Whether you’re currently in the sales profession or actively considering making a move into the space, in my opinion, these are some of the best sales books of 2017 that you can read. In either stage of a career, whether you’re in the sales industry or outside of it and trying to get in, I’d recommend reading these books.
For those within the sales space, building your knowledge on a consistent basis is absolutely crucial to your continued selling success. You might be dominating your quota now, but not only is it important to “Always be Closing”, but you should also always be learning. These sales books will help you in that endeavor in 2017 and beyond.
For those of you not yet in sales, reading these books will provide you with the insight you need to understand what a successful career in sales requires and will also provide you with key talking points during any sales interview. Want to really impress your interviewer during your next go-around, read one or multiple of these books to show your commitment to the sales profession even though you’re not even being paid for it yet.
Quick note: If you’re like me and prefer to listen to audio books (I listen to sales books on my commute into NYC every day), rather than read, Audible is giving away two free audio books during a 30-day trial. So if you haven’t yet, try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks. All of the best sales books mentioned below have audio books available on Audible, or are available to read on the Kindle app, so the choice is yours!
The Best Sales Books 2017
“Sales EQ: How Ultra High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal” by Jeb Blount
Jeb Blount is a sales stud and his latest sales book in 2017 is a winner. Moving away from the subject of prospecting, setting priorities and schedules, Sales EQ specifically deals with how top sales reps are able to close the deals through emotional intelligence.
Not only do you need to pick up the phone/email and prospect, you also need to read people to be successful in sales. This book will teach you the emotional factors that drive decisions, how to recognize them and use them to your advantage within a sales process.
“The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible” by Brian Tracy
No this book wasn’t published in 2017. Yes, it’s an oldy but goody.
This was one of the first sales books I ever read, when I got promoted from a BDR to an Account Executive and I’ve listened to it once every six months or so since. So much of selling is psychological, especially when it comes to your day-to-day activities like prospecting, cold-emailing/calling, etc.
It can be easy to get discouraged if you’re not getting the results you’re looking for immediately but this book breaks things down in a really excellent fashion. While the book is a little bit older from a production standpoint, Brian Tracy’s words stand true today and help to keep any sales person level-headed and sane in times of struggle (and success). I absolutely recommend this book for both current and potential sales professionals.
The Technology Salesperson’s Handbook by Ken Wax
The Technology Salesperson’s Handbook is exactly what the title implies, a handbook for technology focused sales professionals. Many of the book’s mentioned in this article are focused on the topic of “sales” in general, but not necessarily software or technology sales. This book is fantastic for three types of people in my opinion.
- You’re in the software/technology sales industry and you’re looking to improve your skillset
- You’re selling in another industry right now, but you’re looking to transition into the tech world
- You have no sales experience, but are interested in technology and think that the software sales world might be for you
I think this book is a great read for all of the above professionals.
“The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation” by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
Following the “Psychology of Selling”, “The Challenger Sale” was the second sales book I ever read and something that is a must read for anyone selling a somewhat complex product. This book is authored by two sales leadership consultants from the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), and focuses on large, business-to-business sales transactions.
If you’re selling cars, sneakers or lollipops, this probably isn’t the book for you. If you’re selling $xxx,xxx value complex software like ERP, CRM, Marketing Automation, or even something like real estate, this book is a gold-mine of actionable solution selling advice that will change the way you think of the sales profession. It’s all about differentiating yourself from the typical “relationship-building” sales professional and focusing on adding value to the buying process for your prospects.
“The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople” by Stephan Schiffman
This book has some similarities to the Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy, in that much of the content deals specifically with addressing your own mental outlook as a sales professional. Unlike Psychology of Selling however, this books takes the approach of breaking down it’s content into actionable “habits”, that a sales professional can improve upon to become more skillful at their craft.
“25 Sales Habits” isn’t going to blow you away with crazy theory or selling techniques, but this book will give you a much needed mental lift if you’re stuck in a rut and remind you of what you need to focus on in both the short and long-term.
“Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal” by Oren Klaff
Pitch Anything will appeal to those individuals who like to follow a specific system, that can result in a repeatable path to success. For me, I’m often a little more free flowing in my own sales pitches, but this book by Oren Klaff provides an excellent process to the “art and science of the pitch”.
The focus is on Oren’s STRONG method, which stands for; (S) Setting the Frame, (T) Telling the Story, (R)Revealing the Intrigue, (O) Offering the Prize, (N) Nailing the Hookpoint, and (G) Getting a Decision. If you’re new to selling or looking for a formula that will enable you to get better at closing deals, check this book out.
“Behind the Cloud” by Marc Benioff and Carlye Adler
I talk a lot about software and technology sales on this website. When examining the world of Software-as-a-Service aka Cloud, there is one specific golden boy. That golden boy is Marc Benioff, the Founder and CEO of Salesforce.com.
Marc Benioff is one of the pioneers of the cloud software revolution and this book dives into the backstory of his personal transformation from an Oracle Executive to founder of Salesfore.com. While this book doesn’t necessarily have sales tips, I would recommend giving this a quick read to understand the birth of SaaS and better educate yourself on the overall field, for anyone considering a role at a cloud technology company,
“How (and Why) to Start a Career in Software Sales” by yours truly, Rob Paone 🙂
Shameless plug… If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, definitely take a look at my book that was released in May. It’s a very quick read for anyone who is considering a career in software/technology sales, and documents my own opinions and personal experiences breaking into the software sales space.
This book does not focus on the technique of selling, but is more focused on why I think a software sales career is something that you should consider and how you can get into the industry once you make the conscience decision to go for it!
Have you read a sales book recently that’s blown you away? If so, please mention it below in the comments for two reasons. #1 I’d love to read the book so I can apply it to my own career as a sales professional. #2 I’d like to update this list to include it so that everyone else can read it as well.
Looking forward to hearing your own suggestions and happy reading/listening/selling!