Feeling tired, angry, or fatigued while selling? Before you run to your local pharmacy for some medication, consider your mindset, systems and approach to sales. Without these three components intact, outbound SDRs tend to burn out quickly. Because they can mean life or death for your pipeline and sales career, we’ve rounded up the best B2B sales books that’ll inspire you to transform yourself in 2021.
Top 15 B2B Sales Books for Salespeople
The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling
Jeb Blount grabs a megaphone and opens up his book Fanatical Prospecting with an uncomfortable statement: it takes three months for prospecting to pay off. Then, in one of the best B2B sales books, Blount goes on to say that your next 30 days of prospecting will determine what your pipeline looks like three months from now: comfortably full or completely tanked. He teaches a method to replace prospects at least as fast as your closing rate so you’re always full. While you’re at it, install Lusha Extension for prospecting on social media and B2B websites. It’s a B2B lead enrichment tool that empowers better matches with your ICP by giving you an email address, phone numbers, and firmographics on your leads.
2. The Challenger Sale
Taking Control of the Customer Conversation
If you believe top salespeople build relationships, authors of The Challenger Sale Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson would tell you that you’re wrong. The best salespeople don’t just build relationships—they challenge them. This B2B sales book argues that to secure complex projects or large-scale customers, you must intentionally create constructive tension, educate prospects, show them a new perspective, and make them question their beliefs to be seen as a high-value asset. In this one, you’ll walk away knowing exactly how to challenge customers in your conversations and messaging.
3. Virtual Selling
A Quick-Start Guide to Leveraging Video, Technology, and Virtual Communication Channels to Engage Remote Buyers and Close Deals Fast
They say timing is everything. So, when Virtual Selling was published four months after COVID-19 hit, Jeb Blount was ahead of the curve with this book on B2B sales. Virtual selling is not only a great fit for 2021, it’s perfect for sales reps who feel insecure on face-to-face calls, presentations or demos. You’ll learn techniques for presenting confidently and making your presence just as impactful as in-person selling.
4. How to Win Friends and Influence People
Entrepreneurs and sales leaders have held up Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People as a ‘read-before-you-die book’ for 80 years. Its premise is simple: become more likeable, get others to agree with your ideas, and change opinions without being pushy—and you can accomplish anything. Let this timeless B2B sales book guide you when prospecting, social selling, and closing.
5. Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale
For Anyone Who Must Get Others to Say Yes!
Secrets of Closing the Sale was written to help everyone from housewives to salespeople master the art of persuasion. If you’re an SDR who’s getting low conversion rates and struggling to communicate the value of your offer, start here to master the basics. Zig Ziglar’s book is the best book on B2B sales that’ll teach you how to build trust in sales while going over 100 closing scenarios.
6. 5-Minute Selling
The Proven, Simple System That Can Double Your Sales … Even When You Don’t Have Time
5-Minute Selling is a B2B sales book that makes a big claim: you don’t always have to devote hours to learning new techniques or technology to improve your closing rates. In fact, there are ways you can double your sales in just five minutes. Sounds like a dream? Sales growth consultant Alex Goldfayn believes all you have to do to see better results is the unexpected. Like calling prospects when nothing is wrong, asking what else they’re buying outside your offer, and other action-packed ideas you can implement quickly. Only got five minutes in the morning? Pick this book up.
7. How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling
Getting chewed out by your boss, losing sales commissions, making an embarrassing mistake in front of a huge customer? Frank Bettger has experienced it all, and in How I Raised Myself from Failure… he wants to be your guide to bouncing back from defeat, humiliation, and throwing in the towel at your job. It’s the best B2B sales book to take you out of your slump and show you the power of enthusiasm, conquering fear, and developing confidence.
The Psychology of Persuasion
Influence breaks down 6 principles to change the behaviors of others, instantly recognize when others are trying to manipulate you, and protect yourself. Dr. Robert Cialdini’s principles are:
- Commitment and consistency
- Social proof
With its psychological research and evidence-based approach to make your behavior more persuasive, this one deserves a spot on your B2B sales book list.
9. Never Split the Difference
Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
If you’re being held at gunpoint, can you talk yourself out of the situation? Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator, is no stranger to high-stakes situations; he’s taken on bank robbers and terrorists. In Never Split the Difference, Voss explains how to say “no” without offending someone, talk about sensitive topics, regain trust from those you’ve angered, and more. If you fold easily during negotiations, this book will give you a backbone.
10. Atomic Habits
An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
We all hate admitting to our own faults. Lucky for you when it comes to your less desirable habits, the problem isn’t you—it’s your systems. In Atomic Habits, James Clear describes how changing your systems is the only way to change your behavior. Example: as an SDR you can spend months gathering poor leads (behavior), but with Contacts API, you can enrich your entire CRM automatically within seconds (system) and stop adding unqualified leads. Sales leaders are implementing Clear’s framework to help their team break bad habits, form better ones, and create sales systems that last.
11. Pitch Anything
An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
If you’re going to take pitching advice from anyone, Oren Klaff, an entrepreneur who’s raised $400 million in capital for businesses, is your man. In Pitch Anything, he explains how to pitch, present and sell in person based on science. Learn how to create a framework, tell a story, make it intriguing, explain your offer, nail your hook, and get a decision in this B2B sales book.
12. Emotional Intelligence 2.0
Emotional intelligence allows salespeople to sense and anticipate their customers’ emotions, control their own emotions and manage relationships better. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves wrote Emotional Intelligence 2.0 as a starting point for anyone looking to improve their self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship skills. This introductory book is a perfect addition to your B2B sales book collection.
Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life
If you feel secure with emotional intelligence, take your knowledge to the next level with Emotional Agility by Dr. Susan David. This book addresses self-doubt, shame, sadness, fear, and anger, giving you techniques to adapt to any situation, take your emotions head on and move forward quickly. Although it’s not strictly a book on B2B sales, it has insight for anyone to thrive in a work environment, change their belief systems, and overcome challenges.
The Ultimate Guide for Mastering The Art and Science of Getting Past No
Are your closing techniques outdated? Objections, Jeb Blount’s third B2B sales book on our list, addresses this problem. Blount steers clear of bait-and-switch schemes and cheesy scripts, instead explaining why you’re afraid of rejection and how to overcome that fear. Through examples and stories, he outlines a framework to get to the next step in closing.
15. Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive
Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition
Don’t sell yourself; focus on letting customers shine. In Swim With the Sharks…, Harvey Mackay argues that too many salespeople spend too much time selling their personal brand when they should be focusing on making more appointments with their prospects. The book provides 66 lessons on gathering top-secret intel and managing and selling to difficult prospects
Before you add any of these books on B2B sales to your reading list, remember that reading alone won’t get you better results. Start with a book on prospecting, then read a chapter and begin implementing it immediately. Don’t read on until you’ve built your new habit, mindset or approach into your sales process. Afterwards, download Lusha Extension to enrich your leads when prospecting on social media, inside your Gmail or on B2B websites. It’ll complement any tips by giving you upwards of 37 data points and firmographics for better lead qualification. Download Lusha Extension for free.