleled credentials. Over the past 13 years, he has used his one-of-a-kind method to raise more than $400 million, and now, for the first time, he describes his formula to help you deliver a winning pitch in any business situation.

Whether you’re selling ideas to investors, pitching a client for new business, or even negotiating for a higher salary, Pitch Anything will transform the way you position your ideas.

-> Sales Models and Fundamentals

1. Unbreakable Laws of Selling: Proven Actions You Must Take to Make Easier, Faster, Bigger Sales
Author: Jeffrey Gitomer

There are universal laws of selling that determine whether you succeed or don’t succeed ― whether you earn enough to enjoy the lifestyle you want or struggle to make ends meet. When you align the wind with your sails, you move effortlessly across the water. When your sails are out of alignment, you flounder and go nowhere. If you align your thinking and actions with these powerful laws of selling, you will be more effective and efficient. You will encounter less friction, require less energy, and get bigger results faster.

2. Gap Selling: Getting the Customer to Yes
Author: Keenan

People don’t buy from people they like. No! Your buyer doesn’t care about you or your product or service. It’s not your job to overcome objections, it’s your buyer’s. Closing isn’t a skill of good salespeople; it’s the skill of weak salespeople. Price isn’t the main reason salespeople lose the sale. Gap Selling shreds traditional and closely-held sales beliefs that have been hurting salespeople for decades.

3. Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today's Ever
Author: Jill Konrath

When salespeople are promoted, switch jobs, or face new business conditions, they need to learn lots of new information and skills quickly. It’s a daunting task, compounded by the fact that they’re under intense pressure to deliver immediate results.

What Jill Konrath calls agile selling is the ability to quickly learn all this new info and then leverage it for maximum impact. Having an agile mindset, one that keeps you going through challenging times, is the crucial starting point.

4. The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier
Author: Brian Tracy

The purpose of this book is to give you a series of ideas, methods, strategies, and techniques that you can use immediately to make more sales, faster and easier than ever before.

 It’s a promise of prosperity that sales guru Brian Tracy has seen fulfilled again and again. More sales people have become millionaires as a result of listening to and applying his ideas than from any other sales training process ever developed.

5. Buyer-Centered Selling: How Modern Sellers Engage & Collaborate with Buyers
Author: Thomas J. Williams

It may be hard to imagine, but something as counterintuitive as leading with your flaws can result in faster sales cycles, increased win rates, and makes competing with you almost impossible.

Leveraging transparency and vulnerability in your presentations and your negotiations lead to faster buyer consensus, larger deals, faster payments, longer commitments, and more predictable sales forecasts.

6. The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation
Author: Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

In The Challenger Sale, Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson share the secret to sales success: don’t just build relationships with customers. Challenge them What’s the secret to sales success? If you’re like most business leaders, you’d say it’s fundamentally about relationships – and you’d be wrong. The best salespeople don’t just build relationships with customers. They challenge them. Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson, and their colleagues at CEB have studied the performance of thousands of sales reps worldwide. And what they discovered may be the biggest shock to conventional sales wisdom in decades.

7. The Transparency Sale
Author: Todd Caponi

The future of sales is radically transparent. Are you ready for it?
Today, anyone buying anything relies on reviews and feedback shared by strangers and often trusts those anonymously posted experiences more than the claims made by the providers of the products or services themselves. They expect to see the full picture and find out all of the pros and cons before making any purchase. And the larger the purchase, the greater the demand for transparency.

What if the key to selling was to do exactly the opposite of what most sales courses tell you to do?

-> Sales Enablement & Engagement

1. The Sales Enablement Playbook
Author: Cory Bray and Hilmon Sorey

In The Sales Enablement Playbook, sales veterans Cory Bray and Hilmon Sorey provide insights into creating a culture of sales enablement throughout your organization. This book provides a series of stand-alone chapters with frameworks and tactics that you can immediately implement, regardless of company size or industry.

Whether you are a sales executive, sales practitioner, or a non-sales executive looking for ways to impact growth, The Sales Enablement Playbook will help you identify your role in a thriving enablement ecosystem.

