Skip to content
  • Jesse

7 sales books with actionable advice

Did you know we get the feeling of satisfaction we get from telling someone we’re going to do something and actually doing that thing are almost the same? It’s a pretty bizarre thing to learn. It also made me think, “is that why watching inspirational videos is so satisfying?” 

I’m going to be upfront with everyone: sometimes I need a pick-me-up. It can come in many different forms, but I’m a sucker for those inspirational YouTube videos with the grand music and images of people doing great things. Maybe there’s that one Charlie Chaplin speech playing behind it all. Hook, line, and sinker. 

However, if someone asked me at the end of watching one of those videos what I learned, I don’t think I’d have much to say other than, “they did cool stuff, and now I want to do cool stuff!” That’s not really a very solid takeaway, though. Those videos lack true substance. 

Learning is a constant in sales. Whether it’s learning about your customers, competitors, or new techniques to make you more effective in your position. Though it may feel good to watch an inspirational video or read a book about “smashing quotas!”, the benefit you get may not be quite as advertised. 

With that in mind, here are seven sales books full of actionable advice, recommended directly by the sales team here at Qwilr. These books won’t just get you excited for sales, they’re also full of learnings that you can apply directly to your work.

Influence by Robert B. Cialdini

Though not officially billed as a “sales book,” the concepts shared in its text are obviously geared toward those in the business world. Influence has become somewhat of a modern classic with many citing it as a must-read. 

In the book, Cialdini covers what he defines as the six principles of persuasion and outlines how you can use them in your efforts. It also serves, interestingly, as a means for others to sniff out those trying to persuade them and how they can be more conscious when making purchasing decisions. 

This is a well-researched, psychology-backed, book filled with tons of useful information for salespeople at all levels. If you’re interested to learn more, our Account Executive Gray WInsler even wrote a whole article just about this book.

The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

Most sales reps, especially those who work large deals, almost universally cite relationship building as a key to earning more deals. However, The Challenger Sale poses the idea that there’s another part of the equation. 

After doing years of research, Dixon and Adamson found there were five distinct profiles of sales reps, but one type, The Challenger, consistently outperformed the rest. The Challenger differentiates themselves by not only building a relationship with a client, but by challenging them, too

In their book Dixon and Adamson outline how to identify reps in your organization that fit the Challenger profile, as well as show how you can teach those skills to other salespeople. This is a great read for sales managers and reps alike. 

Closing Time: The 7 Immutable Laws of Sales Negotiation by Ron Hubsher

If you’re looking for a quick read, this could be one to consider. Offered in both paperback, and e-book format (which you can download for free here) Closing Time is a concise and to-the-point treatise on sales negotiation. 

Since there is the free option, it could be a good candidate to read as a team. The different concepts covered in the book are sure to spark some lively conversation. 

New Sales. Simplified by Mike Weinberg

If you’re interested in a sales book that covers the whole sales process, but also goes into deep detail about prospecting, New Sales. Simplified, could be the book for you. Not only does Weinberg cover things to do, but also shines a light on common mistakes salespeople make in their day-to-day. 

Impossible to Inevitable by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin

This could be a particularly good read for sales managers at early-stage startups. Ross and Lemkin cover topics like finding your unique sales niche, as well as strategies to successfully scale a sales team as your organization grows. 

For those in SaaS sales, it can also serve as useful insight into the world of potential clients, proving useful even if you’re not at an early-stage company or working as a manager. 

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

A classic if there ever was one, Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People has been a staple on most “must-read” sales lists for decades. Though that may make you think that it’s advice is antiquated, what Carnegie offers is still as relevant today as it was in 1937 when the book was originally published. 

Atomic Habits by James Clear

If you’ve ever struggled to form, or maintain, good habits, Atomic Habits is a must-read. Though not specifically about sales, the lessons in the book are meant to increase personal discipline, which is key to success in any career, but especially in sales positions. 

It’s as practical a book as any, and has very straightforward, easy-to-follow advice. Just like How to Win Friends and Influence People, its lessons are applicable to many facets of life, making this book well worth your time. 

Conclusion

Sometimes you need something light, like an inspirational video. Other times, you want something with a little more substance. In those times, books, especially the ones on this list, are a great place to invest your time. 

Have any books you think are a must read? Send us a note at content@qwilr.com 🙂 

Ultimate Guide to Proposals

Learn the 7 sections you need to have in your proposals to close deals.

Join the thousands of teams building better docs with Qwilr.