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12 best books on sales every salesman should read

Victoire Léveilley
May 6, 2024
Remote Works

Looking for the best books on the art of selling? You are so right to seek to train yourself: knowledge is power, and in this digital age, ignorance is not bliss—it's bankruptcy! That's why it's crucial for every sales rep to arm themselves with the latest trends, strategies, and techniques in the art of persuasion.

From crafting compelling sales pitches to building rapport faster than you can say "Hello, my name is..."—The top 12 best books on sales we’ve chosen cover all your needs. And hey, if reading isn't your jam, we've got you covered with our article on the best sales podcasts. Yes, we've thought of everything!

Grab your reading glasses, dust off your Kindle, and get ready to revolutionize your sales game.

Best books on sales for beginners

1. “To Sell Is Human” by Daniel H. Pink

For beginners dipping their toes into the world of sales, "To Sell Is Human" serves as an accessible and enlightening primer. By the time readers reach the final page, they'll not only have gained a deeper understanding of the principles of selling but also a newfound appreciation for the pervasive influence of persuasion in our lives. 

D. Pink starts by drawing on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: he reveals a surprising truth: 1 in 9 Americans is officially categorized as working in sales. However, he makes a compelling case that the art of persuasion extends far beyond traditional sales roles, permeating every aspect of our daily lives.

In "To Sell Is Human," Pink challenges conventional wisdom, suggesting that the old adage of "Always Be Closing" is outdated. Instead, he introduces readers to the new ABCs of moving others in the 21st century, backed by social science research and practical insights.

Pink's book isn't just theory; it's a toolkit for navigating the complexities of human interaction. From understanding the psychology behind effective sales pitches to mastering the art of perspective-taking, Pink offers tangible strategies that can be applied in various personal and professional contexts.

2. “How to Sell Anything to Anybody” by Joe Girard

With a Guinness World Record under his belt for selling a whopping 13,001 cars in a fifteen-year career, Joe Girard's credentials speak volumes. And here's the kicker—he didn't graduate from an Ivy League institution or possess any fancy degrees. No, J. Girard earned his stripes the old-fashioned way: through grit, determination, and a relentless pursuit of excellence in salesmanship.

In "How to Sell Anything to Anybody," Girard shares the secrets of his success with readers, insisting that anyone can follow in his footsteps. Drawing on fundamental principles of trust and hard work, Girard distills his decades of experience into a timeless guide for aspiring sales professionals.

This bestselling classic has empowered millions of readers to achieve their sales goals, and you're next in line for success. J. Girard promises to equip you with the tools and techniques to close the deal every time, leveraging the strategies that propelled him to record-breaking heights in his illustrious career.

So, whether you're a seasoned sales veteran or a newcomer to the game, Girard's wisdom is your ticket to sales mastery. To quote him: “Salesmen are made, not born. If I did it, you can do it.”.

3. “New Sales. Simplified.” by Mike Weinberg

"New Sales. Simplified." by Mike Weinberg is like a breath of fresh air in the world of sales literature. With a title that promises simplicity, Weinberg delivers a roadmap for sales success that's as practical as it is effective.

At the heart of every thriving business lies a steady stream of new accounts, and Weinberg understands this fundamental truth like no other. In his book, he emphasizes the importance of continuous prospecting, even for businesses with a strong base of repeat customers.

Filled to the brim with tested strategies and real-life anecdotes, "New Sales. Simplified." offers a proven formula for prospecting, developing, and closing deals. But what sets Weinberg's approach apart is his refreshing honesty and a healthy dose of humor. He isn't afraid to shine a light on the critical mistakes commonly made by salespeople and executives, while also providing actionable tips to achieve better results.

Weinberg’s insights on proactive telephone calls, email outreach, and social media engagement are particularly valuable in today's digital age. But perhaps the most valuable lesson from "New Sales. Simplified." is the importance of establishing trust with buyers. Weinberg understands that overcoming buyers' natural skepticism is key to successful selling, and he offers practical advice on building rapport and credibility.

Best books on sales to better understand to better understand the challenges of psychology in sales

4. “The psychology of selling” by Brian Tracy

In the world of sales, understanding the intricate dance of human psychology can mean the difference between closing a deal and watching it slip through your fingers. That's where "The Psychology of Selling" by Brian Tracy shines brightest. While techniques and methods certainly have their place in the sales toolkit, Tracy argues that mastering the psychology behind selling is the true key to prosperity.

