Sales is an art and a science. Want to know how to sell better? How to sell more? Want to learn from the best sales professionals? Or are you simply looking for the best books for sales professionals like yourself? We have it all covered in this guide.
Books to help you become and remain the best salesperson
1. How To Be A Great Salesperson… By Monday Morning by David R. Cook
How To Be A Great Salesperson… will be of use to a newcomer and an advanced marketer, a small business owner and a large company employee, and even a college student. While reading this ultimate manual, you will learn how to create a desire for your product in potential customers, create a sense of urgency, shorten the sales cycle and get the most out of it. You will also learn how to organize your follow-ups, when to start or stop selling and many other useful tips.
This book for sales professionals provides readers with easy-to-understand strategies that will help everyone, from a fresher to a seasoned marketer, to improve their sales process and boost sales within days.
Review excerpt: “So many useful tidbits, building off behavioral insights, truly make you appreciate the complexity of the selling process while also appreciating the idea that the salesperson can still control the narrative quite a bit.”
Buy: Amazon – Free (Audiobook), $8.93 (Kindle), $15.24 (Paperback), Barnes&Noble – $18.95
2. Selling 101: What Every Successful Sales Professional Needs to Know by Zig Ziglar
This book can be recommended to and will definitely help newcomer sales reps. It covers the first steps of selling and provides a detailed structure for making your first cold call. It is an effective, easy-to-read book, with understandable examples and exercises.
Review excerpt: “This book will do 1 of 2 things for you: it will either remind you of all the basics that you already knew, or it will open your eyes to how much more there is to this business than just offering a product.”
Buy: Amazon – $6.99 (Kindle), $8.95 (Paperback), $8.49 (Hardcover)
3. Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeffrey Gitomer
You can probably guess what this book is about. Jeffrey Gitomer provides the readers with 12.5 (13, actually) advice on marketing and successful sales. Though the book is pretty old (published in 2004), it delivers never-changing dogmas. If you are just starting your sales and marketing career, you will find lots of useful practical tips.
Review excerpt: “There are books whose primary aim is to make you feel good about yourself in a warm and fuzzy way. This isn’t one of them. Gitomer wants you to feel good about yourself by being honest, by being tough, by waking up and smelling the coffee and PERFORMING. If you read this book and USE it…put what’s between the covers into practice…you WILL make sales. It’s unavoidable. This is how it’s done.”
Buy: Amazon – $9.99 (Kindle), $12.36 (Hardcover)
4. 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling: Proven Actions You Must Take to Make Easier, Faster, Bigger Sales….Now and Forever by Jeffrey Gitomer
Another great book by Jeffrey Gitomer. There’s a reason this guy has a devoted following. Need tips for better selling? This is your rescue line. This book will provide you with the best rules that are a) trusted by sales professionals in all niches and b) really work. The book will probably be of greater use to professionals rather than freshers, but they will find it useful as well. Read this if you want to improve both your sales results and workflow.
Review Excerpt: “If you are in sales, this book and everything that Jeffrey has ever published is a “must-have” for your library and for your success on the job. You’ll learn the true meaning of Jeffrey trade-marked saying: “People hate to be sold but they love to buy!”
Buy: Amazon – $9.99 (Kindle), $13.81 (Hardcover)
5. This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin
This recently released book by a marketing legend Seth Godin aims to change how you view and do business. Seth will show you why and how to stop trying to solve your company’s problems with consumers and start solving your consumer’s problem through genuine empathy and emotional labor. You will also find tips on how to raise trust in your product, why the old marketing approaches don’t work anymore, how to achieve your marketing goals, and so much more.
Review excerpt: “Concisely packed with some of the best marketing examples and anecdotes, Seth masterfully teaches us how to bring the work we care about to the people eager to engage with it, and in many cases Bootstrapping it as well.”
Buy: Amazon – $15.50 (Kindle), $19.08 (Audiobook), $13.28 (Hardcover), $14.04 (Paperback)
Books on how to sell correctly
6. The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon
This is probably the most recommended book for B2B marketers and sales we’ve come across. The authors go into detail on the Challenger technique, and prove that this system brings much better results than bludgeoning. This is how it works: instead of informing about the features and solutions of your product, you should appeal to the financial insights, and show how much your customers will save using your specific services. Basically, the seller teaches the prospect. A short review paragraph really doesn’t do this book justice. You need to read it.
