Christmas shopping inspiration: 10 highly-rated sales books you should buy

What a year 2020 has been!

Who could have predicted this?

Very few people, and those who did weren’t taken seriously at the time. Governments, global bodies, and banks weren’t ready for Coronavirus (Covid-19). Although there is now a light at the end of the tunnel, we are not back to normal yet.

Despite this, salespeople and sales managers and leaders are already thinking about and planning for 2021.

As part of that, it could help to read some sales books. Pick up some new ideas. Or old ones, that could prove refreshing in these challenging times. Let’s take a look at some of the most highly recommended sales books. Good ideas for Christmas, for those who want to focus on their career more in 2021 and improve their sales skills.

CrankWheel recommends: Top 10 Sales Books

#1: SPIN Selling

Neil Rackham

What’s it about?

One of the classics, responsible for a whole new way of selling. It was published in 1988, based on 35,000 sales calls recorded over 12 years. Rackham transformed sales with this book, encouraging salespeople to drop pushy sales techniques and instead build value as a trusted sales advisor.

Why you need this?

Although many of Rackham’s methods are a part of modern selling, and you could be putting into practice many of his techniques without knowing it, you’d benefit from having the original for reference. Have a look at what he said, and adapt your methods accordingly if there are things you could do instead to improve performance.

#2: How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie

What’s it about?

Another classic, probably one of the oldest books on sales that still influences how people sell today. Published in 1936, this “simple country boy” from Missouri pioneered what’s known as the self-improvement genre of books. Given that it was published when America, and the rest of the world were struggling to emerge from the worst recession in history, it couldn’t have come at a better time, and subsequently sold millions.

Well worth reading, even if you aren’t in sales. It combines advice and ideas for how to sell better, alongside words of wisdom that are still useful across a wide range of careers.

Why you need this?

How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you:

  • Six ways to make people like you
  • Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking
  • Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment

And much more! Achieve your maximum potential — a must-read for the twenty-first century with more than 15 million copies sold!

#3: Selling to Big Companies

Jill Konrath

What’s it about?

Everyone wants to land big clients! Get those labels on a website that inspire confidence and do wonders for winning equally large contracts.

Jill Konrath is a globally recognized sales strategist, author and keynote speaker. She has numerous award-winning published books on sales, and if you find this useful others are recommended. One of her latest tackles overwhelm in sales: MORE SALES, LESS TIME.

In this book, she helps salespeople approach big prospects strategically, and successfully get your foot in the door. Learn how to position yourself as an invaluable resource to prospects, and focus on accounts where you’ve got the best chance of success.

Why you need this?

It’s ideal for salespeople or account executives who work with big customers, or sales consultants who tackle pre-sales in the enterprise sales cycle, including business development executives/managers (BDE’s / BDM’s).

#4: How to Say It

Geoffrey James

What’s it about?

Learning how to sell to other businesses more effectively. If you struggle trying to engage prospects, or getting to the close, then this book is for you.

Why you need this?

This is especially useful if you’ve moved from B2C into B2B sales. You will learn how to approach B2B sales differently, including how to speak with those at other companies when the end-goal is to secure a sale.

#5: Never Be Closing

Tim Hurson & Tim Dunne

What’s it about?

Moving away from the tried-and-tested sales concept of “Always Be Closing” (ABC), this encourages salespeople to think about being helpful, and making sales a long-term partnership with clients, instead of a one-off activity.

Why you need this?

Ideal for right now, in the Covid era, when salespeople are having to position themselves differently. As everyone, your customers included, are going through challenging times, the “hard sell” and being pushy isn’t the right way to go about sales anymore. Instead, a more refreshing and partnership-focused approach is what’s needed, which this book can help you map out and implement.

#6: The Magic of Thinking Big

David J. Schwartz

What’s it about?

More along the lines of a self-help book, The Magic of Thinking Big, helps readers get more from their life, including work, but not limited to work and sales.

Why you need this?

Schwartz will help you think big. Approach sales in a different way. Instead of running from one prospect to another, and chasing short-term smaller gains, you can think differently and tackle bigger challenges more effectively.

#7: Pitch Anything

Oren Klaff

What’s it about?

The author, Klaff is a researcher in the field of neuroeconomics, which is where he draws the information from for this book. He helps you understand how the brain responds to pitches, and therefore what you can do to improve every pitch and increase sales.

Why you need this?

It’s recommended for one simple reason: “Better method, more money… Much better method, much more money.”

#8: Predictable Revenue

Aaron Ross & Marylou Tyler

What’s it about?

Described as “entrepreneurial crack” on Amazon, this book helps CEOs, VP of Sales and other sales leaders to create a predictable revenue model. Following what worked for Salesforce, whereby they doubled enterprise revenue without cold calling. Learn how to build a more efficient sales machine.

Why you need this?

Every company wants predictable, repeatable and scaleable revenue. This book covers the methodology and approaches that increased recurring revenue for Salesforce $100 million, without any cold calls. It’s well worth reading to see how it can be done!

#9: The Best Damn Sales Book Ever

Warren Greshes

What’s it about?

How to sell more. The author uncovers the truth as to why motivated, positive, goal-oriented people sell the most.

Why you need this?

It combines motivational self-help golden insights, with the sort of actionable steps that salespeople and sales leaders are going to find very useful. Well worth reading.

#10: Blueprints For A SaaS Sales Organization

Jacco van der Kooji and Fernando Pizarro

What’s it about?

Blueprints for a SaaS Sales Organisation is exactly what it says. It’s all about getting the blueprint, the strategy or model correct, to ensure the sales team is generating repeatable and scaleable revenue.

A useful quote to remember from this is: “Get the model right in order to avoid losing time. Time is the only resource you can’t replace, and in today’s fast-moving market your competitors are quick to leap ahead of you and cash in on the market you and your marketing dollars created.”

Why you need this?

This book helped to redefine and in many ways redesign how high-performance SaaS sales teams were built. Authors Jacco van der Kooji and Fernando Pizarro, input their ten years of experience building and running sales teams, using strategic sales plans that get results, using detailed instructions that sales leaders can start using tomorrow.

And that’s it for now! Ten books, all well worth reading, some for reference, and others for practical steps you can take right now to improve sales team performance.

CrankWheel: Cut your sales cycle in half with instant screen-sharing. Go from two or more sales calls to one: Become a one call close sales team.