When it comes to knowing the best sales management books for you to grow your skill set, you’ve come to the right place.
Being a sales rep is one thing, but being a sales manager?
Totally different ball game.
You need to empower and motivate your team to ensure they are making sales, and ultimately profit, for the business.
Gone are the days when you only had yourself to think about. You’re now in a position of responsibility, and making sure your entire team is working towards the same objectives is key.
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This requires a new set of skills including coaching, leadership, mentoring, and recruiting. After all, you’re going to want the very best team behind you to make sure you collectivity meets your targets.
The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone.
There are lots of helpful sales management books out there to guide you in the right direction so that you can thrive in your role. Being a manager is new to everyone at some stage in their career. It’s not something you just automatically become as you have to work your way up.
That’s why we’ve put together your list of the best sales management books for you to read right now.
So grab a coffee, and let’s get started.
Sales Management for Dummies by Butch Bellah
This sales book is written by someone who has previous experience in the sales management and execution process.
Butch Bellah has been a sales trainer for over 30 years, so it’s safe to say he knows a thing or two when it comes to managing your team!
Whilst selling is obviously a huge part of this role, there’s so much more to it that people often overlook. For instance, you need to learn how to anticipate a customer/clients’ needs and develop psychologist-like insight to understand what your end user really wants.
Thankfully all of this is covered in ‘Sales Management for Dummies’ which provides a comprehensive guide on what it takes to be a successful sales manager.
From prospecting to closing, the contents of the books covers 5 main topics which are listed below:
- Transitioning from an individual sales rep to a sales leader
- Building up your team
- Training and developing your team
- Running sales meetings and measuring your teams performance
- Managing top performers, inspiring middle ones, and letting mediocre team members go
If you’re a sales manager or you’ve just been promoted into the role, the tried-and-tested guidance presented inside of these pages sets you up for success.
Bellah also features some of his own stories from personal experience, which act as really valuable examples.
Sales Management. Simplified. by Mike Weinberg
What makes this sales book such an interesting read is that it actually tells you what not to do.
In this brutally honest, straight-to-the-point guide, Mike Weinberg explores the different ways in which sales managers can sabotage the efforts of their team – albeit unintentionally.
This enables you to learn from the experience of others, so that you can avoid making the same mistakes in your own role.
It’s really useful to learn from other people in your industry, as it gives you reassurance that other people have been there and faced the same challenges.
The book covers a variety of topics including how to:
- Implement a simple framework for sales leadership
- Foster a healthy, high-performance sales culture
- Conduct productive meetings with your team
- Assign the right team members to the right roles
- Coach for success
- Retain top producers and help those who are underperforming
- Point salespeople at the proper targets
- Sharpen your sales story
- Regain control of your calendar
And there’s no fluff in this book either.
It’s a concise and crystal clear guide on how to be better sales manager, in a simplified way – hence the title. This gives sales managers actionable advice which they can start implementing today, tomorrow, and next week.
Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance by Jason Jordan and Michelle Vazzana
Before you can lead your team to success, you first need to understand what success looks like.
Sure, you’ll read lots of books about how to ‘effectively manage your sales team’ but what does this mean in real terms?
This book works by breaking down a cloudy topic to make it easy for sales managers to understand. After all, no one wants to try and decipher a bunch of jargon. They want real advice that they can start putting into action.
The book also provides you with the key metrics that you should be measuring to monitor the performance of your sales team. Data is highly important in the world of sales, as without knowing your numbers, you won’t know if the business is making any profit.
However, this book breaks it down into a concise and easy to understand format that every sales manager can follow.
So, if you’re looking to regain control over sales performance, and manage your sellers to drive better business results, then this is the book for you.
Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross and Maylou Taylor
This book focuses heavily on the sales process, and ultimately how you can turn leads into sales.
It’s not about making cold calls or closing deals, which is typical content for this kind of book. Instead, ‘Predictable Revenue’ focuses on what you can do to make a sales machine, and a sales culture that your team will love.
In order to generate high-quality leads and create predictable revenue, you need a talented sales team. You need people who are passionate about your company and who want to progress.