2. Enablement Mastery: Grow Your Business Faster
Author: Elay Cohen

In Enablement Mastery, author Elay Cohen gives you his proven, straightforward, and effective method for aligning people, processes, and priorities with relevant learning, coaching, and communications. This book will show you how to build organizational value and multiply revenue outcomes by enabling your employees and partners to be the best they can be. Geared toward sales enablement professionals, this book teaches leadership teams how to deploy the Enablement Process Map to align go-to-market teams, create a learning culture, and make communications relevant.

3. Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions: A Tactical Playbook for Managers and Executives
Author: Keith Rosen

Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions is your playbook to creating a thriving coaching culture and building a team of top producers. This book is packed with case studies, a 30 Day Turnaround Strategy for underperformers, a library of coaching templates and scripts, as well as hundreds of powerful coaching questions you can use immediately to coach anyone in any situation.

You will learn how to confidently facilitate powerful, engaging coaching conversations so that your team can resolve their own problems and take ownership of the solution.

4. Sales Engagement
Author: Manny Medina, Max Altschuler and Mark Kosoglow

Sales Engagement is how you engage and interact with your potential buyer to create connection, grab attention, and generate enough interest to create a buying opportunity. Sales Engagement details the modern way to build the top of the funnel and generate qualified leads for B2B companies. 

This book explores why a Sales Engagement strategy is so important and walks you through the modern sales process to ensure you’re effectively connecting with customers every step of the way.

-> Sales Skills

1. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
Author: Daniel H. Pink

Whether we’re employees pitching colleagues on a new idea, entrepreneurs enticing funders to invest, or parents and teachers cajoling children to study, we spend our days trying to move others. Like it or not, we’re all in sales now.

To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights.

2. Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success: Connect with Customers and Get Results
Author: Colleen Stanley

Emotional intelligence plays a vital role at every stage of the sales process. It’s easy to get defensive when prospects challenge you on price or to quickly cave and offer discounts in response to pressure. Those are examples of the fight-or-flight response–something salespeople learn to avoid when they build their emotional intelligence.

Sales trainer and expert Colleen Stanley cite studies that show how emotional intelligence (EI) is a strong indicator of sales success–and offers tips on how you can sharpen your skills and expand your emotional toolkit.

3. Selling with EASE
Author: Chris Murray

There are 4 distinct steps to every business transaction employed by all successful salespeople – and it’s the understanding and execution of those 4 steps that separates the elite from the rest of the pack.

Why do we all find it so difficult to recall more than one or two occasions when we felt that we were treated exceptionally by the salesperson who dealt with us?

Is it that the majority of those salespeople knew the four steps but chose not to make use of them?

4. Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact
Author: Phil Jones

Often the decision between a customer choosing you over someone like you is your ability to know exactly what to say, when to say it, and how to make it count.

Phil M. Jones has trained more than two million people across five continents and over fifty countries in the lost art of spoken communication.

In Exactly What to Say, he delivers the tactics you need to get more of what you want.

5. The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win
Author: Jeff Haden

It’s comforting to imagine that superstars in their fields were just born better equipped than the rest of us. When a co-worker loses 20 pounds, or a friend runs a marathon while completing a huge project at work, we assume they have more grit, more willpower, more innate talent.
 
But that’s not actually true, as popular Inc.com columnist Jeff Haden proves. “Motivation” as we know it is a myth. Motivation isn’t the special sauce that we require at the beginning of any major change. In fact, motivation is a result of the process, not a cause. 

6. Sales EQ: How Ultra High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence
Author: Jeb Blount

The sales profession is in the midst of a perfect storm. Buyers have more power—more information, more at stake, and more control over the sales process—than any time in history. Technology is bringing disruptive change at an ever-increasing pace, creating fear and uncertainty that leaves buyers clinging to the status quo. Deteriorating attention spans have made it difficult to get buyers to sit still long enough to “challenge,” “teach,” “help,” give “insight,” or sell “value.” And a relentless onslaught of “me-too” competitors has made differentiating on the attributes of products, services, or even price more difficult than ever.

-> Sales Productivity & Mindset

1. More Sales, Less Time: Surprisingly Simple Strategies for Today's Crazy-Busy Sellers
Author: Jill Konrath

Sound familiar? If so, you’re probably an overwhelmed seller. Your clients expect more, with faster turnarounds. Your quota keeps going up. You need to leverage social media, keep up-to-date on your industry, figure out how to sell new products and services, and learn all the latest technologies. The demands are never-ending. You could work nonstop around the clock and still not get it all done. It’s a huge problem faced by experienced sales pros, busy entrepreneurs, and sales rookies. If you don’t stay on top of your time, it’s tough to make your numbers, let alone blow them away.

