24 Best Sales Books to Read in 2021

Home » Books » Sales BooksUpdated: October 13, 2021

You found our list of top sales books.

Sales books are guides that teach sales personnel how to build relationships with clients and close deals. These works cover topics such as negotiation, lead generation, sales management, and human psychology. The purpose of these books is to teach sales staff to better understand the client’s perspective in order to achieve and exceed quotas.

These guides are a subset of business books, and also share similarities with books on business strategy and entrepreneur books.

This list includes:

  • sales books for beginners
  • sales books for entrepreneurs
  • sales management books
  • sales psychology books
  • sales training books
  • sales books on closing
  • sales books for small businesses

Here is the list!

List of sales books

From new releases to classic bestsellers, here is a list of books on sales that help professionals close deals, boost revenue, and gain longtime clients.

1. The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies by Chet Holmes

The ultimate sales machine book cover

The Ultimate Sales Machine is one of the best sales books for small businesses. While most sales guides speak specifically to salespeople, this book is useful for anyone who owns or runs a business. Chet Holmes teaches readers effective strategies for gaining new customers and maximizing current clientele, through methods such as time management, training, marketing, and client vetting. The book lays out strategies for coming up with goals and priorities and making good use of time and budget so that sales decisions have the highest possible return on investment. The Ultimate Sales Machine is a playbook of high-impact sales tactics that is useful for organizations of all sizes and industries.

Notable Quote: “The one who gives the market the most and best information will always slaughter the one who just wants to sell products or services.”

Buy The Ultimate Sales Machine, and check out more books for small businesses.

2. Sales Management. Simplified.: The Straight Truth About Getting Exceptional Results from Your Sales Team by Mike Weinberg

Sales management book cover

As the title suggests, Sales Management. Simplified. is one of the most straightforward sales management books. The book teaches leaders how to coach salespeople and create a healthy and productive sales culture. This guide gives tips on how to avoid micromanagement or savoir behavior and increase accountability among sales staff. Sales Management. Simplified. is full of practical and actionable advice for developing and maintaining strong sales teams that get excellent results.

Notable Quote: “When salespeople lead with their product or service, it is impossible to be perceived as consultants or trusted advisors. It makes it as clear as day that the salesperson believes the relationship and sale are centered on his offering, not the customer and its needs. It’s as if the salesperson is begging the customer to put his offering’s features and price on a spreadsheet to be compared against every competitors’ features and price.”

Buy Sales Management. Simplified, and check out more books on management.

3. 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 by Keenan

Gap Selling book cover

Gap Selling presents a masterclass in closing deals. The book seeks to dismantle common sales myths and get to the heart of what convinces clients to say “yes.” The goals of this guide are to shorten the sales cycle, defeat hesitancy, boost revenue, and satisfy clients in the process. The main strategy for achieving this end is to align the salesperson’s goals with the clients, and make the main aim of the interaction to solve the customer’s problems instead of simply earning money. Keenan promises that by focusing on the client and understanding the prospects’ psychology, salespeople can be more successful. Gap Selling offers tips and suggestions for empathizing with clients and finding out what potential customers really want and really want to hear.

Notable Quote: “Because longevity promotes favorability, it may confer legitimacy.”

Buy Gap Selling.

4. Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life by Grant Cardone

Sell or be sold book cover

Sell or Be Sold applies the principles of sales to broader circumstances and shows readers how to come out on top in any situation. The book teaches skills like how to weather uncertainty and withstand resistance, and how to take control of the sales narrative and spin the story in your favor. This guide also touches on ways to find reliable data and interpret numbers effectively. Grant Cardone identifies the behaviors and traits that distinguish amateurs from professionals and professionals from greats. More importantly, the book shows how to establish credibility in front of clients and gain and maintain the advantage in interactions. The underlying theme of this work is that sales professionals should be fully on board with what they sell and find passion for the product. Sell or Be Sold is a proactive sales manual for professionals who aim to embrace the sales lifestyle and stay one step ahead of customers or competitors.

