Every salesperson should read some of the best sales books of all time. There are thousands and thousands of sales books but only a few are as useful and interesting as the very best of the list. These books carry information and insights from the greatest salesmen, enabling you to learn and improve your sales game in a shorter period than it took them.
Sales is an important part of a business or company since it is the department that earns the business money, as the main purpose of a business is to make a profit. Even Apple had to partner genius product developer Steve Jobs with a fantastic salesman like Steve Wozniak to make it where it is today.
By reading sales books one can easily turn their sales career around with enough effort and careful application of the various principles they detail. However, because there are so many sales books out there it can be a grueling task choosing a book from thousands that exist.
In this article, we highlight some of the best sales books based on reviews and the depth of the content they entail.
1. To Sell Is Human: The Best Modern Sales Book
Author: Daniel H. Pink
The world of sales today often revolves around dated stereotypes and tactics. However, this playbook does not apply to some of the modern sales scenarios leaving salespeople underqualified to deliver in some settings.
In To Sell is Human, best-selling author Daniel Pink deconstructs some of these ideologies and offers a modern approach to sales. The book discusses persuasion and how to convince buyers to buy your product.
It delves into the value of honesty in sales as well as the importance of non-sales selling. The book dives into how to make your message clearer, how to gain referrals, and how to move others by demonstrating how providing an “off-ramp” for people’s behavior might be more important than really altering their opinions.
Using years of research, Pink speaks of the importance of constantly selling yourself regardless of the industry you are in or the role you play. This book is a must-read for anyone looking to understand the modern psychology of sales.
2. Never Split The Difference
Author: Chris Voss
Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss has been recommended several times by members of the Forbes Council as one of the best sales books ever written. The book’s author is a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI making him the best person to write on negotiation.
In the book, Voss discusses the hard skills as well as the practical principles that enabled him to save lives. He details compelling stories of his experiences that illustrate empathy-based techniques and approaches such as Mirroring and Labeling that he recommends.
This action-oriented playbook has established itself as one of the greatest sales books of all time, whether you’re trying to close a deal or find the best deal on your next car. The tips it provides on emotional intelligence, as well as intuition, offer any reader a competitive edge in a negotiation.
3. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Author: Robert Cialdini
Understanding how to influence people is a vital skill to have when practicing sales. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, who has written several books on influence, dives into persuasion and the psychological process before a decision is made.
He then explains how to trigger the right psychological cues such that the decision a person makes results in the purchase of the product you are selling. The book is based on six principles that one can use to help you get ‘yes’ more often. The application of Cialdini’s principles ensures that one drives sales by tapping into the buyer’s decision-making process rather than empty words.
Cialdini is a professor of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University. The book is based on his years of experience in the field of influence and his scientific studies of this topic.
4. The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation
Author: Matthew Dixon & Brent Adamson
The authors of this The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation, Matthew Dixon & Brent Adamson, took what most people consider the core of sales and redefined it. According to the book, the best sales teams don’t just build relationships, they challenge them. Challengers take charge of the transaction by being assertive, pushing back when required, and not caving to the customer’s every whim and fancy.
This book focuses on sales strategies and the techniques that work when attempting to sell products. It also explains how to understand your customers’ needs and offers insights into how buyers make decisions that drive sales.
The authors then present these strategies in a digestible, repeatable format for readers to replicate in their own sales processes.
Aside from salespeople, the book strongly is recommended for managers and sales executives who should identify these challengers that could be transformative to the business’s sales game.
5. Pitch Anything
Author: Oren Klaff
Making a great pitch is a fundamental part of sales. According to Oren Klaff in Pitch Anything, pitching is not an art, it is a simple science that anyone can learn. The book describes a pitching method that Klaff used to raise over $400 million in funding. He defines all key points every effective pitch needs to hit, from setting the frame to getting a favorable decision.
Based on the most recent findings in the field of neuroeconomics, the Pitch Anything illustrates how the brain makes decisions and responds to pitches. Using these findings, Klaff uses some of his enlightening instances to prove his method of action.