Tracy, a renowned sales trainer and professional speaker, draws from his wealth of experience to illuminate the inner workings of the salesperson's mind. In his book, he delves into the "inner game of sales and selling," offering insights on how to control one's thoughts, feelings, and actions to maximize effectiveness.

One of the biggest hurdles in sales is the fear of rejection, a psychological barrier that can paralyze even the most seasoned salesperson. Tracy provides practical strategies for eliminating this fear and building unshakeable confidence.

Tracy also delves into the psychology of why people buy and how to leverage this knowledge to your advantage. By understanding the underlying motivations driving purchasing decisions, salespeople can tailor their approach to better resonate with customers.

What sets "The Psychology of Selling" apart is its immediate applicability. B. Tracy doesn't waste time with theoretical musings; instead, he delivers a series of actionable ideas, methods, strategies, and techniques that salespeople can implement right away.

5. “Methods of Persuasion: How to Use Psychology to Influence Human Behavior” by Nick Kolenda

"Methods of Persuasion: How to Use Psychology to Influence Human Behavior" by Nick Kolenda is a groundbreaking exploration into the subconscious drivers behind human decision-making.

Kolenda's journey into the world of persuasion began with a unique stage show, where he demonstrated the power of subconscious influence to captivate audiences worldwide. Drawing from principles of cognitive psychology, he developed a "mind reading" performance that mesmerized over a million spectators—a testament to the profound impact of psychological persuasion.

Through a synthesis of academic research and real-world application, Kolenda unveils a comprehensive 7-step persuasion process known as “Methods”.

Each step of the “Methods” process is carefully crafted to leverage key psychological principles, from molding perception to sustaining compliance. But Kolenda doesn't just stop at outlining the steps; he dives deep into the psychology behind each one, empowering readers with the knowledge to apply these techniques in their own lives.

6. "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Dr. Robert Cialdini

"Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" gives readers a deep dive into the psychology behind why people say "yes" and how to ethically apply these principles in various aspects of life. New York Times bestseller Dr. Cialdini presents 6 universal principles of influence in his book, each serving as a powerful tool in the arsenal of skilled persuaders.

  1. Reciprocation, the innate urge to repay favors received—a concept deeply ingrained in human social dynamics.
  2. Commitment and consistency, a concept highlighting the human tendency to align our actions with our stated commitments
  3. Social proof illuminates our tendency to look to others for guidance when uncertainty arises, particularly when faced with ambiguous situations.
  4. Authority sheds light on our inclination to defer to those perceived as experts or figures of authority
  5. Liking, to explain that we tend to agree with people we like
  6. Scarcity highlights the allure of limited or dwindling resources. Together, these six principles form a comprehensive framework for understanding and harnessing the power of persuasion.

Dr. Cialdini doesn't stop at theory; he provides practical guidance on how to apply these principles ethically in both personal and professional settings.

Best sales books for startups & tech growth companies

7. “Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers” by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares

In an era where most startups meet their demise, Weinberg and Mares shine a spotlight on the crucial ingredient for success: traction.

But what exactly is traction, you might ask? It's more than just having a great product—it's about achieving real customer growth, the kind that propels startups to new heights of success. Armed with the Bullseye Framework, a five-step process developed by Weinberg and Mares, founders and employees alike are equipped to pinpoint the marketing channels that will catapult their ventures to the next level.

Drawing on insights from industry titans like Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Alexis Ohanian (Reddit), and Paul English (, Weinberg and Mares distill the tactics and strategies used by the biggest names in the business to achieve remarkable traction.

"Many entrepreneurs who build great products simply don't have a good distribution strategy." That's where "Traction" comes in, offering a systematic approach to marketing that is sorely lacking in the startup world. From viral marketing to business development, from search engine optimization to offline events, Weinberg and Mares leave no stone unturned in their exploration of the most effective growth channels.

8. “Fast Forward: Accelerating B2B Sales for Startups” by Martin Giese and Matthias Hilpert

"Fast Forward: Accelerating B2B Sales for Startups" is a comprehensive guide for founders navigating the complex world of B2B startups. Whether you're starting from scratch or aiming to scale your revenue to staggering heights, Martin Giese and Matthias Hilpert's expertise-packed book is your roadmap to success.

With a focus on actionable advice and real-world examples, Giese and Hilpert provide a step-by-step blueprint for finding, winning, and keeping customers in the competitive B2B landscape.