2. 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More
Author: Perry Marshall

When you know how to walk into any situation and see the 80/20’s, you can solve almost ANY marketing problem.
If you’re a sales and marketing professional, you can save 80 percent of your time and money by zeroing in on the right 20 percent of your market.

Created by direct marketing and sales consultant and best-selling author Perry Marshall, unique tools show you exactly how much money you’re leaving on the table, and how to put it back in your pocket – then reinvest for even greater success.

3. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
Author: Larry Bossidy

When Execution was first published, it changed the way we did our jobs by focusing on the critical importance of “the discipline of execution”: the ability to make the final leap to success by actually getting things done.

Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan now reframe their empowering message for a world in which the old rules have been shattered, radical change is becoming routine, and the ability to execute is more important than ever. Now and for the foreseeable future

4. It Takes What It Takes: How to Think Neutrally and Gain Control of Your Life
Author: Trevor Moawad

As the most trusted mental coach in the world of sports, Trevor Moawad has worked with many of the most dominant athletes and the savviest coaches. From Nick Saban and Kirby Smart to Russell Wilson, they all look to Moawad for help finding or keeping or regaining their com­petitive edge. 

Now, at last, Moawad shares his unique philosophy with the general public. He lays out lessons he’s derived from his greatest career successes as well as personal setbacks.

5. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Author: Carol S. Dweck

After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.

6. The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
Author: Grant Cardone

While most people operate with only three degrees of action-no action, retreat, or normal action-if you’re after big goals, you don’t want to settle for the ordinary. To reach the next level, you must understand the coveted 4th degree of action. This 4th degree, also known as the 10 X Rule.

The 10 X Rule unveils the principle of “Massive Action,” allowing you to blast through business clichŽs and risk-aversion while taking concrete steps to reach your dreams. It also demonstrates why people get stuck in the first three actions and how to move into making the 10X Rule a discipline.

-> Sales Management

1. Radical Candor (Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity)
Author: Kim Scott

The idea is simple: You don’t have to choose between being a pushover and a jerk. Using Radical Candor―avoiding the perils of Obnoxious Aggression, Manipulative Insincerity, and Ruinous Empathy―you can be kind and clear at the same time.

Radical Candor is about caring personally and challenging directly, soliciting criticism to improve your leadership, and also providing guidance that helps others grow. It focuses on praise but doesn’t shy away from criticism―to help you love your work and the people you work with.

2. The Selling Revolution: Prospering in the New World of Artificial Intelligence
Author: DJ Sebastian

Are you concerned about the coming threat from artificial intelligence (AI) that will disrupt the sales profession?

Are you ready to learn how you can meet the challenge of the automation threat fueled by advanced technologies?

In this insightful and action-oriented book, DJ Sebastian warns about the upcoming revolution in selling, then describes the proven strategies and approaches that business-to-business sales professionals can quickly adapt to help them prosper in this new world.

3. From Impossible To Inevitable: How SaaS and Other Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue
Author: Aaron Ross

Why are you struggling to grow your business when everyone else seems to be crushing their goals? If you needed to triple revenue within the next three years, would you know exactly how to do it? Doubling the size of your business, tripling it, even growing ten times larger isn’t about magic.

It’s not about privileges, luck, or working harder. There’s a template that the world’s fastest-growing companies follow to achieve and sustain much, much faster growth.

4. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
Author: Patrick Lencioni

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams.

Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech’s CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed?

5. The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies
Author: Chet Holmes

Chet Holmes helps his clients blow away both the competition and their own expectations. And his advice starts with one simple concept: focus! Instead of trying to master four thousand strategies to improve your business, zero in on the few essential skill areas that make the big difference.

The Ultimate Sales Machine shows you how to tune up and soup up virtually every part of your business by spending just an hour per week on each impact area you want to improve? sales, marketing, management, and more.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, whether you’re just starting in sales or have years of experience under your belt, gaining insights from top sales professionals is always helpful. We hope this list of books recommended by industry experts will help you in improving your sales game and make you a better, more well-rounded salesperson and leader. 

Think we’ve missed a book? Share your favorite books for salespeople on Twitter or Instagram and we might feature you in an update.

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