Top 38 Must-Read Books Recommended By Sales Experts

13 min read

Sales is an ever-changing landscape of challenges, and to stay ahead of the game, you need to keep learning to excel and surpass your competitors. Fortunately, many of the best answers have already been unearthed in various sales books that help in expanding your knowledge and brush up your selling skills. 

Here we have put together a list of top sales reads recommended by sales leaders like Mike Kunkle, Tibor Shanto, Morgan J Ingram, Sangram Vajre, Amy Franko, and the likes, that will help you prepare for the challenges the modern sales organizations are facing.

If you’re looking to add valuable sales books to your reading list, this list will help you. Also, we’ve categorized each book based on the sales discipline it falls under, so as to make your life easier. Here’s an overview:

  • Sales Strategy and Process
  • Sales Motivation
  • The Social Science of Sales
  • Sales Fundamentals
  • Sales Skills
  • Sales Prospecting
  • Sales Development and Management
  • Pitching and Closing
  • Behavioral Economics and Psychology
  • Management and Coaching
  • Sales Leadership

Sales Strategy and Process

1. The Challenger Sale: Taking control of the customer conversation by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

Published in 2011, The Challenger Sale argues that classic-relationship building has become a losing approach. In an exhaustive study conducted by the authors, it was found that sales reps who took ‘the Challenger’ approach are the highest performers. This is the sales rep who doesn’t bend to every whim of the prospects, but challenges the customer, controls the conversation, and leads to the problem’s solution.

Recommended by: Nancy Nardin, Daniel Watkins, and Jon Fedor

Podcast: Check out our Limitless Podcast series where Nancy Nardin spoke on how to engage prospects 10x.

2. Gap Selling – Keenan

Ask any sales rep the factors that trouble them the most and they’ll say it’s either a longer sales cycle, losing leads due to price, sales objections, ghosting, etc. With Gap Selling, Keenan brings a new philosophy to the world of sales. He argues you’re not selling a product, but a ‘change’. How can your sales team convince the prospects about the ‘change’? Success at sales requires more than a set of tactics and therefore his book focuses on turning salespeople into sales influencers who can influence buyers at every stage of the buying process.

Recommended by: Nancy Nardin

3. Stop Selling and Start Leading: How To Make Extraordinary Sales Happen – James M. Kouzes, Barry Posner and Deb Calvert

Modern-day sales are all about the buyer. In this book, co-authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner have teamed with leading sales consultant Deb Calvert to examine the skills that make both leaders and sellers successful and how to meaningfully connect with buyers. It talks about the behavioral blueprint for sellers that makes buyers more likely to buy from them. 

Recommend by: Mike Kunkle

4.Buyer-Centered Selling: How Modern Sellers Engage & Collaborate with Buyers – Thomas Williams and Thomas Saine

Buyer-Centered Selling provides strategies and tactics that help the sellers address the buyers’  eleven dilemmas that are likely to slow and obstruct the buying process. The authors speak about how buying and selling are changing and without the collaborative efforts of both seller and buyer, it can hinder the buying process resulting in lethargy and fear. This book is like a training module that outlines step-by-step what you need to do for working more effectively with buyers.

Recommend by: Mike Kunkle, and Steve Hall

Interview: Refer to the Ebook where we feature an interview with Mike Kunkle and Steve Hall. 

5. The New Strategic Selling: The Unique Sales System Proven Successful by the World’s Best Companies – Robert B. Miller

A revolutionary book that changed sales and marketing forever, it was through The New Strategic Selling, Miller introduced the decade’s most influential concept of Win-Win. He believed if a deal isn’t a win-win situation for both the seller and the buyer, it’ll end up as a lose-lose. He also lists down strategies to tackle various situations like ‘how to prevent sabotage by internal blockers’, ‘identify the four-types of decision-makers’, ‘how to make a senior executive eager to see you’ and more. 

Recommended by: Steve Hall

6. The Modern Seller: Sell More and Increase Your Impact In The New Sales Economy – Amy Franko

The sales economy is constantly changing and the buyers have changed the way they want to interact with the sellers. This calls for sellers to adopt a modern mindset, skills, and tools to handle these smart buyers. Through her book, The Modern Seller, Amy explains the 5 vital skill sets that are required for a modern seller. This book contains effective sales strategies and practices that you can use to succeed in today’s challenging sales environment.

7. Selling To Big Companies – Jill Konrath

Struggling to get your foot in the door of opportunities? Konrath breaks down how to get in touch and talk to corporate decision-makers, and ultimately close big deals. She also advises on deepening your knowledge of your product line, capabilities, and total solution capacity as no one can replicate you and your brain – not even your competitor. This book also provides new sales strategies that are needed to penetrate these big accounts. 

Recommended by: Amy Franko

Podcast: Amy was featured on our Limitless Webinar series where she talks on 5 skill sets you need for sales success with today’s customers.