From market segmentation to contract negotiation, from sales process optimization to customer success strategies, "Fast Forward" covers every aspect of the sales journey with precision and clarity.

Offering exclusive advice from more than 30 top-tier B2B startup founders and CEOs—including industry luminaries like Moritz Zimmermann (Hybris, now SAP) and Veronika Riederle (Demodesk)—the book offers a wealth of insider perspectives and practical sales tips.

9. “Own Your Niche” by Stephanie Chandler

"Own Your Niche" dives into authentic, practical strategies that empower business owners to showcase their brands with integrity and effectiveness.

At the heart of "Own Your Niche" is a commitment to authenticity—a commitment to showcasing your business in a way that resonates with your target audience and builds genuine connections. Chandler's easy-to-use strategies empower readers to identify and connect with their ideal customers, turning up the traffic generation on their websites and building effective blogs that serve as hubs of authority in their respective niches.

Chandler also delves into offline methods for generating exposure and building credibility with professional speaking engagements, direct mail campaigns and publishing ventures.  The book offers results-driven strategies that can be implemented with ease. “Own Your Niche” helps you with your social media tactics that require less than an hour per day and gives you ideas for email marketing campaigns that build loyalty.

The book includes interviews with successful service-based business owners, who share their own experiences and insights into building audiences and creating successful enterprises.

Best sales books for negotiation tactics

10. “The Ultimate Book of Sales Techniques: 75 Ways to Master Cold Calling, Sharpen Your Unique Selling Proposition, and Close the Sale” by Stephan Schiffman

From generating leads and mastering the art of cold calling to establishing solid relationships and sealing the deal, S. Schiffman leaves no stone unturned in his quest to equip readers with the tools they need to succeed in the competitive world of sales. 

Inside this book, you'll discover S. Schiffman's proven sales philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of asking questions, viewing objections as opportunities, and prioritizing the client's needs above all else.

One of Schiffman's key tenets is that sales don't happen unless questions are asked—an insight that underscores the importance of active listening and engaging with customers on a deeper level. Moreover, Schiffman reminds readers that objections are merely opportunities in disguise, empowering salespeople to address concerns head-on and turn them into selling points.

11. “The Sales Bible, New Edition: The Ultimate Sales Resource” by Jeffrey Gitomer

Renowned global sales authority Jeffrey Gitomer's bestselling classic has been updated and expanded in this new edition, offering readers the ultimate methods and strategies that work in real-world selling situations.

"The Sales Bible" has earned its place as a must-have resource for salespeople worldwide. It's even been recognized as one of "The Ten Books Every Salesperson Should Own and Read" by the esteemed Dale Carnegie Sales Advantage Program.

Inside "The Sales Bible," you'll find a wealth of insights and strategies to help you reach your full sales potential and shine like a star. From the 10.5 Commandments of Selling to proven techniques for generating leads and closing sales in any market environment, Gitomer leaves no stone unturned in his quest to equip readers with the tools they need to succeed.

One of the book's highlights is its focus on leveraging social media platforms to create inbound leads and demonstrate value—a strategy that's become increasingly essential in today's digital age. And with Gitomer's famous podcast on sales, "Sell or Die," serving as a complement to the book, readers have access to even more valuable insights and advice from one of the industry's leading experts.

12. "Snap Selling" by Jill Konrath

Potential customers are grappling with tighter budgets, shorter timelines, and limited resources. They're skeptical of anyone who tries to push them into buying or changing anything. In this challenging landscape, traditional sales strategies simply won't cut it.

But fear not—internationally recognized sales strategist Jill Konrath is here to show you how to navigate these obstacles and emerge victorious.

In her book, "Snap Selling," J. Konrath draws on her extensive sales experience and the stories of other successful sellers to offer a set of 4 SNAP Rules designed to help you secure more appointments, expedite decisions, and close sales with customers who are short on time and patience.

  1. Keep it Simple. By simplifying your message and making it easy for customers to understand, you'll increase their likelihood of breaking away from the status quo.
  2. Be invaluable. To stand out in a crowded marketplace, you need to position yourself as the go-to expert—the person your customers can't live without.
  3. Always Align. To be relevant to your customers, you must ensure that your offerings are in sync with their objectives, issues, and needs.
  4. Raise Priorities. By keeping the most important decisions at the forefront of your customers' minds, you'll maintain momentum and drive the sales process forward.

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