22“Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive”
23“Cracking the Sales Management Code”
24“The Science of Selling”
25“Sales Management. Simplified.”
26“The Psychology of Selling”
28“To Sell Is Human”
The right sales book can help you unlock your hidden potential as a successful sales leader, and the potential of your sales team. However, there are hundreds of books on sales, business and management available, so how do you find the best business books and fundamental sales advice to help you (and your team) become the ultimate sales machine?
We selected 28 that could provide the basis of your reading and research in 2022. Here, in no particular order, are 28 of the best sales books by our industry’s tastemakers, titans and trailblazers.
1. “Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Manifesto”
Originally published January 2019.
Author Jeffrey Gitomer turns years of selling, speaking and training into New York Times bestselling top sales books like “The Little Red Book of Selling” (also featured in this list).
Read this book if you’re looking for a modern master class on the art of selling.
Gitomer wants to help every salesperson reach the top and stay there. His straight-shooting guide reveals outdated sales tactics, then teaches you how to replace them with a start-to-finish sales strategy for winning new business and closing more deals today and tomorrow.
Best quote: “You become proficient by taking action. You master by repetition of process.”
Coauthor Mahan Khalsa is a B2B sales expert and founder of the Sales Performance Practice at FranklinCovey.
Coauthor Randy Illig is a sales consultant and Global Practice Leader for the Sales Performance Practice at FranklinCovey.
We’ve ranked this one as one of the best books on sales, because it outlines strategies to help you gain and hold onto more customers.
The new sales culture has moved beyond just getting customers to buy and that demands a new kind of sales book. Cue Khalsa and Illig. Together, they show you how focusing 100% of your efforts on helping clients succeed is the key to closing more deals, impressing stakeholders and generating repeat business.
Best quote: “A tremendous opportunity exists to radically increase the success and satisfaction of both buyers and sellers. With a good fit, both parties win.”
By interviewing executives in more than 500 organizations, Bistritz and Read discovered that corporate leaders aren’t averse to sales pitches so long as the salesperson approaches them in the right way. They reveal that “right way” to you in this cutting-edge sales book.
Best quote: “It’s our observation that most traditional wisdom about selling to executives is actually at odds with what executives themselves tell us works.”
Author Art Sobczak is an international sales speaker and trainer who helps phone sellers maximize results.
This is one of the best sales books if you want an intelligent method for engaging phone prospects.
“Smart Calling” remains one of the best sales books on selling and prospecting by phone. With all-new examples from the field, the updated 2020 edition has even more sage advice for helping you turn the dreaded act of cold calling into a lucrative, rejection-free sales system.
Best quote: “Prospecting by phone works. And when done the right way it is wildly profitable.”
Coauthor Matthew Dixon is a leading expert on sales, customer service and the customer experience.
Coauthor Brent Adamson has 20+ years’ experience as a professional researcher, trainer and teacher.
If your goal is consistently high sales performance, this is one of the best sales books around.
Learn to take performance to the next level by reframing client expectations, with Dixon and Adamson's sales book, which focuses on how to become a Challenger sales rep and shows how to deliver value to customers while taking control of the sale.
Best quote: “What customers want more than anything else is for their suppliers to deliver insight to them – new ideas that they’d not previously considered.”
Rosen is a founding member of the International Coach Federation, so you know you’re in good hands with his sales books. Consider this one your sales training secret weapon for everything from motivating a team, to the art of enrollment, to avoiding fatal coaching mistakes. This is a great sales book for leaders to share with their sales teams.
Best quote: “Managers lose talented salespeople and maintain an atmosphere of mediocrity not because of a lack of effort but because they lack a coaching system they can trust to leverage the talents of their salespeople in order to generate consistent, worthwhile results.”
Author Matthew Pollard has launched five multi-million-dollar ventures from scratch and helped thousands of struggling companies succeed.
Read this book if you're finding it hard to ask for the sale, or if you’re a natural introvert trying to find sales success (and improve your sales conversations).
You don’t have to be pushy or gifted in communication to succeed in sales, emotional intelligence is more important than anything. In fact, as an introvert himself, Pollard shows you why the shy often make the best salespeople (and are great at relationship building). He’ll teach you how to outsell any extrovert by embracing your natural strengths.
Best quote: “We [introverts] don’t have the same natural abilities as extroverts. We have to make up for it in other ways … but that extra effort actually gives us an edge over others.”
Author Neil Rackham’s background in research psychology led to the breakthrough “SPIN Selling” and several other timeless sales books.
This is one of the top ten sales books of all time, if not the top (or at least most well-known sales book).Read this book if you want to conquer one of the classic sales strategies.
Based on 12 years of research and more than 35,000 sales calls, the SPIN strategy for outselling your competitors is founded on four stages of sales questions: Situation, Problem, Implication and Need-payoff. Not sure if SPIN Selling is still relevant? Watch this recent interview with Rackham.