8.You Can’t Teach a Kid To Ride a Bike at a Seminar: 7-Step System for Successful Selling – David Sandler

This book provides advice on driving personal and organizational success by breaking down rules of unconventional selling. You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar will teach you how to think. It is the perfect playbook for managers who don’t have a system in place as it will give you all the tools you need to train your team. 

Recommended by: Jon Fedor

9.Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers – Tim Hughes

The digital landscape has changed buyers’ habits. Sales professionals now need to build relationships with prospects through social networks to reach them early in the decision-making process. Through Social Selling, Tim provides practical, step-by-step processes for harnessing the skills and techniques necessary to develop a high-quality community, building trust, and connecting with changemakers. This book is for those who want to embrace the power of social selling in their organizations.

Recommended by: Ian Moyse

10.Not Taught: What It Takes To Be Successful in the 21st Century That Nobody’s Teaching You – Jim Keenan

Not Taught talks about how the rules of the 20th century and the industrial age no longer work, and if you want to be successful, you must learn the new rules of success. It offers unique and powerful ways to connect with a larger audience and win in the 21st century.

Recommended by: Michael Muhlfelder

11.Consultative Selling: The Hanan Formula for High-Margin Sales at High Levels – Mack Hanan

In his book Consultative Selling, you’ll learn that you are no longer a vendor out to sell; you are a consultant, out to help your client’s business grow. Mack points out that consultative selling requires strategies that are divorced from the traditional vendor selling. It means that you stop selling products and services and start selling the ‘impact’ they can make on customer business. This book will provide invaluable insights that will bring you wide-ranging success.

Recommended by: Mike Kunkle

12.The TOP Sales Leader Playbook: How to Win 5X Sales Repeatedly – Lisa Magnuson

Every sales organization needs an engine that generates massive deals – repeatedly. The TOP Sales Leader Playbook is your guidebook for creating that sales engine. In this book, Lisa has provided 16 key ‘plays’ and valuable insights and practical how-to’s from recognized thought leaders as sideline coach experts for each play. This invaluable reference guide is designed for modern sales leaders who want to win big.

Recommended by: Steve Hall, and Amy Franko

Sales Motivation

13. I Want To Be In Sales When I Grow Up! – John Barrows

No kid ever says “I want to be in sales when I grow up” and this is what John Barrow wants to change. Inspired by Barrow’s daughter, this book was aimed at two things – to empower women and to get more women into sales. He believes that this book will be the catalyst for elevating the perception of sales by introducing it to kids as a profession they can be proud of. 

Recommended by: Nancy Nardin

14.The Law Of Success – Napoleon Hill

The Law Of Success is a success manual course for achieving your goals. After interviewing more than 500 self-made millionaires and studying the accomplishments of masterminds such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Theodore Roosevelt, and Alexander Graham Bell, Hill put together what he learned into fifteen core lessons. These lessons work as a ‘mind stimulant’ which shows us the road to success with timeless wisdom. 

Recommended by: Morgan Ingram

15. Extreme Ownership: How U.S Navy SEALs Lead and Win – Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Jocko and Leif are ex-U.S Navy SEALs who learned valuable lessons in their experience on the most violent battlefield in Iraq. In Extreme Ownership, one of the greatest takeaways is the principle of taking ownership of your actions, as people have an incredible tendency to pass blame when faced with challenging circumstances. This book contains twelve valuable leadership principles that sales leaders can use to build and lead their own high-performance, winning teams. 

Recommended by: Anmol Garg

16. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way To Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones – James Clear

No matter your goals, James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, offers a proven framework on how to form a good habit, break the bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. If you’re having trouble changing your habits, this book is a must-have. 

Recommended by: Anmol Garg

17. 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential – John Maxwell

Have you ever wondered how you can reach your full potential? John Maxwell, in ‘The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth’ lays out 15 laws to help you become all you can be. In his book, he states “Growth doesn’t happen by chance. You must make it happen.” This book will help you become a lifelong learner whose potential keeps increasing.

Recommended by: Morgan Ingram and Tibor Shanto

18. Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable – Tim Grover

In Tim’s book Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable, he shares the mindsets of the most successful and accomplished athletes of our time. He outlines 13 things these successful athletes in their careers do and also describes their worth ethic and how those who follow them go from good to great to unstoppable. Relentless shows you how even the best get better – and how you can too.

Recommended by: Morgan Ingram

19. How To Win Friends & Influence People – Dale Carnegie

As a salesman at one point in his life, Carnegie’s classic remains one of the very best books on selling yourself to anyone you meet. It gives insights into life-changing principles on how to work effectively with others, making people like you and winning them over to your way of thinking. He states that it is important to remember that when dealing with people, we’re not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion. These insights provide sales reps and leaders with actionable tips for understanding and connecting with buyers or any other key stakeholders. 

