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The 42 best sales books of all time
Whether you’re a sales rep, manager, or executive, these are the best sales books for improving your skills and success rate. Add them to your list now.
By Donny Kelwig, Contributing Writer
Last updated March 8, 2022
Maybe you’re just starting your sales career and looking to absorb as much knowledge as possible. Or, perhaps you’re a seasoned sales rep wanting to refresh old strategies. Wherever you stand, this list of the best sales books (and podcasts) has something for everyone.
Learn from some of the most successful people in the business and level up your game with your next read:
- Best sales books for beginners
- Top sales training books
- Best sales prospecting books
- Best books on selling
- Best sales books for sales reps on negotiation
- Best sales and marketing books
- Best sales management books
- Best sales psychology books
- Best books on closing sales
- Best sales techniques books
- Best sales podcasts to follow
In this best-selling book, Frank Bettger offers his perspective on selling through personal experiences and anecdotes. Bettger also shares his selling secrets, including the quickest way to gain confidence and the seven golden rules for closing a sale. Another cool fact about this book? It was endorsed by Dale Carnegie.
The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal
This sales training book connects the dots between science and sales with social psychology, neuroscience, behavioral economics, and real-world sales examples. Author David Hoffeld gives tactical, practical advice on things like handling objections and structuring selling options. It’s a good sales book for understanding how buyers think and how emotions come into play.
Jill Konrath’s Selling to Big Companies teaches the intricacies of corporate selling. It’s a must-read for anyone seeking strategies for breaking into a big corporate account. “This book taught me where to begin with corporate sales,” says Christian Avery, founder of Getaguard. “I love the concept of gaining a large new customer by ‘landing and expanding.’ ”
If you’re searching for a quick read packed with information, look no further. This great sales book by Jeffrey Gitomer demystifies buying principles for salespeople in a fun, simple way—the advice and tips are laid out in quotes, takeaways, and relevant cartoons. This short-and-sweet read will help you overcome traditional sales obstacles.
In To Sell Is Human, best-selling author Daniel Pink argues that everyone’s job, regardless of title or industry, basically comes down to influencing others. That means we’re all salespeople in our own right, and our ultimate goal is to find a connection to others.
“The book is really about emotional intelligence,” says Avery. “That kind of empathy is needed to be good at your job in sales and also to be a great communicator in life.”
This book has an interesting backstory: The author, Anthony Iannarino, was once on track to become a rock star. But he started working a day job in sales and ended up becoming an expert. Over 25 years’ worth of sales experience is included in this book, along with tried-and-true advice on developing self-discipline, accountability, and storytelling skills.
Don’t miss this sales-focused strategy manual from Jordan Belfort—the real-life “Wolf of Wall Street”—especially if you were a fan of the 2013 Leonardo DiCaprio flick. Belfort’s patented step-by-step sales system covers how to sell persuasively, build wealth, and become a master closer and entrepreneur. The book comes highly recommended by Jamie Porter, a sales development representative at Workforce.com.
In The Ultimate Sales Machine, Chet Holmes shares ways to improve critical areas that make the difference between success and failure in sales. Holmes breaks down the necessary changes into bite-sized steps that you can complete within one hour each week.
“[This book taught me] that acquiring a new client costs six times more than selling to an existing one,” says Brad Touesnard, founder and CEO of SpinupWP. “That makes it critical to follow up immediately with a new client to start the relationship-building process.”
Another top sales book by Jeffrey Gitomer, The Sales Bible covers everything from the 10.5 Commandments of Selling to 25 proven ways to set hard-to-get appointments. Gitomer offers sales methods and strategies drawn from actual selling examples. The book is packed full of sales techniques that you can use in various sales situations.
In their book, Hilmon Sorey and Cory Bray provide leaders with a framework for observing and training new sales reps. It’s written as fiction, which makes it a fast and engaging read for people who typically prefer a story format. The insights are actionable, too, so you can start putting them into play the moment you put the book down.
Author Keith Rosen promises a lot with the title alone, but he doesn’t disappoint. His playbook clearly outlines tactics for motivating salespeople, delivering hard-hitting feedback, and building up your sales team to have a champion mindset. It’s a must-read for sales leaders struggling with underperforming reps who have the potential for greatness.
Over 28 million people watched Simon Sinek’s TED Talk based on his debut book, in which he explores the question, “Why are some people more successful in business than others?” Start With Why belongs on your list, along with the follow-up book, Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team, if you want to learn how to apply the insights discussed in the first book.
