There are no teachers to assign you summer reading, but that doesn’t mean you should ever stop learning and reviewing best practices in sales management. There are many insightful books on both sales management and selling methods and you must always stay on top in order to build a repeatable, scalable and predictable sales model.
Here are my recommendations for a Sales Summer Reading List you can enjoy on the beach, including some favorites from sales thought-leaders like Aaron Ross and Jason Jordan. These are great books to read yourself, or to give to your team of sales reps – no book reports required.
1. The Challenger Sale – by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
Based on an in-depth study of thousands of sales reps, this revolutionary book found that the classic relationship-building approach to sales is a losing strategy. Instead, learn how to create a team of superstar reps who sell by challenging customers to learn something new about their businesses. Don’t have time to read the whole thing? We’ve condensed the most important lessons for you…in 8 minutes!
2. Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com – By Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler
Want to know how to grow your company’s revenue faster and more predictably? Of course you do! In this book, my friend Aaron Ross shares the lessons he learned on the job as a sales executive at Salesforce.com by implementing a Cold Calling 2.0 inside sales process. His changes led to the company increasing its revenue by $100 million – and you can do it too.
3. Active Listening: Improve Your Ability to Listen and Lead– By Michael Hoppe
The best sales managers are also great listeners – willing and able to hear and understand what other people are saying. This book teaches you how to become an active listener by paying full attention to others, avoiding judgement, asking clarifying questions, and sharing your own thoughts. Great listening skills can be learned, and you will become a better and more effective manager because of it.
4. The New Strategic Selling – by Stephen Heiman and Robert Miller
You don’t have to trick customers into buying your product – it’s all about finding a Win-Win sale. This book revolutionized sales and marketing by emphasizing low-pressure, ethics-based selling. Strategic selling shows how sales needs to work for and with customers in order to succeed and beat the competition. This is a classic must-read that still applies to the world of sales today.
5. Creating a Metrics-Based Sales Coaching Model – By Jason Jordan and Zorian Rotenberg
OK, so this is one of our own eBooks, but we feel strongly that Jordan offers really valuable lessons here for sales managers. By tracking specific performance metrics, managers can use targeted coaching to improve sales rep’s performance. Jordan outlines his recommendations in this free eBook, looking at how to measure and then improve business results, sales objectives and sales activities.
6. Hire Right, Higher Profits – by Lee Salz
Want to learn how to build a world-class sales force? Lee Salz, the Founder and CEO of Sales Architects and The Revenue Accelerator, shares his extensive knowledge on how to identify the key factors that indicate sales rep success, evaluate candidates and design an effective sales onboarding process. You can start hiring right and increase your sales.
7. Building Your Team’s Morale, Pride and Spirit – by Gene Klann
Your sales team should be competitive, but it should also function as a cohesive team. Explore the best ways to build morale, loyalty and pride in your sales team and your company. This positive attitude can increase productivity, efficiency and make your sales reps more effective sellers, but it’s up to you to lead them and inspire them.
8. Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets – by Mike Bosworth
This incredibly comprehensive book covers sales and sales management techniques to help you sell complex products to sales-weary customers. Instead of focusing on your product’s features or detailed specifications, Bosworth says it’s all about providing a solution to your customer’s business problems and selling to the solution.
9. Sales Coaching: Making the Great Leap from Sales Manager to Sales Coach – by Linda Richardson
If I could rename all Sales Managers to Sales Coaches with one wave of a magic wand, then I would. Sales coaching is what sales management is all about – it is vital for managers to know how to be an effective coach. This book teaches managers how to coach a team of reps to sell like experts using high-tech tools, peer coaching, coaching on the fly, and detailed quarterly coaching plans.
10. Ongoing Feedback: How to Get It, How to Use It – by Karen Kirkland and Sam Manoogian
The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) has more great advice for managers looking to grow and improve their skills. Whether you just finished a leadership development class or were recently promoted, this book explores how managers need to develop new skills and utilize ongoing feedback to help track learning progress.
Each of these books includes valuable sales and management knowledge that could be a game changer for you, your sales team, and your company. So kick back on the beach this weekend and relax with a good sales book. It’s time to start reading!