Recommended by: Steve Hall, and Daniel Watkins

The Social Science of Sales

20. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others – Daniel H. Pink

Want an organic approach to moving prospects to buy? Contrary to the older sales formula of ‘always be closing’, Pink sheds light on the principles of attitude (ABC: Attunement, buoyancy, and clarity) and action (pitch, improvise, and serve). He states the importance of serving customers before selling to them as a way to get the prospects to do the things that we want them to do. 

Recommended by: Sangram Vajre and Daniel Watkins

Podcast: Check out Sangram Vajre’s webinar on our website to grab his insights on How to lead like a modern CMO in the new decade. There is also a podcast on the same. 

21. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action – Simon Sinek

As a salesperson, have you ever wondered “why” people buy? In Simon Sinek’s Start with Why, he talks about this simple concept that is incredibly empowering: why you do something is more important than either what you do or how you do it. The“Why” should be the reason that makes prospects to buy your products. It all starts with “Why”. Grab this book as it will inspire you to think differently about what you do.

Recommended by: Daniel Watkins

Sales Fundamentals           

22. The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need – Anthony Iannarino

Once on track to becoming a rock-and-roll star, Anthony Iannarino took up sales as a day time job and soon became a sales expert. In his book, he shares his biggest lessons from 25 years of selling along with the secrets to what differentiates successful salespeople from the rest – self-discipline, accountability, and your storytelling skills. 

Recommended by: Morgan Ingram

Podcast: Check out our Limitless Webinar series on How to be Successful in Enterprise Sales Prospecting? where Morgan sheds light on the ways one should follow to prospect enterprise clients successfully.

23. The Little Red Book Of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness – Jeffrey Gitomer

Worried about how to sell? Rather, Jeffery Gitomer insists you think about ‘why people buy’. This, he says, is “all the matters”. The Little Red Book Of Selling is a playful book that includes entertaining illustrations in every chapter. This book has helpful tips and will clarify exactly what your customers want and how to give it to them. 

Recommend by: Michael Muhlfelder

24. Sales Truth: Debunk the Myths. Apply Powerful Principles. Win More New Sales. – Mike Weinberg

Sales Truth is an impactful sales book that slaughters many myths that are raging in sales right now and focus on things that work. Author, Mike Weinberg, states that there will never be a replacement for purpose-driven prospecting and proactive sales efforts, no matter how many nouveau experts come up with new miracle solutions. This book will acquaint you with proven and powerful principles that help master the fundamentals of professional selling. 

Recommended by: Jason Eatmon

Sales Skills

25. Beat The Bots: How Your Humanity Can Future-Proof Your Tech Sales Career – Anita Nielsen

Sales performance consultant Anita Nielsen is well aware of the struggle her clients face against the rise of robots and artificial intelligence. Most sales reps have this question “Am I going to lose the career I love — to a robot”? In Beat The Bots, Anita stresses the importance of committing to delivering “personalized value,” which, Nielsen writes, is something that can’t be duplicated by bots. She also explores how to ask effective, “high impact,” open-ended questions to capture the customer’s trust. 

Recommend by: Mike Kunkle

26. Secrets of Question-Based Selling: How the Most Powerful Tool In Business Can Double Your Sales Results – Thomas A. Freese

Asking questions is a lost art. Often, sales reps prefer to jump to conclusions, without really listening to the prospects. In Secrets Of Question-Based Selling, Freese provides a hands-on guide on when to ask the right questions and what those questions should be to ultimately close more deals. Grab this book and you’ll learn the secrets to overcoming objections by asking the right questions. 

Recommended by: Daniel Watkins

Sales Prospecting

27. Smart Calling: Eliminate the Fear, Failure, and Rejection From Cold Calling – Art Sobczak

Cold calling has always been one of the hardest parts of sales, isn’t it? If you want an intelligent method for engaging cold prospects, this book should be your best friend. In this book, Sobczak shares his advice on how to tackle the dreaded cold calling and turn it into a lucrative and rejection free sales system. 

Recommended by: Jason Bay

28. Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide To Opening Sales Conversations and Filling The Pipeline – Jeb Blount

Effective prospecting is essential for filling your sales pipeline with qualified opportunities. Blout, in his book, outlines his innovative approach for prospecting successfully. He also incorporates multiple touchpoints through which a salesperson can prospect with the leads such as how to text, call, email, and socially engage buyers. If you want to get better at prospecting, check this book.

Recommended by: Amy Franko

Sales Development and Management

29. Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales – Trish Bertuzzi

Bertuzzi, Sales development expert and founder of The Bridge Group, Inc., uses her three decades of experience to show sales development teams how to build a more qualified pipeline to skyrocket growth. Companies that embrace her techniques can avoid unfit prospects and provide value to a very specific segment in the market. She outlines 6 elements of success that include aligning your sales development model with your buyer’s journey, recruiting roadmap for hiring, retaining reps, and more. 