Best quote: “Many of the models and methods that help you in smaller sales will hurt your success as the sales grow larger.”
Author Jill Konrath is a sales strategist (with clients like IBM and Microsoft) and author of bestselling sales books like “More Sales, Less Time” (also featured in this list).
Read this sales book if you want a better grasp of your prospect’s decision-making process (broken down by sales cycle stages).
While SPIN selling focuses on questions, SNAP selling is about principles: making things Simple for clients, becoming iNvaluable to them, Aligning yourself with what they want to achieve, and Prioritizing their needs. For more insight, have a look at these sales tips from Konrath’s SlideShare.
Best quote: “Sales is an outcome, not a goal. It’s a function of doing numerous things right, starting from the moment you target a potential prospect until you finalize the deal.”
Author Zig Ziglar was a globally recognized speaker whose legacy includes more than two dozen bestselling books on leadership, sales and success.
Read this top sales book if you want to sell more through the art of persuasion.
This giant among salespeople, trainers and corporate leaders teaches you how to get everything you want by helping others get what they want. Ziglar’s practical steps and techniques will help you win more sales by positioning yourself as the consummate problem-solver for your clients.
Best quote: “The objective of every sale is to make certain the customer gets fair value, and if he gets more than fair value, not only do you have the sale, but you’ve built a customer who will, in turn, help you build other customers.”
Coauthors Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz (aka the “Failure Philosophers” and “Courage Crafters”) specialize in achieving breakthrough performance by unconventional means.
Read this book if you want to learn how to use failure to find success.
Unlike most of the best sales books, “Go for No!” features a fictional character who jumps 10 years ahead to meet a more successful, high performance version of himself. The hook is that the “future self” will only come to be if the “past self” overcomes his fear of failure and self-limiting beliefs. Intrigued? Watch this video of Waltz and Fenton discussing their book.
Best quote: “This book is for anyone who wants to break through self-imposed barriers and achieve everything life has to offer.”
Author Jeb Blount advises many of the world’s leading executives and has a reputation for helping sales organizations achieve peak performance, fast.
Read this top sales book if you want to transform sales objections into client commitments.
This is one of the best sales books to date for helping you reach your income goals. Blount explains the psychology behind moving past “no” to get to “yes”, and then gives you proven sales techniques for working with today’s more informed (and more skeptical) buyer.
Best quote: “You must ask for what you want, directly, assumptively, assertively, and repeatedly. When you fail to ask, you fail.”
Author Dale Carnegie was a pioneer in the self-improvement field and millions of readers continue to benefit from his books.
Read this book if you want to become a more successful salesperson, networker or leader.
15 million copies sold and counting! Carnegie’s classic remains one of the very best books on selling yourself to anyone you meet. It’s chock-full of insightful, actionable tips for working effectively with others, making people like you, and winning leads over to your way of thinking.
Best quote: “The person who has technical knowledge plus the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people – that person is headed for higher earning power.”
Author Jeffrey Gitomer (aka King of Sales) is a speaker and consultant whose many books include “Sales Manifesto” (also featured in this list).
Read this sales book if you want to learn how to convert selling sales skills into buying motives.
Gitomer’s selling principles include “Kick your own ass” and “If you can make them laugh, you can make them buy”. Often featured on lists of the best sales books of all time, this read will clarify exactly what your customers want and templates for how to give it to them.
Best quote: “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy. Your job as a master salesman is to create an atmosphere where people want to buy.”
Author Ryan Serhant (once a shy and jobless hand model) leads a team of 60 real estate brokers to an average billion dollars in sales every year.
Read this sales book if you’re new to the concept of selling anything to anyone. It’s written by an author who got his start outside of sales, so it’s tailored to that audience.
Top realtor Serhant’s guide is one of the best books on selling for the less experienced salesperson. His tips on negotiating, finding your hook and selling in stages will guide you through the juggling and closing of multiple deals as you ramp up your income.
Best quote: “No one will hand you a secret formula for success. You will realize what the secret is only after you’ve created it.”
Author Peep Vain is a founding investor at Pipedrive and a motivational speaker on personal development and leadership training.
Read this top sales book if you have trouble defining your goals.
Infinite possibilities, outside influences and the expectations of others can make it difficult to get what you want and enjoy it. Vain gives you a simple, linear method for maintaining balance so you don’t have to sacrifice your big wants for smaller, more urgent demands.
Best quote: “A big reason why people do not get what they want is that they often do not know what they want.”
Coauthor Bob Burg is a top sales professional who teaches the “Go-Giver” principles to conference-goers worldwide.
Coauthor John David Mann is an entrepreneur and award-winning coauthor of multiple New York Times bestsellers.
This is one of the best sales books if you want an alternative to the “dog-eat-dog” world of sales.