Review Excerpt: “Highly applicable! This book hits the mark on how to make the complex sale! The Challenger Sale is more than just a set of rules for the sales team, it’s more about developing a sales culture where sales, marketing, and operations must work together to make the system work.”
Buy: Amazon – $14.33 (Kindle), $15.91 (Hardcover)
7. The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results by Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, Pat Spenner, and Nick Toman
I’d call this book a “sequel” of the previous one. The more the authors worked, the more they came to the conclusion that being a Challenger seller isn’t enough for a successful campaign. Your failure, as well as success, depends on who you are challenging. The authors state that according to CEB research, most sales and marketers worldwide prefer to concentrate on prospects and clients who are not interested in their products and services and are very skeptical, which is neither correct nor preferable. They identify 7 types of customers you should concentrate on, including the most important type – Talkers (the ones eager to cooperate, open to your products, and know what they need).
Review excerpt: “This book speaks to the major market shifts that have happened and will continue to happen. Case studies are always great. They bring the models to life. The ones in here are very good because they go past the “We once worked with a company who…” level. They get right into the issues facing the selling company itself. If you are ready to transform your approach to selling customers, this is a strong read to add to your strategic approach.”
Buy: Amazon – Free (Audiobook), $17.13 (Kindle), $21.83 (Paperback), $23.58 (Hardcover)
8. Own Your Niche: Hype-Free Internet Marketing Tactics to Establish Authority in Your Field and Promote Your Service-Based Business by Stephanie Chandler
Another book for both beginners and seasoned professionals. Novices will learn how to identify and connect with prospects, increase their customer base using numerous easy-to-implement techniques and strategies, and much more. Advanced marketers will be able to reconsider and perfect their strategies. It’s easy to read and jam-packed with practical advice, resources, and tips.
Review excerpt: “The book is packed with a lot of great short concise nuggets of information that is easy to quickly absorb and put into practice. In addition, she does a phenomenal job of digging up a lot of really great resources and including their web addresses as well as explaining what the service is and her own personal experience with using it, which I really liked. I thought the resource lists was one of the most valuable pieces of the book.”
Buy: Amazon – $7.99 (Kindle), $19.99 (Paperback)
9. 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
In this book, Jeb Blount argues that the top reason many businesses underperform and fail is the inability to keep their pipeline full. Fanatical Prospecting is perfect for everyone – from a salesperson to an executive, who needs a reminder that the root of most sales problems is inconsistent prospecting. To fix this, Jeb Blount offers a variety of easily implemented methods, valuable insights, and tips to keep your sales high and growing.
Review excerpt: “If you are someone who is always looking to sharpen your KSA’s, build a strong career foundation, and grow as a professional; then this book is for you. Whether you are new to sales or a season vet chances are you’ve probably had exceptional training on your products and services. Uncovering needs, showing value, and closing the deal is the easy part. But how many us feel that there is so much more opportunity out there for us? Jeb doesn’t isn’t going to give you an easy quick fix but his book will lay out the process of what top Sales Professionals do to give them the best chances to gain new opportunities, all you have to do is implement it. What I loved most is that this book is that it’s realistic and gives applicable advice not just hyping you up and saying “go get it!” But Jeb shows you HOW step by step. Last point, if you are a seasoned vet, sure you may know most these processes, but are you actually doing it, and holding yourself accountable to the process? It’s a great kick in the butt to get back on track for even the best sales men and women.”
Buy: Amazon – Free (Audiobook), $12.49 (Kindle), $12.44 (Paperback), $17.02 (Hardcover)
10. Sales Differentiation: 19 Powerful Strategies to Win More Deals at the Prices You Want by Lee B. Salz
One of the best-rated books on our list. The book is divided into two parts: what you sell and how you sell. After reading the book, you will not only understand what differentiators are. but also know how to find them and create strategies to position them with buyers. Apart from that, the book presents 19 strategies that will help you successfully close deals and grow sales.
Review excerpt: “As a B2B business owner, and past B2B sales professional, this is the first book to completely encompass how to execute the right sales process strategy that truly speaks to all the subtleties of do/don’t outcomes I’ve experienced and observed throughout my own career. There is NO other book I’ve encountered that literally encompassed EVERY nuance of the sales process strategy that is critical to maximizing outcomes so both client and business win BIG.”
