Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

Now is the perfect time to read some of the best books on sales and really get your year off on the right foot!

Beyond the obvious sales tips and ideas that books on sales offer—I’ve found that the true power of a great sales book is the following:

The best books on sales inspire, motivate, and compel readers.

When it comes down to it, the best ideas in the world are meaningless if they don’t stick! So, when you’re ready, check out the list below and get your inspiration on.

To be fair and balanced, I’ve organized the list alphabetically by author.

27 Books on Sales to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers:

Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

1. How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling

by Frank Bettger

Understand the power of enthusiasm and how to conquer fear with Frank Bettger. He focuses on the quickest ways to win confidence and shares seven golden rules for closing a sale.

What did Dale Carnegie have to say about this book on sales?

“How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling will be helping salesmen, regardless of whether they are selling insurance, or shoes, or ships, or sealing wax, long after Frank Bettger has passed away.”

Buy How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling here: http://amzn.to/1RtSV5S


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

2. 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

Jeb stresses the number one reason for failure in sales: an empty pipeline. He provides a 30-Day-Rule for prospecting to keep the pipeline full, why understanding the Law of Replacement is the key to avoiding sales slumps, the 5 C’s of Social Selling and how to use them to get prospects to call you, and so much more.

Here is what Jill Konrath had to say about this book on sales:

“In Fanatical Prospecting, you’ll learn exactly what you need to do right now to open more sales conversations, fill your pipeline, and put a lot more money in your pocket. Jeb’s honest, real world approach is a refreshing and much needed wake-up call for today’s salespeople and sales leaders.”

Buy Fanatical Prospecting here: http://amzn.to/1ONVmRT


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

3. Endless Referrals

by Bob Burg

For Burg, it’s all about relationship building. In his book he focuses on maximizing your daily contacts to generate sales opportunities.

Here’s what Tom Hopkins, author of How to Master the Art of Selling, had to say about Endless Referrals:

“If you’re serious about your sales career, whether you are selling a product, service, or yourself, master the contents of this book and you will practically guarantee your future success.”

Buy Endless Referrals here: http://amzn.to/1mDI4v8


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

4. The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure

by Grant Cardone

We love Grant Cardone here at CFS! He is an amazing speaker and this book is an inspirational piece. Grant focuses on a concept he refers to as “Massive Action,” a process that is designed to inspire action.

Here is what Brian Tracy had to say about The 10X Rule:

“Grant Cardone has hit the nail on the head with The 10X Rule—telling you the real reason people succeed greatly in any area of life!”

Buy The 10X Rule here: http://amzn.to/1kNGCEz


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People

by Dale Carnegie

This is a personal favorite of mine. Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People has been in circulation for more than sixty years—once you read it, you’ll understand why! He shares techniques in handling people by focusing on how people think and work. This is more than just a book on sales, this one applies to every business professional and human being!

Warren Buffet had short, but powerful thoughts about it:

“It changed my life,” he said.

Buy How to Win Friends and Influence People here: http://amzn.to/1O67Bpw


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

6. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

by Stephen Covey

This is another personal favorite that my dad introduced me to at the beginning of my career in sales. In the book, Covey describes the seven habits of highly effective people and the techniques required for adopting these seven habits.

Here is what Warren Bennis had to say:

“Covey’s masterpiece, if it hasn’t changed the world, has influenced millions of readers who can and will make our planet more peaceful and prosperous and prepared and purposeful.”

Buy The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People here: http://amzn.to/1mHDV8N


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

7. The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation

by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

Dixon and Adamson challenge the traditional sales approach by encouraging salespeople to challenge themselves. In this best sales book they argue that the best salespeople don’t just build relationships with customers: they challenge them.

Here is what Neil Rackham, author of SPIN Selling, had to say about it:

“The history of sales has been one of steady progress interrupted by a few real breakthroughs that have changed the whole direction of the pro­fession. These breakthroughs, marked by radical new thinking and dra­matic improvements in sales results, have been rare. . . . Which brings me to The Challenger Sale and the work of the Sales Executive Council. . . . On the face of it, their research has all the initial signs that it may be game-changing. . . . My advice is this: Read it, think about it, implement it. You, and your organization, will be glad you did.”

Buy The Challenger Sale here: http://amzn.to/1kNIrBj


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

8. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

by Charles Duhigg

We all have habits: good and bad. Duhigg digs into the scientific data associated with habits, helping his readers to understand human nature and our potential. As a salesperson or sales manager, your habits are everything!

Here’s what Jim Collins, author of Built to Last and Good to Great, had to say about this best book on sales:

“Sharp, provocative, and useful.”

