Randall Bell, a socio-economist who has been studying success for more than a quarter century, claims that reading is a key to wealth. In his bestseller "Rich Habits Rich Life: The Four Cornerstones of All Great Pursuits" he writes that the people who read seven or more books per year are over 122 percent more likely to become millionaires. Besides, one of the wealthiest people in the world Bill Gates reads about fifty books a year. Quite impressive, huh? Also, it should be noted that rich people prefer reading for self-improvement, education, and success, rather than to be entertained.
Why you should read B2B sales books
Let’s be honest, reading B2B (business-to-business) sales books looks like hard work. But when you work hard, it opens doors for you. If you are already in the sales business, it's no surprise there is always something new to learn. Every year there is a growing number of new selling strategies, tactics, techniques, and tools that every sales pro must master. Newbies also have to fight for a place under the sun. And thanks to the world’s brightest salespeople who are willing to share their knowledge and secrets with colleagues, they'll be able to read about B2B basics and best practices as well.
How reading help you with sales?
A well-researched and insightful B2B book can provide you with more advanced techniques and strategies to take your sales to the next level. As soon as you find out something new and exciting, you may want to apply the successful strategies of the book's author to your business. In general, reading can help you stay motivated, move forward, and stand out from the competition.
Best B2B sales books
Ready to explore the list of must-read books for B2B sales? Then let’s get started.
#1 Driving Demand: Transforming B2B Marketing to Meet the Needs of the Modern Buyer written by Carlos Hidalgo in 2015
Goodreads rating: 4.0/5
The biggest learning to be taken away from the book is that today's marketing is much different than marketing twenty years ago. The author says although we live in a completely different age, a so-called buyer-driven age, lots of marketing and sales departments are struggling to adapt.
In this book, you'll learn how to meet and even surpass the needs and expectations of today’s modern buyer and to establish a real connection with him.
If you are in any way involved in B2B marketing, take the time to read one of the Amazon's best selling B2B sales books “Driving Demand.” Click for industry review.
#2 The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results by Brent Adamson, Nick Toman, Matthew Dixon, and Pat Spenner
Goodreads rating: 4.11/5
This book is mandatory for people who are dealing with sales and marketing.
Many think that the biggest challenge salespeople face with is improving their ability to sell products or services. Well, it isn't. More importantly, they should help customers overcome their inability to reach an agreement. The authors of this book have done high-quality and extensive research that resulted in the invention of best practices that will help marketers and salespeople get into customers’ heads, provide the most value, and win the sale. See reviews.
#3 The B2B Social Media Book: Become a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and More by Jeffrey Cohen and Kipp Bodnar
Goodreads rating: 3.62/5
While it is natural for large B2C (business-to-consumer) companies to use social media to advertise their products and communicate with their clients, many B2B firms underestimate the power of social networks. Do B2B companies need actually to use them?
Written by marketing gurus, this book presents the proven ways to generate B2B sales leads using social media. Moreover, the authors will tell you what the perfect B2B marketing leader should look like, how to develop a set of skills to be able to sell anything, how to create a best-selling eBook, where passion and inspiration come from, and more.
For your information, Kipp Bodnar is a Chief Marketing Officer of a well-known internet marketing company Hubspot. Kipp is also an industry-leading speaker and strategic advisor to other successful SaaS companies. Jeffrey Cohen, the co-author of the book, is a first-class marketer, speaker, and blogger with 20+ years of experience in B2B marketing. Do you still hesitate to read or not to read? See real reviews on Amazon.
#4 Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers by Geoffrey Moore
Goodreads rating: 3.97/5
Although the book was first released in far 1991, it is still relevant and remains one of the most widely read business books within the high-tech companies. The examples are quite outdated, and you might meet the software names you have never heard of, but if you ignore those and stick to the concepts, you'll realize that it is a fantastic guideline that can be used to improve your marketing efforts. According to reviewers, the book is packed with great examples and marketing insights which are not easy to summarize in a short review. However, they assure that reading of this book enables you to apply most of the lessons to a real-life plan immediately.
#5 The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need
Goodreads rating: 4.32/5
The author of the book, Anthony Iannarino, is an entrepreneur and bestselling writer, owns a super-popular blog called "The Sales Blog," holds regular training sessions on sales improvement throughout the world.
In his sales guide Mr. Iannarino says that to achieve sales success you will need to:
- develop self-discipline which he considers to be one of the most crucial elements of sales success;
- keep records and track your growth;
- be more resourceful: mix your imagination, knowledge, and experience;
- become a storyteller in sales to form deeper relations with your customers;
- identify the real goals and needs of your customers, etc.
No matter whether you are selling to individuals or entities, large or small businesses, with its practical advice and recommendations from the experienced practitioner, this book will become your real guide to the sales world.
#6 The 40 Best Sales Techniques Ever: Conquer the Leaderboard, Crash President’s Club, and Make More Money by Jonathan Jewett
Goodreads rating: 5/5
The book is written by a lifelong salesman who helped a dozen startups and a few large companies to grow their sales. Recently he founded a successful email marketing company "BitPlay Today."
