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The 10 Best Sales Books All Salespeople Should Read

Dan Lever|Updated Aug 12, 2023
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There’s no shortage of books telling you how to sell. The passive income of publishing is an obvious draw for any salesperson. Combine that with the kudos and elevated status a published book provides, and it’s understandable why the sales book market is so crowded.

Consequently, choosing the right sales books can be a challenge for sales professionals seeking fresh wisdom and professional enlightenment. If you prize your time and attention as highly as we do, then you need to ensure your reading list is properly aligned with your knowledge gaps and areas for development.

To that end, we’re providing you with three books from three distinct categories (plus a bonus strategy recommendation) to help you and your team level up quickly.

We’ve focused on sales books (particularly B2B) rather than marketing or generalized business books to give you the most effective toolkit possible for honing your sales strategy, skills, and mindset.

Alongside some of the best sales books of all time, you’ll find newer works designed to help you tackle modern SaaS selling and digital environments.

With actionable advice on everything from complex buying teams to cold calling, there’s a book here for every possible sales need. We’ve also included some genuine reader feedback from the wider sales community for a broader range of opinions.

Books for sales strategy and leadership

The Challenger Sale: How To Take Control of the Customer Conversation, by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

Ask any sales representative about the best way to consistently close deals; they’ll tell you it’s about relationship building.

Dixon and Adamson upend this perceived wisdom with their compelling argument that very high-performing salespeople - ‘Challengers’ - deliberately create tension in order to force prospects to rethink their assumptions.

This book teaches you to identify sales reps in your organization who fit the Challenger sales profile and how to coach these tension-building sales skills to others.

Who is this book for?

Sales leaders and managers looking to shake things up, reps looking to improve their sales performance who find it hard to fit the consultative model.

Why should I read this?

Because your sales team contains a variety of different personality types, and not everyone is naturally suited to relationship building when selling.

Key ideas

A challenger sales rep can teach, tailor, and take control through constructive tension.

It sounds counterintuitive, but if your customer says,

"Yes, that's exactly what keeps me up at night, then you have failed because you have not taught them anything new. This is where relationship builders fail. Huh, I never thought about it that way before"

What other readers say about this book from:

“A must-read for anyone working within a sales organization. The book outlines the skills and framework required to sell complex solutions in the modern B2B environment.”

– Josh Noore

“If you are a business owner / manager, or a sales professional of ANY description, this is a must-read.”

– Don Wild

From Impossible to Inevitable: How SaaS and Other Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue, by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin

Drawing extensively on the author’s personal experiences creating the hypergrowth playbooks of HubSpot, Salesforce, and others, this SaaS sales-focused strategy book emphasizes practical advice for scaling your sales operations, shortening your sales cycle, and finding your niche.

Who is this book for?

B2B SaaS sales leaders and founders - this one speaks directly to you!

Why should I read this?

The book provides a strong template for growth, with seven specific implementation steps you can adapt to your own market and situation.

Key ideas

If you needed to triple revenue within the next three years, would you know exactly how to do it? Doubling the size of your business, tripling it, or even growing it ten times larger isn’t about magic.

There’s a template that the world’s fastest-growing companies follow to achieve and sustain much, much faster growth. And now, you can use the same insights as these notable companies to learn what it takes to break your own revenue records.

What other readers say about this book

“Reading the book was like drinking a big tall glass of refreshing 'real world' juice.”

Douglas Burdett

“This is hands down the definitive guide on SaaS—metrics, growth strategies, even recruiting tips”


New Sales. Simplified. The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development, by Mike Weinberg

Weinberg’s field-tested guidebook remains as popular as ever, more than ten years after it was first published in 2012.

Based on Weinberg’s formidable real-world experiences as a #1 salesperson, this book primarily addresses the challenges and opportunities involved in prospecting and provides useful guidance for anyone looking to improve their sales process.

Who is this book for?

SDRs or sales leaders looking to build or refresh their team’s sales process.

Why should I read this?
Unlike some of the more academically-minded books in this list, ‘New Sales…’ is based on decades of direct experience in sales development and prospecting.

Key ideas

No matter how much repeat business you get from loyal customers, the lifeblood of your business is a constant flow of new accounts.

What other readers say about this book

“It's a refreshing reminder to the experienced sales professional and a critical guidebook for the new salesperson. Read it, annotate it, keep it within reach.”

Dave Brock

“If you need to set up/overhaul an entire sales process, this book is all you need.”


Selling to Big Companies, by Jill Konrath

Master strategist Jill Konrath’s award-winning guide outlines the practical steps necessary to land large B2B accounts. Learn how to develop an effective, multi-faceted account-entry campaign, then follow through with expertly-pitched initial sales meetings.