Mike Weinberg delves into the topic of acquiring new clients and provides a formula for prospecting, developing, and closing deals. You’ll learn how to identify a strategic, finite, workable list of genuine prospects; use email, voicemail, and social media to your advantage; and prepare for and structure a winning sales call.
Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling
Based on Jeb Blount’s prospecting approach, Fanatical Prospecting serves as a step-by-step guide to filling your sales pipeline with high-quality opportunities. Highlights include the 5 C’s of Social Selling, the 5-Step Telephone Framework, and the 7-Step Text Message Prospecting Framework. This book is ideal for those seeking a comprehensive, real-world method for effective prospecting.
As you might have guessed from the title, The Sales Development Playbook is a tactical book focused on growth. Trish Bertuzzi outlines six elements for better sales development: strategy, specialization, recruiting, retention, execution, and leadership. Brimming with immediately actionable steps, this sales book is an excellent resource for any rep.
Inspired by a simple sketch on a napkin, Dan Roam’s book illustrates the power of visualizing the problem you’re trying to solve. Roam explores how professionals can restructure the way they arrive at solutions using visual thinking. (Don’t worry—you don’t have to be an artist to benefit from his wisdom.)
Gap Selling: Getting the Customer to Say Yes: How Problem-Centric Selling Increases Sales by Changing Everything You Know About Relationships, Overcoming Objections, Closing and Price
Raise your sales IQ with this game-changing book that topples the most common sales misconceptions. Author Keenan (who publishes only under one name) rips apart the outdated myths that hold salespeople back and gives them various tactics for shortening the sales cycle, overcoming objections, and boosting win rates.
Author Nikki Rausch shares a sleek, five-step framework for guiding prospects through your sales process without coming across as pushy. If you’re struggling with moving prospects forward, this book is a must-read that’s easy to digest and packed with strategic, real-world examples.
Grant Cardone believes everything in life can be viewed as a sale. In his book, he uses a healthy dose of reality and humor to examine the fundamentals of effective persuasion. His philosophical take will resonate with anyone who needs a dose of confidence to help them sell anything—including themselves.
While not an exclusively sales-focused book, Crucial Conversations comes highly recommended by Drew Coryer, Webflow’s sales development manager. The book reveals a patented six-minute mastery technique you can use to have persuasive, productive conversations with anyone. Coryer says that two tips from the book—starting conversations with heart and providing judgment-free psychological safety—have helped him greatly in his sales career.
It’s okay to hear no. According to Richard Fenton, while many people are fearful of rejection or failure, you, the sales rep, need to rethink this concept. Fenton’s Go for No! is a fictional story that follows 28-year-old copier salesman Eric James Bratton through his sales problems and solutions. It’s designed to help you learn better sales tactics as well as techniques for turning rejection into triumph.
Although it isn’t technically a sales book, Never Split the Difference was written by someone who understands how to handle high-stakes negotiations. Chris Voss is a former FBI international hostage negotiator who illustrates how almost every conversation we have is a negotiation. He offers ways to negotiate in day-to-day situations, and his methods can be applied to your sales meetings for successful outcomes.
In Getting to Yes, authors Roger Fisher and William Ury explore a step-by-step strategy for reaching a mutually beneficial solution to any conflict. “It’s the perfect book to teach you how to crack winning negotiations,” says Scott Spivack, marketing director at United Medical Credit. “Most sales agents struggle through the negotiation process and end up not closing a deal. This book is gold because it offers apt and no-nonsense negotiation advice that can be applied to both business and personal settings.”
Gary Vaynerchuk is a social media expert who knows how to deliver messaging that stands apart. His book contains a wealth of knowledge to help you craft social media marketing campaigns that pull audiences into your pipeline. It’s a quick read that covers tactics for developing contextually-aware campaigns across different social media channels, and it comes with examples of both good and bad practices so you can see the difference.
In his highly acclaimed, award-winning book, Carlos Gil examines how the face of marketing will look in a post-pandemic world. He lays out the advantages of being authentic in your messaging, rather than focusing solely on likes and shares. In a world of emotionless algorithms, Gil’s book is a breath of fresh air that explores the qualities that make marketing truly resonate with audiences.
This is a fantastic read for anyone who’s ever felt intimidated by the idea of creating a marketing plan. Allan Dib breaks down the fundamentals of marketing and provides you with a simple one-page format that gets to the meat of your strategy. Dib is aware that marketing strategies change as businesses grow, so this is a useful tool for small and enterprise-level businesses alike.
