8 Books Every Salesperson Should Read

It doesn’t matter if your sales team is converting leads at a record rate or struggling to meet quotas — there’s always room for improvement. People at every level of your team from directors and managers to consultants and representatives can benefit from new insight and perspective.

There are so many great resources available for sales folks these days: webinars, podcasts, eBooks, white papers, Twitterchats and conferences — but I’ve gained so much knowledge by reading plain old books. 

Just last week I was flipping through my copy of SPIN Selling (for the twentieth time) and an idea popped into my head to write a blog post on what’s currently in my office bookcase.

Take a look at some of my favorites below: 

1. SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham

Spin_Selling.jpgSPIN — situation, problem, implication, need-payoff — is in. 

Rackham researched more than 35,000 sales calls to build upon this methodology, which discovers prospect pain-points through questioning on S-P-I-N principles.

The 195-page book provides example situations, charts, graphs and tests and will help frame the adoption of consultative selling into your process.

2. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Carnegie_ebook.jpgDon’t let this book’s original publish year of 1936 scare you away because it continues to bring new perspective to sales professionals across the globe.

The guidance on enhancing your way of thinking, becoming a better salesperson and “ways to make people like you” has influenced big names such as Warren Buffet — so it’s definitely worth the read.

3. The Sales Development Playbook by Trish Bertuzzi

Sales_development.jpgEvery business wants to expel inefficiency and unproductivity in favor of noticeable growth, and sales development is the key, according to Bertuzzi. 

This topic is geared more toward sales leaders and executives, but any sales professional could benefit from it. (Incorporating the principles tremendously helped strengthen and build our pipeline.)

4. Baseline Selling by Dave Kurlan

baseline_selling.jpgBaseball fans will gravitate to this book — which uses the National Pastime as a metaphor to show off an interesting way to approach sales.

As an engineer, the Rule of Ratios and emphasis on closing percentages resonated with me. Kurlan’s advice can set up your sales team for home runs — even when they’re out in the field.

5. Good to Great by Jim Collins

Good_to_Great-1.jpgThis author compiled research from 28 companies to dissect their strengths, weaknesses, failures and successes — in hopes of discovering what takes businesses from “Good to Great.” 

While this centers on management and business tactics instead of purely on sales, I gained a ton of insight on next-level leadership, out-of-the-box thinking and pushing for results. 

6. Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar

Secrets_of_closing_the_sale.jpgInstead of going in-depth on sales practices and theories, Ziglar focuses on the art of persuasion.

It’s touted “for anyone who must get others to say yes,” but specifically for our sales purposes, it’s a guide to establishing credibility, putting out the right attitude and having success.

Plus, you’ll enjoy the humor and compelling situational narratives. 

7. The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy

Psych_of_selling.jpgOut of all the books on this list, Tracy’s was the most motivational for me. It’s filled with ideas, strategies and techniques to move faster and more easily.

Each chapter had a clear-cut learning point — keys to success, the psychology to selling and how to set goals. 

8. The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge

The_sales_acceleration_formula.jpgGoing from $0 to $100 million in sales can be predicted, planned and measured — at least that’s what Roberge and the team at HubSpot say. Oh, and they’ve actually made it happen.

This book digs into the proven formula used to scale their sales team, build a process and reach goals. Although this book is the last on this list, I would recommend it as the one you want to pick up and dive into first.

BONUS: HubSpot just released their Inbound Sales Certification. This course provides training, worksheets and resources that will help you and your team master inbound sales and get recognized for it.

Final Thoughts

Each of these selected works brings a new perspective and adds value to what your sales team is already doing. I would definitely encourage you to crack open a book (download on your eReader or push play on Audible) and see how you can continue to build upon your success. 

Looking for help accelerating the performance of your sales team? We’re working with manufacturers and industrial companies to evaluate their processes, train on best practices, better understand marketing automation and more. Interested?

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