Notable Quote: “Become so sold, so convinced, so committed to your company, product, and service that you believe it would be a terrible thing for the buyer to do business anywhere else with any other product.”

Buy Sell or Be Sold.

5. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends & Influence People

How to Win Friends & Influence People is one of the most classic and essential sales books in existence. This work is a practical guide for getting people to like you, consider your opinions, and even change their ways of thinking– in other words, the main aspirations of sales. Dale Carnegie lays out strategies, tips, and etiquette to help the reader be influential without seeming aggressive. In the sales world, winning a client is often just as much about getting clients to like your persona as much as liking the product, and this book lays out foolproof ways to achieve this end. Most sales professionals have read How to Win Friends & Influence People in school or at a point in their careers, however the book merits a reread. Carnegie’s pearls of wisdom still ring true almost a hundred years after the books’ initial publication.

Notable Quote: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Buy How to Win Friends & Influence People.

6. Way of the Wolf: Straight Line Selling: Master the Art of Persuasion, Influence, and Success by Jordan Belfort

the way of the wolf book cover

Although the notorious Jordan Belfort’s ethics are questionable, even critics have to admit that the man is a skilled salesman. In Way of the Wolf, Belfort imparts the secrets of his success in the sales world. The book covers topics such as prospecting, reading body language and tone, making strong first impressions, pitching with fine-tuned intention, and overcoming rejection. Echoing the “sell me this pen” scene in The Wolf of Wall Street, Way of the Wolf drives at the heart of human behavior and channels in on the factors that influence agreement during negotiations.

Notable Quote: “In terms of the split between logic and emotion, you’re always going to build airtight logical cases first and airtight emotional cases second. Why? Quite simply, by making the airtight logical case first, you satisfy your prospect’s bullsh*t detector, which then frees them up to be moved emotionally.”

Buy Way of the Wolf.

7. New Sales. Simplified.: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development by Mike Weinberg

new sales simplified book cover

New Sales. Simplified is a breakdown for gaining new business. The text talks about how to hone in on promising leads, get in front of customers and get meetings, and build rapport with clients. In particular, the author explains how to launch meaningful dialogues, earn trust, and transform contacts into regular clients. This work also explores the common pitfalls and mistakes of prospecting, techniques for building a company culture that supports the sales team, and optimal timing for moving to the next stage of the sales process, including when to strike and make an offer. New Sales. Simplified is a step-by-step guide for expertly navigating the sales funnel from start to finish.

Notable Quote: “The best intentions, target account lists, and powerful sales weapons are useless if we never launch the attack.”

Buy New Sales. Simplified.

8. The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales by Trish Bertuzzi

the sales development playbook book cover

The Sales Development Playbook is a step-by-step guide for building and nurturing a robust sales pipeline. This guide shows how to pace the buyer journey for internal sales. Seasoned sales veteran Trish Bertuzzi prescribes tactics for specializing and narrowing down a target audience, recruiting and training a promising sales team, executing smart sales strategies, and choosing leaders who can steer this whole process skillfully. By following this formula, The Sales Development Playbook promises that companies can tap into an ever-growing pool of leads and steadily yet quickly grow a dedicated customer base.

Notable Quote: “Sales development should be teeing up introductory meetings so that the account executive can do the work of educating the prospect and developing that curiosity into interest.”

Buy The Sales Development Playbook.

9. Sales Secrets: The World’s Top Salespeople Share Their Secrets to Success by Brandon Bornancin

Sales Secrets book cover

Sales Secrets is an anthology of wisdom from some of the biggest names in the industry, including Jordan Beflort, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Jeffrey Gitomer. The book is full of anecdotes and advice on the art of persuasion, strategy, and relationship-building. These collected interviews give readers the opportunity to glimpse inside the minds of some of the brightest stars in the industry. The resulting narrative touches on themes such as messaging, confidence, transparency, closing, and pacing the sales cycle. These pages contain no fluff or get-rich-quick schemes, just best practices, tested techniques, and lessons learned from sales thought leaders.

Notable Quote: “Anything you want to achieve, you just have to learn from and model the experts!”

Buy Sales Secrets.