Recommended by: Jason Bay

Pitching and Closing

30. Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It – Chris Voss

Who wouldn’t want to learn negotiation skills from a former FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss?  Never Split the Difference shows how to use psychological skills and emotional intelligence to calm down, establish rapport, gain trust, display empathy, and thus gather information and influence behaviors of counterparts while maintaining a great relationship. He shares nine effective principles that sales reps can adopt for a result-oriented approach. 

Recommended by: Steve Hall

31. The Lost Art Of Closing: Winning The Ten Commitments That Drive Sales – Anthony Iannarino

Most of the sales professionals face difficulty in closing, leading to the loss of many lucrative deals. In the book The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony Iannarino emphasizes on the 10-step process for converting skeptical prospects into paying customers. This book teaches you how to prioritize your leads and leverage social selling in your prospecting efforts. 

Recommended by: Amy Franko

32. Sales Differentiation: 19 Powerful Strategies to Win More Deals at the Prices You Want – Lee B. Salz

Sales Differentiation brings to light the aspect of selling that salespeople struggle with the most –  differentiating their product or service in ways that are more meaningful to the buyer. In his book, Salz states that sales differentiation is not so much about what you say to the buyer. Instead, it is about the questions you ask to elevate the importance of those differentiators in the buyer’s mind. This book is a must-have for sales leaders and salespeople who struggle with objections during prospecting.

Recommended by: Jason Eatmon

33. The Closer’s Survival Guide: Over 100 Ways to Ink the Deal – Grant Cardone

Learn to close and you will never be without work or money! Grant in his book, The Closer’s Survival Guide, talks about how ‘the close’ is what differentiates those who have from those who don’t have. It includes 20 major rules of closing and over 120 exact closes that you can use every day. Now you can close deals with confidence. 

Recommended by: Jon Fedor

34. The Million-Pound LinkedIn Message – Daniel Disney

Imagine one single well-crafted LinkedIn message that has the power to land a deal worth over £1,000,000. Impossible isn’t it? Daniel Disney, one of the world’s leading LinkedIn and social selling experts has spilled all his secrets to show you how to build an effective LinkedIn profile and generate results. He will also show you 25 tried, tested, and proven LinkedIn message templates to up your social selling game. 

Recommended by: Ian Moyse and Michael Hanson

Behavioral Economics and Psychology

35. Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People – Vanessa Van Edwards

Captivate is a collection of people skills that you can use during your social interactions. It outlines straightforward, but persuasive tricks you can adopt to build connections – ranging from the first few seconds of meeting someone to building lasting relationships. When you’re in sales, you need to know how people work and this book will teach you just that. 

Recommended by: Morgan Ingram

36. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions – Dan Ariely

Predictably Irrational gives insights into how humans make irrational decisions in a majority of situations. For example: how many times have you purchased a second item that you didn’t particularly want, just to take advantage of the ‘free shipping’ offered? Predictably Irrational is extremely helpful to sales reps when figuring out how to position your product, or even when talking about price. As an icing on the cake, Ariely outlines 13 ways in which consumers are predictably irrational, revealing 13 opportunities for marketers to harness a consumer’s irrationality to sell more.

Recommended by: Steve Hall

Management and Coaching

37. The Ten-Day MBA: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering the Skills Taught In America’s Top Business Schools – Steven Silbiger

The Ten-Day MBA provides all the basic information about the subjects of the MBA course in leading American business schools. This book reflects the contemporary corporate culture and economic climate. For those of you who want to familiarize yourself with the MBA basic terms and concepts, this book is your go-to. 

Recommended by: Tibor Shanto

Podcast: Tibor Shanto was featured in our #Limitless Webinar Series where he provided his insights on Why and How Telephone Prospecting is Coming Back to Life. And that’s not it, we have teamed up with Tibor for a 7-day mini-course called Voicemail+ Program which you should totally check out! 

Sales Leadership

38. Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box – The Arbinger Institute

What if all the “people problems” we have in our workplace, home, and our communities were streaming from a problem within ourselves? What if that problem was right in front of us and you were the cause? In the book, Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box, the Arbinger Institute states that the key to leadership lies not in what we do, but in who we are. This book shows how we trap ourselves in a “box” of endless self-justifications.

Recommended by: Michael Muhlfelder

Step up your sales game

Whether you’re just starting in sales or have years of experience under your belt, gaining insights from top sales professionals is always helpful. We hope this list of books recommended by industry experts will help you in improving your sales game and make you a better, more well-rounded salesperson and leader. 

What are your go-to sales reads? Have we missed out on your favorite sales book? Do let us know in the comments. 

Indu Abraham

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