Sales Leadership

Fall Reading List: 10 Books to Empower Your Sales Team

Mary Elizabeth Hammond

“A. Always. B. Be. C. Closing. Always be closing. Always! Be! Closing!” The iconic line from the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross in which Alec Baldwin scolds a group of poor salesmen has remained in the minds of sales professionals today. It’s a common notion that sales professionals must always be working to “get them to sign on the line which is dotted.” 

But that’s actually a rather poor idiom. If they’re only ever working to get to the finish line, they may never learn a different, better way of selling. Baldwin would be better off preaching about continuous learning to his team if he wanted better results. 

In the spirit of promoting continuous learning and empowering your sales team to reach their full potential, XANT has put together a fall reading list. The list consists of ten books we believe will help you teach your sales teams how to become a better salesperson and a better leader.

  1. Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions: From CEO of Profit Builders, Keith Rosen, and the #1 best selling sales management book on Amazon, this book focuses not on sales training but on developing managers as the best coach. Rosen explains the best playbook is creating a thriving coaching culture to build a team of top producers with a coaching framework used by the world’s top organization.

  2. Sell or Be Sold: From sales expert Grant Cardone, Sell or Be Sold focuses on how everything in life should be seen as a sale, from selling your product in a boardroom to selling yourself on eating healthy. From staying positive through rejection to selling in a bad economy, this is a wonderful—and timely—learning experience for any salesperson.

  3. To Sell Is Human: A #1 New York Times Business Bestseller, this book draws on a rich trove of social science to come to many of Daniel Pink’s counterintuitive insights (like extraverts don’t make the best salespeople). Pink describes the perfect elevator pitch, understanding others’ perspectives, and creating a clearer, more persuasive message.

  4. Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing The Sale: Zig Ziglar is known as America’s #1 professional in the art of persuasion. He describes how everyone is in sales, from doctors to housewives to ministers to teachers. Ziglar lets the reader in on his secrets to know how to persuade people.

  5. No Forms. No Spam. No Cold Calls: The title alone should get most salespeople excited. CMO Latané Conant delivers a sobering reality of sales and marketing: our traditional methods are treating customers like dirt. This book goes over how to engage customers thoughtfully instead of anonymously.

  6. More Sales, Less Time: Jill Conrath, a globally recognized sales consultant, blends behavioral research with her own learned knowledge of sales to teach the reader how to succeed in the age of distraction. From strategies on how to tackle email and social media to freeing up time to focus on activities with the highest impact, this book knows how to optimize the sales process and eliminate wasted time.

  7. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion: Another New York Times bestseller. Dr. Robert B. Cialdini, an expert in the field of persuasion, explains exactly why people say yes. He develops the six principles of influence which can be used cost-free and easily to increase your sales team’s effectiveness.

  8. Pitch Anything: There’s nothing quite as daunting as a pitch. Oren Klaff, who has raised over $400 million based on successful pitches, goes over his method to pitching, utilizing an acronym STRONG, which can guide your sales team’s pitches and effectively increase their success rate.

  9. The Ultimate Sales Machine: Sometimes all it takes is a little focus. From Chet Holmes, The Ultimate Sales Machine goes over how to step away from multitasking on a thousand different ways to improve your business and hone in on a few essential skill areas to create real change. Just one hour per week on each impact area, such as sales, marketing, and management, will lead to improvements quickly.

  10. The Sales Acceleration Formula: SVP of Worldwide Sales and Services at HubSpot, Mark Roberge knows the true key to selling lies in data, technology, and inbound selling. Get your company from $0 to $100 (million) through a unique methodology focused on metrics-driven, process-oriented lends. 

Check out these books and get on the fast track to becoming both the best sales managers and salespeople possible. It’s not just about closing anymore, but about learning how to do so. With constantly changing environments in the sales world, it’s imperative for teams to focus on learning as much as selling. 

Download this fall reading list here