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10 Sales Books That Will Help You Reach Your Professional Development Goals

Sean HayesLast updated on January 2, 2024
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Beyond hitting your sales goals, focusing on professional development is key to growing your career. Taking courses, attending conferences and events, and networking are all great strategies, but heading to the stacks is one of the easiest ways you can boost your sales knowledge.

So whether you fell into sales or chose it (and whether your company offers little to no training or a full-on intensive sales-training academy), our roundup of the top sales books is guaranteed to help you reach your professional goals and learn more about the industry. To help us source the best sales books on the market, we spoke to Sean Hayes, Aircall’s Director of Business Development for EMEA, for his go-tos. Take a look at his recommendations below and get reading!

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The Aircall Team’s Top 10 Sales Books

1. The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor

It might seem odd to put a book that is not directly related to sales at the top of a sales book list, but The Happiness Advantage is the book that I have got the most value from in my career.

The mantra of this book underpins the success of all the sales theory that follows on this list; a focus on training yourself into a happy and optimistic state so you can make the most of every opportunity that might present itself.

2. The Sales Acceleration Formula, Mark Roberge

The most comprehensive and practical breakdown of the moving parts that make up a SaaS sales organisation. We buy outcomes, and the metrics and outcomes outlined in this book mean you will buy into Roberge’s formula.

3. Spin Selling, Neil Rackham

An oldie but a goodie. A four-step guide to sales that still holds true 35 years later. There have been many imitations of this sales book, but few hit the mark.

4. The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation, Matt Dixon & Brent Adamson

How can you add value as part of a sales process? Tell the buyer something they didn’t already know. The Challenger Sales outlines the method of challenging buyers by teaching them something about their business.

The breakdown of salespeople (challenger, hard worker, etc.)  and buyers (Blocker, Guide, etc.) into different categories is a very practical approach to helping a salesperson navigate the seemingly complex world of selling.

5. Baseline Selling: How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know about the Game of Baseball, Dave Kurlan

You get the equivalent of 10 books worth of knowledge in this expertly formulated sales methodology. Kurlan makes sure you understand all the “bases” that need to be covered before you can make a home run. The principles of this book have stuck with me, and I still apply them today.

6. The Sales Development Playbook, Trish Bertuzzi

A must-have on the bookshelf or eReader of any business development leader, Bertuzzi highlights a lot of the “quirks” of business development that otherwise might take years of experience to pick up on.

7. Gap Selling: Getting the Customer to Yes, Jim Keenan

Future state selling is one of the most important techniques to learn in sales. Focussing on the customer’s objectives and goals helps a salesperson focus on selling impact and outcomes rather than features and benefits.

8. Inbound Selling: How to Change the Way You Sell to Match How People Buy, Brian Signorelli

The guiding principle of this book is that you should understand the buyer’s journey and build your sales process around this. The book includes some practical processes for outreach to different buyer personas that will kick-start any Inbound team.

9. Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of, Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler

If you’re looking to build a sales machine, you could do worse than following Salesforce’s blueprint. Like with the Sales Acceleration Formula, you get a step-by-step guide to building out a sales machine.

10. The Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness, Jeffrey Gitome

This was the very first sales book that I read at the age of 18. There are a few lessons that are outdated (like being the last to leave the office), but a few principles on discipline have stuck with me. The best one: Expect more of yourself than any manager would do.

Published on September 15, 2021.

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