21 sales books that should be on your xmas list

The holidays are a time for reflection as you prep for the new year. As a sales rep, that means thinking about your performance over the last year and identifying weaknesses you could improve on and strengths you should call upon more often.

To guide this reflection, we recommend reading the following 21 sales books. Our list features books that are written by notable figures in sales and have been well-received. The books cover a variety of sales topics, so everyone can find the specific information they’re looking for.

We’ve organized these books by publish date (focusing on those released in 2010 and beyond) and categorized them according to the specific aspect of sales they address, including:

  • B2B sales
  • Prospecting
  • Closing
  • Overcoming sales objections
  • Sales differentiation
  • Agile sales
  • Sales success
  • The social science of sales
  • Customer interaction

Whatever your specific struggle may be as a sales rep, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s get started!

The best sales books of the decade

The world of sales has changed significantly in the past 10 years. Social media has become a powerful channel for sales and prospecting, buyers today have just as much (if not more) product knowledge than the sales reps trying to sell those products, and markets that were once sparse have become massively saturated.

To ensure our readers are adequately equipped to handle today’s (and future) sales challenges, we’ve selected 14 sales books that were all published during or after 2010.

1. Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition

Category: B2B sales

Written for B2B salespeople, this book presents a unique approach to staying competitive in an already over-saturated market. Eat Their Lunch explains why the “whatever it takes” approach to competitive selling no longer works and replaces it with a more systematic, customer-centric strategy.

2. Objections: The Ultimate Guide for Mastering The Art and Science of Getting Past No

Category: Overcoming sales objections

All salespeople, regardless of their field or industry, will have to face sales objections. This book teaches reps how to get over being afraid of hearing “No” and how to persuade buyers to say “Yes.”

3. High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results

Category: Prospecting

Over the years, prospecting has repeatedly been reported as a sales team’s biggest challenge. This book explains how sales reps can generate more qualified leads with new, high-profit prospecting techniques across all channels, including social media.

  • Written by Mark Hunter, a sales expert with 15 years of experience. His blog The Sales Hunter was rated by Top Sales World as one of the top 50 sales and marketing blogs of 2019.
  • Published in 2016
  • Buy on Amazon

4. Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success: Connect with Customers and Get Results

Category: The social science of sales

In this book, author Colleen Stanley explains how to manage challenging sales situations by sharpening your emotional intelligence toolkit. Readers will learn how to be better listeners, increase impulse control for better communication, and use empathy to close bigger deals.

  • Written by Colleen Stanley, founder and president of SalesLeadership Inc. She was named one of the most influential sales figures of the 21st century by Salesforce.
  • Published in 2012 (has been published in six different languages)
  • Buy on Amazon

5. Sales Differentiation: 19 Powerful Strategies to Win More Deals at the Prices You Want

Category: Sales differentiation

Many sales reps feel like the only way to beat out the competition is to offer a lower price. This book proves that notion wrong and looks at ways you can differentiate your product from the competition without diving into a race to the bottom.

6. Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Manifesto: Imperative Actions You Need to Take and Master to Dominate Your Competition and Win for Yourself…For the Next Decade

Category: Sales success

Author Jeffrey Gitomer boils down his 50 years of worldwide sales success into a new 5.5 part sales process. He explains why traditional sales tactics no longer resonate with buyers today and presents a new sales model reps can follow to succeed in sales today.

7. Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World

Category: Agile sales

Jill Konrath acknowledges how hectic the world of sales can be. In her book, she teaches salespeople how to quickly adapt to rapidly changing and busy environments. Readers will learn the habits, skills, and strategies needed to get more done in less time and master new skills quickly.

  • Written by Jill Konrath, acclaimed sales strategist, speaker, author, and thought leader.
  • Published in 2014
  • Buy on Amazon

8. The Perfect Close: The Secret To Closing Sales – The Best Selling Practices & Techniques For Closing The Deal

Category: Closing

This book breaks down the stigma often associated with sales: that reps don’t care about the customer, only the sale. Readers will learn how to close deals in a friendly yet persistent way, build trust with their customers, and add value to every sales encounter.

  • Written by James Muir, founder and CEO of Best Practice International with over 30 years of sales experience.
  • Published in 2016
  • Buy on Amazon

9. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

Category: The social science of sales

In this book, Daniel Pink offers a new “ABCs of Sales”: Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity. Pink explores the idea that sales success today relies on a rep’s ability to see things from their perspective’s eyes and that being persuasive means being perceptive.

  • Written by Daniel Pink and a #1 New York Times Business Bestseller, #1 Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller, and #1 Washington Post bestseller.
  • Published in 2013
  • Buy on Amazon

10. Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life

Category: Sales success

With over 1.2 million followers on YouTube, Grant Cardone brings knowledge and advice to readers in Sell or Be Sold that can be applied to any industry or avenue. Simply put, this book is any rep’s guide to mastering the art of selling.

