10 Best Sales Books Every Sales Professional Needs in 2023

10 Best Sales Books Every Sales Professional Needs in 2024

The world of sales is constantly changing. Thanks to technologies such as AI and tools for sales automation, skeptics predict sales jobs will go extinct in the next 20 years.

However, humans still make purchase decisions based on emotions. This is where sales executives continue to make a difference. 

Excellent sales professionals possess several skills complementary to selling, including listening empathetically, collaborating with other teams, and being an advisor to buyers. The best sales leaders also use their emotional intelligence to boost the team’s morale and connect with customers. 

The good news? You can hone these skills by reading some of the best sales books. We’ve compiled a list of 10 such books for sales managers and teams.  

From traditional sales techniques, sales acceleration formulas for managing sales performance, and growth mindset to sales psychology, these books provide real-world examples and actionable advice for novices as well as seasoned sales professionals.  

Let’s dive in!

10 Sales Books to Help Sales Professionals Develop and Improve Sales Skills

1. The Ultimate Sales Machine

Sales book: The Ultimate Sales Machine

via Amazon

About the book

  • Author(s): Chet Holmes
  • Year published: 2008
  • Estimated reading time: 15 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • No. of pages: 336 pages
  • Ratings
    • 4.5/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.1/5 (Goodreads)

Sales trends come and go. Not all trends are the right fit for your company. Chet Holmes’ bestseller, The Ultimate Sales Machine, helps you identify the most enduring ones. 

In this sales primer, he shares 12 strategies to make new sales and get repeat customers. Even if you follow one of the strategies, you will likely double your sales. 

The book equips you with practical sales skills to attract premium clients, hire the best talent, and substantially improve your sales approach.  

Holmes gives simple day-to-day analogies to help a sales team effectively visualize scenarios to practice in real life and optimize their sales processes.  

For example, he teaches how to educate customers using a shoe-selling pitch. When you sell shoes by cold calling, you could sell to a handful of buyers. But if you reach out to prospects with a free brochure about feet and health, you will sell to those who want shoes, and build a connection with future customers. 

He emphasizes recurring training for your existing sales team to keep the lessons fresh in their minds. In his words, “Mastery doesn’t mean doing 4000 things; you can instead do 12 things 4000 times.” 

For individual salespeople, he shares tips such as refraining from waffling and acting as a trusted advisor instead. For example, when a couple buys their first house, a good salesperson will begin the pitch by saying, “Buying a house is a big decision, and you should not rush into it.”

His tips on targeting decision-makers in big companies, building rapport with clients, sales management, and reprogramming mindset will aid management boards and marketing and sales teams. 

“The one who gives the market the most and best information will always slaughter the one who just wants to sell products or services.”

Chet Holmes

Key takeaways: 

  • Don’t just sell one product; sell the whole store and shorten sales cycles 
  • Establish high standards within your sales culture  
  • Go for the big fish. Your best prospects will save a lot of your selling time 
  • Hone your communication skills and emotional intelligence, and make your interactions personal
  • As a company, perfect your sales strategy, marketing tactics, sales skills, and company’s sales processes 

What readers say:

 “Chet Holmes has brilliantly simplified the art of long-term sales growth. Starting with a pigheaded determination and focus as he says, to excel in 12 Strategies rather than 4000. Creating your high-value pitch, and sales strategic objectives to hiring the best and retaining. This one for sure is added to my, must-carry list of books for day-to-day reference. Highly recommend, go get it Now👍”

2. SPIN Selling 

SPIN SELLING
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author(s): Neil Rackham
  • Year published: 2021
  • Estimated reading time: 7 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner to advanced
  • No. of pages: 197 pages
  • Ratings
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.0/5 (Goodreads)

Are you stuck with traditional sales methods? Do you need help closing big deals? If you answer yes, chances are you’re making the same fundamental error as most other salespeople. You need to switch to a customer-focused sales process. 

SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham tackles the challenge of dealing with ‘complex sales’, i.e., selling premium or high-value products. One of its chapters, ‘Small Fish Bait Does Not Work On Sharks,’ asserts that unless you have researched well and understood the exact needs of the premium customer, you won’t achieve success.  