Buy: Amazon – Free (Audiobook), $12.99 (Kindle), $16.50 (Hardcover)
11. 7L: The Seven Levels of Communication: Go From Relationships to Referrals by Michael J. Maher
This book is different from most books on this list, if only in form. It’s not quite a guide or a collection of tips but it’s widely regarded as one of the best books for real estate salespeople. It’s written as a story of a real-estate agent who is suffering from a down economy and meets a woman who has managed to grow her business despite everything. Interested in her secret, he accompanies her to a conference to learn about the strategies to help him thrive. Despite an unusual format, the book has gathered almost 700 five-star reviews on Amazon and is highly recommended to both real estate professionals and salespeople.
Review excerpt: “This book reads like a novel, so it’s easy to follow along with. But when the steps to implement show up, they’re clear and direct. I highly recommend this book also because it approaches business success in a different way than other books do.”
Buy: Amazon – $15.26 (Paperback), $23.11 (Hardcover)
12. The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy
This book is all about making a change in how one thinks as a salesperson, supported by strategies to help you project that confidence onto your customer to sell better. This book is not a collection of practical templates and tips. It’s a great coaching book to make you the best salesperson you can be.
Review excerpt: “Engaging and strong reiteration of key points without being too redundant. Great introduction for someone in sales without an MBA.”
Buy: Amazon – Free (Audiobook), $9.99 (Kindle), $8.69 (Hardcover), $13.59 (Paperback)
13. The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource by Jeffrey Gitomer
Yes, this is the third book by Jeffrey Gitomer on our list. Yes, he is really that good. Sales Bible is a classic, having sold more than 200,000 copies in its first edition and constantly included into lists of top books for salespeople.
This book will teach you not just how to sell, but how to become a friend to your client, treat them in a way that will make them trust you, set hard-to-get appointments, fill your sales pipeline with ready-to-buy leads, and so much more. This is one of the best sales books ever written and we recommend it to all sales reps.
Review excerpt: “Jeffrey has written a book strictly devoted to selling which synthesizes the combined wisdom of all of the published salespeople who have gone before him, with the practical knowledge that he has gained from a lifetime selling anything and, eventually, everything.”
Buy: Amazon – $9.99 (Kindle), $16.73 (Paperback)
Books on sales management
14. The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness: Ten Essential Strategies for Leading Your Team to the Top by Kevin F. Davis
This book is a rescue for a sales team leader who is eager to improve their team and optimize their performance. The author suggests 10 proven strategies, skills and tools that will help you manage your team, coach, and hire better. A fantastic read for any sales manager.
Review excerpt: “ [The book] helped me recognize more clearly all the problems our company had that I hadn’t yet realized. For example, there was a lack of rep accountability, a lot more negative attitudes on the sales team than I had been aware of, there was no plan to improve the sales team, no Sales Playbook, no hands-on approach for coaching big opportunities, and I was overwhelmed by all the “stuff” that was suddenly flying at me as a manager. In this book I found practical solutions for all these problems, and more.”
Buy: Amazon – Free (Audiobook), $0.99 (Kindle), $18.19 (Hardcover)
15. The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann
Another book for marketers who prefer belles-lettres. This is a story about a man who turns from a go-getter into a go-giver, and proves the old as time proverb “Give and you shall receive”. This book is highly recommended within business circles, and as essential reading for those who want to become a better person in general.
Review excerpt: “It has become one of the books I recommend any of my clients or colleagues who want to improve their knowledge and understanding of business, and I’ve gotten great feedback from freshly minted entrepreneurs as well as industry veterans alike.”
Buy: Amazon – $14.09 (Kindle), $14.00 (Paperback), $16.95 (Hardcover)
16. Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World by Jill Konrath
For any salesperson, it is crucial to be able to adapt quickly and implement new knowledge for fast results. In the book, you will find numerous tactics and strategies to support you in becoming a sales expert in as short a time as possible. Agile Selling can be recommended to any salesperson, both a newcomer or a seasoned one. Features fresh sales strategies, practical advice and provocative insights that will help you thrive as a salesperson. Make sure to also check out Jill’s blog and YouTube channel where she shares all the ideas implemented in her long reads.
Review excerpt: “Having spent 34 years in sales and taken a LONG list of sales training courses and read many training editions you would think, ehhh, I don’t need another training book to read. That would have been a serious mistake on my part. Jill Konrath has authored a fabulous strategic plan for any professional salesperson who treats his role as a lifelong learner and acknowledges the sales environment has truly changed in many ways… She got me to think, change some tactics I have used that don’t pay off well and once again reminded me of the value of a different kind of pre-call preparation and post-presentation review. Found immense value alone in the advice to recognize customer inaction due to the status quo and just as important, to always remember mental contrasting. The section on Agile Learning of new product, solution information is worth the price of the book alone.”
