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Searching for the best sales management books?
We’ve saved you some time on googling and comparing the books and created a list of must-reads selected by experts who explain why each of those is worth not simply reading but using as a guide to close more sales day to day.
Sip knowledge from the books below to make successful sales management decisions and lead your team and yourself to the greatest results. Afterwards, follow our guide to maximize your gains from reading.
Wouldn’t you like to revolutionize and rehumanize your strategy in selling and supercharge your sales skills?
Daniel Pink has done the dirty job for you by choosing the best methods to do that and illustrating them in his book. Among the most important sales skills, Pink names the abilities to pitch, to improvise, and to serve.
His ABCs or the three pillars in selling are: a) attunement, b) buoyancy, and c) clarity.
“Majorly, it’s a must-read for sales newbies. It outlines the fundamentals no beginner can do without,” stresses Michael Nemeroff, CEO & Co-Founder of Rush Order Tees.
“Without a hint of exaggeration, To Sell is Human was my beacon in understanding human psychology and the art of persuasion and influence. Now we’ve got 225+ members on the team and above 500,000 satisfied customers,” he adds.
Generally, the book is a strong encouragement to stop selling and start storytelling instead.
“I’d call it the best workbook for salespeople on how to win customers over with a story-powered approach,” declares Veselin Mladenov, Content Manager at from Thrive My Way.
“To hone the skill of storytelling, take this book and your notebook to pen everything down and practice, as there are exercises (after each chapter) you wouldn’t want to miss out on,” Veselin claims.
Paul Smith leads you by hand and teaches you the art of storytelling for closing more sales. Among others, he covers the following processes to develop a sales story:
Take a glimpse of the sales story structure offered by Smith below.
The authors of Cracking the Sales Management Code prove that metrics and sales performance KPIs form a bedrock in sales management.
Yang Zhang, CEO at Plasmic, summarizes the book’s major statements and points to its worthiness:
“This book on sales performance is a nitty-gritty framework for a manager on what and how to measure, which patterns to apply, and how to empower the team to keep up the progress and improve the outcomes continuously. I encouraged my team to read it as well. Using its methodologies and formulas to track app sales, we now see a more vivid picture, prioritize some of the metrics, and grow sales, based on statistical analysis and science.”
One of the highest paid copywriters, Dan Kennedy has, in fact, nailed sales letter creation from top to bottom.
“This guide is virtually the largest seasoning and flavoring collection of tricks to spice up your written pitch to attract, engage, convince, and convert your targeted audience and drive more sales,” notes Joanne Gonzales, Content Manager at CraftWhack.
Joanne shares her personal experience with the book: “As a content writer, I wrote thousands of pitches to “sell” my articles. But I never used the principles of sales and marketing in my emails until discovering The Ultimate Sales Letter. It not only awakens your creative genius but also provides some working examples of sales letter patterns, headlines, and recipes on how to force buyers to actually act (make a purchase, ideally) and not just read your copy and bury it in their email graveyard. Now I see that longer copies do work and, at last, I call to action in my letters.”
Based on the techniques from the book, you can create alluring website copies and powerful calls-to-action for B2B lead generation.
Dan Kennedy’s “AIDA” sales formula goes like this:
Did you know that 72% of customers give preference to email over other channels when communicating with companies?
So, if you’re worried that email marketing is slowly approaching its death’s door, here’s a great piece of news for you – it isn’t dead and won’t be dying in the nearest future.
That’s why 81% of small and mid-size agencies prefer email as their #1 channel for customer acquisition, while 80% of them use it for customer retention.
And that’s why you might need to read this book and create a sales generating email list professionally.
Why not apply Kennedy’s tactics in other marketing campaigns, too (SMS, social media DMs, etc.)?
Leadership is one of the utmost personal qualities of a successful sales manager.
“Every sales leader should read The Accidental Sales Manager. It opens your eyes on some vital things and traps in sales team management. More importantly, it gives truly actionable tips on how to lead your team to a higher performance,” says Linda Shaffer, Chief People Operations Officer of Checkr.
“The book draws a comprehensive picture on how to harness the power of building a strong sales team that drives profit: from fishing out the best sales talents during the recruitment process to “developmental” aspects inside the team afterwards. It’s also an explanatory note on communication styles and their tremendous impact on the team’s ability to reach goals. Additionally, it guides you on how to bring your team training to the next level, especially for first-timers,” Linda adds.
In his book, Chris Lytle highlights that, apart from investing in sales training for new hires, it’s also worthwhile to incorporate the winning strategies into sales manager training continuously, ensuring nonstop development of professional and personal skills. He also moves a team meeting into the spotlight, as it’s a proven way to encourage sales team collaboration.
