The best sales books

9 authors have picked their favorite books about sales and why they recommend each book.

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Hacking Sales

By Max Altschuler,

Book cover of Hacking Sales: The Playbook for Building a High-Velocity Sales Machine

Max is one of the thought leaders in modern sales development and acceleration. His book is full of actionable advice for the modern sales rep – and entrepreneur – to blast through the building and closing of a sales pipeline. Since entrepreneurship requires selling, I highly recommend this book.


Who am I?

I studied economics and environmental policy but landed in entrepreneurship. I wrote The Parallel Entrepreneur after I sold my first company and continued to work on Rbucks, my blog, after I joined the next company. Outside of work I volunteer frequently in my community. I’m an Associate Professor in the Business Department at Diablo Valley College, where I teach marketing and sit on the advisory boards for both the Business and Computer Science departments. I also lead the Diablo Valley Tech Initiative (DVTI), an economic development organization incubated at DVC. Related to DVTI, I run Lamorinda Entrepreneurs, a community group that promotes and supports local entrepreneurship. I have a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.


I wrote...

The Parallel Entrepreneur: How to start and run B2B businesses while keeping your day job

By Ryan Buckley,

Book cover of The Parallel Entrepreneur: How to start and run B2B businesses while keeping your day job

What is my book about?

Building a product on the internet is relatively easy these days. It's the making money part that's hard. I wrote this book to help you become a parallel entrepreneur faster than I did, and to encourage you to do so while you have the safety net of a day job.

I've divided this book into two parts: Theory and Tactics. The Theory section will cover all sides of parallel entrepreneurship and lean on both my experiences and those of others who have also ventured into parallel entrepreneurship. The Tactics section covers everything you need to know in order to plan, build, and run a business on the internet -- all while keeping your day job.

The Only Sales Guide You'll Ever Need

By Anthony Iannarino,

Book cover of The Only Sales Guide You'll Ever Need

Selling is and always has been about the personal relationship between the buyer and the seller. People buy from people they know and trust. Iannarino does a fantastic job outlining the essential behaviors (self-discipline, accountability, competitiveness, resourcefulness, storytelling, diagnosing) for effective sales and these principles will be requisite for all startup founders.

Who am I?

I’m a serial entrepreneur who’s built and sold several startups. I’ve been helping non-venture-backed startup founders since 2005 and now I run the first startup accelerator for bootstrappers, called TinySeed. I’ve invested in 57 startups, but I don’t believe the only way to start a SaaS company is to raise money. I host the most popular podcast for bootstrappers, called Startups for the Rest of Us. I also run the most well-known conference and online community for non-venture-track SaaS founders, called MicroConf.


I wrote...

Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup

By Rob Walling,

Book cover of Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup

What is my book about?

Start Small, Stay Small is a step-by-step guide to launching a self-funded startup. If you're a developer, this book is your blueprint to getting your startup off the ground with no outside investment.

This book intentionally avoids topics restricted to venture-backed startups such as: honing your investment pitch, securing funding, and figuring out how to use the piles of cash investors keep placing in your lap. There's nothing wrong with pursuing venture funding and attempting to grow fast like Amazon, Google, Twitter, and Facebook. It just so happened that most people are not in a place to do this.

Gap Selling

By Keenan,

Book cover of Gap Selling: Getting the Customer to Yes: How Problem-Centric Selling Increases Sales by Changing Everything You Know About Relationships, Overcoming Objections, Closing and Price

Gap Selling is the best book written about selling in the past ten years. Keenan comes out swinging, keeps swinging, and swings hard. He pulls no punches, hits you with the truth, and you’d better be strong enough to handle what he dishes out. Keenan’s approach is modern, consultative, and it is the right book for these challenging times.


Who am I?

I've been selling professionally since 1973, and in the sales training and development business for more than 36 years. I founded Objective Management Group, the world’s leading provider of sales force evaluations and sales candidate assessments, and we have data on 2.2 million salespeople. OMG measures 21 Sales Core Competencies, so that’s around 250 findings on 2.2 million salespeople or close to 500 million data points! I've personally trained and coached tens of thousands of salespeople, sales managers, and sales leaders and I have published nearly 2,000 articles on my multi-award-winning blog, Understanding the Sales Force. I was installed in the Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame in 2013. 