Throughout the pages, you will discover how Salesforce.com, an American cloud-based software company, generated $100 million in recurring revenue through their outbound sales process.
It had absolutely nothing to do with cold calling, yet it allowed them to double their enterprise growth. I think every sales manager wants some of that!
So, if you want to learn how to develop an outbound sales process that generates millions of pounds of revenue, without making a single cold call, then look no further. You will also learn how to attract, train, and inspire great people who are the driving force behind any sales campaign.
The Sales Boss: The Real Secret to Hiring, Training and Managing a Sales Team by Jonathan Wistman
Before you can enjoy success, you need to have the right sales team.
Whilst this sounds easy enough, you need to know how to hire the right people, at the right time, for the right job. All too often, sales managers can end up making the wrong decisions as they have not fully understood what they are expecting from the candidate.
This is both time consuming and costly, for a business of any size.
When you become a sales manager, hiring is a big part of your role. Collectively, your team members need to work together to achieve the same goal. It’s not every man (or woman) for themselves, but instead a team effort.
This is something that a lot of businesses get wrong as they concentrate on a single person who carries the rest of the team. As such, the responsibility falls on you to recruit the right person who can benefit the rest of your sales team.
And once you’ve got the right person, you need to equip them with everything they need to be successful. You need to understand how to remove any barriers or obstacles that might be hindering them from achieving their full potential.
Sound like a lot to get right?
Not to worry, this books cover everything you need to know.
The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales by Trish Bertuzzi
Do you need more customers?
What a silly question, every business could do with having more customers! After all, this is where your revenue comes from, and without customers, you wouldn’t have a job.
For any company, success is directly linked to how effectively they acquire new pipelines.
In this book by Trish Bertuzzi, she tells you how to use inside sales to generate more customers and boost your revenue. Using her own experience, she talks about 6 elements which are key to making this happen: strategy, specialisation, recruiting, retention, execution, and leadership.
As such, these are actionable strategies that you can start implementing in your own sales team straight away.
The secret lies in sales development as this allows you to generate high-growth that will propel your business forward.
Bertuzzi also has over 30 years of practical, hands-on, expertise in the sales industry, so you can be confident that she’s speaking from her own experience.
The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Stanier
Next up on your list of the best sales management books, is this interesting read by Michael Stanier.
He talks about the importance of coaching, and more importantly, the integral role this plays in a sales management position.
When we say ‘coaching’, this doesn’t mean checking in with your team once a week. It’s a continued approach that has to be built into your team’s personal development. As a matter of fact, coaching should be a normal part of your working day.
You work alongside your sales team, so you should be checking in with them on a daily basis to identify any roadblocks or obstacles.
The book focuses on the concept ‘talk less, ask more’ as Stanier reveals his seven essential coaching questions.
Drawing on years of experience training more than 10,000 managers around the world, Stanier shares a range of practical, everyday coaching skills that will help any sales manager unlock their team’s potential.
The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.D, and Spencer Johnson, M.D
In this strategic guidebook, Blanchard and Johnson share easy-to-understand techniques such as one-minute goal setting, one-minute praise, and even one-minute reprimands.
These short activities will be music to any sales manager’s ears as I’m sure you’ll be pretty strapped for time!
Having sold over 2 million hard copies of ‘The One Minute Manager’ this ranks as one of the most successful management books of all time.
So, it’s no surprise that this title had to make it onto our list of the best sales management books for you to read right now.
If you prefer to listen rather than read, then you can listen to ‘The One Minute Manager’ in an audio format. Not only does this save you time, but it also helps you get on with other important tasks whilst absorbing the information at the same time.
Whether that’s juggling responsibilities at work, or jobs around the house, having access to this alternative format is a huge benefit.
The Accidental Sales Manager: How to Take Control and Lead Your Sales Team to Record Profits by Chris Lytle
As we’ve mentioned in the intro, there’s a big difference between being a sales representative and a sales manager.
Often, employees are promoted to sales manager, and don’t fully understand the level of responsibility that comes with the post.