Buy The Power of Habit here: http://amzn.to/1PgdvC7


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

9. Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There

by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz

This book by Richard Fenton has a simple concept, with a powerful message: the more people you speak to, the more successful you will be. But, it’s all about “NO!”

Here’s what Seth Czerepak had to say about it:

“If you want to take this road less traveled, get a hold of Go for No! Read it, practice it and master it. In time you’ll create so much success that people will start asking you how you got so lucky and why everything you do seems to be a success. If they only knew.”

Buy Go for No! here: http://amzn.to/1JYAPTc


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

10. Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness

by Jeffrey Gitomer

Gitomer is an inspiration in the sales world, and this book is a true staple in the sales book library. He focuses on “why” people buy and provides principles that will resonate with any and all salespeople.

Here’s what a reviewer had to say about the book:

“I have been in sales for at least seven years full time as an Executive Search Recruiter in the US, Japan, and New Zealand. I am a big believer in personal development and so I have read my fair share of sales books. To be honest there are books that forget to tell you that it will be difficult and take time to grow your business and ability but Jeff Gitomer’s book does neither of these things. He is brutally honest and at the same time inspirational in his goal to make you the best salesperson you can be…. for life. This is not a book for people who need a quick fix to get them out of a slump or to even convince them that a sales career is for them.”

Buy Little Red Book of Selling here: http://amzn.to/1OcdE9H


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

11. Sales-Side Negotiation: Negotiation Strategies for Modern-day Sales People

by Patrick Henry Hansen

What does it take to be a successful negotiator? Hansen uncovers this and more—helping salespeople and sales manager’s better understand negotiation and how to make it work.

Here is what Stephen Covey had to say about it:

“Patrick’s link between history and sales is very entertaining, but more importantly, very relevant to modern sales and marketing professionals. If you are interested in dramatically improving sales results, read these books.”

Buy Sales-Side Negotiation here: http://amzn.to/1S5ihbM


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

12. Think and Grow Rich

by Napoleon Hill

Undoubtedly one of the best books on success, Napoleon Hill uses stories to explain his principles. If you’re looking to be motivated or inspired, this is a classic!

Here is what Og Mandino had to say about it:

“During the past twenty-five years I have been blessed with more good fortune than any individual deserves but I shudder to think where I’d be today, or what I’d be doing if I had not been exposed to Napoleon Hill’s philosophy. It changed my life.

Buy Think and Grow Rich here: http://amzn.to/1kNKANk


 

Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

13. The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies

by Chet Holmes

This book by Chet Holmes is particularly perfect for a sales manager or other upper management (including the CEO), in addition to the sales team. A national bestseller, Chet advices that you start with “focus.” As simple as it seems, his strategy will help you improve by focusing your energy.

Here is what Michael Gerber, author of E-Myth (one of my favorites also!), had to say about it:

The Ultimate Sales Machine

[is] a book that puts it all together to help you dramatically increase your sales if you are wise enough to follow its advice.”

Buy The Ultimate Sales Machine here: http://amzn.to/1Pge3rC


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

14. Secrets of a Master Closer: A Simpler, Easier, And Faster Way To Sell Anything To Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere

by Mike Kaplan

Kaplan believes that there are eight steps during every sale. He says the key to successful selling is to follow all eight steps—which will lead you to the perfect close.

Here is what a reviewer had to say:

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for finally making sense of the sales process! This book is pure gold. As a Realtor for over 22 years I’ve been to dozens of useless seminars and “sales training” sessions and afterwards (to no avail) asked brokers and sales managers this question….”Yes, but how do you sell? Where is the basic step-by-step technology? That works every time and for every situation? That doesn’t involve psycho-babble, personality or the color of your suit? Surely someone must know. There must be a book about it somewhere!” Well, Secrets of a Master Closer is it! It not only gives you the technology of how to sell, it does it in a way that makes it possible to actually apply.”

Buy Secrets of a Master Closer here: http://amzn.to/1IRP9lJ


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

15. The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue

by Robbie Kellman Baxter

Don’t just make the sale, KEEP the client! The Membership Economy is all about repeat business and Baxter explains how to turn customers into members for life. This one is for more than sales people and sales managers–it’s also for CEO’s and C-Suite Executives looking to dig deeper.

Here is what a reviewer had to say about the book:

“I’m the VP Marketing for a tech company, and I think this book is a must read for any exec (tech or non-tech). Here’s why. Whenever someone first buys from a company, they are a new customer. But no business can be sustained on new customers alone. All businesses rely on REPEAT CUSTOMERS. (Duh.) The key to getting more repeat customers is to STOP treating them like customers and START treating them like MEMBERS.”

Buy The Membership Economy here: http://amzn.to/1Uy1LPr


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

16. Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World

by Jill Konrath

Jill is a personal favorite and Agile Selling is a fantastic read for sales leaders. She focuses on sales habits that encourage high performance results quickly.

