30 Best Books on Sales (Recommended by Top Sales Professionals)

Kathryn is the Managing Editor of the Mailshake blog and author of The Business Blog Handbook. She loves using her content strategy skills to help professionals share their expertise.
  • August 14, 2019

If you’re looking for the best books on sales, you know how hard it is to pick truly valuable books from all the rest.

So the question is…

What are sales professionals reading to stay on top of their game? What are the tactics they’re talking about and adopting to improve their results?

To find out, I went straight to the source. I asked some of the top salespeople in the industry: VPs, coaches, closers, and developers. Keep reading to learn what they recommend as the absolute best books for anyone in sales.

The Best Books on Sales, According to the Pros

best books on sales

Pitch Anything

Oren Klaff

A good friend and consummate salesperson recommended this one to me because it transformed the way he interacts with people — whether he’s actively selling or not. The S.T.R.O.N.G. Method taught in this book helps you identify hurdles to selling and tips for reading subtle shifts in power during meetings. If you want to regain control of the agenda and flow of your meetings, this sales book is a must-read.

Sales Acceleration Formula

Mark Roberge

According to Lucia Piseddu, founder of the BD School, describes this one as “enlightening.” It gives a scalable, predictable approach to grow revenue and build a winning sales team. It’s the same methodology Roberge used to lead HubSpot to acquire and retain the company’s first 10,000 customers across more than 60 countries. In other words, it’s a proven process that makes sales predictable.

Predictable Revenue

Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler

If predictable sales is what you’re after (and who isn’t?), you’ll probably agree with Dmitry Chervonyi, who calls this the “sales Bible” for his sales team. This isn’t yet another book about how to cold call or close deals. It’s a guidebook for building a reliable sales machine. Learn the outbound sales process that helped add $100 million ARR to Salesforce, and the 7 fatal sales mistakes you need to avoid.

Predictable Prospecting

Marylou Tyler and Jeremey Donovan

This is one of my favorites. It’s an easy-to-read and easy-to-apply guide to develop a solid, sustainable pipeline for B2B sales. It shows you how to target and track your ideal prospects, optimize contact acquisition, continually improve performance, and hit your revenue goals quickly, efficiently, and predictably.

The Challenger Sale

Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

This book is going to challenge everything you thought you knew about sales. The premise? That relationship-building is a flawed approach. Instead, you need to take control of the sale, reframing customer expectations and delivering a distinctive purchase experience that leads to loyalty and growth. Here, you’ll learn how to become the Challenger sales rep who drives a new level of results.

The Challenger Customer

Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, Pat Spenner, and Nick Toman

The authors of The Challenger Sale didn’t sit on their laurels after releasing their findings about the Challenger seller. They continued their research and found that being a Challenger isn’t enough. You also need to challenge the right people, particularly in today’s complex multi-stakeholder deals. This book helps you identify the hidden influencer and gives you a blueprint for engaging and equipping them to challenge their organization from within.

The Way of the Wolf 

Jordan Belfort

Jordan Belfort is the original Wolf of Wall Street, played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the eponymous movie. Here, Belfort opens his playbook and pulls back the curtain on the step-by-step system he used to create massive wealth for himself, his clients, and his sales teams. Crack the code on how to persuade anyone to do anything. 

RELATED: Top 21 Sales Management Books

Eat Their Lunch

Anthony Iannarino

According to David Breshears, this book is “critical strategic and tactical advice for transitioning sales from a blue ocean to a highly competitive market.” Sometimes, to win the deal, you have to steal customers away from your competition — but you have to be able to do that without losing trust. This book shows you how to create a long-term competitive advantage that you can sustain.

Never Split the Difference

Chris Voss

Written by a former FBI international hostage negotiator, this book helps you navigate high-stakes negotiations as if your life depended on it. Voss shares 9 counterintuitive principles that take emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level. Use them to become more persuasive in every aspect of your life. Michael Cavopol says this one is “VERY good.” And Daniel Episcope, Sales Engineer at DialSource, calls this, “One of my all-time favorites!”

To Sell Is Human

Daniel H. Pink

Pink uses social science to offer fresh (and counterintuitive) insights into the craft of selling — like extraverts don’t actually make the best salespeople, and giving people an “out” can be more effective than persuasive power. Learn 6 new alternatives to the elevator pitch, 3 rules to understand other people’s perspective, 5 frames that clear up your message, and insights that transform how you operate professionally and personally.

The Inner Edge

Joelle K. Jay

Not truly a sales book, this is still essential reading for anyone in leadership or positions of influence. Written by an executive coach and Principal with the Leadership Research Institute, it includes the same exercises and worksheets she uses with high-level executives who want to level up their leadership skills.

10x Rule

Grant Cardone

Paul Gordon tells me this is his all-time favorite sales book. It takes you beyond the normal degrees of action — namely, no action, retreat, or normal action — by describing a 4th degree, known as massive action. To achieve extreme success, says Cardone, you need to take massive action. This book tells you how, so you easily achieve your goals.

Start with Why

Simon Sinek

Why do some people or organizations achieve more innovation, more influence, and higher profits? It’s all about why they do what they do. Sinek details a radical principle, namely, that people only buy into a product, service, movement, or idea when they understand the “why” behind it. Learn the framework for finding your why and how to rally those who believe.

