Top 10 Sales Books You Need to Read | 2021 Guide

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These are the best books on sales for your 2021 reading list, as recommended by Sales experts. This 2021 guide has been curated by several sales leaders and other executives in order to provide you with the ultimate guide to ramping up your sales know-how at any stage of your career. In this list, you’ll find time-tested classics like The Art of War, philosophical musings from Marcus Aurelius, and eccentric modern reads meant to entertain and educate alike. 

Short on time? Download our printable Sales Booklist here! Check off each book as you go to keep track of what you’ve read and what’s still on your to-do list.

Note: You can browse this list by read time, from shortest to longest. Average read time is calculated based on reading at 250-300 words per minute.

1. The Art Of War

The Art of War book, sales book #1

An oldie but a goodie. A quick but efficient read if you’re short on time or looking to learn the centuries-old methods used by a successful Chinese military strategist. Written in the 5th century, Sun Tzu’s teachings on making informed decisions and preparing for the unseen are still being utilized by many sales professionals and is what made his phrase “know thy enemy” still iconic today.

 

 

Average read time: 38 mins

 

2. Active Listening 2.0: Overcoming Stalls and Objections by Asking the Right Questions at the Right Time 

Active Listening 2.0, sales book #2

Looking for a short read? Look no further. In this book, Steve Trang explains how to improve your listening skills which improve your communication with prospects and boost your selling skills. The perfect compact sales book focusing on an important soft skill.

 

 

Average read time: 1 hr 22 mins

 

 

3. Meditations: Adapted for the Contemporary Reader 

Mediations book, sales book #3

Another timeless classic that sales professionals and leaders have been employing the practices of since its publication in the 2nd century.  Personal writings from Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, reveal daily practices he would take which we can adopt into our daily routines to achieve prosperity. The adaptation for the contemporary reader uses modern language to make the work easier to comprehend. 

 

Average read time: 1 hr 28 mins

 

 

4. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team book, sales book #4

Patrick Lencioni uses his knowledge from founding an organizational health-focused, management consulting firm to create a fictional tale that demonstrates common dysfunctions he has seen in teams. “Teamwork makes the dream work” is proven in this publication time and time again, and you can use the strategies in this work to create a team with strong synergy. 

 

Average read time: 2 hrs 9 mins

 

 

5. Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness

Little Red Book of Selling book, sales book #5

Gitomer is another phenomenal author whose other sales books we recommend you check out. This is a great “all in one” how-to book that goes over a range of topics from personal branding to how to set up a corporation. 

 

 

Average read time: 2 hrs 34 mins

 

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

The Challenger Sale book

Many new hires in sales are told to read this book, and if you haven’t already read it yourself get on it today. Authors Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon go over the “Challenger Approach” to sales, which their research shows is the most used strategy by high performers in sales. When you finish this list, make sure to read more bestselling sales books from the authors like: The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results. 

Average read time: 3 hrs 19 mins

 

7. Selling To VITO (The Very Important Top Officer)

Selling to VITO book

Cut out the middleman and go to the top to sell. This book tells you how to approach higher-ups in organizations and how to execute deals with them directly or through their references. Parinello adds tips on how to get a face to face with a VITO to seal the deal. 

 

Average read time: 3 hrs 19 mins

 

 

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

Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success book

Studies show that high emotional intelligence (EQ/EI) has a strong correlation with success. Author Colleen Stanley was awarded by Salesforce as one of the top sales influencers of the 21st century. She shares her industry secrets on how to expand your “emotional toolkit”. 

 

 

Average read time: 3 hrs 23 mins

 

9. The New Solution Selling: The Revolutionary Sales Process That is Changing the Way People Sell

The New Solution Selling book

In the highly anticipated sequel following the historically chart-topping sales book, Solution Selling, Eades’ new novel, The New Solution Selling, details new changes to the sales process. Author Keith Eades founded Sales Performance International, which has helped train hundreds of thousands of employees from Fortune 500 companies using principles from his books. 

 

Average read time: 4 hrs 51 mins

 

10. Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale: For Anyone Who Must Get Others to Say Yes!

Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale book

The title of the book pretty much says it all. Zig Ziglar shares his wisdom and humor to make teachable and memorable examples of sales concepts. These include his saying you might have heard before,  “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing–That’s why we recommend it daily”. 

 

 

Average read time: 6 hrs 18 mins

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