Here is what Seth Godin had to say about it:

“Loaded with tactics, tips, and new habits, Jill’s book is a game changer for any salesperson who wants to thrive in the new connection economy.”

Buy Agile Selling here: http://amzn.to/1kNN529


 

Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

17. 7L: The Seven Levels of Communication: Go From Relationships to Referrals

by Michael Maher

In sales, building real, lasting relationships is everything. Maher gets this and shares the seven levels of communication to help you become not just a master connector or communicator, but a master relationship builder.

Here is what Dave Ramsey had to say about it:

“If you want to win in business… this book will show you how.”

Buy 7L here: http://amzn.to/1ZaNQW4


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

18. The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals

by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling

This best book in sales is a must read for anyone in business. In 4DX, McChesney, Covey, and Huling focus on the “whirlwind” of daily activities that often impede growth and results. They provide a practical strategy for achieving goals and working around the whirlwind.

Here is what Clayton Christensen had to say about it:

The 4 Disciplines of Execution offers more than theories for making strategic organizational change. The authors explain not only the ‘what’ but also ‘how’ effective execution is achieved. They share numerous examples of companies that have done just that, not once, but over and over again. This is a book that every leader should read!”

Buy 4DX here: http://amzn.to/1ZaOKBV


 

Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

19. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

by Daniel H. Pink

To Sell Is Human provides a unique view on the art and science of selling. Pink notes that we are all in the business of sales today and provides practical tips on how to pitch.

Here is what a reviewer had to say about it:

“This book is definitely not just about traditional sales, Dan Pink describes selling as moving people to take action, and therefore this book can be applied to any situation: teachers getting kids to listen to their stories, parents to get kids listen to them, or people getting their friends to take action.”

Buy To Sell Is Human here: http://amzn.to/1VLfpzJ


 

Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

20. ROCK Your Network Marketing Business: How to Become a Network Marketing ROCK STAR

by Sarah Robbins

The title of this one gives it away: Robbins shares practical tips on how to become a networking rock star. But this one is more than a sales book, this is a read for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and leaders.

Here is what a reviewer had to say about it:

“Thank you Sarah for such an amazing book! It’s great to have all of your tips and training in one place. This is my “go to” whenever I need inspiration, ideas and motivation. My favorite tips include ways to reach out to people and scripting.”

Buy ROCK Your Network Marketing Business here: http://amzn.to/1Ru7fet


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

21. The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million

by Mark Roberge

This one is for entrepreneurs, business owners, salespeople, and sales managers alike. Roberge shares his experience as the SVP of Worldwide Sales and Services at Hubspot to show how inbound selling, data, and technology can accelerate sales.

Here is what Daniel Pink had to say about it:

“A lot of factors go into building a great sales force, but those factors don’t have to be a mystery. Roberge breaks down the moving parts of a sales force–recruitment, hiring, training, compensation, and performance evaluation–and describes the metrics and methods he has applied to these components to make his company a success. If you want to engineer sales success, this book, written by an engineer-turned-sales-leader, is for you.”

Buy The Sales Acceleration Formula here: http://amzn.to/1Z7bQ75


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

22. Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions: A Tactical Playbook for Managers and Executives

by Keith Rosen

We are all about PlayBooks here at CFS! Rosen’s approach to sales is brilliant: it’s not about more training, it’s about better coaching. This #22 best books on sales provides tactics to improve sales and is the perfect read for a sales manager.

Here is what Zig Ziglar had to say about it:

“This is a book that will truly take entire sales organizations to the next level. Keith is spot on, and his approach to accountability in the coaching process is what so many sales people and sales managers are missing.”

Buy Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions here: http://amzn.to/1ZOXNpa


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

23. Smart Calling: Eliminate the Fear, Failure, and Rejection from Cold Calling

by Art Sobczak

Cold calling isn’t easy! Sobczak tackles the art of cold calling, providing practical tips to eliminate the fear of failure and rejection.

Here is what Jeffrey Gitomer had to say about it:

“If you make cold calls, and want to make them smarter, better, more fun, and actually convert them to sales, this is the book! Buy it to increase your call-to-sale ratio, and your sale-to-bank account ratio.”

Buy Smart Calling here: http://amzn.to/1Uy9i0x


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

24. The Psychology of Selling

by Brian Tracy

One of the many fantastic sales books by Tracy, The Psychology of Selling provides a series of ideas, methods, strategies, and techniques to begin using immediately–allowing you and your sales team to make more sales, quickly and easily.