If you are tired of boring sales theories and need simple and clear practical tips, "The 40 Best Sales Techniques Ever" is a perfect fit for you. The author shares the secrets that will make you good at closing big deals, selling more to your existing customers, creating compelling marketing emails that people like to read, and so much more.
#7 The B2B Sales Blueprint: A Hands-On Guide to Generating More Leads, Closing More Deals, and Working Less by Dan Englander has also found its place on our list of top B2B sales books.
Goodreads rating: 4.20/5
After Dan had graduated from college with a degree in History, he didn’t really know what he wanted to do. To figure that out, he moved to New York and got a few media-related jobs. Later he was offered to join a young animation studio to develop business and manage projects. Despite the fact that there were a lot of things that he didn’t know, Dan persistently researched and learned everything related to sales. And pretty soon, things got better and easier: in 24 months he brought the company from zero to $2M.
In 2014 Dan founded “Sales Schema” to help marketing agencies find the right balance between sales and customer service.
In his book, he shares his experience and secrets to those who want to master the most effective sales skills to stay ahead.
Bonus: best five audio B2B sales books
Salespeople usually have a tight schedule, but they still need to learn new things or improve their skills to keep ahead of the competition. We all know the busy days won’t end with a flick of fingers. So take your smartphone and a pair of headphones to start educating yourself even if you are super-busy. The good thing about audiobooks is that you can listen to them while you do something else: exercising, cooking, washing the dishes, commuting, and so on. Below is a list of excellent audiobooks for b2b salespeople.
#1 Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, Second Edition by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan
Goodreads rating: 3.99/5
In difficult dialogues, traditional negotiation techniques are usually not very efficient. In addition, they are difficult to apply. This book will help you develop skills that allow you to overcome the most difficult situations. You will learn how to prepare for important negotiations; how to create a trusting atmosphere in a conversation; how to notice in time that the conversation is getting out of hand; how to be persuasive, and much more.
#2 Secrets of a Master Closer: A Simpler, Easier, and Faster Way to Sell Anything to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere by Mike Kaplan
Goodreads rating: 3.71/5
If you want to learn how to easily and smoothly turn a skeptical potential customer into a satisfied buyer who recommends you to friends, family, and colleagues, you should listen to this book.
After you finish it, you will know the eight exact steps which make up any sale. Use them correctly, and you will be able to close countless transactions. Also, you will find out the real purpose of the presentation and the key points that are often missed, and plenty of useful tips from a sales guru. At the end of each chapter, you will find a list of exercises that will help you master every technique you have learned.
#3 Time Management Made Simple by Brian Tracy
Goodreads rating: 4.05/5
Effective time management is crucial for busy sales professionals. Brian Tracy, one of the most listened to audio authors on personal and business success, knows how to really put the time to work on you and make the most of each day. He promises that you will learn how to carry out only the tasks that bring you value and money. Additionally, you will get two extra hours per day. Isn’t it worth trying?
#4 Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in Any Situation by John E. Doerr and Mike Schultz
Goodreads rating: 3.72/5
The authors are co-founders of the Rain Group, a global sales training and consulting company. Since 2002 they trained over 500k customers from over 60 countries. Their clients include such well-known companies as DHL, HP, Buyer, Toyota, and many others. So you can rest assured that you're going to get only relevant and valuable tips from the world-class experts.
Conversations solve everything in sales. Every conversation is an opportunity to turn your prospects into buyers and increase sales. With the help of this book, you will be able to:
- achieve mutual understanding and trust from the first contact;
- efficiently communicate with prospects by phone, mail, and e-mail;
- understand the real needs of customers;
- clearly formulate and present your value proposition;
- prevent and overcome typical objections, including those related to money;
#5 The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies by Chet Holmes
Goodreads rating: 3.95/5
The author is the only business coach in the world who personally sold his services to more than 60 leading Fortune 500 companies. His client list includes Estee Lauder, Warner Bros., American Express, Citibank. For each of his clients, he increased sales at least twice in just twelve months.
Who is this book for? Regardless of whether you are a leader of a large company or an individual entrepreneur, the book will help you create an effective sales system.
If you work twelve or more hours a day but feel that you are exhausted, and your company will no longer be able to earn more, Chet will tell you how to increase the efficiency of your business easily. Just follow the twelve key strategies, and you will be ahead of your competitors in everything: selling more, knowing the market better, and managing your business more wisely. Don’t be the last in your industry to read this book!
Finding time to read is a serious problem for those who are in the business of selling (and not only for them). However, people say that nothing is impossible and this is so true, especially when you try to do something. Read at least thirty minutes per day, and you'll be surprised how many books from this list you can finish until the end of the year. We'd suggest reading during breakfast, commute time, before you go to bed. As many books come in audio form now, you can listen to them while gardening, working out, cleaning your house, etc. So what's the next B2B sales book on your reading list?