To apply the sales strategy, the author proposes the SPIN selling framework, which enables teams to ask the right questions in sales conversations in the following four areas: 

  • Situation: These questions seek to learn the prospect’s fundamental goals and objectives. Get a deeper idea of the buyer’s current circumstances, business goals, and environmental factors
  • Problem: These questions equip sales teams to dig into their prospect’s challenges in meeting their specific needs. They help in identifying areas of implicit and explicit opportunities
  • Implication: These follow-up questions were built in the previous step. They help a salesperson gain more profound knowledge about how the prospect’s challenges negatively affect their life or business. Use them to create a sense of urgency in the buyer’s mind 
  • Need payoff: Questions about potential solutions to change or transform the prospect’s work or business. You should enable buyers to draw their conclusions about your product or service

SPIN questions prepare sales managers and reps for sales success while teaching them advanced selling strategies to use in practical situations.  

The book is based on the author’s findings from studying more than 35,000 sales calls made by 10,000 salespeople in 23 countries over 12 years. He uses them to bust several sales myths, such as listing and describing product benefits to pique interest or asking open-ended questions in sales conversations. 

This is one of those sales books that emphasizes understanding the situation rather than following a rigid sales script for conversations and developing sales psychology. 

“Implication Questions take a customer problem and explore its effects or consequences. As we’ll see, by asking Implication Questions, successful people help the customer understand a problem’s seriousness or urgency”

Neil Rackham

Key takeaways: 

  • Focus on the larger sales success instead of one-call sales, and develop skills that significant sales demand 
  • Customer needs develop with minor imperfections that lead to bigger problems; know their implied and explicit needs
  • Features address implicit needs, and benefits offer solutions to explicit needs 
  • Take your time with a hard sell. Spend time getting to know your customers and building rapport 

What readers say:

 “Spin Selling” by Neil Rackham is a powerful and refreshing resource that revolutionizes traditional selling techniques with the simple yet effective SPIN model. The book shines in applying these strategies to real-world scenarios, loaded with insightful case studies that provide practical guidance to master the art of sales. However, its focus is more suited to high-value B2B sales, and the repetitive emphasis on the SPIN concept can occasionally feel heavy-handed.”

3. The Sales Magnet: How to Get More Customers Without Cold Calling

The Sales Magnet: How to Get More Customers Without Cold Calling
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author(s): Kendra Lee
  • Year published: 2013
  • Estimated reading time: 19 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner to intermediate
  • No. of pages: 282 pages
  • Ratings
    • 3.9/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.4/5 (Goodreads)

In How To Get More Customers Without Cold Calling, Kendra Lee demonstrates step-by-step the sales prospecting process that both new and veteran sales leaders can replicate. 

This book shares how small and medium businesses automate sales for higher efficiency. If you are a sales manager with limited resources, this sales book has various attraction strategies to help you sell better. 

Her three-step process simplifies the sales funnel like this:  

  • Generate more prospects with attraction strategies 

There are 14 attraction strategies that a sales manager can use to generate prospects. They are largely divided into three groups

Personal 

  • Emails 
  • Letters with personality 
  • Postcards with variants 
  • Personal networking 
  • Phone campaigns 

Digital 

  • E-newsletters 
  • Articles and blogs 
  • Social networking 
  • Social media 
  • Online PR
  • Online events 

Collaborative 

  • Local events 
  • Offline PR 
  • Alliance partners
  • Run a savvy three-step sales campaign

Now you need to sell to your prospects by linking to local events, making them a reasonable offer, and giving them a reason to act quickly. Your sales campaign should look like this:  

Grabber < Enticing Offer < Call To Action = SALES

  • Combine all the efforts with multiple attraction strategies and sales campaigns

Salespeople need multiple attraction strategies if they want to meet their targets. There are many ways to generate sales, but you must pull them together and run targeted campaigns. 

Sales leaders should also focus on process optimization to prevent stagnation in the business. 

Lee’s valuable insights into working with sales reps in small and medium-sized businesses make this book stand out. Apart from sharing success stories, she recalls the pitfalls of inefficiently executed sales plans and conversations. 

Her book addresses the personality-related challenges of sales professionals and is equally helpful for SMB business owners, entrepreneurs, and entry-level sales reps. 

Her free support tool kit, case studies, easy-to-implement strategies and sales tactics work for various personality types and in most sales situations. 

“You must be in front of your prospects when they recognize they have a problem. They will ask for your guidance and recommendations. You will become their trusted advisor who helps them map out the answer.”