This is a powerful operating manual that explains exactly how to manage a high-earning sales force. Authors Jason Jordan and Michelle Vazzana do a deep dive into five fundamental sale processes and help readers discover the best one for their unique business model. The book also covers what sales metrics to measure, how to prioritize objectives, and how to use your CRM to boost sales.
The Accidental Sales Manager is a great resource for anyone who’s landed a sales management role because of their awesome sales record. Chris Lytle understands that success in sales doesn’t magically translate to superior managerial skills, and his book is designed to make the transition as simple and stress-free as possible. Lytle went through this experience himself, so you know the information is coming from a place of truth and vulnerability.
Sales Management. Simplified.: The Straight Truth About Getting Exceptional Results from Your Sales Team
In this book, Mike Weinberg calls out the behaviors that damage and debilitate sales teams and provides a formula for correcting them. It’s an excellent source of sales inspiration that combines humorous anecdotes with real-life examples of how failing sales teams can be transformed into cohesive, high-performing ones.
David A. Brock draws from decades of experience as a sales professional to deliver hard-hitting advice on the fundamentals of running a successful sales team. He covers everything from coaching and recruiting to creating sales incentives and conducting performance reviews. If you need a resource that covers everything and then some, this book belongs in your office.
Nick Kolenda shares how cognitive psychology principles can be leveraged to influence other people’s thoughts. Discover a seven-step persuasion process that includes molding your prospect’s perception, triggering social pressure, and optimizing your message. Psychology is a major component of this book, so it’s a must-read if you want to learn why customers think the way they do and how you can sway those thoughts in your favor. (Bonus: The author also has a fun sense of humor.)
Brian Tracy is a prolific business writer who knows how to cut through the noise of self-doubt and inspire inner confidence. Sales is a confidence game, after all, and Tracy doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to identifying the neurological hindrances that hold us back. The book is packed with various techniques to try, and Tracy’s 300-plus video and audio courses make great supplemental materials.
Written by Roger Dooley, this book is broken up into 60 short chapters with quick takeaways, so it’s easy to digest in small bites. Neuromarketing takes what we understand about the connection between stimuli and behavior, and turns it into a tactic that you can use to attract more customers. If you want to delve into the subconscious decisions that guide our buying behaviors, this is the book for you.
Want to sneak inside the mind of your customers? That’s exactly what Derek Borthwick does in his book, which is touted as a “shortcut” to uncovering transformative sales tactics. The sales book explains how people’s minds work and reveals a proven process for achieving success when selling, presenting, and negotiating. It’s essential reading for learning how to sell anything.
You’ve likely already heard of this classic sales book by the revered Zig Ziglar. He presents techniques for effectively closing a sale, helps you understand why a customer makes a purchase, and describes how to align a buyer’s interests with what you’re offering. Knowing when to speak and when to listen are two important lessons the book expands on.
Pulling from an extensive study of thousands of sales professionals, The Challenger Sale suggests that the only way to guarantee consistent sales is to show customers how your product or service can make or save them money. J.T. Levin, ChartHop’s head of sales, recommends this book for specific, actionable advice that can quickly be put into practice.
Rather than alienating the customer with aggressive closing tactics, set up a different framework to increase your chances of success. Anthony Iannarino emphasizes the steps you need to take long before a purchase is made if you want to seal the deal. These include the Commitment to Invest, Commitment to Build Consensus, and Commitment to Resolve Concerns. The sales book is a great guide for changing how you think about closing.
As the title suggests, this book teaches you how to know what to say, when to say it, and how to make it count with potential customers. Phil Jones provides detailed instructions on how to control conversations—including those that take place outside of your day job. Not strictly for salespeople, Exactly What to Say is focused on helping anyone become a better communicator, featuring scripts to use in conversations to influence people’s decisions.
Rob Jolles updated his classic book on effective sales techniques to fit today’s fast-changing economy. In the revised version, he provides a detailed approach for creating simple, repeatable sales processes that meet or exceed sales goals. And it all comes from understanding the most important factor in the sales process: your customer.
Harry J. Friedman is a highly sought-after consultant whose sales and marketing systems have enabled numerous businesses to skyrocket their sales. His book offers techniques that help you overcome objections and build trust with iffy buyers. Whether you’re looking to completely reinvent your approach to selling or just pick up a few more revenue-boosting tips, this is an excellent book to add to your collection.