Spin Selling

Neil Rackham

Essential reading for anyone involved in selling or managing a sales force. Here, you’ll learn why traditional sales methods don’t work for large sales. You’ll let real-world examples, graphics, and case studies aimed to help you produce record-breaking high-end sales performance.

The Slight Edge

Jeff Olson

The original edition of this book explored how you can create powerful results from simple daily activities, using the tools that are already within you. This 8th-anniversary edition shares the obvious next step: using the Slight Edge to achieve happiness and the ripple effect.

The Transparency Sale

Todd Caponi

To build trust and dramatically reduce buyer skepticism, you need to do the opposite of what most sales courses tell you to do. As counterintuitive as it may seem, leading with your flaws can give you a faster close and higher win rates. The key? Transparency and unexpected honesty. 


Mike Weinberg

This book is a blunt wake-up call to salespeople who are chasing bright shiny solutions — and refocuses your attention on a proven approach that actually drives results. Get past the noise, and bring back the sanity. Weinberg gives you proven, powerful principles that help you master the fundamentals of selling. 

Sales Management Simplified

Mike Weinberg

“Loved it,” reported Amy Volas. Here, Weinberg tells it straight, calling out the mistakes that plague the best-intentioned sales managers. Stop undermining the performance of your employees. Learn how to implement a simple framework for sales leadership, foster a high-performance sales culture, and other valuable strategies for leveling up your sales team.

Top of Mind

John Hall

“Spoke to my Sales/marketing/business owner soul,” said Amy Volas. In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to use content to keep your brand front and center in the minds of decision-makers who matter. Business is always about relationships, about a human connection. This book will help you position yourself for success by staying top of mind.

81 Days to Becoming an Online Marketing Sales Machine

Kelvin Dorsey

Written for both the novice and the seasoned online marketer, this book will help you improve your sales. You’ll learn actionable sales tactics, such as the “steal the market” method used by General Motors’ Alfred P. Sloan, tricks to effortlessly turn nos into yeses, the Earnest Hemingway sales method, and more.

Sales Differentiation

Lee B. Salz

Here, you’ll find 19 easy-to-implement concepts to help you win deals while protecting margins. The key? How you sell, not just what you sell, makes all the difference. Read this book to learn how to knock out the competition, build profitable relationships, and win deals at the price you want. 

Fanatical Prospecting

Jeb Blount

This book explains the why and how behind the most important activity in sales and business development — prospecting. Learn the secrets, techniques, and tips of top earners, and position yourself to fill your pipeline with an endless stream of high-quality opportunities. 

Selling to VITO 

Anthony Parinello

This book gives you one-on-one support to catapult your sales career, catapult your earnings, and shock your sales manager. You’ll learn how to stop wasting time, reduce rejections, and working insanely hard for small sales. On the flip side, you’ll learn how to boost your sales up to 65%, cut your sales cycle in half, and get 120% more add-on business from your existing customers. 

Sales Engagement

Manny Medina, Max Altschuler, Mark Kosoglow

If you want to build the top of the funnel and generate qualified leads, you need to create connection, generate attention and interest, and create a buying opportunity. You need to master sales engagement. In this book, you’ll get insider secrets for humanizing sales, applying A/B testing, and taking your sales process to the next level with a modern sales engagement strategy.

Sales Books for Complex Sales

Best books for complex sales

Mastering the Complex Sale, 2nd ed.

Jeff Thull

When the stakes are high, you need a way to stand out and win. For that, professional customer guidance is key. In this book, Thull shares a value-based approach that positions you as the most credible solution and removes customers’ internal barriers to moving forward. One reviewer called this “the essential read for any organization looking to transform their business for long-term, value-driven growth.”

Sales EQ

Jeb Blount

Technology gives buyers more information, more choices, and more control over the sales process than ever before. To overcome, you need to leverage a new psychology of selling — Sales EQ — to effectively influence buying decisions. Here, Blount gives you insights, tools, and frameworks to reach ultra-high performance and earnings with any sales process, industry, or deal complexity.

Big Companies

Jill Konrath

This is a classic, but it’s still relevant for anyone selling to enterprise organizations. Konrath lays out smart strategies for cracking into big accounts, shrinking your sales cycle, and closing more business.

RELATED: Top 10 Sales & Marketing Books To Rapidly Grow and Scale Your Business

Other Must-Read Sales Books

classic books on sales

Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill

Originally printed in March 1937, this is still the go-to guide for achieving peak success. Hill draws on stories from Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation, documenting their principles and breaking them down so anyone can learn and apply them.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie

This is a true classic that was recommended by several people. Be aware, it’s been updated (see below) with tactics for the digital age. According to James Crisp, the updates were needed but the original is still his favorite. I believe it. In this (original) version, you get foundational principles for making people like you, winning them to your way of thinking, changing people without creating resentment, and more. These are timeless tips that will be relevant for generations to come.

How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age

Dale Carnegie

An update to the classic How to Win Friends and Influence People, this book reboots Carnegie’s original success principles to tame the complexities of modern times. Learn how to communicate diplomatically and tactfully, leverage an online network, amplify your message, optimize the power of digital tools, and more.

Want to Improve Your Sales Game?

sales books

These sales books are your best option for stepping up your game in every area. 

My recommendation? Start with your greatest weakness. Select a few of these books, and put their tactics to work. Then move on to the next sales skill you want to improve.

Make it a goal to read at least one book a month — and apply everything you learn. I can almost guarantee you’ll become the star performer on your sales team.

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