Top 20 Sales Books for a Sales 2.0 World

It’s a question I’ve been asked a lot over the last few years. “What are the best sales books?”

Here’s my top 20 sales books somewhat in order (putting them in order is super-tough for me as it’s like choosing between children but I took my best shot).

If there’s enough interest I’ll dig down into individual reviews of each book in future post (or at least say the top 5 or 10). Let me know via the comments if you fancy that.

Keep in mind this is my personal list (no panel of judges here – maybe for another list later on). All these puppies are on my bookshelf and are well dog-eared. But there are still tons of sales books I have not read so this list can, and no doubt will, change.

You’ll notice on this list some books that people might say are not sales books. But in my opinion Sales 2.0 is about integrating marketing and networking with traditional sales. Smart Sales 2.0 people need to know the latest marketing and networking approaches as well as traditional sales approaches.

Best Sales Books

# Book Author My Comments
1 Selling to Big Companies Jill Konrath Fessing up still my all-time favorite book. The best book ever on prospecting, which is my focus in the world. One book, one dessert island. I’d take this one.
2 Sales 2.0 Anneke Seley Anneke covers all the strategic stuff on Sales 2.0. Get the big picture on Sales 2.0 in one spot. Great Sales 2.0 case studies in here also. Anneke rocks!
3 Inbound Marketing Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah Yes, marketing book but Inbound Marketing and Sales 2.0 must cohabitate. Hugely important to know about inbound marketing.
4 The Power to Get In Michael Boylan Bit of a sleeper this one but there’s a critical idea in here: use leverage when trying to crack into an account
5 The New Rules of Marketing & PR David Meerman Scott Marketing again. The man who first saw how the Web radically changes the lead generation game. Must-read.
6 Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty Harvey Mackay Networking. Yes networking is critical to selling. Classic on networking. One of the basic texts that inspired my view of “Social Calling”.
7 Lead Generation for the Complex Sale Brian Carroll Brian covers all the bases on how to generate leads. Will definitely give you ideas.
8 Getting Things Done David Allen Time Management classic. In the end sales people need to be great time managers. This is The book to have on time management.
9 Book Yourself Solid Michael Port Written for entrepreneurs but brings together sales and marketing brilliantly. Sales people must have
10 Selling to Zebras Jeff Koser &
Chad Koser
Want to know how to define your prospect profile clearly? This is the resource.
11 The New Strategic Selling Robert Miller & Stephen Heiman The best framework bar-none for progressing your deals from leads to closure is in this book.
12 Selling to VITO Anthony Parinello How to gain access to CxO’s offices with a letter and a call. Letters still work to get you in. Get the scoop on sales letters here.
13 SPIN Selling Neil Rackham How to ask great questions in a sales meeting. The best framework out there for questioning. My favorite thing? Neil did tons of research to come up with this system – totally rare in sales today.
14 Never Cold Call Again Frank Rumbauskas Frank nails the fact that sales people today need to be great marketers. He shows you a bunch of practical ways to get that done.
15 Make What You Say Pay Anne Miller Pictures are worth a thousand words. Anne shows you how to use them in your prospecting. Get visual in your language.
16 Solution Selling Michael Bosworth Classic on how to run sales meetings and progress deals. If you’ve not read it, you should. You may need to choose SPIN vs Solution but worth reading both.
17 Smart Networking Liz Lynch Networking is key to the new way to sell. Liz gives you all the tools on how to network today in this new classic.
18 No More Cold Calling Joanne Black Referrals, referrals. Joanne gives you the scoop on how to grow your revenue the right way.
19 Get Content.
Get Customers
Joe Pulizzi A great book about content creation. As I said sales people need to be marketers and marketers today must generate great content.
20 Million Dollar a Year Sales Income Paul McCord Referrals again. Paul tales you step-by-step through a great system to get more referrals from your clients.

Note: all the book titles are linked to Amazon if you feel you must purchase one right away. This list is only printed books by the way. I’ll take a shot at the best electronic resources for sales one day, if there’s interest in that too.

What’s missing from this list? What should be booted off the top 20? What do you think?

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