Buy: Amazon – $8.99 (Kindle), $12.99 (Paperback), $20.82 (Hardcover)
17. The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies by Chet Holmes
Chet Holmes doesn’t concentrate solely on sales, he pays great attention to numerous aspects that are just as important as sales: time management (and management in general), meetings, training, and much more. Which makes this book great for everyone – marketers, sales managers, and even CEOs. This book will help you concentrate on improving your business, one element at a time.
Review excerpt: “The book talks about time management, the importance of an ongoing training program, running effective meetings, selling strategically, giving outstanding presentations, internal branding, how to hire sales superstars (and how to become one yourself), follow-up skills, closing skills and many, many other aspects of how to become more effective at selling. This book will help new and experienced sales professionals alike. It ought to be required reading for marketing managers and corporate branders also.”
Buy: Amazon – $12.99 (Kindle), $14.45 (Paperback)
Books on how to take advantage of cold emailing
18. The Art Of Cold Emailing: Learn To Increase Response Rates And Close Deals Faster by P. Wilson
A nice short book for sales managers that will help you learn how to write successful cold email campaigns and create a winning email sequence, understand what makes a bad cold email, and see what email strategies can be used to boost sales.
Review excerpt: “Well written book with golden nuggets on cold emailing. Learned a lot from it and would highly recommend it to any sales folks or entrepreneurs.”
Buy: Amazon – $0.99 (Kindle)
19. Grow Your Business With Cold Emails: Everything You Need To Know About Cold Emails To Get An Avalanche Of Responses by Jeremy Chatelaine
A great short book on cold emailing written by someone who actually grew his business relying on it. In the book, Jeremy Chatelaine analyzes the best and worst-performing cold emails and gives you confirmed data on the reasons why they performed this way. He also dives into the question of why cold email campaigns aren’t working for some and suggests solutions. The book includes 5 email sequences for various purposes that have all showed great open, click-through, and reply rates.
Review excerpt: “The only book on cold emails you will ever need. The author, Jeremy Chatelaine, delivers the goods without extra fluff. This is a quick read, but offers enough for just about any user to get started. Advanced users can review what they are doing wrong. The book covers beginner topics (such as Sender Reputation) not found in my other one dozen books on digital marketing (all which claimed to be comprehensive guides) plus advanced topics such as Google analytics. It’s all here.”
Buy: Amazon – $9.99 (Kindle), $17.90 (Paperback)
20. Hack E-mail: Connect With Anyone, Build Your Business and Brand, Become an Unstoppable Force by Danny Flood
If you want to perfect your outreach, skyrocket sales, and bring your brand to light, you will appreciate this book. If you think that email marketing is the thing of the past and doesn’t work anymore, you need this book. You will find useful email outreach tips and techniques, mistakes and solutions for them, learn the right strategy to a no-response, find high-performing techniques, and much more to help you support your brand and sales.
Review excerpt: “Dan does a great job of outlining a workflow for cold email outreach. Knowing how to write attention-getting subject lines and copy that will get replies is very important but Dan continues where most authors stop, he explains how to set up a systematic workflow.”
Buy: Amazon – $2.99 (Kindle), $14.99 (Paperback)
21. Email Marketing Rules: Checklists, Frameworks, and 150 Best Practices for Business Success by Chad S. White
We have already featured this book in Part I of our list of best email marketing books, but it’s a perfect fit for sales reps as well. This guide will teach you about “deep metrics”, how to interpret your email campaign, how to build a high-quality list, what factors influence deliverability rate, how and why you should automate your email campaign, etc. An easy-to-read book jam-packed with practical info. It is also the book with the highest Amazon rating on our list.
Review excerpt: “[This book] reaffirmed notions I’ve not seen captured or fully thought through in regards to things as basic as surface-level metrics and deeper business altering metrics all the way through to communicating success in this channel to business leaders.”
Buy: Amazon – $9.99 (Kindle), $19.99 (Paperback)
Whether you’re an experienced professional or a beginner sales rep, it’s not easy to master the art of the sale and stay on top. This list of best sales books can help you become the best salesperson you can be.
Think we’ve missed a book? Share your favorite books for salespeople in the comments and we might feature you in an update.