The most successful sales people know they’ve got to take advantage of the latest and greatest sales resources to constantly evolve and stay sharp. They have to keep growing and learning as sales professionals, but they’ve also got to keep up with their customers’ habits, changing industry trends, and stay knowledgeable about topics such as sales CRM, productivity enhancement tools, and new sales techniques such as spin selling and using trigger events. The best books for sales and selling are written by proven sales leaders with a proven track record and the numbers to back it up. These selling resources cover a lot of sales ground, and there’s something for everyone involved in getting customers to buy a product or service, including sales people, business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs.
With competition growing and the economy continuing to struggle, sales professionals must find a sales resource (such as a blog, website, book, or industry expert) they can trust to maximize sales and get the most out the sales world.
Sales Books Teaching You How to Sell
The following sales books are written by some of the world’s best sales leaders, consultants, authors, and speakers. Whether you’re looking to improve your cold–calling skills, wanting advice on how to reach high–profile companies, or just needing some general inspiration, these books provide cutting–edge advice from industry leaders to keep you ahead of the game.
- Spin Selling by Neil Rackham: Written by Neil Rackham, former president and founder of Huthwaite, this book discusses the process of selling high–value product and services. Rackman shares simple and practical SPIN techniques while answering questions like “What makes success in major sales” and “Why do techniques like closing work in small sales but fail in larger ones?” This book includes real–world examples, graphics, and case studies along with hard research data.
- The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer Written by Jeffrey Gitomer, author of the Sales Bible, this book focuses on the primary aspect of sales: why people buy. Each chapter includes mantras, commonly heard excuses, advice on how to work around these excuses, and plenty of advice on how to reach people and stay motivated.
- Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar: A household name, Zig Ziglar has motivated people and offered techniques on how to relate to people for many years. In this book, he offers 100 creative closes to increase numbers and deal with the most common reasons people don’t buy. Secrets of Closing the Sale also covers how to project positive feelings, how to increase productivity and professionalism, how to deal respectfully with challenging prospects, and more.
- The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino: First published in 1968, The Greatest Salesman in the World offers sales professionals a philosophy of salesmanship through a parable set centuries ago. Offering inspiration as well as advice, this book inspires by reminding those in sales that believing in oneself is the first step to success.
- How to Master the Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins: This book has something to offer even the most seasoned sales professional. How to Master the Art of Selling provides tips and techniques on how to earn a six–figure income, create a sales climate, change negatives into positives, and impress people from the first handshake.
- Perfect Selling by Linda Richardson: Perfect Selling covers five basic steps on how to: CONNECT with your customer immediately; EXPLORE customer needs thoroughly and quickly; LEVERAGE your solutions persuasively; RESOLVE your customer’s questions and objections confidently; and ACT when the time is right. As one of the top selling consultants in the world, Linda Thompson has proven the strength of this model through her success.
- Strategic Selling by Miller Heiman: Written for people that are not natural salesmen, Strategic Selling provides valuable insight into how to set up “win/win” situations by identifying the different kinds of “buyers” in every sales situation, the roles they play in a transaction, and what constitutes “value” to them. The book then goes on to discuss how to identify what you do not “know” about various buyers, as well as ways of finding out.
- The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy: More important than buying and selling techniques is the psychology behind what motivates people. The Psychology of Selling will help you learn “the inner game of selling,” ways to remove the fear of rejection, and how to cultivate unshakable self–confidence. According to author Brian Tracy, sales people have to learn to control their thoughts, feelings, and actions to become more effective.
- Mastering the Complex Sale by Jeff Thull: This book addresses the special needs of complex sales with multiple decision makers and agendas. Author Jeff Thull offers readers a solid method for redefining sales and marketing strategies, selling cross–company, and creating collaborative value.
- Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath: If you’re looking to sell to big companies, you’ll need different techniques than those used to sell to smaller entities. In Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath, you’ll learn how to target accounts where you have the highest likelihood of success; find the names of prospects who can use your offering; create breakthrough value propositions that capture their attention; develop an effective, multifaceted account–entry campaign; overcome obstacles and objections that derail your sale efforts; and more.
- Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds: In this revised edition, popular speaker Garr Reynolds shows readers how to reach people through simplicity and storytelling, how to design and deliver successful presentations, and how to reach people with digital media. The author combines the principles of design with the spiritual ideals of Zen simplicity to create effective presentations.
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cold Calling by Keith Rosen: The process of cold–calling is something every sales person is familiar with. According to the author, sales people lose sales not due to a lack of effort but because they lack a prospecting system they are comfortable with. If you haven’t found a system that works for you, now is the time to do it. This book will help you maximize your cold calling potential by teaching you how to get in front of the right prospects in less time and create greater selling opportunities without fear.
- Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith: Selling the Invisible takes a look at how any sales person or company can find more prospects, turn them into clients, and keep them for the long term. With topics such as “Greatness May Get You Nowhere,” “Focus Groups Don’ts,” “The More You Say, the Less People Hear,” and “Seeing the Forest Around the Falling Trees,” this book can help sales professionals at any level.
- Attitude 101 by John Maxwell: According to New York Times best–selling author and leadership expert John C. Maxwell, good attitudes on a team do not guarantee its success, but bad attitudes guarantee its ruin. This book covers topics such as how recognize how individuals’ attitudes impact their performance; how to pinpoint problematic thought patterns in yourself and others; how to identify six common attitude problems that undermine teamwork; how to discover the secret to changing a bad attitude; how to adopt the attitude that helps a leader keep going to the next level; and others.
- The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer: The Sales Bible was listed as one of “The Ten Books Every Salesperson Should Own and Read” by the Dale Carnegie Sales Advantage Program. In this newly revised edition, Jeff Gitomer helps sales professionals make their biggest deals by teaching twenty–five ways to get elusive appointments, covering top–down selling, showing how to fill the sales pipeline with prospects ready to buy, and demonstrating the right questions to make more sales in half the time.
- Setting Sales Appointments: How To Gain Access To Top Level Decision–Makers by Scott Channell: Written eby top salesman Scott Channell, this book shows you how to set sales appointments and gain access to those with authority. Chapters offer actual step–by–step methods and scripts that get you the meetings you need to close sales, covering responses to resistance, gatekeeper and voicemail strategies, and methods to have more conversations.
Sales Websites: Hone Your Selling Skills
The best sales blogs come from sales professionals with a history of results. The best blogs for sales include a mix of industry advice, techniques, and research. The most useful bloggers also cover processes and technology such as CRM for sales, productivity tools, and mobile marketing, but also give you industry insight on the best way to get prospects to hear you. The following blogs and websites are provided by some of the best sales professionals in the country.
- http://www.smartsellingtools.com/blog/ Written by Nancy Nardin, a nationally recognized leader on sales and marketing productivity tools, this blog discusses how marketers and sellers can apply process and technology to drive revenue. Before launching Smart Selling Tools in 2006, Nancy served in sales leadership roles at firms such as Gartner Group and IDC. She also designed a Sales Tools Assessment questionnaire to help clients determine the tools they need to succeed.
- http://thesalesblog.com/ Written by the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, this blog covers sales and selling, sales management, and what success entails, as well as an effective sales philosophy and a belief system that leads to success in sales. Top posts include: The Most Dangerous Lie Salespeople Tell Themselves; How To Lose on Price (Or: You Cannot Win a Fight With One Who Is Willing to Kill Himself); The Iron Laws of Sales; and How to Fight Above Your Weight Class (Part One).
- http://partnersinexcellenceblog.com/ In this blog, Dave Brock focuses on pragmatism and common sense. His goal is to primarily get business professionals to challenge themselves, their organizations, and their customers. He has worked in sales, marketing, and executive management capacities with several major technology firms. He also provides consulting services in both technology and other sectors.