Kendra Lee

Key takeaways:

  • Attraction strategies help warm up your prospects across several media consistently
  • Build awareness about your product, keep it in front of your prospects, and let them choose you

Divide your territory or market into micro-segments of groups that share similar needs and/or respond to similar messages. That way, you will only have to create content once, and you can focus on personalizing your messages

What readers say:

“I’ve read many, many books in a variety of areas including sales, and I think this book is excellent since Kendra provides proven strategies for attracting your ideal clients. She provides tremendous value with her book and online resources. If you want to grow your sales substantially, you must get this book and use the strategies.” 

4.  The Little Red Book of Selling

The Little Red Book of Selling
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author(s): Jeffery Gitomer
  • Year published: 2023
  • Estimated reading time: 15 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner
  • No. of pages: 232 pages
  • Ratings
    • 4.5/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.9/5 (Goodreads)

Do you know why sales happen? 

As per The Little Red Book of Selling, sales happen when customers are convinced that you, the salesperson, are genuinely interested in their needs. 

How do you demonstrate that? One of the ways is by asking a customer to tell you their reasons for buying from you. This also helps uncover their buying motive you can use in future sales.   

The Little Red Book of Selling is one of those sales books that uses wit and humor to share the most advanced selling strategies. 

Take, for instance, the book’s subtitle: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness. Why 12.5? Perhaps because it reads  Resign from your position as general manager of the universe

Salespeople must pick their battles wisely and focus on their challenges. Your prospects will value products or services only when they learn to value those selling them. 

The author encourages everyone to have a ‘sales mindset’ through constant networking, making friends, and engaging in personal branding. 

Whether you’re a part of a B2C sales team, the head of marketing, or the chief sales officer at an enterprise company, this book has practical wisdom for you.

“Talk about profit and productivity—not saving money —talk about ideas and opportunities—not a chance to tell you what I do—they want friendly help, answers, productivity, and profit.”

Jeffery Gitomer

Key takeaways: 

  • Research your prospects’ businesses thoroughly before approaching them. The most prepared salesperson wins
  • It’s all about value, not price. When the salesperson demonstrates that he values the customers and takes the time to educate them, then he will create value
  • One of the best ways to get people to share information about themselves is to ask probing questions. Instead of ranting about your product or service, take the time to listen to your prospects and their needs

What readers say:

 “The Little Red Book of Selling has standard sales techniques that teaches salespeople how to become better at sales. To me, this is more of a “beginners” book and I highly recommend it to anyone learning how to sell more and better.

5.  Inbound Selling

Inbound Selling
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author(s): Brian Signorelli
  • Year published: 2018
  • Estimated reading time: 15 hours
  • Recommended level: Intermediate to advanced
  • No. of pages: 230 pages
  • Ratings
    • 4.5/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.9/5 (Goodreads)

Do you ever feel like your follow-up calls or cold emails aren’t working? Then, all of a sudden, a prospect gets converted…for no good reason.

Brian Signorelli’s Inbound Selling answers such unexplained sales management questions. The author is the director of HubSpot’s Global Sales Partner Program and drives home the point that people wait until their need becomes urgent before speaking to a salesperson. 

Signorelli further builds on this premise by stating some hard facts, such as that by 2020, 80% of buying decisions were made without a sales rep. He then makes a strong point about the type of salespeople who succeed at challenger sales, i.e., goal-oriented educators who love learning. 

Inbound selling refers to a human-centric and buyer-first approach to selling that attracts the most receptive buyers, as opposed to the outbound sales process.

The book suggests the Identify > Connect > Explore > Advise methodology to help identify and segment potential buyers and implement this strategy in the sales cycle. It urges all sales professionals to become inbound sellers for a successful sales career. 

It also challenges business leaders, stating that they will underperform if they don’t target inbound selling. 

Inbound Selling is a lean sales playbook for professionals and organizations who want to adapt to the changing customer psychology where the buyer is in control. With succinct storytelling, the book takes a lighthearted approach to teaching sales yet manages to guide you to become a high-performing sales professional. 

Pro tip? Don’t forget to take advantage of the illustrations that the writer has created from his real-life emails from his tenure at HubSpot.

This sales book is ideal for B2B sales executives, inbound marketing professionals, and digital marketers actively participating in the purchase process. 

“Instead of just documenting demographic information that describes the company, you need to start getting into the head of your prospective buyer.”

