The 7 Unlikely Sales Books Every Salesperson Should Own [2018 Guide]

The 7 Unlikely Sales Books Every Salesperson Shoul

Most of the time we’re stressing the importance of activity in the field. Get out there and sell! But in the midst of all that activity, don’t miss the value of taking some time to read. You pick up sales skills, broaden your scope of experience, hone your grammar, improve your writing skills, and better understand your customers. Reading gives you another means of connecting with people — something you can always use in sales.

But not every book that builds your sales skills is a “sales” book. Here’s my top seven list — some of which may surprise you.

1. You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar (David Sadler)

You Can't Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar

You don’t build sales skills by sitting in a classroom. Sales is all about doing. It’s tactical. I came across this book later on in my sales career. I was already following a similar approach to training and managing, but it helped to hear someone else articulate it.

Reading it reinforced what I’d seen as most effective — sales doesn’t have to be about forceful presentations to anyone who will listen. There’s a better — and much more natural — approach.

2. The Richest Man in Babylon (George Clason)

The Richest Man in BabylonYou may not think of this as a sales book, but it totally is. It’s about personal financial responsibility, learning to let your money work for you, and choosing wise investments. And it has two vital takeaways for salespeople.

First, salespeople need to be financially literate. The better they understand finances, the more they’ll treat their job as their own business and make better business decisions. Plus, they’ll relate to a higher level inside the organization. They’ll be able to see the financial implications of a sale for their own well-being and the well-being of their clients.

Plus, salespeople need to learn the concept of investing money so it can “have children.” What does that mean? People need to invest their money in places where it can grow and reproduce. The same is true in sales with leads and customers. How can you get your leads and customers to multiply? If you buy a lead, how will you close it and get referrals from it? Sales should reproduce.

 3. SPIN Selling (Neil Rackham)

SPIN SellingI actually didn’t love this read, but its core concept is a clutch sales strategy. It teaches you to follow a process based on the acronym SPIN. It’s an easy acronym that simplifies the steps to creating the processes you need to really boost your sales volume. You won’t reach your potential if you just shoot from the hip in your sales approach. This book gives you tools to work on your systems.

4. Simplify (Bill Hybels)

SimplifyIf nothing else, read the title — it’s a motto for salespeople. Sales is as over-scheduled and cluttered as any career. Simplify your approach. Simplify the next steps in your sales process. When you think about closing an individual piece of business, it can seem like there’s a long road ahead. Figure out the next step and focus on that. Don’t get so overwhelmed with the entire process that you can’t move forward.

5. Predictable Revenue (Aaron Ross)

Predictable RevenueEven though it’s written by one of our competitors, we still recommend this read. It’s a great guide for putting a scalable process in place that boosts your sales figures and improves your work culture.

6. The Game (Neil Strauss)

The GameThis book may be controversial for some, but here’s why we included it. It’s really about the art of breaking the ice. This is an easy book to get your salespeople to read but also helps them learn the secret behind sales — just ask! That’s it. After all, asking, “What does a guy like me have to do to buy a girl like you a drink?” isn’t much different from asking your prospects how to get from point A to point B.

7. The Ultimate Sales Machine (Chet Holmes)

The Ultimate Sales MachineThis book touches on every single aspect of closing a sale and helps you improve each part of the process. The secret is getting your team (and clients) on the same page. Need to improve your prospecting approach? Focus on it. How do you find the dream prospects, the dream appointments? Get all of your salespeople and customers active in finding them!

 

 

 

There’s not ONE right book everyone should read. You may get one or two nuggets from each book. Take those and implement them. That’s how people become successful — learn what you can from others and put it into action.

5 Must-Read Books for Sales Managers

 

must-read-books-for-sales-managers

Books gravitate to the hands of those experiencing something new: a new city on vacation, a new challenge at work, a new hardship that has you sitting in the hospital. In these transition times, we take ourselves off autopilot. Life becomes less routine and we become more aware. In that awareness, we open ourselves to new concepts.

Reading is all about seeking new ideas. So if you’ve found yourself in a place where you’re searching for information to improve your approach as a sales manager, here are my top five must-reads.

1. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Dan Pink

drive daniel pinkWhat motivates us to work hard, achieve success, and feel satisfied? Pink claims the secret is our innate desire to make our own choices, learn and create new things, and to positively contribute to the world. Pink challenges the conventional wisdom of incentivization and encourages leaders to try a fresh approach to motivating your team- an approach that centers on building autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

As you read Drive, you’ll learn more than how to motivate your team. You’ll learn what motivates your buyers. And, people who understand buying behavior make the best salespeople.

 

 

2. Hyper Sales Growth: Street-Proven Systems & Processes – Jack Daly  

hyper sales growth jack dalyIn this book, Jack Daly discusses three important areas that will help your business to grow. First of all, you should work towards building a winning culture in your company. You can do this by creating an environment that motivates your employees to come to work and moving away from the idea that work is boring.

The second area that Daly discusses is Sales Management. As a Sales Manager, you are not supposed to grow sales but to grow salespeople. Increasing the quantity and quality of salespeople will grow your sales as well.

Finally, Daly focuses on sales. He discusses the systems and processes that make the best sales professionals different from the others.

Jack is renowned for offering super-practical advice in his books. Hyper Sales Growth breaks down realistic, actionable steps you can take to motivate your salespeople.

3. 5 Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni

five dysfunctions team patrick lencioniLencioni provides his reader with an insightful explanation about the struggles that teams experience. According to him, five dysfunctions are the core of the problem. He has created a model and designed actionable steps with which a team can improve itself and move away from common problems.

Once again, Lencioni has published a compelling story with an intriguing yet logical message for aspiring great teams. If you’re a team leader, 5 Dysfunctions of a Team will provide you with a model you can use to improve your team and overcome obstacles.

 

 

 

4. Think Like a Freak – Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

think like a freak levittIn this book, Levitt and Dubner take problem-solving to a new level. Through an array of stories, they teach us how to retrain our brains to see the world a little differently.

Their blueprint for solving problems includes putting away the moral compass, thinking like a child, persuading people that don’t want to be persuaded, and appreciating the upside of quitting.  

When we think outside the box, we’re more productive, creative, and rational – which isn’t the norm.

 

 

 

5. Start With Why – Simon Sytek

start with why sinekSome people are successful no matter their plot in life. Others may managed success once but can’t seem to repeat their profit. As Sinek studied global leaders with the greatest impact, he found they all think, act, and communicate the same: they all start by asking, “Why?”

Whereas any business can tell you what it does or how much profit it nets, only a few explain why their organization exists and why it does what it does. These are the organizations that inspire others and generate loyal customers. Start With Why prompts people to ask the “Why?” questions about our products and services questions that make a difference in the entire sales approach.

 

 

 

What books have made a difference in your sales leadership approach? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

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