- http://danwaldschmidt.com/blog Dan Waldschmidt is a business strategist that helps companies all over the world arrive at breakthrough ideas by moving past behaviors and pressures that prevent them from performing well. The Wall Street Journal calls his blog, Edgy Conversations, one of the Top 7 sales blogs anywhere on the Internet. He’s also been profiled in Business Week, INC Magazine, Business Insider, and on many audio programs.
- http://asalesguy.com/ This blog comes from someone that’s been in the game a long time. Keenan has over 15 years of experience in sales leadership and leading sales team, and says “Staying above ground and not doing anything stupid enough that would prevent a company from wanting you to run their sales organization isn’t much to brag about. Staying power isn’t impressive. What is impressive is what one absorbs from their years of experience.” He is the founder and partner of A Sales Guy Consulting, which helps companies grow sales.
- http://yoursalesplaybook.com/ Paul Castain is the Vice President of Rock Star Development for Castain Training Systems, where he works with organizations and individuals who want to sell more. He marries traditional selling methods with personal branding and newer social media tools.
- http://switchandshift.com/blog On this site, consultants and leadership authors Shawn Murphy and Ted Coiné have combined efforts to focus on how to reach executives and managers within an organization. This blog is dedicated to finding a new way to do business.
- http://www.heinzmarketing.com/matt–on–marketing/blog/ Founded by Matt Heinz in 2007, Heinz Marketing helps their clients achieve sustained sales success by growing revenue from existing customers and cost effectively identifying and winning new customers. They focus on a client’s passion, focus, and results. They’ve worked with companies such as Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Morgan Stanley, Market Leader, and others.
- http://fearless–selling.ca/blog/ Written by Kelley Robertson, President of The Robertson Training Group, this blog focuses on his approach to sales training workshops and sales keynote speaking. He specializes in business sales increases, team negotiation skills, employee motivation, team creation, and customer service.
- http://millennialceo.com/ Daniel Newman is the Founder of BroadSuite Consulting and the author of The Millennial CEO and The New Rules of Customer Engagement. He also co–founded the global online Community 12 Most and was recognized by the Huffington Post as one of the 100 business and leadership accounts to follow on Twitter.
- http://scoremoresales.com/ Through strategic planning (her S.A.L.E.S. Strategy Plan), Lori Richardson, founder and CEO of Score More Sales Score, helps mid–market technology and distribution companies grow front–line sales revenues quicker and better with a combination of coaching, consulting, and analysis. She works in the inside sales community and in the local B2B tech sales and marketing community.
- http://www.jillkonrath.com/sales–blog/ Jill Konrath is the author of two popular sales books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, and has gained popularity as a speaker as well. She has published her work through business media such as ABC News, WSJ Start–Up Journal, Entrepreneur, New York Times, Business Journal, Sales & Marketing Management, and in many online publications and radio shows.
- http://www.sellingfearlessly.com/ Written by the author of Selling Fearlessly: A Master Salesman’s Secrets For the One–Call–Close Salesperson, this blog focuses on helping people succeed, inspiring sales professionals, and giving back.
- http://thesaleshunter.com/ As a speaker and sales consultant, Mark Hunter travels and works with companies like Coca–Cola, Kawasaki, Mattel, Unilever, and Godiva. He customizes training and presentations for each client and works extensively with members of the sales force and executives.
- http://salestrainingconnection.com/ This site is a forum for researching and discussing innovative sales training ideas. Written by Janet Spirer and Richard Ruff, the site covers strategic approaches in marketing, sales, and business.
- http://www.fillthefunnel.com/ Fill the Funnel helps sales leaders, managers, and salesmakers select and implement sales web tools. The blog is written by Miles Austin, a leading authority on Web Tools for sales. Focusing on both hands–on “how–to” training for sales Web Tools and social media platforms, he shares tactics and techniques that will get the most out of the tools selected, while integrating their use into existing sales processes.