Brian Signorelli

Key takeaways: 

  • Every salesperson should blog as part of their sales tactics because it helps build credibility and humanize the sales experience
  • Sales and marketing should work together if we want to rise above predictable revenue 
  • Buyers today are more informed than ever, so salespeople should refine their sales management code
  • Your sales cycles should incorporate the buyer’s journey

What readers say:

 “Having read a lot of sales books in my day, I am almost always skeptical when yet another one comes out. Check it out if you are a salesperson/manager and you will walk away with actionable ways you can grow your career and improve your craft. There is also some really interesting perspective on the future of the profession that anyone who works in the industry should be aware of.”

6. Insight Selling

Insight Selling
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author(s): Mike Schultz, John E. Doerr, and Neil Rackham
  • Year published: 2014
  • Estimated reading time: 17 hours
  • Recommended level: Advanced
  • No. of pages: 256 pages
  • Ratings
    • 4.3/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.8/5 (Goodreads)

Do you want to change your sales game completely? Then, look no further than Insight Selling. 

Before the concept of insight selling became popular, Mike Schultz, John E. Doerr, and Neil Rackham set out to study more than 700 B2B (business-to-business) deals by customers who represented  $3.1 billion in annual purchasing power. 

The results were interesting, though not surprising: successful salespeople approach sales differently. When salespeople share relevant and interesting information with buyers, they are more likely to convert. This information is not directly related to the product but gives buyers additional information or context for why they need it. 

The writers define insight selling as “the process of creating and converting sales opportunities and driving change with ideas that matter.” The three insights in this valuable resource are: 

  • Interaction insight: Seller provides value in the form of creating insights through interactions with the buyer 
  • Opportunity insight: Focus on a specific idea the seller knows and the buyer doesn’t and pursue that idea to inform the latter
  • Cognitive reframing: When the buyer has already decided about a product or an idea, but the seller brings new insights into the conversation to educate them 

And how do winning salespeople apply them? The writers propose a three-level model. 

Level 1:Connect. Winning salespeople make two kinds of connections. They connect company solutions with customer needs. Secondly, they connect with buyers as people. 

Level 2: Convince. Winners convince customers that the latter can achieve the best possible ROI, the risks are manageable, and the seller is the best bet among the choices available. 

Level 3: Collaborate. Winners collaborate with customers by informing them about new ideas and insights and working with buyers like partners.

Further, this book introduces advanced selling concepts such as RAIN (Rapport, Aspirations/Afflictions, Impact/Inquiry/Influence, New reality) and PATHS (Present/Problem/Possibility/Paralysis, Assumptions, Truth, Hypothesis, Solutions) 

A word of caution: his sales book is not for beginners. You should have spent a considerable amount of time selling products or services to get a good grasp of its content. Senior B2B sales leaders, marketing heads, and business development executives will find the practical advice more relatable. 

“Sales winners are educated with new ideas and perspectives almost three times more often than second-place finishers. Of 42 factors studied, winners and second-place finishers’ propensity to educate was the greatest difference.”

Mike Schultz, John E. Doerr, and Neil Rackham

Key takeaways: 

  • A value proposition has three legs: resonate, differentiate, and substantiate. The salesperson and the sales experience are part of the value proposition 
  • Stories create loyal customers. Buyers are 22 times more likely to convert through storytelling than using facts and figures. Tap into their emotional intelligence
  • Buyers see products and services as replaceable, but they don’t necessarily choose the lowest bidder 

What readers say:

“I immediately connected with Mike Schultz and John Doerr’s book when they started by framing up the world we sell in today. Simply know your customer. Move beyond diagnosing needs and begin achieving a much deeper understanding of your customer’s business, their aspirations, and how they make decisions. That takes more than information; that requires bringing insight to every step of the sales process. They show you how.”

7. The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need

The Only Sales Guide You'll Ever Need
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author(s): Anthony Iannarino
  • Year published: 2016
  • Estimated reading time: 15 hours
  • Recommended level: Intermediate to advanced
  • No. of pages: 240 pages
  • Ratings
    • 4.3/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.2/5 (Goodreads)

This is the only reference book among all the sales books listed here that you should keep at your desk at all times. Why? Because it lives up to its name. 

The author of The Sales Blog, Anthony Iannarino, believes anyone can sell if they have the right strategies. 

In the Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need,  he answers the most haunting question for every sales leader or salesperson. 

Why do only a few salespeople succeed while the rest get mediocre results? It is not about the market, the competition, or the product. It’s about the seller. 

Iannarino pours his 25 years of experience into the book and concludes a successful salesperson approaches sales as a process of value creation, not a transaction.  The difference?

