Are You An Entrepreneur Who Struggles With Sales?
Your sales division is what keeps your business afloat and allows growth. Even if you have the best product or service on the market, a lack of high-quality sales techniques will undercut its potential.
Sales skills are essential. They help entrepreneurs sell products, draw in customers, and increase profits. You need to master sales skills to help you become the next Ferriss, Gitomer, or even Dale Carnegie.
But with so much information available, the good stuff can get lost in the noise. Even business classes don’t always cover the ins and outs of day-to-day operations that often cause entrepreneurs to take pause.
One of the best ways to stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing is to read the best books on the subject. Add some older classes, and you will have a solid sales and marketing foundation to continue building your small business.
I spend a lot of time reading as many sales and business books as possible to improve the sales process at my own business. My Amazon cart is often overflowing with sales books that may or may not offer methods and advice to continually improve my sales game.
While some books ramble on without a point, some contain valuable insights that will benefit any entrepreneurship level.
These business books will save you time, money and give you an in on the industry secrets you never learned in business school.
Take a look at these seven must-read sales books on the market today.
The Ultimate Sales Machine
The Ultimate Sales Machine is an instant classic for entrepreneurs seeking to improve their marketing, management, and, of course, sales. I’ve purchased this book three times because it never comes back every time I lend it out!
This book offers proven strategies for tuning-up and amplifying every aspect of your business by spending an hour a week on a critical area.
The Ultimate Sales Machine is one of my all-time favorites because it’s based on the author’s personal experience of improving sales performances for hundreds of companies over a long period.
There’s no room for fluff- just 12 clear objectives that will boost profit margins and increase sales and real-world examples to prove it.
The road to successful sales has many twists and turns that can overwhelm even the most seasoned sales team. It is counterintuitive to jump on sales trends, which often fade away without providing many benefits.
Chet Holmes famously believed that a successful business doesn’t mean doing 4,000 things well. It means excelling at 12 items and repeating the process 4,000 times. Some key takeaways are:
- Effectively Manage Your Limited Time
- Use Regular Sales Team Meetings To Brief And Train As A Group
- Reel In Superstars
- Bond With Clients Through Multiple Follow-Ups
- Be Aggressive With Goals And Track Long Term Performance
The Ultimate Sales Machine is for sales associates and sales managers who want to be successful and are looking for a fun, easy read.
All sales professionals strive for reliable revenue. We know that the more qualified leads we can drum up, the better chance we have of generating paying customers that translate into more income over time.
Business owners need a sales process to take leads and qualify them for their business to transition them down the well-known sales funnel.
Predictable Revenue has earned the nickname “The Sales Bible Of Silicon Valley” for a good reason. Aaron Ross outlines how he brought massive opportunities to salesforce.com and built the lead generation function from the ground up. And he did it without cold calls.
This book offers an entirely new kind of sales system for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and sales VPs wanting to create a sales machine.
While I found this book sometimes felt like a promo for salesforce.com, I enjoyed how this sales book outlined the process for creating a highly structured, highly specialized sales process. Aaron Ross thoroughly understands the ins and outs of sales and empathizes with the challenges of sales.
This book offers in-depth sales advice with tips like:
- Designate a team for sourcing leads that is separate from the team closing the deal.
- Refrain from using gimmicky email tricks.
- Employ customer success/account management whose sole responsibility is making customers feel happy, satisfied, and successful.
- Make sure prospects consistently earn proposals.
This book outlines how you can gain recurring revenue, meet your financial goals, and increase your enterprise growth without sacrificing attention to other areas. Use this book to turn your sales process into a self-managing success.
Business Made Simple
Even with a business degree, many enter their entrepreneurship career without a fundamental understanding of how to succeed in business. You may come across a scenario that makes you feel lost, or even worse, like an imposter.
When I started my business eight years ago, I faced many challenges that weren’t on the syllabus of my business classes. It’s hard to be successful without a clear understanding of how business works in the real world.
That’s why I was glad to discover Business Made Simple by Donald Miller. Miller knows that it needs to be more than just a profitable idea for a business to be successful.
It involves unspoken rules only known by successful business people. And those secret guidelines can make or break a business.
One of my favorite parts of this book is the format. This little blue contains 60 daily readings that help professionals and business owners take their careers to the next level. It’s perfect for the busy entrepreneur.
Each lesson builds on the other, formulating a multilayer approach to a successful business. I enjoyed how the lessons centered around nine areas that indicate a successful business owner that helped frame my thinking about what my focus needed to be:
- Sales: What is the secret to closing more deals?
- Character: Who succeeds in business?
- Management: How do I know if I am a good manager?
- Leadership: How does a mission bring a team together?
- Business Strategy: What are the fundamentals of business operations?
- Productivity: How can I get more done in a limited time?
- Messaging: How can I capture my audience’s attention?
- Marketing: How do I create a solid sales funnel?
- Execution: How do I get everything done?
In all the time I’ve spent in my local bookstore’s business section, I noticed few titles explicitly related to finance, accounting, and budgeting related to sales and entrepreneurship.
