The perfect learning experience should be a true balance between theory and practice. Although you may have been in sales for a while, there are always new skills and approaches to try, and reading about sales is a great place to begin. And if you’re new to sales, welcome to an inside look on how to get started effectively.
Sales is comprised of many stages, from the very beginning when you are researching prospects, to the bigger picture interactions, like closing the sale or managing the clients you already have. These ten books are a mix of all the tools and skills a salesperson should read about as they grow into successful professionals.
1. Secrets of Closing The Sale
by Zig Ziglar
If you’ve ever been stuck on figuring out a way to better close a sale, you understand how nerve-racking it can be. In this book, Zig Ziglar talks about the many ways it is possible to make sure you get the best deal and make the sale! You’ll get to read over 100 ways in which you can close a sale and if that doesn’t convince you, it also includes 700 questions you can use as you talk to a prospect. Truly, a must-have for any salesperson.
2. To Sell is Human
by Daniel H. Pink
As the world is changing and behaviors with it, it might feel like many books seem too outdated for our reality. It is with that in mind that Daniel H. Pink tied together many concepts and insights on how to sell in our time, as well as tips on becoming a model salesperson. Many have described it as a one-of-a-kind selling book, and unlike others before it. Worth a read, huh?
3. Emotional Intelligence 2.0
by Dr. Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves
For this book, the writers explore the science behind emotion. Our decisions are often directly affected by our emotions, and our buying decisions are no different. The book discusses the importance of developing your own emotional intelligence not just to understand yourself better, but to also understand a prospect better. After all, there’s no better way than trying to think like the person you are trying to sell to!
4. The Science of Selling
by David Hoffeld
David Hoffeld seems to have done it all – the writer combined behavioral economics, social psychology, and neuroscience in order to come to the conclusions you can read in this book. He explains how to improve your performance in every area as a salesperson through scientific methods, from basic steps like asking questions to macro-level issues, like minimizing your competitor’s influence. Additionally, he compiled many articles otherwise overlooked that should be read by salespeople.
5. New Sales. Simplified.: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development
by Mike Weinberg
Sometimes, the hardest thing to do in this business is to actually get started! For many, the biggest challenge is getting out there and reaching new, different people. Mike Weinberg was well aware of that when he published this handbook that can guide many through the process of bringing on new business. From the first step, which is reaching out, to gaining the client’s trust and relationship building, you can find a “formula” for everything!
6. Blueprints For A SaaS Sales Organization
by Jacco van der Kooji and Fernando Pizarro
With the advancements in technology, SaaS organizations have become constantly more common, and therefore, are taking over much of the market. But when it comes to sales in these companies, things can be quite different from traditional selling. That is why Jacco van der Kooji and Fernando Pizarro came up with a sort of “guide” that can enable sales management to organize their own sales plan, step by step.
7. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen Covey
Even though this book is intended for business people in general and not specifically for sales professionals, the advice it contains can be words to live by for all. It is perfect for anyone who feels unmotivated or purposeless and is hoping to change that. Stephen Covey provides simple instructions to pursue a lifestyle of higher quality, improved well-being, and ways to make realistic yet effective goals for your life.
8. Everybody Lies
by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz went above and beyond when it comes to predicting and understanding behavior. With so much information available online, the writer decided to take a look into the human brain in order to understand and explain how we all feel and think. By analyzing each and every aspect of multiple subjects, from sports to politics, he really proves that the world can show us many different ways to understand the people around us.
9. How To Win Friends and Influence People
by Dale Carnegie
Amazingly enough, a book that was written in the 1930s is still very much relevant to this day. This book, written by Dale Carnegie, survived the test of time because of its accuracy on general “rules” regarding social life, or to put it simply, how to get along with others. Easier said than done, right? But this book teaches valuable lessons on making that happen!
10. The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need
by Anthony Iannarino
One of the most complete books you’ll find on the world of sales – it truly will seem like all you’ll ever need. In this book, Anthony Iannarino shares his acquired knowledge after 25 years of experience in selling. But even more important than letting you know about the world of sales, it can help you reach insights on your own world as an individual and as a professional, so the change can come from the inside out.
Alex is the Executive Director and mentor at Women in Sales Everywhere. She was previously the Director of Talent at Bowery Capital, a venture capital investor focused on founders looking to modernize business through technology.