Seven Must Read Books for Sales Startups

Seven of the most dog-eared books on our shelf, and why they’re instrumental to building a sales company.
Alexandra Kane

Nothing educates as well as getting your hands dirty–or getting your hands on a great book. In addition to a prominent whiskey bar, we at TalkIQ pride ourselves on a brimming bookshelf. Here are seven of the most dog-eared books on our shelf, and why we find each one instrumental to building a sales company.

The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

The Challenger Sale exploded onto the sales scene when it first debuted, and is still one of the most recommended books for sales reps, new and seasoned. Based on one of the largest studies on sales ever conducted, The Challenger Sale explains how to recognize certain behaviors among your reps and replicate winning strategies across your org. By placing reps into certain profiles, Dixon and Adamson show how one particular type–the Challenger– consistently exceeds quotas and makes great sales. The Challenger Sale is a great read for understanding your teams’ own strengths and weaknesses, and how to pick out and nurture the best strategies and talent.

To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink

To Sell is Human challenges our basic understanding of what ‘sales’ is. Pink tells us that not every sales transaction looks like an inside sales call, or a meeting with a field rep. To Sell is Human points out how the act of “selling” permeates our everyday lives–whether it’s convincing children to do what we say or fundraising for a new non-profit. The basic premise is that humans “sell” our ideas to each other everyday. His second point is also relevant in that current economic conditions have made the world of selling a whole new challenge. A great read on understanding what makes us all tick.

Getting to Yes! by Roger Fisher and William Ury

Fisher and Ury’s book Getting to Yes is a modern business classic. Framed as a strategic plan to end most conflicts, the book was originally written in the legal context. However, Getting to Yes has huge implications for us in the sales world. Outlining a step-by-step negotiation tactic that allows both participants to frame the issue in the context of mutual benefaction, Getting to Yes is an incredibly helpful tool in the sales professional’s arsenal. Negotiating is a key step in selling, and one that should be evident in all aspects of your communication with customers so both parties win.

The Psychology of Influence by Dr. Robert Cialdini

In a similar vein to Getting to Yes, The Psychology of Influence is a seminal text in the art and science of influence. Convincing others of the benefits to your product or service is the heart and soul of sales. This book does a deep dive into the psychology of what factors and behaviors can influence people to be swayed or “say yes.” Even outside of the sales profession, Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion are incredibly useful tools.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People has been a bestseller since its first publications nearly 80 years ago! Praised by one of the most successful business figures of all time, Warren Buffett, this work was originally published as a book on sales strategy. However, it has since exploded into a self-help and improvement piece read by millions of people across the world who want to maximize their potential in their personal and professional lives. How to Win is a lynchpin in the world of sales and business operations and an absolute must read!

SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham

More specifically tailored to the modern sales professional, SPIN Selling has been a roaring success among sales managers and their organizations. SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-payoff, and the book clearly outlines all the steps and nuances to implementing this method across large sales teams. Filled with infographics, real life anecdotes, and easy to digest case studies, SPIN Selling is considered one of the sales manager’s golden handbooks. We at TalkIQ believe in this method, and recommend this read to anyone who wants to dig further into the sales process with a little more data to back it up!

Non-Violent Communication by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg

At the heart of every sales interaction is good ol’ communication. Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication has long been lauded as a master text of communication. The book posits that even some of our best intended communication methods and strategies could actually be hurting our relationships–a potential key insight for any sales rep! Rosenberg’s book walks you through methods of understanding existing issues in our communication methods, and suggests easy to implement steps and exercises to make the most of what we say! Truly a great read.

Have you read any great sales books lately? Let us know what we should add to our bookshelf!