- http://rapidlearninginstitute.com/top–sales–dog/ RLI founders Steve Meyer and Glenn Eckard have developed an online training system that respects everyone’s time and intelligence, keeps workers engaged in learning, and results in long–term positive change. RLI gives managers the tools they need to make training doable, supports training departments in larger organizations, and makes financial sense for companies large and small. Their three core concepts are Rapid Learning, Single–Concept Learning, and Research–Based Learning.
- http://www.salesbenchmarkindex.com/ Sales Benchmark Index (SBI) helps clients by using primary research and a wealth of proprietary data from their database for their sales and marketing consulting services to help sales leaders reach their goals.
- http://blog.marketo.com/blog/ This blog from the creators of the popular marketing automation software Marketo discusses integrated tools for campaign management, social marketing, event management, inbound marketing, and customer data management.
- http://blog.profitbuilders.com/ Keith Rosen is the CEO of Profit Builders and the author of Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions. Inc. magazine and Fast Company named Keith one of the five most influential executive coaches. In his blog and books, Keith focuses on his philosophy: Sales training does not develop sales champions. Managers do.
- http://blog.verticalresponse.com/ VerticalResponse, a subsidiary of Deluxe Corporation that provides online marketing tools for small businesses, is a marketing platform that features an intuitive interface with innovative features that make it easier for small businesses to share content and marketing promotions via email, mobile and social media.
- http://bobphibbs.wordpress.com/ Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor, writes, coaches, and consults to provide training and inspiration to small and medium sized independent businesses. He regularly appears on MSNBC and Fox. His work has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. His latest book is called The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing Your Business.
Changing Minds is a consulting and publishing company. Principal consultant and author David Straker has a background in counseling, psychology, marketing, sales, education, business change, international management, and consulting. The site offers tons of articles on behaviors, disciplines, politics, negotiation, emotions, theories, and so much more.
- http://freecrmstrategies.wordpress.com/ Written by Brian Vellmure, a consultant that has been helping organizations increase profitability through customer focused initiatives for more than ten years, this blog discusses enhancing customer experience, acquisition & retention efforts, and more. He contributes to several emerging media properties, and often offers his skills as an expert advisor to software and technology firms.
- http://salesandmanagementblog.com/ Written by Paul McCord, author of Creating a Million Dollar a Year Sales Income: Sales Success through Client Referrals and SuperStar Selling: 12 Keys to Becoming a Sales SuperStar and Bust Your Slump: A Dozen Slump Busting Strategies to Create Business NOW, this blog covers prospecting, referral selling, personal marketing, sales, and social media.
- http://salesroundup.com/blog/ The SalesRoundup blog is written for sales professionals and their management teams. It supports the weekly SalesRoundup podcast, which provides training to sales people in short 40 minute segments.
- http://sharondrewmorgen.com/ Sharon Drew Morgen is the author of Buying Facilitation, a new sales paradigm that focuses on an organization’s behind–the–scenes activity needed to close a sale. She also wrote the New York Times Business Bestseller Selling with Integrity as well as six other books and hundreds of articles. Her most recent book is Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it.
- http://www.alenmajer.com/ Alen Mayer, voted as #2 of the Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management in 2013, helps sales leaders learn to discover a prospect’s buying strategy in minutes, persuade on both conscious and unconscious levels, identify the difference between an excuse and real objection, turn objections into approval, get your prospects to close themselves, and other sales strategies.
- http://www.buyerpersonainsights.com/ In 2001, Tony Zambito established the first buyer insight and buyer personal development methodology designed specifically for B2B marketing and sales. He focuses on helping clients gain a deeper understanding of their buyers to improve lead generation, customer experience, and revenue performance. He has worked with companies such as HP,FedEx, Pearson, Robert Half International, Microsoft, IBM, and Conoco Phillips in fifelds like buyer research and buyer persona marketing.
