Experience is the most reliable way to become a better leader and salesperson, but relying on your own experience will only give you half of the picture. I read 20-40 sales and leadership books a year because I believe that learning different perspectives is the best way to expand upon my own. Soaking in the perspectives of the greats will not only inform, but also inspire you to continue improving.
Here are ten of my favorites books on sales and leadership…
1. The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon
This is my favorite sales book written in the last ten years. Dixon finally proved what most sales executives had been sending for years
2. Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross & Marylou Tyler
Ross and Tyler set the standard for lead generation and prove the importance of predictability in every business.
3. The Art of Closing The Sale by Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy was stuck on a 5 word objection that he couldn’t get past in his sales pitches. Until he discovered a technique that’s still deployed by salespeople today. His tips are timeless.
4. Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Zigler
This one is a bit dated but drives home a unique angle on the art of storytelling in sales.
5. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
While most sales books give you actionable advice, this one focuses on the “why” behind the tricks of the trade. Daniel Coleman ties in the science of psychology and neuroscience to provide valuable insight on how our emotional and rational sides work together.
6. Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton
This one had a profound effect on how I view my own personal development. The Clifton Strengths Finder — an online, personal assessment test — provides a helpful perspective in absorbing the advice.
7. Ice to Eskimos: How to Market a Product Nobody Wants by Jon Spoelstra
A door to door salesman’s experience makes for an entertaining read. You can breeze through this one and get some great advice along the way.
8. Great by Choice by Jim Collins
I could have picked many of Collins’ books, but I really enjoyed this one. It gets straight to the point with actionable takeaways that apply to any size company.
9. Winning by Jack Welch and Suzy Welch
This is the first book I hand to new leaders. If you want to manage and lead in a direct and fair manner, make this book your blueprint.
10. Linchpin: Are you Indispensable? by Seth Godin
Empower yourself to make everyone and every organization you touch more valuable. A true leader focuses on becoming a linchpin for their organization.