I wrote...

Baseline Selling: How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know about the Game of Baseball

By Dave Kurlan,

Book cover of Baseline Selling: How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know about the Game of Baseball

What is my book about?

Baseline Selling - How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know About the Game of Baseball, will dramatically change the way we approach the sales process, replacing the gratuitous complexity advocated by today's sales "experts" with an elegant and very effective simplicity. 

Studies have shown that the selling techniques of the last two decades have had very little impact on most of the sales population. Why? Because of the complexity, learning curve, and difficulty in applying the concepts in these systems. In response to the urgent need for a flexible, innovative process that will enable people to grasp the essential skills necessary, Baseline Selling reemphasizes the fundamentals of selling in a fresh, memorable way that modern sales professionals can relate to and utilize. 

How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling

By Frank Bettger,

Book cover of How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling

Frank Betger was a sales guru before there were sales gurus! Most of his insights, despite being sixty years old, are still spot on and he influenced my sales consulting and writing career of thirty-five years and counting. Frank was a professional baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals prior to becoming a sales guru and everyone will relate to his story of failure and how he made himself successful.


Who am I?

I've been selling professionally since 1973, and in the sales training and development business for more than 36 years. I founded Objective Management Group, the world’s leading provider of sales force evaluations and sales candidate assessments, and we have data on 2.2 million salespeople. OMG measures 21 Sales Core Competencies, so that’s around 250 findings on 2.2 million salespeople or close to 500 million data points! I've personally trained and coached tens of thousands of salespeople, sales managers, and sales leaders and I have published nearly 2,000 articles on my multi-award-winning blog, Understanding the Sales Force. I was installed in the Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame in 2013. 


I wrote...

Baseline Selling: How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know about the Game of Baseball

By Dave Kurlan,

Book cover of Baseline Selling: How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know about the Game of Baseball

What is my book about?

Baseline Selling - How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know About the Game of Baseball, will dramatically change the way we approach the sales process, replacing the gratuitous complexity advocated by today's sales "experts" with an elegant and very effective simplicity. 

Studies have shown that the selling techniques of the last two decades have had very little impact on most of the sales population. Why? Because of the complexity, learning curve, and difficulty in applying the concepts in these systems. In response to the urgent need for a flexible, innovative process that will enable people to grasp the essential skills necessary, Baseline Selling reemphasizes the fundamentals of selling in a fresh, memorable way that modern sales professionals can relate to and utilize. 

New Sales. Simplified.

By Mike Weinberg,

Book cover of New Sales. Simplified.: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development

Everyone needs a handbook and New Sales. Simplified. is a good choice! I like Mike Weinberg’s book for several reasons, the first being his emphasis on Prospecting. While most sales experts have caved to the mob that runs the online marketing platforms that promised to replace salespeople, Mike flies in the face of the “prospecting is dead” crowd and shows you how to do it and how to get results. A must-have in any salesperson’s library!


Who am I?

I've been selling professionally since 1973, and in the sales training and development business for more than 36 years. I founded Objective Management Group, the world’s leading provider of sales force evaluations and sales candidate assessments, and we have data on 2.2 million salespeople. OMG measures 21 Sales Core Competencies, so that’s around 250 findings on 2.2 million salespeople or close to 500 million data points! I've personally trained and coached tens of thousands of salespeople, sales managers, and sales leaders and I have published nearly 2,000 articles on my multi-award-winning blog, Understanding the Sales Force. I was installed in the Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame in 2013. 


I wrote...

Baseline Selling: How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know about the Game of Baseball

By Dave Kurlan,

Book cover of Baseline Selling: How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know about the Game of Baseball

What is my book about?

Baseline Selling - How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know About the Game of Baseball, will dramatically change the way we approach the sales process, replacing the gratuitous complexity advocated by today's sales "experts" with an elegant and very effective simplicity. 