In transactional sales, companies and salespeople focus on their products and services, pricing models, and features. The customer has to figure out the value for themselves. 

In a value-adding business, the organization builds a solution for the customer’s problem. Salespeople focus on the results of implementing the solution. The ratio of the price (of the solution) to the value (to the customer) should be 1:10 in the customer’s favor.   

The book favors the value-adding approach because of its various advantages, such as:

  • You will have a smaller market because you carefully select your core market segment 
  • You will make fewer but high-ticket/value deals because you will refuse deals that don’t serve you well 
  • Each deal will yield a much higher gain while incurring much less customer acquisition cost 

“Make a list of three clients or prospects and call them to know how they are doing personally and professionally. Don’t pitch them, and don’t ask them for anything. Just call because you care.”

Anthony Iannarino

Key takeaways: 

  • A salesperson should fear complacency. Its antidote is initiative, and it proves that you care about your customers and their problems
  • Learn to listen well. Your objective in listening should be to understand. Wait for four beats after your client has finished. It will prompt her to speak more
  • Who you are is more important than what you do. You should be the type of person your customers want to buy from

What readers say:

“Anthony Iannarino wrote the book I wish I wrote. It provides all of the fundamental rules that I’ve built my sales career on and coached my teams on. In clear, concise language, Anthony details the core knowledge needed to succeed in sales. This is not a new “sales framework” that can quickly become a passing fad. I plan on buying a bulk order and using it with my consulting clients.”

8. The TOP Sales Leader Playbook

The TOP Sales Leader Playbook
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author(s): Lisa D. Magnuson
  • Year published: 2019
  • Estimated reading time: 10 hours
  • Recommended level: Intermediate to advanced
  • No. of pages: 204 pages
  • Ratings
    • 4.7/5 (Amazon)
    • 5/5 (Goodreads)

Sales managers, do you want a sales playbook that works? The TOP Sales Leader Playbook has actionable insights to help you achieve long-term success. 

The author highlights a step-by-step process to close deals five times the size of your average sale. You’ll need to make the process repeatable and predictable to achieve sustained success.

There’s an alarming gap between the skill levels of sellers and those of sales leaders in large enterprise deal proficiency. 

As a result, sales leaders become the single point of failure in complex contracts because they are distracted by unproductive daily tasks. 

To solve this problem, Magnuson demonstrates the sales process through 16 key plays broken down into four categories: 

  1. Sales Leadership Plays 
  2. Sales Methodology Plays 
  3. Sales Execution Plays 
  4. Sales Culture Plays 

While other sales books have listed strategies, Magnuson’s book has created these plays from her real-world experience in sales research. Her plays are based on the insights of 16 recognized thought leaders. 

Without mincing words, the author lays down a comprehensive approach to winning large opportunities and high revenue growth. 

These insights will help every sales leader create a repeatable big deal engine for their teams and systematize a large deal culture. The book will teach you to prioritize critical tasks, increase communication within the sales organization, and apply the 5X deal methodology to close contracts. 

If you’re a sales VP, head of marketing, or CEO aiming to close more sales, this book is a must-read for you. 

“Plan for fun and engagement. Fun is inspiring. Think of themes, contests, awards, and challenges. Offer encouragement wherever you go into war room strategy meetings, internal business reviews (IBRs), or out in the field with sellers.”

Lisa D. Magnuson

Key takeaways: 

  • When it comes to 5X deals, there are usually three to five competitors. The account team needs to identify the competitors early with a competitive analysis. They must think about proactive and reactive blocking. The first one is about stopping those competitors in their tracks; the second is about blocking them reactively 
  • Before drafting the proposal, your team should have built lasting relationships. They need to develop Win Themes that lie at the intersection of the prospects’ priorities and their strengths

What readers say:

 “Although this is a practical, workable, systematic playbook, full of detailed step-by-step instructions for proven strategies and tactics to approach and win your “5X” average deals, it is based on deep research with 41 sales VPs about what they wanted in a playbook. This research revealed four key areas of interest to the sales leaders, which became the four main topics of the book: Leadership, Methodology, Execution, and Culture. And because it comes directly from primary research coupled with Lisa Magnuson’s leadership career and expertise with clients, it’s also focused on the few key priorities sales leaders can afford to make time for and focus on to guarantee a difference in outcomes. This is a really first-rate book, much needed.”

