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:
1. How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling
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.”
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.”
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.
“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.”
4. The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
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!”
5. How to Win Friends and Influence People
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.
6. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
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.”
7. The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation
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.
“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.”
8. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
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!
“Sharp, provocative, and useful.”
9. Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There
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.”
10. Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness
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.”
11. Sales-Side Negotiation: Negotiation Strategies for Modern-day Sales People
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.”
12. Think and Grow Rich
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.“
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.
“The Ultimate Sales Machine
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.”
15. The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue
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.”
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.”
17. 7L: The Seven Levels of Communication: Go From Relationships to Referrals
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.”
18. The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals
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!”
19. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
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.”
20. ROCK Your Network Marketing Business: How to Become a Network Marketing ROCK STAR
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
25. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World
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.”
26. New Sales. Simplified.: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development
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.”
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”
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!