Rev up your sales process with the best sales books
Need a reason to pick up a new sales book? Here’s one: learners are earners. In fact, a five-year study of self-made millionaires from author Tom Corley found that 88% of respondents read for at least 30 minutes a day. That’s not a coincidence. To kickstart your reading habit, set aside 30 minutes in your daily routine to dive into the titles that interest you most. Do you struggle to settle down with a good sales book? Here are a few tips: try reading first thing in the morning, taking a book along on your commute, or adding a “reading meeting” to your calendar. You’ll be a regular reader (and exceptional earner) in no time.
If you’ve already finished our 30 Best Sales Books, the 10 titles below will continue to build on what you’ve learned with innovative perspectives on the psychology, science, and strategy of sales from industry gurus (and a few unexpected names, too).
Top 10 Best Sales Books to Kickstart Your Selling Skills
- To Sell Is Human by Daniel H. Pink’
- Influence by Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D.
- Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff
- Switch by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
- The Challenger Customer by Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, Pat Spenner & Nick Toman
- New Sales. Simplified. by Mike Weinber
- Sales Blazers by Mark Cook
- 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
- The Sales Development Playbook by Trish Bertuzzi
- The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Your Cheat Sheet to the Top Sales Books
To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
Daniel H. Pink
From best-selling business author Daniel H. Pink (you might know him from Drive and A Whole New Mind), To Sell Is Human provides a novel perspective on the art and science of selling. Pink starts with the unexpected idea that everyone is selling something—whether they’re pitching new ideas to colleagues, asking investors to provide funding, or convincing students to study in the classroom. Based on that concept, we can all hone our sales skills to become more successful.
Rooted in social science, To Sell Is Human will alter your outlook with counterintuitive approaches to selling. Learn why extroverts don’t make the best salespeople, find out the new ABCs of sales (say goodbye to “Always Be Closing”), discover six tactics to replace the elevator pitch, and much more.
Buy To Sell Is Human here.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D.
If you’ve never read this classic study on the psychology of persuasion, now is the perfect time to settle in with Dr. Robert Cialdini. The Journal of Marketing Research has called Influence “among the most important books written in the last ten years.”
Based on decades of peer-reviewed research, Cialdini explores the psychology of why people say “yes,” then provides practical ways to leverage this knowledge in business and beyond. Dive into his six universal principles of persuasion, learn how to use them as a skilled persuader, and discover why Influence has sold over 3 million copies across the globe.
Buy Influence here.
Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
Consider author Oren Klaff’s approach to the pitch when reaching out to new clients this fall. Klaff argues that a great pitch isn’t an impossible-to-replicate art, it’s a simple science. Based in neuroeconomics, Pitch Anything trains readers to control the pitch process by understanding how the brain makes decisions. With that foundation in place, Klaff teaches salespeople to beef up their pitching muscles with his STRONG method:
Buy Pitch Anything here.
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
Chip Heath & Dan Heath
In Switch, brothers and best-selling authors Chip and Dan Heath delve into the psychology of change, making this the perfect read for those in search of a mental reset. The Heaths argue that change is prevented by a clash between the rational and emotional minds—one craves novelty, while the other loves the comfort of familiarity—which stalls the process even when change would be beneficial.
Do you have an untested idea for a new pitch that you’ve been afraid to try? Considering a big move into a management job but not sure if you’re ready? If you’re looking to make a small change or a big leap in your career, the story-driven examples in Switch show how to unite the two sides of the mind, embrace change, and take a confident step forward.
Buy Switch here.
The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results
Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, Pat Spenner & Nick Toman
If you read and enjoyed The Challenger Sale, consider this follow-up with an innovative approach to finding the right customers. Based on data from thousands of B2B marketers, The Challenger Customer suggests that sales teams should approach individuals who are more skeptical and less interested in their products and services, rather than easy targets who are eager to listen.
Seem counterintuitive? The Challenger Customer argues that skeptical, thoughtful customer stakeholders are more likely to influence their colleagues to take on new, ambitious products or solutions—like yours—while the eager listeners may lack the authority or insight needed for real change. The authors also share ways to spot and engage with these influential “Mobilizers” for more effective sales.
Buy The Challenger Customer here.
