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The 31 best sales books to read now (+ 3 can’t-miss podcasts)

We surveyed top sales teams to compile this list of must-read books for enhancing your sales skills and winning more deals.

By Lauren Penta, Contributing Writer

Published December 20, 2018
Last updated September 21, 2021

As a sales rep, your time is limited. You have to find new leads, interact with prospects, and close sales, which leaves room for little else. But to advance in any career, you need to find time to hone your craft.

One easy way to do this is by reading sales training books. After all, soaking in the knowledge of top salespeople can save you time in the long run as you learn from their experiences and incorporate their advice into your own sales journey.

Whether you’re looking to perfect your sales techniques or simply learn the essentials, these great sales books will help you level up your game.

Best sales books for beginners

From sales strategies to actionable techniques, the following sales books are useful resources for beginners (and seasoned professionals) looking to master every stage of the sales funnel.

  1. How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Selling to Big Companies

    “This book taught me where to begin with corporate sales.”Christian Avery, founder of Getaguard

    A must-read for anyone looking for strategies for breaking into a big corporate account, Jill Konrath’s Selling to Big Companies teaches the intricacies of corporate selling. “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.’ ”

  4. The Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness

    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.

  5. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

    “The book is really about emotional intelligence.”Christian Avery, founder of Getaguard

    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, but also to be a great communicator in life.”

  6. The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need

    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 are included in this book, along with tried-and-true advice on developing self-discipline, accountability, and storytelling skills.

  7. Way of the Wolf: Straight Line Selling: Master the Art of Persuasion, Influence, and Success

    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.

  8. The Ultimate Sales Machine

    “[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

    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 the necessary changes down 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.”

  9. The Sales Bible, New Edition: The Ultimate Sales Resource

    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.

  10. Great sales books on qualifying leads

    Qualifying leads can be a lengthy task. You have to answer a lot of questions before you can determine if someone is likely to buy your product or service. Does the lead match your buyer persona? Can your business meet the potential customer’s needs? Read these books to master the qualification process and increase the likelihood of a sale.

  11. Amp Up Your Sales: Powerful Strategies That Move Customers to Make Fast, Favorable Decisions

    Amp Up Your Sales by Andy Paul provides highly tactical information on simplifying your sales process and amping up your prospecting. In this eight-part book, Paul includes a robust section called “Qualification: doing more with less,” which is filled with actionable insights such as the factors that drive a poor qualification and the dangers of “mostly qualified sales opportunities.” You’ll be more disciplined about proper lead qualification after reading this book.

  12. The Conversion Code: Capture Internet Leads, Create Quality Appointments, Close More Sales

    In this sales book, Chris Smith gives advice specifically for capturing Internet leads and creating quality appointments (which can save time later on). In addition to being a good book for learning how to generate more traffic, leads, and sales, The Conversion Code offers excellent tips for engaging with prospective customers online (social media, chat, blogs) and qualifying those customers. It’s a good book for anyone selling in the digital age.

  13. Questions that Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants

    Asking the right questions is key when qualifying a lead. Discover your customers’ actual needs with this book by Paul Cherry to determine if you can solve their problems. This read features various selling situations and different types of sample questions you can use for each, so you can learn how to effectively become a customer-focused sales rep.

  14. Top sales books about prospecting

    Sales prospecting is vital to growing your business, so it’s important to implement an effective and sustainable prospecting strategy—these books can help you do just that.

  15. New Sales. Simplified.: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development

    Mike Weinberg delves into the topic of acquiring new clients, providing 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.

  16. 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 own prospecting approach, this book 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 read is ideal for those seeking a comprehensive, real-world method for effective prospecting.

  17. The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales

    As you might have guessed from the title, The Sales Development Playbook is a tactical book focused on high-quality 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.

  18. Sales training books to improve presentation skills

    A sales presentation can make or break a deal in your pipeline. Your language, mannerisms, and slides all work together to build a connection with potential customers. Too often, sales reps talk at the client rather than with the client. Fortunately, there are strategies for perfecting your sales presentations.

  19. Strategic Sales Presentations

    In this top sales book, Jack Malcolm walks you through engaging, confident presentation delivery and even includes strategies for presenting to senior decision-makers. A stellar presentation will ultimately depend on you, but Malcolm gives applicable steps and examples to help you polish your skills and reach the next level.

  20. Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

    Oren Klaff states that creating and presenting a great pitch isn’t an art—it’s simple science. He describes the STRONG method of pitching, which can be used in any business situation: Setting the frame, Telling the story, Revealing the intrigue, Offering the prize, Nailing the hook point, and Getting a decision. Klaff also reviews how buyers make decisions and perceive messages, based on the latest neuroeconomic findings. The methods in this book will help you not only deliver a winning sales presentation but also pitch anything in life.