Studies have shown that the selling techniques of the last two decades have had very little impact on most of the sales population. Why? Because of the complexity, learning curve, and difficulty in applying the concepts in these systems. In response to the urgent need for a flexible, innovative process that will enable people to grasp the essential skills necessary, Baseline Selling reemphasizes the fundamentals of selling in a fresh, memorable way that modern sales professionals can relate to and utilize. 

Little Red Book of Selling

By Jeffrey Gitomer,

Book cover of Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness: How to Make Sales Forever

My good friend Jeffrey Gitomer is the man when it comes to sales training. His colorful book aims to demystify the basic principles of selling. The amusing cartoons and pithy advice make this fun book appealing and accessible. Gitomer is unashamedly enthusiastic about sales and sales negotiation. His prose is straightforward and realistic. The Little Red Book includes plenty of advice and practical ideas on every aspect of the sales process.


Who am I?

Ed Brodow is one of the world’s leading experts on the art of negotiation and the bestselling author of eight books, including the business classic Negotiation Boot Camp. SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt dubbed Ed “The King of Negotiators.” Forbes Magazine agreed, ranking Ed as one of the nation’s leading dealmakers. A nationally recognized television personality, Ed has appeared as a negotiation guru on ABC National News, Fox News, PBS, Inside Edition, and Fortune Business Report. For more than two decades, his acclaimed seminars have set the standard for "how to make a deal" in Corporate America. Ed is a former U.S. Marine officer, Fortune 500 sales manager, and Hollywood movie actor.


I wrote...

Negotiation Boot Camp: How to Resolve Conflict, Satisfy Customers, and Make Better Deals

By Ed Brodow,

Book cover of Negotiation Boot Camp: How to Resolve Conflict, Satisfy Customers, and Make Better Deals

What is my book about?

Negotiation expert Ed Brodow arms readers with the same proven strategies and tactics he teaches to the professional negotiators at Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, The Hartford, Learjet, McKinsey, Starbucks, British Aerospace, the IRS, and the Pentagon. Using a wealth of examples from real-life encounters, Brodow reveals how to develop the skills and confidence you need to achieve your goals at work and in your personal life. After completing Brodow’s basic training program, you will have learned how to conquer your fear of confrontation, develop your personal negotiation style, assess the other side’s strengths and weaknesses, master the art of listening, break through impasses, and create an atmosphere of trust in which the other party is a collaborator rather than a competitor.

Dirt Cheap

By Mark Hoffmann,

Book cover of Dirt Cheap

Birdie really wants a special soccer ball, the XR1000 Super Extreme. She starts selling dirt at 25 cents per bag, and soon has plenty of customers. While she does earn enough to buy the ball, she inadvertently creates a big problem. She has no yard left for playing soccer! What can she sell next in order to buy new soil for her lawn? This determined, creative soccer star’s story will inspire readers to persevere and amend for any oversights in their entrepreneurial ventures.


Who am I?

I have never picked a peck of pickles, but I have been a crossing guard, pet-sitter, and professional gift-wrapper. I’ve worked in department stores, banks, libraries, colleges, and even a middle school cafeteria. Every job has taught me about the value of hard work, allowed me to pursue a passion, and inspired me to connect with all kinds of people. My current job - picture book author - is my favorite! I write to empower and inspire readers with new ideas and encourage them, like my characters, to succeed by maintaining a positive attitude and a growth mindset!


I wrote...

Sloth and Squirrel in a Pickle

By Cathy Ballou Mealey, Kelly Collier (illustrator),

Book cover of Sloth and Squirrel in a Pickle

What is my book about?

Slow, sleepy Sloth and speedy, spunky Squirrel want to buy a tandem bicycle so they can go fast on fun adventures together. But the fancy bike is expensive! The two loveable, unlikely friends get jobs to earn bike money, but find they need lots of pickle packing practice. Sloth and Squirrel in a Pickle celebrates teamwork and ingenuity, offering many opportunities to discuss perseverance and growth mindset with humor and heart.

PyroMarketing

By Greg Stielstra,

Book cover of PyroMarketing: The Four-Step Strategy to Ignite Customer Evangelists and Keep Them for Life

Sales of Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life and Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ were driven in part by techniques outlined in PyroMarketing by Greg Stielstra. The essence of the book is to get small groups of people to buy and read your book and tell their friends. You start this by going to the people most likely to want to read your book and expand from there.