SPIN Selling is the product of a $1 million, 12-year research project that examined what makes a sales strategy effective. The sales book includes tons of real-life examples and case studies, plus clear guidelines for applying SPIN selling techniques that see greater success with certain types of accounts. There’s no fluff in this book—just straightforward stories and data that you can start leveraging right away.
The Ultimate Book of Sales Techniques: 75 Ways to Master Cold Calling, Sharpen Your Unique Selling Proposition, and Close the Sale
Can there really be 75 different ways to sharpen your skills? Stephan Schiffman knows there are, and he describes them all in his book. The Ultimate Book of Sales Techniques is ideal for anyone who wants a go-to guide that they can pull off the shelf whenever they run up against a wall or simply want a refresher on the basics.
Best sales books for beginners
Covering everything from basic sales strategies to actionable tips, these sales books are useful resources for those looking to learn the ropes and master every stage of the sales funnel.
“This book taught me where to begin with corporate sales.”Christian Avery, founder of Getaguard
“The book is really about emotional intelligence.”Christian Avery
“[This book taught me] that acquiring a new client costs six times more than selling to an existing one.”Brad Touesnard, founder and CEO of SpinupWP
Sales training and coaching books
Whether you’re a sales manager tasked with developing training modules or a sales rep looking to boost your potential, read these great sales books to up your game.
Best sales prospecting books
Sales prospecting is vital to growing your business, so you must implement an effective and sustainable prospecting strategy—these books can show you how.
Books on selling
Looking for the best books on selling but don’t know where to start? Here are a few not-to-be-missed sales books featuring out-of-the-box perspectives.
Best books for sales reps about negotiating
Common sales negotiation mistakes include: selling a product rather than meeting customer needs, talking too much, and not addressing your prospect’s underlying interests. Psychology is an important part of negotiating—you need to understand why potential customers think the way they do and determine how you can influence their thought process. The following sales books will help you accomplish that.
“It’s the perfect book to teach you how to crack winning negotiations.”Scott Spivack, marketing director at United Medical Credit
Best books on sales and marketing
A unified brand voice and sales approach requires a solid understanding of how marketing and sales work together. The sales and marketing books listed below explore the different ways our marketing efforts impact sales, and how we can keep up with an ever-changing digital world.
Best sales management books
Sales managers usually step into the job with their own sales experience. But getting results from your team isn’t as simple as having sales knowledge and a list of motivational sales quotes on hand. Here are some of the top sales books for managers to help you succeed in the role.
Sales psychology books
Ever wondered why some people need to be dragged through the sales process while others barely need a nudge? Here are the best sales books for exploring the human psyche and getting to the heart—and into the mind—of your customers.
Books on closing sales
Trying to close a sale can be a scary moment. Either you win over the prospective buyer or all your hard work is lost. But what kind of close is best—hard or soft? How do you know what to say? Take a look at the books below for advice on closing sales.
Sales techniques books
Nearly all the top sales books on this list include tips for improving your sales techniques. But if you’re looking to sharpen your sales skills specifically, the following books offer the full range of styles and approaches to take your selling up a notch (or 10).
Best sales podcasts to follow
If you’re in a time crunch, listening to podcasts is an ideal alternative to reading books—and it’s the perfect thing to do during your morning or evening commute. There are tons of sales podcasts to choose from, but here are a few of our favorites to get you started.
The Advanced Selling Podcast features easily digestible 20-minute episodes, covering everything from sales forecasting to conquering buyer hesitations. The show is hosted by experienced B2B sales trainers Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale, who have clocked over 800 episodes on this popular sales podcast.
Conversations with Women in Sales is made for all the female sales reps out there. Host Lori Richardson interviews top-performing saleswomen (as well as male allies) to help listeners gain practical advice for developing and growing their sales careers. The podcast covers various topics like leadership, overcoming adversity, building strategic partnerships, and inclusivity. It’s the perfect pick-me-up for any woman in sales.
If you love learning about emotional intelligence and buyer psychology, The Salesman podcast is for you. Host Will Barron interviews experts from inside and outside the industry and applies their insights to a salesperson’s perspective. Hear from forensic investigators, psychologists, body language experts, and more to learn unique strategies to expand your sales toolkit.
Step up your game with these sales resources
Whether you’re getting started in sales or you have years of experience, gaining insights from top professionals in your industry is always helpful. Add these top sales books and podcasts to your list to become a better, more well-rounded salesperson. Dedicate just 30 minutes a day to reading (or listening), and you may be surprised by the results.
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