Who is this book for?

Sales leaders and strategists looking to open new markets and step up to a bigger league.

Why should I read this?

Bursting with actionable advice about how to assess and approach complex buying teams, VPs, gatekeepers, and other stakeholders. The book also provides an ‘account entry tool kit’ readers can use to systematize their approach.

Key ideas

Selling to big companies means understanding how their decision-makers think.

Decision-makers want strong proposals, and putting that proposal together requires expertise.

Research your path, and be prepared to jump over many hurdles on your way to finally accessing the decision-maker.

What other readers say about this book

“Great if you are selling to enterprises, have to prospect, and need a highly targeted method.”

George Davidson

“While this might be somewhat dated, most of the strategy is still quite current and useful.”

Kim Stoffel

Books for sales techniques and tips

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

This sales classic on the art of closing contains some valuable insights into negotiation and the importance of differentiating between sales negotiations and more general negotiation strategies.

Who is this book for?

This one’s for the entire team (and the fact you can download it for free here means you can easily distribute it as a sales training resource). Useful to anyone with an element of negotiation in their sales process.

Why should I read this?

It helps you conceptualize closing as a separate part of the sales process and shows you the secrets of closing the sale, no matter what product or market.

Key ideas

Classic negotiation models aren't suited for salespeople because they make dangerous assumptions that don't apply in a competitive sales environment.

For instance, most negotiation strategies assume that both parties are highly motivated to reach a successful agreement. But anyone in sales knows that your customers are just as happy to walk away from your deal since they have your competitors waiting eagerly in the other room.

What other readers say about this book

“This is one of the best books I've read in my sales career.”

Stephen T. Williams

“Excellent: direct, short, and accurate. Don't miss it if you're in sales.”


Secrets of Successful Sales, by Alison Edgar, MBE

This is a must-read, combining fundamental selling techniques with innovative psychometric profiling tools to help you identify and match your tactics to your prospect’s personality type.

Who is this book for?

Any sales professional looking for solid sales advice rooted in a clear, straightforward methodology.

Why should I read this?

Alison Edgar’s psychometric approach will add a new dimension of insight and nuance to help you personalize and lead your sales conversations across multiple contexts.

Key ideas

If you don't sell, you don't have a business.

Centered around Alison's Four Key Pillars of Sales methodology (Behaviour, Process, Strategy, and Confidence), this book brings together psychology and sales to help you develop a winning strategy for increasing sales and growing your business.

What other readers say about this book

This small, but perfectly formed book is exactly what is needed for people in sales today. The pillars are clear and well explained and distill a lifetime of valuable experience in a way that everyone can understand. Alison’s style is conversational, approachable and makes sales the fun activity that it absolutely should be.

Sean Purcell

“An amazing sales formula, written from someone that understands sales and customer service.”

Ian Robbo

How to Say It: Business to Business Selling: Power Words and Strategies from the World's Top Sales Experts, by Geoffrey James

Geoffrey James (the writer of the highly regarded Sales Machine blog) provides a linguistic focus for this practical set of B2B sales tools and techniques.

Who is this book for?

B2B sales professionals who are looking to freshen up their stale scripts and learn to speak their customer’s language.

Why should I read this?

It’s full of useful advice on how to build a compelling and authentic sales script, with great ideas on finding the right words for your pitch and differentiating for your market and ideal customer.

Key ideas

Businesses have different budgets, needs, demands, and expectations from those of general consumers. That means an entirely different skill set is required of business-to-business sales reps.

Communication is information with a purpose. Therefore, it’s possible to communicate well only if you are clear about the purpose of the communication.

What other readers say about this book

“Whether you are new to selling or working to sharpen your skills, I'm confident that you'll find practical, usable value in this book.”

Kyle Porter

“This is a great book. Very honest and full of practical information. I've been selling for 20+ years, and found this to be a welcome change of pace.”

Diana Davin

Books for individual sales development and mindset

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini

Cialdini builds upon the foundations of behavioral economics laid down by Kahneman (Thinking Fast and Slow) and others, focusing exclusively on the psychology of selling. He distills several years of practical field research in actual sales environments in this enjoyable and thought-provoking New York Times bestseller.

Who is this book for?

Anyone looking to understand the psychology of persuasion from a sales perspective

Why should I read this?

Cialdini’s clear, example-driven writing sets out complex psychological ideas using case studies in a way that’s easy to absorb and integrate into your day-to-day sales communications.

Key ideas

“There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.”

The mental shortcuts that allow us to be successful in our busy lives can be co-opted and used by others to persuade us.