Perhaps you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, and feel like you spend all of your time chasing an unmotivated sales team? This will lead to you missing your old job, where all you had to worry about was meeting your own sales targets and worrying about your own attitude to work.
And what’s worse, is that you mind up doing your old job, whilst also trying to juggle your sales manager role at the same time. So how does this happen? Usually it falls down to the company who neglect their sales managers and don’t provide them with enough training.
If these feelings are resonating with you, then you need this sales management book by Chris Lytle.
Don’t get stuck in a sales management trap as you struggle to manage and empower your team.
Sales Manager Survival Guide: Lessons From Sales’ Front Lines by David Brock
Having a plan as a sales manager is absolutely essential, especially if you’re new to the role.
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and isolated when you first start, after all there’s so much to wrap your head round. From coaching, training, team building, recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and responding to changes in the marketplace, it can be a lot to take on.
But, this is where David Brock’s survival guide comes in very useful.
It tells you everything you need to know about being a sales manager, so that you can succeed in your management position. And even better, it provides you with a concrete 30, 60, and 90 day plan so that you can better manage your workload, and make sure you’ve achieved key milestones.
After all, it can be a right juggling act when you’re new to a job post!
Whilst writing this guide, Brock admitted that he learned most of the lessons the hard way!
However, by taking the time to read this sales management book, you can put your best foot forward from the outset.
Race to Amazing by Krista S. Moore
As the Founder and CEO of K.Coaching, Inc, a sales leadership coaching, consulting, and training organisation, Kris S.More has been the sales leader for various multimillion-dollar startups and Fortune 500 companies.
She has also coached successful sales leaders throughout the world, to help them get the business results they are looking for.
So, I think it’s fair to say she knows a thing or two when it comes to sales management!
In her book, she emphasises the need for businesses to train and up-skill their current sales leaders, as these people impact sales success and innovation. All too often, salespeople are promoted to management prematurely without correct training or mentoring.
She provides a whole range of useful strategies and information so that sales managers can create their own sales management system, and develop a leadership style that works.
Race to Amazing includes relatable stories, and helps business across the globe to:
- Gain clarity on their vision and talents
- Create and lead a winning sales strategy
- Build an effective sales management system
- Create a motivating and inspiring leadership style
- Learn a “Coach Approach” to sales leadership
The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal by David Hoffeld
Combining cutting-edge research in social psychology, neuroscience, and behaviuoral economics, this book shows sales managers how to align selling with consumer purchasing behaviour.
After all, it is our brain which drives us to buy certain products/ services over something else.
It’s a psychological process that needs to be correctly understood for businesses to enjoy sales success.
Unlike other books in this field, Hoffeld’s ‘Science of Selling’ is based on real evidence to help you and your sales team understand how the human brain naturally forms buying decisions – thereby allowing you to earn more sales.
The more you understand your customer, the more you can serve their needs and enjoy more profit.
Jam packed with helpful information to navigate the world of sales, this book also includes guidance on how to:
- Engage buyers’ emotions to encourage them to interact with your offering
- Ask questions that align with how the brain discloses information
- Lock in the incremental commitments that lead to a sale
- Create a positive influence
- Discover the underlying causes of objections and work to resolve them
- Guide buyers through their buying journey
This title just had to make it onto our list of the best sales management books!
It’s a must-read for any sales manager looking to improve how their product/ service is perceived.
To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H.Pink
This book offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling.
Instead of always focusing on ABS (“Always Be Closing”) there’s a lot more than goes into selling.
He explains why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople, which might surprise many of you considering their usual level of confidence. He also explains why we shouldn’t concentrate on changing people’s minds to make a sale.
Instead, giving people an “off-ramp” for their actions can matter more. In fact we’re all sales people in everyday life – even if we don’t notice it.
Whether you’re pitching an idea to a colleague at work or trying to tell your child the benefits of doing their homework, we’re all operating in the world of sales.
This book makes a very interesting read and will help you change the way you see selling, by looking at it from a different perspective.
Intrigued to find out more?
Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition by Anthony Iannarino
Winning over your competitors might seem like a daunting task, but rest assured it is achievable!
This B2B focussed book explains how you can prioritise potential clients, uncover key priorities across the buyer’s organisation, and then create a plan for earning buy-in from each of these contacts.
And to survive in the cut-throat world of sales, these sort of strategies are a must!
In order to grow, you need to take a slice of the market and this includes dominating your competitors. And let’s be honest, they’re trying to do the same to you as you’re both chasing the same customer base.
It’s not easy for any salesperson to any sales manager to suddenly take over their competitors, or as this book puts it, “eat their lunch.”
One of the main things to remember is that employing a ” do whatever it takes” attitude is not going to work as you’ll just make it difficult for customers to trust you. It will also make it next to impossible for investors to see you as a long-term partner, and you probably won’t position your business as one they would like to associate with.
Instead, this book shows you how to find and maintain a long-term competitive advantage by developing a systematic contact plan. This involves understanding the different priorities for everyone in your prospect’s company, all the way from the CEO to HR so that you can address their concerns.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Which sales manager couldn’t couldn’t benefit from a little help building and managing relationships?
The principles outlined in this book are very valuable and provide sales managers (and sales reps) with actionable tips for connecting with buyers, team members, and other key stakeholders.
In these pages, Dale Carnegie will provide you with tried and tested advice and he has helped numerous people enjoy success in both their business and personal lives.
Could this be you?
Well there’s only one way to find out!
How to Win Friends & Influence People covers a whole host of meaningful topics, including:
- Six ways to make people like you
- Twelve ways to win people around to your way of thinking
- Nine ways to change people without annoying them
This sales management book is an absolute must-read, and with 15 million copies sold, you’re in safe hands!
Sales Enablement by Byron Matthews and Tamara Schenk
“Sales Enablement” is a practical introduction to delivering smarter sales training, content and coaching – 3 things which are high up on any sales managers to-do list!
Schenk and Matthews carefully lay out the complexities of the sales enablement space, and outline clear step-by-step guidance to implementation. They also include real-world practices and provide real case studies to help sales managers understand how to apply these principles in their own role.
The result is a comprehensive plan for improving the productivity of your sales team and therefore, increasing business revenue.
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Dr Travis Bradberry and Dr Jean Greaves
Finishing off our list of the best sales management books for you to read right now, is ‘Emotional Intelligence 2.0.’
This is the only book we’ve explored which isn’t catered specifically towards sales managers, as the lessons learned in this book can be applied to a range of different roles.
Emotional intelligence, also shortened to ‘EQ’ is an essential skill in everyday life, as it helps us empathise with others, understand their feelings, and create more meaningful relationships. As a result, all of these skills are crucial for any manager operating in any field of work, as you can’t lead people without first understanding them.
This book provides an end-to-end guide for increasing your EQ by harnessing four core skills that enable you to achieve your fullest potential:
- Social Awareness
- Relationship Management
This is a must read for any sales leader who wants to motivate their team and inspire positive action. Essentially, the higher your management EQ, the more creative and innovative your organisation will be as a whole.
Best Sales Management Books to Read Right Now
And that’s our round up of the best sales management books for you to get your hands on.
This list will inevitably keep growing as new books are emerging, so keep your eye out!
Whilst these books should in no way replace a solid sales strategy, it’s useful to hear from people who have been in the same position as you. It’s less about ‘doing things by the book’, and more about using these people as inspiration in your own day-to-day role.
Knowing that others have been in the same position as you is very reassuring and gives you confidence that you will succeed. These people have faced and overcome the same challenges, and understand what it takes to be an effective sales manager.
Whether you need help with leading your team, managing your workload, or improving your EQ (see above), there’s a book out there for you.
So, pause those notifications, grab a coffee, and start reading!
At Canny we work with a range of sales managers across a whole host of industries from IT to healthcare. We know how overwhelming it can be, trying to juggle your daily responsibilities whilst also leading your business to selling success. Let us take some of the weight off, whilst you get back to managing your ever growing to-do list. Get in touch with a member of the Canny team and find out how we can help!