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Look, let’s not kid ourselves here. The last time you read ten books was probably over the entire span of your college career—and even then, were you really doing the reading?
Ten books sounds like an intimidating number, but what we’ve tried to do here isn’t about creating summer reading work for an already busy audience. Instead, we’ve put together a list of ten business books that—no matter where you start on this list—can be helpful to sales reps and leaders across any number of industries.
Take a look at the list below, read a little bit of what we have to say about each, and then pick the one that most catches your attention. You’ll be amazed at what a little quality time with good business books can do for you and your team.
SPIN Selling – Neil Rackham
As a technique, SPIN selling has become nearly canon in the sales world—it’s something you’ve undoubtedly heard of whether you know it by name or not. The method, which Rackham himself fathered, calls into action a sequence of questions: first the Situation, then the Problem, the Implication, and finally the Need-payoff.
What makes this book so special isn’t simply that it gives you a road map to an extremely viable way of selling, but that it also helps you to own your process. Neil takes the time to go through every stage of what a sales person will face—and if you can manage to take some smart notes, you’ll be ready for nearly any curveball a client throws your way.
Secrets of Closing the Sale – Zig Ziglar
The late Zig Ziglar is certainly not an unfamiliar character in the world of sales himself. He made a career not only as an author, but traveling the world inspiring millions of people across a multitude of professions. And that’s what makes his writing so special.
Ziglar believed that everyone had something to sell—and a way to sell it. This massive four-hundred-plus page book gives you more than just a few simple ideas: he gives you actionable ways that you can fight past objections and get to the real close.
New Sales Simplified – Mike Weinberg
Oftentimes here on the blog we’ll talk about what happens when salespeople get stuck in a rut—a low cycle where they don’t feel like they’re making much progress. This is often a time where employee engagement is at its lowest.
One of the most effective ways to combat low sales numbers is by focusing on your pipeline—generating new sales, rather than simply relying on renewals. And that’s exactly what Weinberg gets into in this book.
With a full pipeline, you take the guesswork out of your quarterly performance. By doing the due-diligence ahead of time, you’ll reap the rewards for months down the road.
The Challenger Sale – Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon
This book has absolutely stormed the sales world in the nearly decade since it was published. It’s been so effective because it takes a look at one thing no good sales rep or manager can ignore: the hard data.
When you look at top performers across the industry, what are the common denominators? Is there something that really sets them apart from the rest, or are they just a mix of right people, right place, and right time?
Those are the sort of questions that Dixon and Adamson were willing to really dig into—and what they found is that top-performers all share the same quality: they’re challengers.
The Sales Acceleration Formula – Mark Roberge
Speaking of data, Mark Roberge has taken a look at the numbers, and developed a formula that every manager (or aspiring manager) should be thinking about: how to build the best sales team you can.
We firmly believe that when you build a better team, everyone benefits. It gives your employees a roadmap that allows them to see what their best can and should look like, helping them to get better in touch with their own goals—ultimately pushing their performance to the next level.
Business Adventures – John Brooks
When a young up-and-comer named Bill Gates refers to it as “the best business book I’ve ever read,” it’s safe to assume that it’s probably worth reading for yourself, too.
Veteran New Yorker writer John Brooks tackles twelve engaging stories from across Wall Street and beyond that will fuel your imagination of what you can accomplish in sales. Sometimes, especially for newer sales reps, half the challenge is not knowing what’s out there. Consider this your crash course.
Sales Development Playbook – Trish Bertuzzi
The world of sales, and especially the way we build teams—whether they’re in our physical office or an increasingly popular group of remote employees—is changing at a break-neck speed. It can be hard to keep up with the changes, especially as we seek to create repeatable paths for success.
In this book Trish outlines a real path for development that gets into the nitty-gritty. It’s real world advice packaged in a totally palatable, hard-to-put-down package.
Your Sales Management Guru’s Guide to Leading High-Performance Sales Teams – Ken Thoreson
Aside from being an industry leader in wordy titles, Ken focuses on the idea of building a high-performance sales culture. Whether you’re in leadership or this is your first week of inside sales, everyone should be on board with nature of a high-performance culture. And ideally, everyone should be on board with helping to build that culture.
You’ll find that we talk often about creating a culture that celebrates healthy sales competition. High performance sales cultures, that produce high-performing employees, benefit immensely from this competition, as it gives everyone a chance to challenge each other as well as their perception of what’s truly possible.
Agile Selling – Jill Konrath
As we’ve said before, making the transition from one sales role to another (or starting from scratch) can be a totally foreign leap—and one that doesn’t feel so easy to make. But with Jill Konrath’s ever-popular and helpful guide, you’ll find that transition is something you should welcome. And what’s more, it’s something that you can thrive in.
Whether you’re going from an individual contributor role to a manager’s seat, or you’re simply looking to break in to a new industry, Jill’s absolutely got you covered.
From Impossible to Inevitable: How SaaS and Other Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue (2nd Edition) – Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin
SaaS companies have been able to create rapid growth from basically nothing. But how did they do it? In this recently revised book from Aaron ross and Jason Lemkin, they explore how you can double, triple or even 10x your sales efforts through a template to success.
If you’re new at sales management and looking to build a team, or want to find a way to make a greater impact at your organization, this read is for you!
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