The Top 10 Books on Sales and Sales techniques you need to read

Now is a great time of year to expand your sales and marketing knowledge. Especially if you are on a sales team, a sales manager, VP of Sales, or in another sales leadership role.

On Amazon, searching for sales books generates upwards of 60,000 results.

Sales is a popular topic because succeeding in sales can increase a company’s revenue, and salespeople can earn themselves impressive bonuses.

So to narrow that list down, we’ve put together this CrankWheel list of the top 10 books on sales and marketing. All of them are well worth reading. Let’s take a look!

Top 10 Sales Books

  1. Sales EQ: How Ultra High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal by Jeb Blount
  2. The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes
  3. Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
  4. SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham
  5. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino
  6. YES! 50 secrets from the science of persuasion by Noah J. Goldstein PhD, Steve J. Martin & Robert B. Cialdini PhD
  7. Sales Management. Simplified by Mike Weinberg
  8. Agile Selling by Jill Konrath
  9. The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need by Anthony Iannarino
  10. Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross & Marylou Tyler

1: Sales EQ: How Ultra High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal

by Jeb Blount Amazon link

Wiley (2017)

Jeb Blount is a Sales Acceleration Specialist with 25 years of experience in sales, sales training, and organizational design. He works with Fortune 500 companies, SMBs and startups to improve sales performance. Blount is widely recognized as one of the leading experts on optimizing sales team talent, leveraging training, and creating a high-performance culture.

In this “game-changing guidebook”, Blount helps salespeople leverage emotional intelligence, “human behavior frameworks, heuristics, and cognitive biases,” to ensure they “learn how to reach ultra-high sales performance and consistently crush your number.”

2: The Ultimate Sales Machine

by Chet Holmes Amazon link

Portfolio; Reprint edition (2008)

Holmes wrote what many consider to be one of the best books on sales, given his experience in marketing, sales, training, and working with dozens of Fortune 500 companies. He worked with brands including American Express, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Pac Bell, Estee Lauder, Merrill Lynch, Citibank, and Xerox.

His daughter, Amanda Holmes, continues his work as Chairman of Chet Holmes International.

In this book, Holmes recommends salespeople focus 1-hour a week on 12 key areas where they can improve. Instead of jumping on every new trend, focusing on key areas should generate noticeable improvements for sales teams. It’s also fun to read.

Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth and E-Myth Revisited said in a review: “The Ultimate Sales Machine is a book that puts it all together to help you dramatically increase your sales if you are wise enough to follow its advice.”

3: Secrets of Closing the Sale

by Zig Ziglar Amazon link

Revell; Updated edition (2004)

Ziglar’s book opens the door for salespeople wanting to increase conversion rates, get more positive responses from sales leads, and increase revenue. A must-read for every salesperson.

Richard M. DeVos, co-founder of Amway, owner and chairman, NBA Orlando Magic said in a review: “To call Zig Ziglar a ‘super salesman’ is an understatement. This work is a compilation of everything he knows about the art of selling. It’s worthwhile reading.”

4: SPIN Selling

by Neil Rackham Amazon link

McGraw-Hill;1st edition (1988)

Neil Rackham, founder and President of Huthwaite Corporation, created the SPIN selling concept (Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-payoff) that has revolutionized sales training and strategies.

Rackham was the first to examine and explain how to sell high-value products and services. One of the reasons it’s still popular is it includes easy-to-apply solutions to increase the number of sales leads in the pipeline and conversion rates.

5: The Greatest Salesman in the World

by Og Mandino Amazon link

Mass Market Paperback (1983)

With over 4-million copies in print, The Greatest Salesman in the World is extremely popular with salespeople and sales leaders. Mandino suggests reading this over 10-months, as it’s a guide to the philosophy of salesmanship and success, about Hafid, a poor camel boy who achieves great success. It draws inspiration and ideas from religious texts and ancient scrolls.

Lester J. Bradshaw, Jr., Former Dean, Dale Carnegie Institute of Effective Speaking & Human Relations says: “Every sales manager should read The Greatest Salesman in the World. It is a book to keep at the bedside, or on the living room table—a book to dip into as needed, to browse in now and then, to enjoy in small stimulating portions.”

6: YES! 50 Secrets from the science of persuasion

by Noah J. Goldstein PhD, Steve J. Martin & Robert B. Cialdini PhD Amazon link

Profile Books (2007)

Which items of stationary can help you persuade others more effectively? Which word can increase your persuasive power by fifty percent? And why are so many dentists called Dennis?

Based on over 60 years of academic research into the science of persuasion, YES! reveals amazing insights from behavioral science that can help you become more persuasive both in the professional world and in your personal life.

Whether you are looking for that promotion, persuading someone to take their medicine, reduce their environmental footprint or vote for you, this book book shows how to make small changes in your approach that can have a dramatic impact on your success.

Co-written by Professor Robert Cialdini, the world’s most quoted researcher on influence. The book contains scientifically proven tips on how to boost your persuasive powers.

7: Sales Management. Simplified

by Mike Weinberg Amazon link

AMACOM (2015)

Mike Weinberg is an expert consultant for companies when sales teams are struggling to hit targets. He comes in, identifies the problems — many of which are self-inflicted — and helps sales leaders find a path from underperforming to hitting and exceeding targets.

In this book, Weinberg creates a framework for the ways sales managers can improve performance, leadership, and create a more effective culture that allows sales teams to thrive.

One review says: “If you want a clear and concise overview of exactly what you need to do to run a superstar sales team, this is the book for you. Mike takes his years of experience and shares with you his best ideas on how to make successful sales management…simple. I highly recommend this book to anyone in sales.” John Spence, Top 100 Business Thought Leader in America, author of Awesomely Simple.

8: Agile Selling

by Jill Konrath Amazon link

Portfolio (2015)

Jill Konrath is an expert in complex and enterprise-level sales. She’s a popular speaker and workshop presenter, frequently quoted in the media. Her website is a go-to resource for those looking for timely and actionable words of advice when trying to make corporate sales.

In Agile Selling, Konrath focuses on the agility and speed salespeople need to leverage new information to close a deal. Sales move fast, and this book helps salespeople adapt and move faster to get the results they need.

9: The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need

by Anthony Iannarino Amazon link

Portfolio (2016)

Iannarino is a leading sales expert, coach, author, and frequently publishes on The Sales Blog. Following a 25 year career in sales, Iannarino has perfected the art of selling. In this book, he focuses on 6 core strategies: Self-discipline, accountability, competitiveness, resourcefulness, storytelling, and diagnosing.

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need is a USA Today bestseller, and a must-read for sales professionals and sales leaders.

10: Predictable Revenue

by Aaron Ross & Marylou Tyler Amazon link

PebbleStorm (2011)

In this book, discover the secrets and approaches that added $100 million recurring revenue to Salesforce. All without any outbound sales. Doubling their enterprise growth in only a few years. Well worth reading, especially for those in SaaS sales roles.

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