This book is useful for anyone whose role involves a lot of presentations, a salesperson who explains a product or service to potential buyers, or anyone who has to negotiate in any situation.
6. Gap Selling: The Best Sales Book For Debunking Traditional Myths
Author: Jim Keenan
Gap Selling by Jim Keenan debunks traditional sales myths such as ‘people only buy from people they like’ or ‘price is the determining factor in the end’. The book is provocative and is structured to retrain your brain, helping you to let go of common, false belief systems and replace them with a new view of sales.
The book is centered more around the gap between where the customer is today and the ideal future once they acquire the product. In the book, Keenan shows the salesman how to influence the buyer at every stage of the sales cycle toward the direction of making a purchase in the end.
By playing into the customer’s gap, a salesperson learns how to convert it into sales. The book promises higher sales and better close rates which many readers have testified about.
7. Cracking The Sales Management Code
Author: Jason Jordan with Michelle Vazzana
Jason Jordan is a thought leader in sales organizations and holds a Duke University Economics degree with honors. Michelle Vazzana, on the other hand, has a degree in computer science and is a prolific researcher in sales agility and sales management.
Together, the duo delved into what drives high-performance sales resulting in effective business outcomes. Cracking The Sales Management Code also offers practical techniques on how to attain high-performance sales in a breakdown that is unlike conventional sales advice.
From the book, readers also learn how to choose the right sales processes from selecting the right team members to choosing the right tools and using the correct sales metrics. It also explains how to prioritize conflicting sales objectives making you a more effective salesperson.
This book is ideal for sales executives and managers as Jason dives into the critical activities and metrics that they should implement and track to structure their teams for success.
8. New Sales. Simplified.
Author: Mike Weinberg
While old and loyal customers are great for a business’s continuity, a business needs new customers to grow. New Sales. Simplified. teaches how to retain old customers and more importantly, how to turn potential buyers into new returning customers.
To create loyal clients, this book provides all the information regarding setting up a customer-focused sales process so that you can pursue a winning approach over the long term. To get new customers, Weinberg describes a proven formula for finding prospects and developing a solid relationship with them.
He also explains how to reach a mutually beneficial agreement through having productive conversations and establishing trust. This book is highly actionable and hence is applicable to those starting out in sales or even those building a new business and looking to start driving sales.
9. Spin Selling
Author: Neil Rackham
Spin Selling is backed by 12 years and $ 1 million invested in research on the principles of sales. In the end, Rackham came up with four principles he abbreviated as SPIN – Situation, Problem, Implication, Need Payoff – which he says can help anyone become an identifier as well as a solver of problems.
While the book has old references given that it’s decades old, its principles are timeless. By teaching you the science of selling, this book helps you close large and complex deals easily. SPIN Selling, as one of the best sales books, is highly actionable and practical – making it easier to follow and apply its techniques.
Rackham’s book is ideal for beginners since at this stage, too much information can be overwhelming. The book simply dives deeply into its four foundational concepts and breaks them down in a way that they are easily understood.
10. Fanatical Prospecting
Author: Jeb Blount
Fanatical Prospecting helps readers to master the art of prospecting. Learning how to prospect is crucial in being able to secure new customers and clients since new sales are what help the business grow.
Blount, who has written several other best-selling sales books, emphasizes the importance of prospecting and says the way to succeed is to prospect relentlessly to as many potential customers as possible without giving up.
In the past, reaching out to prospects entailed cold c alling, in-person meetings, and cold emailing. While these traditional tactics continue to be effective, newer sales practices like social selling have gained popularity and often yield better results.
This book teaches you how to call, text, email and socially engage a prospect in a way that will win them over into a buyer. The book is ideal for anyone who wants to learn how to be a more productive seller with new client deals.
11. Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale
Author: Zig Ziglar
Ziglar is one of the top salesmen of all time. In Secrets of Closing the Sale, he provides over 100 different ways of closing deals depending on the situation. The strategies are accompanied by his real-life scenarios and experiences which provide proof that the strategy works.
With over 700 thought-provoking questions to ask before approaching prospects, this book is highly recommended to beginner sales people. It has secrets and winning techniques on how to get a new client to say yes or convert a longtime no into a yes.
Aside from his personal stories and experiences, Ziglar also shares the experience of other great salesmen and offers professional advice from their perspective. Secrets of Closing the Sale is loaded with information and knowledge on how to become a prolific salesperson with high performance.
12. The Little Red Book of Selling
Author: Jeffrey Gitomer
The Little Red Book of Selling is a classic and teaches the 12.5 fundamentals of thriving in sales. Gitomer shares techniques on how to close sales in shorter periods of time as well as a variety of techniques and advanced selling strategies for sales cycles.
Using this book allows business owners or their salespeople to learn practical tips on handling complaints to avoid losing clients, networking, and meeting decision-makers. Salespeople also learn how to use creativity to make people want to buy whatever they are selling by diving into what makes people want to buy and a bit of the science behind it.
The Little Red Book of Selling is a simple book with quick tips. It is useful to refer back to for specific advice when you need it the most. It is also packed with amusing visuals and soundbites in every chapter making it a fun little read.
13. Sell or be Sold
Author: Grant Cardone
Many preach the need to separate work from personal life. However, in this book, Cardone asks Why should our work always be separate from our day-to-day? He instead emphasizes the need for a salesperson to treat everything in their lives as a sale.
He says that understanding the principles of sales is the prerequisite for success in every area of life. This sales book will teach how to land and secure new clients. You will learn how to fill your business pipeline with new sales, how to handle rejection when prospecting, and how to turn negative situations around in your favor.
It also contains tips and hacks on how to excel even amidst an economic downturn and how to shorten sales cycles. The book’s application stretches well beyond the world of business making it a suitable read for anyone with an interest in sales without a role in business.
14. How to Win Friends and Influence People
Author: Dale Carnegie
How to Win Friends and Influence People is both a classic and cliche. It leans more towards self-help but its knowledge of influencing people is highly applicable in sales. The theories and techniques presented in the book have been tried and tested for over sixty years and have proven to be a solid and sure way to climb up social ladders.
In the renowned book, Carnegie details twelve ways to persuade people to see things your way and nine ways to alter their thinking to align with yours without making them resent you.
It also provides six ways to win people over and the three main methods for dealing with people. From this book, one learns how to be a good leader and how to get along better with people making them your allies.
The book spans more than sales and is good for general life advice and techniques as it speaks of how to live a happier and more successful life.
15. The Psychology of Selling
Author: Brian Tracy
Tracy is an expert in matters of sales and has written several best-selling sales books including Sales Success and Eat the Frog. In this book, however, Tracy dives into the science behind sales and how to play the sales game from a psychological standpoint.
The book is meant to help you double or even triple your sales using the ideas, methods, strategies, and techniques it highlights. By reading this book, one learns how to sell faster and easier making it a must-read for all salespeople.
Not only does the book offer strategies for sales, but it also doubles as a source of motivation by offering 10 keys to the success of selling. The principles in the book are applicable in any market and they promise prosperity when applied.
What Can You Learn From The Best Sales Books?
There exist many sales books written by many great authors and experts. The ones highlighted above provide an aggregate of the fundamentals required for one to break through in the world of sales.
From reading sales books, one learns how the mind of a buyer works from the moment a product is introduced to them to the point they agree to purchase the product. The books, therefore, offer specific strategies to employ at every stage of the customer’s decision-making process to ensure they end up agreeing with your proposal.
Books also explain other techniques such as social selling and social proof which one should take into account if they wish to enhance their sales’ presentations and client experiences. By reading sales books, you also stay up to date with new ways of conducting sales and you improve your skills overall becoming a high-performing salesperson.