New Sales. Simplified.: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development
Need new ways to find new accounts? Or a refresh on tactics for closing the deal effectively? Look no further. Named one of the “Top 20 Sales books of All Time” by HubSpot, this foundational text from Mike Weinberg offers a “proven formula for prospecting, developing, and closing deals.” New Sales. Simplified. is a guide through the entire sales process—from identifying solid prospects and building customer rapport to structuring a winning sales call—all mixed with a dash of humor that keeps readers engaged to the very last page.
(If you’re a sales manager or hoping to manage a team in the future, Weinberg’s Sales Management. Simplified. is another excellent read).
Buy New Sales. Simplified. here.
Sales Blazers: 8 Goal-Shattering Strategies from the World’s Top Sales Leaders
From growth leadership consultant Mark Cook, this collection of strategies gathered from proven sales leaders will boost your motivation—and your selling potential. Cook identifies the tactics that sales leaders at Fortune 500 companies use to outpace trends and eclipse their competition. He then distills the wisdom of these top earners into eight advanced techniques to create the “Sales Blazer Method:”
Buy Sales Blazers here.
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
The brutal fact is the number one reason for failure in sales is an empty pipe and the root cause of an empty pipeline is the failure to consistently prospect. By ignoring the muscle of prospecting, many otherwise competent salespeople and sales organizations consistently underperform.
Step by step, Jeb Blount outlines his innovative approach to prospecting that works for real people, in the real world, with real prospects.
Learn how to keep the pipeline full of qualified opportunities and avoid debilitating sales slumps by leveraging a balanced prospecting methodology across multiple prospecting channels.
Buy Fanatical Prospecting here.
The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales
If you’re planning to seriously grow your business before the end of 2018, this book from inside sales expert Trish Bertuzzi is a must-read. Bertuzzi starts with the idea that skyrocketing sales begin with a robust pipeline, then follows up with sales development techniques learned from her three decades of hands-on experience in inside sales.
The Sales Development Playbook is structured around six key elements for building new pipeline and accelerating growth. Score More Sales founder Lori Richardson says, “There’s a reason for the rocket on the cover of the book—do these six things right and your team’s revenues will take off!”
Buy The Sales Development Playbook here.
The Art of War
The Art of War has endured from the 5th century BC to the modern era for a reason. Sun Tzu’s work first served as the definitive strategy for the ancient Chinese military, but The Art of War has also become a touchstone for present-day business and management techniques. Applying Tzu’s timeless wisdom and razor-sharp insights to competitive situations in modern times is a great mental exercise for considering sales and leadership from a new perspective.
Buy The Art of War here.
Beyond Business Bonus: the Best Sales Books That Aren’t Sales Books
If you’re in search of change that extends past your office door, check out the bonus reading at the bottom of the list for three extra titles to clear your mind, find surprising insights into others, and boost your productivity.
After suffering a panic attack live on Good Morning America, news anchor Dan Harris reluctantly dipped his toes into meditation. 10% Happier follows his skeptical journey toward a regular meditation practice and explores the benefits of meditation for people with busy, demanding careers. If your mind is racing after days of calls and meetings, Harris’ wry and thoughtful approach to meditation might be just the thing you need to relax, focus, and rewire your brain with a healthy habit.
Buy 10% Happier here.
The Productivity Project
If you ever feel like you aren’t making the most of your time—at the office or after work—The Productivity Project should shoot to the top of your reading list. Author Chris Bailey spent a year performing his own productivity experiments—like cutting back on sleep, giving up caffeine, and living in total isolation for 10 days. He also spent time researching with some of the world’s foremost experts to learn the science behind productivity.
At the end of his experiments, Bailey distilled his findings into 25 best practices for accomplishing more each day. (So you can just read the book instead of trying out a full year of experiments for yourself.)
Buy The Productivity Project here.
The Four Tendencies
In The Four Tendencies. Happiness and productivity expert Gretchen Rubin begins a simple exploration of human nature by asking a deceptively simple question: “How do I respond to expectations?” She discovered that people fit into one of Four Tendencies—Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels—based on their answers to that question. The personality profiles built around each tendency provide remarkable insights into our own personalities and the minds of those around us, and offer a new perspective for interactions in business and beyond.
Buy The Four Tendencies here.
That’s my roundup! What is the best sales book you’ve read lately? Let us know in the comments.