Here’s the review provided by Peter Robert, CEO & Co-Founder of ECS, who underlines the usefulness of this book for sales managers who offer biz-tech services and innovative technologies to mainstream customers:
“Geoffrey Moore became my sales mentor in the world of cutting-edge innovations. He gave me a life-changing experience and a valuable lesson on how to sell an advanced technology to particular customers, but what’s even more essential, how to segment those and work with them accordingly. For example, with those who need to make a seamless transition to cloud-based solutions but are concerned about the price or hesitant to take the first step.
He mentions five groups of customers. Each should be addressed differently. The key guidelines that Moore offers to his readers are the hacks on how to cross the chasm and have the high-tech product accepted and bought by the conservative and pragmatic audience.”
These five customer segments in Moore’s Technology Adoption Life Cycle are (see the infographic with the percentage for each segment below):
Indeed, there’s no way a sales manager can survive without learning the basics of customer psychology. How do you come up to a certain group of customers offering your innovation? How do you appeal to their needs? The answers are in this sales management book by Geoffrey Moore.
“If you asked me whether The Thank You Economy is worth reading, the reply would be: it’s worth memorizing by heart,” believes John Li, Co-Founder & CTO at Fig Loans.
“I’d like to draw your attention to the top three guideposts from the book (though, these are not the only central points in it). Every sales manager should consider them thoroughly before offering anything at all:
Guidepost #1. Show your customers that you care (sincerely).
Guidepost #2. Build a meaningful relationship with each of them.
Guidepost #3. Encourage complaints from the angriest or highly dissatisfied customers and don’t be afraid of those “slaps” in the face.”
Gary Vaynerchuk, the author of The Thank You Economy, prosperous business owner, and chairman of VaynerX, literally tells you to sell to emotional needs rather than material ones. Social connections and emotions can boost your sales. Don’t underestimate the significance of the empathy angle in B2B and SaaS sales.
This book on sales management is a shout-out to B2B marketers to reconsider their lead generation strategies in the digital era of today.
According to Jeremy Clifford, CEO at RouterCtrl, “The Internet is a kaleidoscope of changes that throws new challenges at B2B businesses and requires them to adjust on the go. How to keep pace with these transformations and make the most of them when searching for potential customers and quality leads?
In Maximizing Lead Generation, Ruth Stevens equips you with everything you need for that: tips to decipher between leads and non-leads, tried-and-tested tools to generate and nurture the “diamonds”, insights on tracking your marketing pipeline, etc.”
Of course, the book is instructional and technical. What else could you expect from the Professor of Marketing? Ruth Stevens, its author, is a Columbia Business School teacher and a marketing consultant who reveals a comprehensive list of secrets on B2B lead generation through social media and some remarkable ways to increase lead quality.
“This is one of the greatest sales management books of all time, because it’s a true story of a seller’s experience – a path from a total fiasco to an immense success,” says Shawn Plummer, CEO of The Annuity Expert. “I reread it on a yearly basis, actually, and keep it on my office bookshelf. Like Frank Bettger –
I also started as an insurance salesman, and this book reminds me of how hard it may be at the beginning but also pushes forward with its practical pieces of advice on how to win and hold customers’ attention, turn their doubts into eagerness to buy, battle anxiety to fail, and be passionate about the selling process overall,” Shawn mentions.
Frank Bettger also uncovers the power behind the question-word “Why” in communication with the customer and suggests seven postulates he uses for closing a sale.
As Jerry Han, CMO at PrizeRebel, puts it, “The Sales Leader’s Problem Solver is a detailed roadmap to tackle the challenges that may await sales managers. Anecdote by anecdote, case study by case study.
What makes this book for sales leaders stand out is the author’s dedication to solving real issues (cases) that arise in front of sales professionals, not just enumerating them. You won’t find any vague concepts in it.”
The book chapters share scenarios, each with a profound solution, and provide guidance on how to energize and motivate sales teams to cope with problems and increase performance.
How do you gain more from reading? Grab the following tips:
The daily routine of a sales manager is hectic. However, you should cut out at least 10–15 minutes per day for your reads.
Now that you have the list of books every salesperson should definitely read, you can add them to your reading plan. On top of those, consider some self-development books to improve your leadership skills.
To inspire yourself to read more, look at the number of books that successful entrepreneurs and leaders “swallow” per a certain period:
3/day – Jun Li
6/week – David Rubenstein
100/year – Fabrice Grinda
Warren Buffet, for example, advises to read at least 500 pages per day.
Take advantage of interleaving, intelligent skimming, the Feynman technique, and other useful tips to remember what you read.
In this article, we’ve listed the ten books that are still relevant today for sales leaders and managers. You’ve also received some suggestions on how to turn reading into an advantageous activity and learn from the stories you read.
Books are, indeed, irreplaceable sources of information. To expand the informational pool even further, you might also want to peer into some NASP programs.
Join sales mastery groups and guarantee yourself an all-round development in your manager’s career.
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