Here is what a reviewer had to say:

The Psychology of Selling is a superb, practical, easy-to-read return to the fundamentals of professional salesmanship for novices, journeymen and seasoned, top-performing sales people. More than common sense placed into form, it serves as an instructional blueprint — or as a road map — to establish, build, grow and maintain a successful sales career. Chapter-by-chapter, Brian Tracy leads the reader through a step-by-step process to grow from “good” to “great” in the highly competitive business of sales.

Buy The Psychology of Selling here: http://amzn.to/1mDY6oS


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

25. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

by Gary Vaynerchuk

Clever and modern, this must read sales book highlights the importance of social selling in the modern world of sales. Vaynerchuk stresses that it’s about more than just high-quality content–communication still matters–and a healthy balance is at the root of it all.

Here is what a reviewer had to say about it:

“I have a ton of social media books on my shelves, but none of them work quite the same angle as this author. While many books focus on the ‘how-to’ of a specific platform, or even go into detailed accounts of exactly what to post, this book focuses on something much more interesting: storytelling.

Buy Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook here: http://amzn.to/1JvAdJR


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

26. New Sales. Simplified.: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development

by Mike Weinberg

This gem of a sales book is focused on new sales–specifically, how to identify the right prospects, how to develop a plan to convert them, and how to close the deal. We love Weinberg’s focus on sharing a customer sales story!

Here is what S. Anthony Iannarino had to say about it:

“I strongly believe that this book will help salespeople improve their sales results and win new business.”

Buy New Sales. Simplified. here: http://amzn.to/1S5s95e


Best Books on Sales: 27 Reads to Inspire Salespeople and Sales Managers

27. Selling 101: What Every Successful Sales Professional Needs to Know

by Zig Ziglar

Last, but certainly not least, is Zig Ziglar’s Selling 101. Zig is known for his sales wisdom–and it’s tough to choose a favorite from his library. What I like about Selling 101 is that it’s short and sweet–the perfect tool to keep salespeople sharp with clear, practical advice.

Here is what a reviewer had to say about it:

“Seldom is a book as aptly named as Selling 101. This is a true primer on the ABC’s of selling. Author and sales expert Zig Ziglar walks you through the sales process, teaching you how to find prospects, overcome “call reluctance,” pose the right questions and ask for the order”

Buy Selling 101 here: http://amzn.to/1VLlHiZ


There are certainly MANY many more fantastic books on sales out there. I hope this list gives you a place to start in your quest for sales success!

Want to keep your team motivated? Download our free resource on motivation to get started!
Motivating Your Sales Team

By | 2016-10-17T16:32:00+00:00 January 7th, 2016|Sales Leaders, Sales Success|13 Comments

About the Author:

Rebecca Smith is the Marketing Manager at Criteria for Success. She writes about sales, sales leadership, social selling best practices, time management, and anything related to helping others discover success. Be sure to say hi on Twitter!

13 Comments

  1. Barry Hall January 7, 2016 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Brilliant many thanks for sharing, I have a few still plenty to choose from. Thanks for everything and I would like to wish you all a Fabulous New Year.

    • Rebecca Smith January 11, 2016 at 11:17 am - Reply

      Thanks so much for reading, Barry! So glad you found this list helpful! Happy New Year to you too!

  2. Mark Taylor January 8, 2016 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Charles,
    Here are my two favorites:
    SPIN Selling———–Neil Rackham
    Managing Major Sales–ibid

    • Rebecca Smith January 11, 2016 at 11:16 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing, Mark! We will have to add them to the next list!

  3. Art Sobczak February 22, 2016 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Thanks for including us. Honored!

    • Rebecca Smith February 22, 2016 at 4:34 pm - Reply

      You are most welcomed! Thank you for your fantastic book!

  4. Michael Collins March 31, 2016 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    Wow thanks for putting this one together. I have only read two of them. I need to get to work on that. Lol You’re amazing.

    • Rebecca Smith April 1, 2016 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Mike!!! Yes, get to reading 🙂

  5. Mark Turcotte March 31, 2016 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    I’ve been in sales for over 40 years, and this is the very best list I’ve ever seen! All should be required reading. Thanks for the post!

    • Rebecca Smith April 1, 2016 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much, Mark!!! So glad you found the list helpful!

  6. Jeremy Pound April 12, 2016 at 10:26 am - Reply

    Fantastic resource. As an avid salebook reader, I was surprised to see I had only read of 9 of these, and had never heard of at least 6. Great list.

    Some key additions I would recommend are Hyper Sales Growth (Jack Daly), Selling the Invisible (Harry Beckwith), Biz Dev Done Right (Kopp/Gould), How to Become a Rainmaker (Fox) and Predictable Revenue (Aaron Ross).

    • Rebecca Smith April 12, 2016 at 10:56 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for the great recommendations, Jeremy! You rock!!

  7. Fred August 20, 2016 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Very thorough list. Much thanks for the recommendations CFS!

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