THE PEAK BLOG

All the latest insights on sales and sales hiring

As a new salesperson, you have the opportunity to thrive in one of the world’s most rewarding professions. Finding success in sales takes focus, discipline, and the right knowledge. Read one book a month for the next year, and you’ll be equipped with the critical knowledge and strategies required to succeed.

Books On Sales Fundamentals

These first few books give you a crash course experience in sales. Each book offers a different perspective on sales and illustrates those principles with various stories and research. Exposing yourself to various sales techniques and ideas is one of the best ways to discover new perspectives. 

1 SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham

SPIN Selling is one of the most famous research-driven sales books ever published. The author studied many successful salespeople to identify the specific techniques and methods. The book’s methodology is particularly well suited to B2B sales and those who like a process-driven approach to selling. 

2 To Sell Is Human by Dan Pink 

In contrast to Rackham’s approach, Dan Pink’s best-selling sales book differs. Pink argues that almost all jobs involve selling in some form. The book offers fresh air to people with an unfounded negative perception of the sales profession. In addition, Pink offers several interesting sales techniques drawn from history, science, and theatre to help connect with buyers. 

3 Sell It Like Serhant: How to Sell More, Earn More, and Become the Ultimate Sales Machine by Ryan Serhant

Ryan Serhant is best known as one of the most famous real estate brokers in New York City. He started his real estate selling career in 2008, right after the financial crisis. While Serhant’s book and stories focus on real estate sales, the principles apply to other types of sales. If you are looking for an accessible and entertaining introduction to sales, Sell It Like Serhant is a great pick.

4 The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies by Chet Holmes

If you aim to get promoted in your sales career, Holmes’s book is a must-read. He covers fundamentals like time management and sales techniques. He also covers ways to manage employees. The book is famous for the value of pig-headed discipline and determination in sales. 

Books To Develop Specific Sales Skills 

The first set of books serves as your general foundation for learning about sales. This book set goes deeper by covering some of the most critical selling skills. While reading these books is no replacement for practice, they can considerably speed up your learning process.

5 Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount

Prospecting is the starting point of every sale. Yet many newer salespeople struggle to pick up the phone and send emails or other messages to people they don’t know. Blount offers practical tips, advice, and inspiration to help you start making sales calls, week in and week out. In particular, the book is excellent at providing direction for phone prospecting.

If you (or your sales manager!) expect you to make cold calls to get sales opportunities, “Fanatical Prospecting” is your guide. 

6 Cold Email Manifesto by Alex Berman and Robert Indries

Does making fifty, a hundred, or even more daily sales calls make you uncomfortable? In that case, all hope is not lost – there are other ways to set up sales meetings. This short book, published in 2022, reveals the specific techniques for sending cold emails and setting meetings for B2B sales. The authors run a marketing agency, X27, that sells lead generation services based on sending cold emails. 

7 Objections: The Ultimate Guide for Mastering The Art and Science of Getting Past No by Jeb Blount

The last two books will help you get in front of potential customers. As the conversation progresses, you will face objections like “your price is too high!” This book will help develop answers to common objections in sales. In particular, the book provides excellent guidance in understanding the different types of objections: prospecting objections, red herrings, micro-commitments objections, and buying commitment objectives. This book is an excellent intermediate read to lift your close sales rates over time.

8 How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Do you ever wish everyday conversation came with a manual? Carnegie’s classic book has been in print for decades for a good reason. It gives you proven strategies to start and develop relationships. Don’t let the book’s older language or examples put you off. The principles in this book have stood the test of time. For example, Carnegie explains how to become a better listener, which is essential to developing customer connections.

Strategy & Personal Productivity Books

This final book recommendations section moves beyond core sales and gives you a broader perspective. The strategy books will help you to understand executives and your role in the company. The personal productivity books will equip you with the techniques to ensure you get the most out of your work time.

9 Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman 

As a salesperson, you may not see or understand every aspect of a business. To better understand how all of the parts of a business work together, read Traction. This book defined the “Entrepreneurial Operating System” (i.e., EOS). It breaks down the business into six essential components: vision, data, process, traction, issues, and people.

Understanding the EOS framework can help you sell better as a salesperson. For example, look for ways to connect your solution to data, processes, and issues. By showing that your solution can improve several aspects of a business, you’re more likely to gain a hearing. 

Tip:

Reading “Traction” is an excellent fit for salespeople who want a broad perspective and aspire to management. 

What if the company leadership perspective isn’t a good fit for you? In that case, look at the author’s book aimed at individual employees instead: What the Heck Is EOS?: A Complete Guide for Employees in Companies Running on EOS by Gino Wickman

10  3HAG WAY: The Strategic Execution System that ensures your strategy is not a Wild-Ass-Guess! by Shannon Byrne Susko  

Many salespeople are tightly focused on short-term goals like meeting their quarterly or annual sales goals. To get a broader perspective, read the “3HAG Way.” This book is all about setting achievable ambitious three-year goals. For example, your company might have a three-year goal to own a specific market segment. This short book is worth your time because it will broaden your perspective. You will also have better conversations with company leaders already thinking about next year.

11  Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

If there were a superior productivity and personal organization book, it would be Getting Things Done. If you struggle to stay organized with your sales tasks like follow-up, developing proposals, and projects, this book can help you. You will get busier over time as you implement the insights from other books in this post. Use Getting Things Done to make you don’t lose track of anything. 

12 Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Distractions are all around us. The temptation to squander our time on social media, conversation, and other activities is ever-present. Newport’s book is the antidote. He argues that pursuing deep work – intense focus on your most challenging tasks – for just a few hours per day can change everything. Newport is an author and professor, so it will take some creativity to adapt the principles to sales. For example, your deep work might consist of prospecting, sales appointments, and proposals. Use 

Developing Sales Talent Through Books And Training Takes Time: Need A Faster Solution?

Investing the time to read even just a dozen books can have a life-changing effect on a salesperson. However, it can take several quarters or even longer read and fully apply all of the insights in these books. What if you need to raise sales productivity more quickly? Reach out to Peak Sales today to explore how to recruit high-performing salespeople. We have proven methods to identify successful, highly developed, and flourishing sales professionals. Why not let us bring them to your organization?

 

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