I was happy to find Profit First by Mike Michalowitz, which disguises business budgeting as accounting hacks. This business book isn’t meant to increase your profit margins or outbound sales but helps you better understand basic cash flow, accounting, and your own business spending habits.
The Profit First system is a straightforward methodology to implement and quickly makes a significant impact on your business’s finances. The standard business finance model is to spend your business revenue on operating expenses first and take your profit from what is left.
The book’s title says it all: take your profit first and budget out the remaining capital to see significant changes in your financial metrics.
I enjoyed the conversational tone and storytelling using real-life examples, with the hint of behavioral psychology sprinkled in. If you are short on time, this read is easily digestible and gives you the tools to implement the Profit First system quickly.
- Identify where you are with your profit, operating expenses, taxes, and owners draw.
- Use separate accounts with clear names.
- Each quarter, alter your operating expenses and reallocate the capital to other areas.
The best part is that this process can be utilized by any business and any aspect of their journey: from startup to large corporation, the Profit First method is easily adaptable.
Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams
Business is often a series of launches. Whenever you are launching a new product, a new service, or a new business partnership, there are no shortcuts to success. There is, however, a playbook that can help streamline the launch process for any business owner.
Launch shot to the top of the New York Times Bestseller List in a matter of weeks because people trust author, Jeff Walker. He has been at the forefront of producing sales results with his patented Product Launch Formula, which revolutionized the online launch process.
This book is a distilled version of that formula, making it accessible for anyone with a product or service to sell. Launch offers a road map of actionable steps that anyone can learn, implement, and launch.
Of all the business and marketing books I’ve read, Launch is the most severe, practical, and comprehensive guide for a real-world business owner.
- Forget about “hope marketing” or just wishing your product sells.
- A product launch isn’t just a single message; it’s an entire conversation.
- Craft a memorable story with mental triggers.
- Create value for your customers by exceeding their expectations.
Launch outlines direct-response marketing strategies that grow your business. This book goes above and beyond by diving into specific, easy-to-follow templates you can use to increase sales.
This book teaches lessons that can help you no matter what industry or market you are in.
Sell With A Story
Sell With A Story reminds us of the power of storytelling. Whether we are selling a product, a service, or just ourselves, entrepreneurs must craft an engaging and impactful sales narrative to connect with and capture their audience.
A sales pitch without a story often falls flat. Paul Smith demonstrates how a salesperson can use storytelling to explain products or services in ways that connect people to the brand’s mission, release mental triggers, and resonate in the part of the brain that holds decision-making capabilities. In the vein of How To Win Friends And Influence People, Sell With A Story gives you the tools to use narratives to win your target audience over.
This book reads like it was written by an old friend, which makes it. You’ll enjoy that this book is not only a collection of great stories but a how-to guide of storytelling.
I liked the real-life examples Paul Smith used from corporations like Microsoft, Costco, and Xerox, as well as general model stories that guide you through the story writing process, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to create and communicate a compelling sales story:
- Select The Right Story: Choose a personal experience that will introduce yourself and your business and build a rapport with your customers.
- Craft A Compelling Narrative: Include details in your story’s rising action that will keep listeners wanting more.
- Infuse A Challenge Or Conflict: Conflict is why anyone follows a storyline. Make yours address objections and create a sense of urgency.
- Provide A Resolution: Bring the story home in a way that adds value to your product and brings data to life.
Sell Or Be Sold: How To Get Your Way In Business And In Life
Sell Or Be Sold is not just a book title but a way of life. Whether it’s selling your product to a prospective client or selling yourself on eating healthier, every decision can and should be treated as a sale.
Grant Cardone does a great job detailing what makes a good salesman. The best sales reps not only sell to others but are sold on the product themselves. And they know the principles of selling.
This book will tell you everything you need to know about the best sales approaches, selling, and what to look for during the sales process. You’ll learn how to handle the downside of selling: rejection, selling in a bad economy, and averting negative situations.
Sell Or Be Sold will change the way you perceive sales and give you the tools to become a sales legend.
I like Cardone’s off-the-cuff writing style, entertaining and valuable. The advice is actionable and meant to lead to sales success. Sure, some of the basics are stuff most entrepreneurs already know, but this book This sales book covers all the basics and provides readers with great lessons:
- Salespeople must persist by asking questions and getting uncomfortable.
- Make things happen by taking action.
- Practice, drill, and education to prevent sales anxiety.
- Selling is not imposing; it’s helping.
- The best medium is the one that works, even if it’s not social media or LinkedIn.
This book should be on every CEO and entrepreneur’s bookshelf as a resource for what you need to know to continue driving your sales towards peak performance.
Read The Best Sales Books To Build Your Business Today!
Sales and marketing are the two most essential elements of every small business and corporation. However, they are constantly in transition.
Rather than following trends, it’s critical to educate yourself on tried-and-true sales and marketing methods that will improve your bottom line.
To ensure your sales stay on the leading edge, you need to read the latest and most outstanding, must-read business books. That way, you can keep adding new layers to your sales process and help drive it forward.