10. Virtual Selling: How to Build Relationships, Differentiate, and Win Sales Remotely by Mike Schultz, Dave Shaby, and Andy Springer

Virtual selling book cover

With the advent of the internet, remote sales have skyrocketed in recent years. Even before the pandemic caused widespread shutdowns, the ease of technology made selling online a more common practice. Internet sales are bound to keep growing in years to come. However, this medium presents unique challenges and requires a different approach than traditional sales. Virtual Selling is a guidebook to navigating the digital sales cycle. The book explores how to attract attention in a crowded landscape, foster relationships despite digital distance, and read customer cues via more indirect methods of communication. This guide shows readers which traditional tactics need tweaking to successfully coach potential customers through the digital sales pipeline.

Notable Quote: “How do sellers gain new skills and master the new dynamic of selling virtually? It starts with the first step: being the lightbulb that wants to change.”

Buy Virtual Selling.

11. The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy

The psychology of selling book cover

The Psychology of Selling is one of the top best selling sales psychology books. Brian Tracy teaches readers how to get inside customer’s heads and better understand the logic behind the decision making process. Chapters explore areas such as getting more appointments and using the power of suggestion to close deals. The text lays out innovative ways to attract attention and means of making offerings more attractive, all in the service of meeting sales goals. Beyond analyzing customers, the book also describes the characteristics of effective salespeople and identifies the 10 keys to success in selling. The Psychology of Selling forms a foundation for strong sales approaches and helps salespeople adopt productive mindsets.

Notable Quote: “Invest in yourself; continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in selling.”

Buy The Psychology of Selling.

12. Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact by Phil M. Jones

exactly what to say cover

Exactly What to Say is one of the best sales books for entrepreneurs. This work focuses on the role language plays in persuasion. Phil Jones explains how word choice and narrative structure can influence opinion and drive decisions. The book’s scope reaches beyond sales and is useful for arenas such as leadership, branding, and recruitment. The book’s main mission is to show readers how to use mindful language to achieve intentional results. Exactly What to Say provides an instructional manual for crafting messages to stand out, convey your vision, and convince audiences of your capabilities.

Notable Quote: “The real world tells us that people will work far harder to avoid a potential loss than they will to achieve a potential gain. Greater than that is the fact that the more contrast you can create between where somebody does not want to be and where they hope to be, the more likely you are to get people to move.”

Buy Exactly What to Say.

13. Selling 101: What Every Successful Sales Professional Needs to Know by Zig Ziglar

selling 101 book cover

Selling 101 is one of the most helpful sales books for beginners. Sales guru Zig Ziglar covers the foundations of the profession and offers advice on topics such as finding promising potential leads, overcoming reluctance, anticipating customer needs and questions, and employing a solutions-driven approach. Beyond closing deals, the book teaches readers how to ensure customer satisfaction and nurture lasting relationships that lead to future sales. Selling 101 is a valuable reference for any sales rookie looking for a breakdown of the basics.

Notable Quote: “A “prospect” has a need for the product, a possible desire to own that product, and the financial capacity to implement that decision. You “spend” time with suspects; you “invest” time with prospects.”

Buy Selling 101.

14. The Most Powerful Woman in the Room Is You: Command an Audience and Sell Your Way to Success by Lydia Fenet

The most powerful woman in the room is you book cover

The Most Powerful Woman in the Room Is You is one of the best sales books for women. As an executive and auctioneer at Christie’s, Lydia Fenet has firsthand experience with cultivating a presence and being a high-powered female sales professional. The author offers guidance on how to overcome imposter syndrome, stay composed in high pressure and fast paced sales environments, and develop a persona and charisma that captivates targets. The Most Powerful Woman in the Room Is You shows saleswomen how to find inner power and confidence, leave a lasting impression with skeptical prospects, and dominate within the field.

Notable Quote: “Your “Strike Method” needs to be something that feels authentic to you– something that you can use every time you walk into a room so that you feel confident and comfortable from the minute you engage with the people in front of you.”

Buy The Most Powerful Woman in the Room Is You.

15. Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling by Jeb Blount

fanatical prospecting cover

Fanatical Prospecting is an instructional guide to starting the sales process by finding promising potential clients. Sales expert Jeb Blount outlines how to identify likely leads and begin conversations. The book covers a variety of communication mediums including cold calling, email, and social media, and recommends the best messaging and approach for each channel. This resource drives home the importance of prospecting and keeping a full pipeline and gives readers a practical toolkit to practice this craft.

Notable Quote: “There is no easy button in sales. Prospecting is hard, emotionally draining work, and it is the price you have to pay to earn a high income.”

Buy Fanatical Prospecting.

16. The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

the challenger sale book cover

The Challenger Sale is a blueprint for high sales performance. The book asserts that all sales people fall into one of five profiles, the most successful of which is the Challenger. This salesperson overturns the customer’s preconceived notions and is able to show clients concepts in a brand new light. The result of this approach is less buyer’s remorse and increased customer satisfaction, conditions that improve customer retention and builds a more loyal clientele. Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson insist that any member of the organization can become this archetype and explain how. The Challenger Sale shows sales team members how to unlock their full potential and become more intentional in customer interactions.

Notable Quote: “Customers aren’t looking for reps to anticipate, or “discover,” needs they already know they have, but rather to teach them about opportunities to make or save money that they didn’t even know were possible.”

Buy The Challenger Sale.

17. Start with No: The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don’t Want You to Know by Jim Camp

start with no book cover

Start with No is one of the best sales books on closing. This resource teaches readers how to reverse engineer negotiations by assuming rejection, and working backwards to decode and untangle the possible causes of this rejection. By understanding and anticipating the reasons a client might decline, sales pros can more effectively steer the conversation towards a positive conclusion.

Beyond getting the customer to agree and sign contracts, Jim Camp shows sales folk how to make clients feel secure in the conversation, and listen rather than assuming or overpowering the lead. The book also explains how to maintain the upper hand by never seeming desperate, knowing your worth, and avoiding time-wasting leads. Start with No is the ultimate guide for getting inside a customer’s head and ending the conversation with a “yes.”

Notable Quote: “When the going gets tough in a negotiation, your biggest challenge will be your ability to nurture your adversary in spite of everything else going on.”

Buy Start with No.

18. What Every BODY Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People by Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins

What every body is saying book cover

What Every BODY Is Saying is a primer on reading and interpreting body language. Former FBI officer Joe Navarro teaches readers how to speed-read conversation partners. The book follows a set of commandments, such as, “when you interact with others, try to establish their baseline behaviors,” and “it’s important to look for changes in a person’s behavior that can signal changes in thoughts, emotions, interest, or intent.” While not written exclusively as a sales book, What Every BODY Is Saying helps salespeople pick up on and respond to nonverbal cues during client conversations.

Notable Quote: “By examining what’s normal, we begin to recognize and identify what’s abnormal.”

Buy What Every BODY Is Saying.

19. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

to sell is human book cover

To Sell Is Human revolves around the idea that sales is not such an unnatural process, but rather, is the default for most people. At any given moment, most individuals are trying to sell something, for instance, by bargaining over weekend plans with a spouse or convincing kids to finish vegetables. This book explores this instinct to convince and how to best channel this impulse. Along the way, Daniel H. Pink pinpoints the essential components of the elevator pitch and lays out a framework for composing stronger and clearer messages. To Sell Is Human is proof that there is a salesperson in every human, and a means of maximizing the potential for folks already in the profession.

Notable Quote: “To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources—not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.”

Buy To Sell Is Human.

20. A Mind for Sales: Daily Habits and Practical Strategies for Sales Success by Mark Hunter CSP

While many sales books focus on macro goals, A Mind for Sales centers on the micro level routines that transform into long term success. Mark Hunter teaches sales professionals how to build a winning mindset and practice habits that lead to long term success. Examples of Hunter’s tips include to never end a workday without forming a plan for the following day, to measure results, and to minimize time spent with questionable prospects. The book also shows salespeople how to weather rejections, build resiliency, and maintain a positive and confident outlook. A Mind for Sales provides a recipe for recurring, day-to-day success in sales.