Tendencies towards reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity can outweigh our capacity to think critically.

What other readers say about this book

“A fantastic introduction to the social psychology behind sales and marketing.”

Abu Kamdar

"A phenomenal book! Whether you seek to boost sales, strike a better deal, or improve your relationships, Influence offers scientifcally tested principles that can change your life."

Daniel L. Shapiro, Ph.D

Atomic Habits, by James Clear

While there are definitely questions about the validity of the science underpinning James Clear’s hugely influential self-help classic, the basic premise of consistent application of measurable, manageable improvements is still a sound one.

Who is this book for?

If you’ve recently stepped up to a sales leader role and you’re feeling the pressure of increased responsibility, this book will help you increase your personal discipline and form good habits in a systematic way.

Why should I read this?

Because there’s always room for improvement, no matter how balanced or organized your current lifestyle is (or isn’t!). This book can help you see things differently and give you ideas for improvements that you didn’t think were possible.

Key ideas

If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you. The problem is your system.

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.

Drawing on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience, this is an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible, step-by-step.

What other readers say about this book

“Great book. Very informative with new ideas - it changes lives.”

Jackie Wakeford-Smith

I would highly recommend this book. I can definitely see myself reading this once every year—it really is that good!

Lisa of Troy

Live It, Love It, Sell It: How to win at sales with the art of human conversation, by Jules White

Dragon’s Den winner and international sales coach Jules White prioritizes emotional intelligence to offer up a refreshingly human-centric sales mindset guide, guided by over 30 years of sales experience.

Who is this book for?

Early-stage sales professionals and entrepreneurs who struggle to reconcile selling with their personal values.

Why should I read this?

It’s a heartfelt plea to the idea that salespeople can exercise their skills and empathy to build customer trust, bringing real value and benefit to their customers, without the need for pushy or aggressive sales tactics.

Key ideas

Does the thought of selling your product or service make you shiver with fear or horror? If you’d like not just to be able to sell but to fall in love with sales, this book is for you.

What other readers say about this book

“Jules embodies all that is right with the sales profession and communicates her thoughts and ideas with a passion and enthusiasm that is infectious and above all absolutely bang on.”

Mark B

"Jules offers a human approach to sales that may be the best solution to what's currently wrong with sales."

Garret Adkins

Honorable mentions

It was tough to narrow down a list of the best sales books. So, here are some other great choices if you’ve still got room on your shelf.

  • Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal, by Oren Klaff
  • Gap Selling: Getting the Customer to Yes, by Keenan
  • The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino
  • To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, by Daniel H. Pink
  • The Ultimate Sales Machine, by Chet Holmes
  • The Little Red Book of Selling, by Jeffrey Gitomer
  • The Secrets of Closing The Sale, by Zig Ziglar
  • Spin Selling, by Neil Rackham
  • Fanatical Prospecting, by Jeb Blount

Frequently asked questions

What are the best sales books for beginners?

If you’re looking for the best sales books for beginners, we recommend ‘Closing Time: The 7 Immutable Laws of Sales Negotiation’ by Ron Hubsher. If you’re looking to develop a relationship-based 21st-century sales mindset, ‘Live It, Love It, Sell It: How to win at sales with the art of human conversation’ by Jules White is a great place to start.

What are the best sales books for sales reps?

When it comes to the best sales books for sales reps, ‘Secrets of Successful Sales’, by Alison Edgar will help you combine sales fundamentals with psychological insights into the science of selling.

If you’re a sales rep interested in progressing your sales career while delivering greater value in your current role, ‘New Sales. Simplified’ by Mike Weinberg will help you hone your prospecting skills and get you thinking about how sales processes are constructed and refined.

Book smarts for sales success

Hopefully, you can glean additional ideas and knowledge from the books we’ve listed to help you on your sales journey. Sales experience and depth of understanding of both your audience and your market are still the most important knowledge assets you possess.

However, even the most successful salespeople know that innovative new methodologies - or forgotten classic techniques - can give your sales strategy a much needed shot in the arm.

Any new tactic or approach is going to need careful implementation, and accurate data will ensure that your new strategy aligns with customer response for the best results. Using Qwilr means your sales collateral and proposals will provide buyer intent data through buyer analytics tools that let you know how prospects are engaging with your content and shape your strategy.

About the author

Dan Lever, Brand Consultant and Copywriter

Dan Lever|Brand Consultant and Copywriter

Dan Lever is an experienced brand consultant and copywriter. He brings over 7 years experience in marketing and sales development, across a range of industries including B2B SaaS, third sector and higher education.