- http://www.closingbigger.net/ Shane Gibson is an international speaker and author. His books include Sociable! How Social Media is Turning Sales and Marketing Upside Down, Closing Bigger, the Field Guide to Closing Bigger, and Guerrilla Social Media Marketing, co–authored with Jay Conrad Levinson. He covers sales force leadership, entrepreneurial development, and social media marketing to develop unique presentations and solutions for his clients.
- http://www.dollarversity.com/ This blog covers topics such as taxes, entrepreneurship, credit, debt management, personal and business finances, and other financial and business related issues. The theme of the blog is to provide “A distinctive voice standing out from the crowd.” The blog challenges common social and financial issues and encourages people to think independently.
- http://www.ianbrodie.com/ This site provides a plethora of articles, videos, mini–courses, podcasts, and other materials meant to help sales people improve their marketing and sales skills. The blog offers strategies and insights and regular email tips. Ian Brodie has sold multimillion dollar consulting engagements across multiple countries and cultures.
- http://www.patricia–weber.com/ Considered “America’s #1 Coach For Introverts (and extroverts reluctant to sell),” Patricia Weber works with individuals, small groups, and large audiences to support introverts working in sales. She helps people reach sales goals, deliver effective presentations, and improve leadership.
- http://www.sales–lead–insights.com/ This blog covers business–to–business lead generation, marketing and sales. Topics include B2B lead generation, nurturing and qualification; following up leads and turning them into sales; tracking, measuring and increasing the ROI from marketing and lead generation programs; B2B marketing strategies, tactics; B2B sales strategies, tactics; and insights on trends in these fields.
- http://www.salestrainingadvice.com/ Written by Josh Hinds, a leading speaker and author, this site offers advice on leading, selling, and marketing. He has written multiple books, including Why Perfect Timing is a Myth and It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!.
- http://www.sellbetter.ca/ Written by Tibor Shanto, a 25–year veteran of B2B sales, this blog offers an insider’s perspective on successful sales execution. As a consultant, Shanot shows organizations and sales professionals how to leverage their sales process to shorten sales cycles, improve closing ratios, and create strong growth. He is the author of the book Shift!: Harness The Trigger Events That Turn Prospects Into Customers. His article “How to Shorten Your Sales Cycle?” was praised by readers at TopTenSalesArticles.com.
- http://www.ShiftSelling.com/ Craig Elias, creator of Trigger Event Selling and chief catalyst of SHiFT Selling, Inc., teaches sales leaders how to shift their results and turn prospects into customers. By harnessing trigger events, sales people can get to the right people at the right time and increase close ratios, shorten sales cycles, and sell at higher prices.
- http://www.tele–smart.com/ TeleSmart provides innovative, timely, and customized inside sales training for global sales organizations. They offer sales productivity tools, marketing and sales alignment analysis, sales process structure advice, and other training tools.
- http://www.TelesalesBlog.com/ Since 1983, Art Sobczak has trained sales professionals using simple methods, processes, and word–for–word instruction on how to use the phone to get through to people. His latest book, Smart Calling, named Top Sales Book of 2010, was revised and released in April of 2013. He provides in–person training, webinars, and book and audio programs.
- http://www.theaccidentalnegotiator.com/ In this blog, Dr. Jim Anderson teachers sales professionals how to use sales negotiation and persuasion skills effectively. He has spent over 25 years negotiating everything from small sales with individual owners of companies to large–scale military project contracts with teams of sales negotiators.
- http://www.thejfblogit.co.uk/ Written by Jonathan Farrington, a business coach, mentor, author, and sales thought leader, this site covers topics that empower, educate, and inspire sales professional. Farrington is the Senior Partner of Jonathan Farrington & Associates and the co–editor of Top Sales Magazine and The Sales Thought Leaders Blog.
- http://www.thetruthaboutamway.com/ This site covers personal opinions about the Amway company and multilevel marketing.
- http://www.avidian.com/blog The Avidian.com sales blog. A Blog about Sales, Marketing, and Business Success.