This book joins a short but distinguished list of business fables like Ken Blanchard’s “The One Minute Manager”. Bringing new relevance to the adage “give and you shall receive”, you’ll discover valuable sales (and life) lessons behind the tale of a go-getter executive who meets a legendary sales consultant and learns the “laws of stratospheric success”.
Best quote: “While the world may at times appear to be a dog-eat-dog place, there is actually a set of much kinder and vastly more powerful principles operating beneath the surface of casual appearances.”
Author Jill Konrath’s fresh sales strategies make a regular impact at conferences, online and in must-read sales books like “SNAP Selling” (also featured in this list).
Read this sales book if you’re consistently short on time or behind on your sales quota.
Konrath learned the hard way that overwhelmed salespeople need a unique set of guidelines. With the help of front-line behavioral research, she created these time savers and productivity hacks specifically for crazy busy sellers like you.
Best quote: “If we want to not just survive but thrive in our always-on world, we need to take a serious look at how we’re actually working today.”
Author Mike Bosworth is a sales trainer and speaker who grew Solution Selling® to a royalty income exceeding $2.8M annually.
Read this book if you’re tired of relying on blind luck or high-pressure selling.
Still one of the books on the market, especially for complex or hard-to-sell products, “Solution Selling” is a proven sales methodology that will lead both you and your customers to more profitable outcomes.
Best quote: “The number one selling problem I encounter is an alignment problem – alignment between seller and buyer with respect to their needs.”
22. “Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive”
Originally published 1988.
Author Harvey Mackay is a nationally syndicated columnist, world-renowned speaker and New York Times bestselling author.
This is one of the best books on sales if you’re a “type A” personality looking to crush the competition.
Divided into three sections (salesmanship, negotiation and management), Mackay’s dynamic sales book includes chapters with titles like “Make Your Decisions with Your Heart, and What You’ll End Up with Is Heart Disease”. Read it to nail important lessons like: it doesn’t matter how much something’s worth; it only matters how much people think it’s worth.
Best quote: “Sharks change. It’s one of the laws of evolution. If you don’t keep pace with that change, you are suddenly shark bait, not sharkproof.”
Coauthor Jason Jordan teaches sales management at the Darden School of Business and runs a training and development firm.
Coauthor Michelle Vazzana speaks about sales transformation and has coached hundreds of sales managers.
This is one of the best sales books if you’re looking for a proven and practical sales management system.
Drawing on extensive research into how world-class companies succeed, this is the definitive operations manual for closing the gap between sales processes and results. Don’t be surprised if it becomes your go-to reference for measuring and managing a sales force using metrics and other real-world tactics.
Best quote: “We have developed a management system that will predictably link the activities in the war room to the battle on the field.”
Author David Hoffeld is CEO and chief sales trainer at one of the nation’s leading research-backed sales and consulting firms.
Read this book if you need an edge in today’s cutthroat selling environment.
Successful salespeople align their approach with the way our brains make buying decisions. This research-backed sales book shows you how to use “human” science to promote customer receptiveness, neutralize objections and master the incremental commitments that lead to a sale. It relies on research and data, so if that’s the language you speak, this is probably the best sales book for you.
Best quote: “Talent is not enough to become a top performing salesperson. Those who have a growth mindset are far more likely to be successful.”
Author Mike Weinberg is a sales coach and best-selling author on a mission to create more high-performing sales teams.
Read this book if you can’t figure out why your sales department keeps falling short. Sometimes, the best time for a good sales book is when your sales force is struggling and this is one of the greats.
Expert sales consultant Weinberg calls out common, costly mistakes made by well-intentioned sales managers. His practical tools and advice, punctuated by funny stories from the field, make this one of the best books on selling ever for learning how to manage your sales team for success. Get a sneak peek at Weinberg’s HBR webinar.
Best quote: “To truly transform the results and health of an entire sales team, the leader and the culture must be transformed.”
Author Dr. Carol Dweck has earned nine lifetime achievement awards as a leading researcher in social and developmental psychology.
Read this book if you’re serious about achieving more of your goals.
More than just a sales book, “Mindset” explores one simple, groundbreaking concept: people who believe their abilities can develop are far more likely to succeed than those who believe their abilities are fixed. Find out how the right mindset can improve your life and career.
Best quote: “My research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life and whether you accomplish the things you value.”
Author Daniel Pink has written multiple New York Times bestsellers, with more than a million copies sold in the US alone.
This is the best sales book if you want an organic approach to moving more customers to buy.
The surprising truth about moving others (which just happens to be the subtitle of this book) is that selling is something we all do every day. Pink shows you how serving customers first (and selling to them second) is a natural extension of our ability to move the people we care about to do the things that we want.
Best quote: “The ability to move others to exchange what they have for what we have is crucial to our survival and our happiness.”