11. Pick Up the Damn Phone! How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal

Category: Sales success, the social science of sales

This book focuses on the importance of human interaction in today’s digitally-focused social media age. Author Joanne Black explains when it’s appropriate to use technology for prospecting and relationship building and when a situation calls for the human touch.

  • Written by Joanne Black, America’s leading authority on referral selling, specializing in account-based B2B sales.
  • Published in 2013
  • Buy on Amazon

12. Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection

Category: Overcoming sales objections

In this book, Jia Jiang talks about how his own personal experiences of rejection taught him how to be confident, overcome the fear of objection, and turn any “No” into a “Yes.”

13. The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation

Category: Customer interaction

Authors Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson discuss why the best salespeople are the ones who challenge their relationships with customers.

  • Written by Matthew Dixon, former Group Leader of sales, service and customer experience practices at CEB (now called Gartner); and Brent Adamson, sales expert and distinguished VP of Gartner.
  • Published in 2011
  • Buy on Amazon

14. What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story

Category: Customer interaction

Contrary to the popular belief that certain sales qualities are just part of a person’s personality, Ben Zoldan and Michael Bosworth argue that anyone can learn the behaviors of persuasion. Readers will learn how to use the power of storytelling to close more deals.

  • Written by Ben Zoldan, co-founder of Storyleaders; and Michael Bosworth, veteran sales executive and founder of Story Seekers.
  • Published in 2012
  • Buy on Amazon

The classics

These sales books have stood the test of time for a reason. Each one helped lay part of the foundation that sales reps still build on today, from the revolutionary introduction to a data-backed sales strategy to the fundamentals of getting people to like you.

15. SPIN Selling

Category: Sales success

Based on a massive 12 year, $1 million research effort by the Huthwaite Inc., this book was the world’s first introduction to the revolutionary SPIN (Situation, Problem, Implication, Need Payoff) strategy. It explains what SPIN selling is, why it’s an effective sales strategy, along with how reps can successfully execute it to increase their sales volume and improve their sales performance.

16. How to Win Friends and Influence People

Category: Sales success, the social science of sales

With over 15 million copies sold, this classic bestseller teaches how to get people to like you and how to win over people to your way of thinking.

  • Written by Dale Carnegie, a famous developer of courses in self-improvement, sales, corporate training, and public speaking.
  • Originally published in 1936 and revised in 1981
  • Buy on Amazon

The 2020 sales books to pre-order

With so many new sales books coming out in 2020, we couldn’t finish our list without including these highly anticipated releases. Don’t forget to pre-order them!

17. INKED: The Ultimate Guide to Powerful Closing and Sales Negotiation Tactics that Unlock YES and Seal the Deal

Category: Closing

This book teaches sales reps how to approach negotiations with more confidence and how to avoid unfair deals. Readers will learn clear guidelines for smooth, friendly customer interactions.

  • Written by Jeb Blount, speaker, author, and podcaster.
  • Set to publish January 15, 2020
  • Pre-order on Amazon

18. The Expansion Sale: Four Must-Win Conversations to Keep and Grow Your Customers

Category: Customer interaction

Industry analysts report that up to 70-80% of business growth comes from existing customers. In their book, The Expansion Sale, authors Erik Peterson and Tim Riesterer discuss the pitfalls of investing only in new customers and explain how sales reps can get more out of their existing customer base.

19. Radical Integrity: 7 Breakthrough Strategies for Transforming Your Business, Sales, and Life

Category: Sales success

For sales reps or team managers who struggle to maintain a healthy balance between work life and home life, this book is for you. You’ll learn how to achieve greater success in sales while simultaneously maintaining a flourishing, healthy home life.

  • Written by James Jacobi, executive mentor and sales strategist.
  • Set to publish on January 21, 2020
  • Pre-order on Amazon

20. Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data

Category: The social science of sales, sales success

Rishad Tobaccowala’s book teaches organizations how to increase revenue, customer retention, and profitability by establishing a balance between technology and human intuition.

  • Written by Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Growth Officer of Publicis Groupe.
  • Set to publish on January 28, 2020
  • Pre-order on Amazon

21. Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans

Category: Sales differentiation

This book features interviews with all types of business leaders—from young entrepreneurs to veteran company owners—that uncover best practices for turning people interested in your product into customers.

  • Written by David Meerman Scott, author of 11 books, expert in sales and marketing; and Reiko Scott, David Scott’s daughter, writer and medical student at Boston University.
  • Set to publish on January 7, 2020
  • Pre-order on Amazon

Crush your sales goals in 2020 with these books

With the holidays coming up, there’s no better time to reflect back on your last year in sales. Gift yourself these books, and you’ll have the knowledge you need to identify challenges and where there’s room for improvement in 2020. Get started by placing an Amazon order for these books from the world’s top leaders in sales.

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