Notable Quote: “We don’t close a sale, we open a relationship”

Buy A Mind for Sales.

21. Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff

pitch anything book cover

Pitch Anything is a guide for telling compelling sales stories. This book breaks down the perfect the pitch into a formula called the STRONG method:

  • Setting the Frame
  • Telling the Story
  • Revealing the Intrigue
  • Offering the Prize
  • Nailing the Hookpoint
  • Getting a Decision

Oren Klaff provides examples and case studies that illustrate this method. The book teaches readers tips and tricks for presenting products in a way that captures attention and leads to conversion. Pitch Anything is a step-by-step instruction manual that shows salespeople how to craft compelling

Notable Quote: “Our thought process exactly matches our evolution: First, survival. Then, social relationships. Finally, problem solving.”

Buy Pitch Anything.

22. Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeffery H. Gitomer

the little red book of selling book cover

The Little Red Book of Selling functions as a quick reference guide for sales professionals. The book is laid out in an indexable format, with the craft of selling broken down into sections and easily digestible steps. This work covers concepts such as reducing risk for customers, personal branding, relationship building, and the creation of value for clients. Far from being dry, the prose is written in an entertaining and conversational tone. Reading this is like having a conversation with a colleague or mentor, except Gitomer is a leader in the field. The Little Red Book of Selling is a pep talk that fits in your pocket.

Notable Quote: “Attitude allows you to see the possibilities when opportunity strikes — because it often shows up in the form of adversity. How well do you spot opportunity?”

Buy Little Red Book of Selling.

23. How to Sell Anything to Anybody by Joe Girard

How to sell anything to anybody book cover

Joe Girad has a reputation for being one of the best salesmen in the country. In How to Sell Anything to Anybody, Girard reveals the framework to cinch deals with high rates of success. This book dispels common misconceptions about the sales profession. For instance, the art is about understanding the customer and tailoring the approach to fit the needs and tastes of the individual. To perform consistently well within the industry, professionals need a commitment to the craft. Sales is not a straight shot to finish line, but a continual journey. Girard does not only preach best practices, but advocates for sales as a lifestyle and way of seeing the world.

Notable Quote: “The process that leads to that victory should start long before you ever see your prospect for the first time. And it goes on long after the customer signs the order, pays, and leaves with his purchase. In fact, if you think the sale ends when, like they say in the car business, you see the customer’s taillights, you’re going to lose more sales than you ever dreamed of. But if you understand how selling can be a continuing process that never ends, then you’re going to make it to the big time.”

Buy How to Sell Anything to Anybody.

24. The Ultimate Sales Training Success Guide: Transfer Success Skills to People to Learn More So They (and You) Can Earn More by Miranda Martin

Ultimate sales training guide book cover

The Ultimate Sales Training Success Guide is one of the best new sales training books. Miranda Martin uses her expertise as a traveling sales trainer to show other prospective teachers methods of instruction that reach students and produce strong salespeople. This guide gives realistic expectations of classroom environments and suggests strategies for handling hiccups and overcoming learning obstacles. Martin offers up a repeatable formula for manufacturing a skilled salesforce.

Notable Quote: “Being an effective trainer isn’t a hobby. It takes intention and focus. You need to be clear on what you are training and what you want your trainee to get out of it. You need to get buy-in from the trainee before you present the material. You need a clear roadmap for the trainee to understand when and where to use this material. You also need to inspect what you expect. You need to have actionable goals for each training session.”

Buy The Ultimate Sales Training Success Guide.

Final Thoughts

Good salespeople learn continually, and part of that process involves reading new ideas and strategies. Sales books are effective delivery methods for new tactics and techniques. By reading these guides, salespeople can better understand the client psyche, and thus guide the buyer’s journey.

The lessons learned from these books can result in increased skill, greater confidence, and more closed deals. While reading can not automatically transform a person into a stellar seller, these books provide a solid knowledge base to build upon.

For more reading recommendations, check out these lists of change management books and books and books on marketing.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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