9. Buyology

Buyology
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author(s): Martin Lindstrom
  • Year published: 2010
  • Estimated reading time: 15 hours
  • Recommended level: Intermediate
  • No. of pages: 272 pages
  • Ratings
    • 4.4/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.8/5 (Goodreads)

Here’s what Time Magazine says about Martin Lindstrom’s Buyology – “A fascinating look at how consumers perceive logos, ads, commercials, brands, and products.”

This bestselling sales book results from his three-year study in neuromarketing involving 2,000 volunteers from across the globe. 

It offers a glimpse into buyer psychology and sales methodology for salespeople. The author questions popular myths about what drives people to buy and explains how emotional intelligence helps win more sales. 

 He explores questions such as: 

  • Can our other senses—smell, touch, and sound—be aroused when we see a product? 
  • Can “cool” brands trigger our mating instincts? 
  •  Does sex actually sell? 

To build on this premise, Lindstrom cites a 1992 study on monkeys that proved that our brain’s mirror neurons make us reenact whatever we observe other people doing. 

Businesses exploit buyers’ mirror neurons with advertising to entice them. Our mirror neurons respond to ‘targeted gestures’ like images of people doing specific actions. For instance, watching good-looking models sipping a particular brand of coffee tempts us to do the same.

This is why knowing what triggers a buyer’s needs and desires is invaluable for salespeople. 

Another fascinating concept that Lindstorm introduces is called ‘somatic markers,’ which are shortcuts that trigger automatic responses. 

When potential customers buy something, their brain processes thoughts and ideas and condenses them into one response. When customers face the same decision again, these ‘shortcuts’ help them make the call. This is why marketers use fear and it sells more. 

All in all, Buyology is a sales book replete with practical advice, such as how to ace a sales conversation. If you’re a sales trainer or senior sales manager, its insights into subliminal messaging, emotional intelligence, sexual references, disclaimers, and health warnings will also come in handy for you.

“When we brand things, our brains perceive them as more special and valuable than they actually are.”

Martin Lindstrom

Key takeaways: 

  • Most purchase decisions are made subconsciously, making traditional surveys insufficient for market research. The best way to predict the success of a product or service is by using neuromarketing and emotional intelligence
  • Subliminal messaging through sensory stimulation such as smell or touch is also highly relevant
  • Buyers seek out pleasant experiences when they are stressed out or afraid. Most likely, they will seek out a product or service to get those experiences

What readers say:

“The book is a scientific analysis of the factors that influence our buying habits. It exposes most of the myths in advertising and throws new light on how marketers are trying to influence our thinking process and how we as consumers should guard against being taken for a ride. Not too technical, it’s no doubt an intelligent reading material.”

10. To Sell is Human

To Sell is Human
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author(s): Daniel Pink
  • Year published: 2012
  • Estimated reading time: 16 hours
  • Recommended level: Intermediate to advanced
  • No. of pages: 272 pages
  • Ratings
    • 4.4/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.9/5 (Goodreads)

Look around. You’ll see tons of examples of non sales selling—from a teacher persuading her pupils to study to a team leader motivating his team to perform or an entrepreneur pitching his business idea to investors. 

This sales book makes a compelling case that every professional is in the business of challenger sales.

Written by a leading psychologist, To Sell is Human explains how selling is easier when the buyer knows the transaction will improve their life. Attune yourself to others, get out of your perspective, and enter theirs. This is how you enhance sales performance.

This book takes the opposite stance from Kendra Lee’s The Sales Magnet and asserts that ambiverts have the best chance of cracking sales management. People who balance listening and speaking with prospects are the best salespeople.

To improve sales performance, Pink proposes ‘strategic mimicry’ to win the buyer’s favor. 

This concept involves three key steps:

  • Watch: Observe what your prospect is doing
  • Wait: After making observations, wait for the right moment
  • Wane: Mimic what the other person is doing subtly. Then try to be less conscious of what you are doing and pay attention to what they are doing

In short, this sales book strengthens the belief that some people are truly cut out for sales.

“Any time you are tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you’re doing and observe instead.”

Daniel Pink

Key takeaways: 

  • Honesty and service are replacing sales because the internet has given everyone access to information
  • Use the phrase “Yes, and…” while talking to customers. This helps them stay focused, positive, and engaged
  • Never take rejections personally in your sales game. Many a time, the reasons for refusal are not related to the seller’s ability

What readers say:

 “Truly transformative. Everyone should read this as everyone is “selling” something today. Daniel Pink has done a great service to humanity by writing this. His examples clarify a lot of his well-researched recommendations. Highly recommend buying and absorbing this material.”