This book covers the essential elements of how to motivate people to buy a book and start word-of-mouth marketing. I’ve listened to the audiobook several times as it's just as packed with solid information authors can use.


Who am I?

I am a book publicist and President of Westwind Book Marketing, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. I work with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. I’ve handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers, and Adventurers. My clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, and Howard Stern. 


I wrote...

Book Title Generator: A Proven System in Naming Your Book

By Scott Lorenz,

Book cover of Book Title Generator: A Proven System in Naming Your Book

What is my book about?

As a Book Publicist I have helped title hundreds of books and promoted hundreds more. I am a student of book titles and share my nearly three decades of book marketing experience with authors in this book.

 

I ask authors to consider all options in the quest for the perfect book title. From using numbers, alliteration, idioms, and keyword research, Book Title Generator covers them all.

The Ultimate Sales Machine

By Chet Holmes,

Book cover of The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies

I appreciate foundational books that can stand the test of time and this book is one such book in the realm of business. Not only does it lay out insightful business-building strategies that help create efficiency and longevity in your business, you’ll also find golden nuggets of insights that apply to marketing as well. Some of the systematic approaches outlined in the book provided inspiration for our own boo.


Who am I?

I am an entrepreneur and an investor with a background in engineering from Harvey Mudd College and University of Southern California. I co-founded Deviate Labs, a boutique growth marketing agency with my business partner, Chad Riddersen. Our growth marketing agency leverages my engineering pedigree and my business partner’s investment pedigree for a unique approach to marketing that we lend to our consulting engagements and our own initiatives. Together, we co-authored the book, Growth Hacking: Silicon Valley’s Best Kept Secret. I am passionate about investing in and developing both people and businesses and these books I recommend have helped me become better at doing so.


I wrote...

Growth Hacking: Silicon Valley's Best Kept Secret

By Raymond Fong, Chad Riddersen,

Book cover of Growth Hacking: Silicon Valley's Best Kept Secret

What is my book about?

It’s a crash course on marketing in today’s fast-paced digital age. Raymond and Chad wrote it specifically with startup founders and business owners in mind who have little marketing experience but appreciate its importance in their business growth. It provides a powerful framework called the Automated Sales Process™ (ASP™) that helps readers contextualize marketing in a systematic manner and provides a roadmap for execution. 

Work Less, Make More

By James Schramko,

Book cover of Work Less, Make More: The counter-intuitive approach to building a profitable business, and a life you actually love

James is one of my friends and mentors and when he speaks, I listen. He has the rare ability to condense decades of wisdom into a handful of principles & strategies that anybody can use to quickly increase their income. Most of the book contains simple, common-sense strategies that will have you nodding your head and then scratching it, wondering how you didn’t think of doing it that way before. Reading this book was also a personal revelation for me because it inspired me to write my first book and even inspired the title.


Who am I?

I have been interested in motivation, productivity, and growth my whole life. I find it fascinating how we all have 24 hours; however, some people can maximize that time to create success while others let it go to waste. It all comes down to mindset. As an entrepreneur, I’ve consumed countless books, courses, and coaching programs to create what I call the “Rockstar Mind.” It has helped me tour the world opening for bands like KISS, write two best-selling books and 3 hit songs, and run two online businesses while supporting my young family during a global pandemic. I’m always looking for the edge to create more impact in my day.


I wrote...

Hobby Boss: Turn Your Passion Into Profits Online

By Steve Mastroianni,

Book cover of Hobby Boss: Turn Your Passion Into Profits Online

What is my book about?

Have you ever wished you could make money doing what you love? Hobby Boss is a simple step-by-step system for creating a profitable online business out of your favourite hobby—by teaching that hobby to other

enthusiasts!

Based on my own success in building a six-figure annual revenue with my hobby business, Hobby Boss walks you through my “Four Pillars of Profit” for creating and growing any online hobby enterprise. Use them to quickly create your first solution, your first sale, and your first customer success story. By following the steps laid out in each chapter, you’ll have your own Hobby Business Plan filled out and ready to launch in twenty-four hours or less!

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