  21. The Secret of Selling Anything

    Harry Browne is an esteemed salesman who argues against sales clichés such as “you have to be a smooth talker” or “you have to be an extrovert to succeed.” Browne uses easy-to-understand terms to explain what motivates prospects and how to communicate why your product or service is a good fit for their needs.

  22. 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 a potential customer thinks the way they do and determine how you can influence their thought process. The following sales books will help you accomplish that.

  23. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High

    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 starting conversations with heart and providing judgment-free psychological safety—two tips from the book—have helped him greatly in his sales career.

  24. Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There

    It’s okay to be told “no.” According to Richard Fenton, while many people are fearful of rejection or failure, you, the sales rep, need to rethink this concept. A short read, Go for No! is actually a fictional story that follows 28-year-old copier salesman Eric James Bratton through his sales problems and solutions. This story is designed to help you learn better sales tactics as well as techniques for turning a rejection into a triumph.

  25. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It

    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 everyday situations, from buying a house to setting a salary, and his methods can be applied to your sales meetings for successful outcomes.

  26. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

    “It’s the perfect book to teach you how to crack winning negotiations.”Scott Spivack, marketing director at United Medical Credit

    In Getting to Yes, authors Roger Fisher and William Ury explore a clearly defined 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.”

  27. Methods of Persuasion: How to Use Psychology to Influence Human Behavior

    Nick Kolenda shares how cognitive psychology principles can be leveraged to influence other people’s thoughts. Learn 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.)

  28. Best sales books on closing

    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 successful closing.

  29. Secrets of Closing the Sale

    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 shows you 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.

  30. The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation


    Pulling from an extensive study of thousands of sales professionals, The Challenger Sale suggests that connecting with customers based on how your product or service can make or save them money is the only way to guarantee consistent sales. J.T. Levin, ChartHop’s head of sales, recommends this book for specific, actionable advice that can quickly be put into practice.

  31. The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the Ten Commitments That Drive Sales

    Rather than alienating the customer with pushy closing tactics, set up a different kind of framework to increase your chances of success. Anthony Iannarino emphasizes the steps you need to take long before a purchase is actually made in order to seal the deal; these include the Commitment to Invest, Commitment to Build Consensus, and Commitment to Resolve Concerns. This is a great guide for changing how you think about closing.

  32. Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact

    As the title suggests, this book teaches you how to know exactly what to say, when to say it, and how to make it count with potential customers. Phil Jones provides detailed instructions on how to feel in control of 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.

  33. Best books on sales and marketing for lead nurturing

    Nurturing customers throughout the different sales stages (and after the sale is made) is something many reps struggle with. These sales books are designed to help you develop long-term, customer-centric interactions with all types of buyers.

  34. Aligning Strategy and Sales: The Choices, Systems, and Behaviors that Drive Effective Selling

    This top sales book focuses on addressing the gaps between your company’s sales efforts and strategy. Frank V. Cespedes presents a framework for how your sales operations fit into the broader organization and offers tips for proper execution. Written from a high-level perspective, this is a good read for ensuring your company culture is aligned with your customer relationships.

  35. Sell the Way You Buy: A Modern Approach to Sales that Actually Works (Even on You!)

    In this book, former Salesforce VP David Priemer poses a huge question: Would your company’s sales techniques work on you as a customer? Sell the Way You Buy explores scientific research that illuminates the best ways to understand your customers and their needs. The can’t-miss read will teach you how to listen, share your product or service compellingly, and connect with customers the way you like to be connected with as a buyer.

  36. How to Win Friends and Influence People

    Written by Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People is packed with strategies for how to handle people and be likable. Carnegie emphasizes various principles, such as the importance of smiling in a heartwarming way or talking in terms of the other person’s interests. His book will undoubtedly help you improve your customer interactions.

  37. Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days

    Customer retention is the theme of this book. By breaking down the customer journey into eight phases, Joey Coleman explains why most customers leave a company within the first 100 days and shares ways to increase customer loyalty. It’s a practical read that will enable you to improve the overall customer experience.

  38. 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.

  39. The Advanced Selling Podcast

    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 700 episodes on this 14-year-old sales podcast.

  40. Conversations with Women in Sales

    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 gain practical advice for developing and growing your sales career. The podcast covers various topics like imposter syndrome, adversity, building strategic partnerships, and inclusivity. It’s the perfect pick-me-up for any woman in sales.

  41. The Salesman

    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 just getting started in sales or 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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