Honorable Mention

Cracking The Sales Management Code

Cracking The Sales Management Code
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author(s): Jason Jordan, Michelle Vazzana
  • Year published: 2011
  • Estimated reading time: 10 hours
  • Recommended level: Intermediate to advanced
  • No. of pages: 272
  • Ratings
    • 4.4/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.0/5 (Goodreads)

The list of the best sales books is complete only by mentioning Cracking The Sales Management Code by Jason Jordan and Michelle Vazzana.

This is the go-to book for challenger sales and it teaches you how to get greater control over your and your team’s sales performance. 

The authors talk about how sales has transitioned from: 

  • Selection: Recruiting high-potential salespeople 
  • Strategy: Helping them make insightful sales plans for each account 
  • Skill: Teaching them how to make effective sales calls 

To three new components of success in the new sales world: 

  • Management: Especially first-line sales supervision
  • Metrics: That go beyond the usual activity-based management 
  • Methodology: Working with a systematic and disciplined approach 

“Hiring the right salespeople, deploying them in the right way, targeting the right customers, and selling the right products is the only formula for long-term organizational health.”

Jason Jordan

Key takeaways: 

  • Hire salespeople with coachability, motivation, and role fit
  • Coach and develop through goal-setting, feedback, and regular sessions
  • Focus on monitoring and guiding sales activities over just results

What readers say:

“I’ve probably re-read the book ten times by now! If you are in sales you will be very familiar with the contents, but the authors do a fantastic job in giving the reader examples, actionable items, structure to the everyday activities and metrics. Congrats to the authors! I’ve bought one copy for each of my sales leadership team, they loved it!”

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Build lasting customer relationships using ClickUp CRM 

Nurturing long-term customer relationships is the cornerstone of sales success.

ClickUp’s CRM lets you stay on top of customer relationships with an intuitive and interactive way to manage your sales pipelines, customer engagement, and orders. Monitor critical metrics such as customer lifetime value, average deal size, and order size using over 10 customizable ClickUp Views and 50+ dashboard widgets. 

ClickUp Task View
ClickUp’s task view for easier client collaboration

ClickUp’s beginner-friendly CRM templates are also great for salespeople looking to manage customer relationships in an organized way. Organize client information in a Calendar or List view. Then, drag-and-drop contact details and add statuses to bring more transparency into your progress tracking. 

ClickUp CRM Template
Managing customers, sales pipelines, action items, and more with the Simple CRM Template by ClickUp in List view

Manage your sales funnel with ClickUp Dashboard 

Did you know you could implement some of the sales funnel strategies from Inbound Marketing using ClickUp? Track the interest of your customers, evaluate and filter prospects, monitor leads, and onboard your customers in one place using the ClickUp Dashboard

Clickup dashboard
Set up the reports you need, all in one place, on ClickUp

Use CRM reporting within ClickUp to visualize your data in pie charts, line graphs, or bar graphs. 

Automate your sales process with ClickUp 

Imagine applying Kendra Lee’s 14 attraction strategies to your sales campaigns!

Use ClickUp’s all-in-one work platform to streamline sales campaigns and collaborate on more opportunities among team members. Save time on data entry and keep your leads moving by automating your sales pipelines using sales enablement tools

To run multiple sales campaigns, automate tasks based on each stage of your sales campaign, activate status updates for customer activity, and notify your team about the next steps. 

Use ClickUp Goals to keep everyone on track and monitor the progress toward individual and collective sales goals. 

Clickup Goals
Set your North Star metrics and achieve them with ClickUp

Save time with pre-built templates for every sales task 

With ClickUp’s sales funnel templates, learn more about your customers and customize your offerings to their needs at various points in their purchasing journey. Tailor your selling approach to offer what they want, at the right time. 

Smart sales teams use sales plan templates to set meaningful goals, develop and adjust strategies to reach those objectives quickly, and organize information in a centralized library that everyone can access. 

ClickUp’s Weekly Sales Report allows sales managers to monitor sales performance and important KPIs such as lead conversion ratio and sales volume by channel. This template helps you track sales metrics weekly, identify areas of improvement, and share insights for better alignment.  

Try ClickUp for free to discover more capabilities, close more deals, and improve your sales productivity.

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