With the new year fast approaching, it's time to get your bookshelf in order.
Every year around this time, I plan out which books I'll read throughout the year. I don't care about novels or the latest book-turned-blockbuster film. My time is valuable, so my reading list has to deliver immediate ROI.
I look up to leaders and entrepreneurs who place an emphasis on reading voraciously and continually learning. There's so much you can gain as a salesman by dedicating yourself to reading. I don't rest on my laurels either. I'm constantly reading, constantly learning and constantly becoming a better salesman, thanks to some great reads.
Here's my gift to you. If you want to find valuable leads, close that big deal or optimize your sales team, these 6 books are my recommendations.
Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount
This book is essential for everyone from the most novice salesperson through the CEO. Jeb Blount is highly motivational, but he backs it up with a solid structure that can help you hunt down vital leads.
Blount lays it all out in a clean, efficient manner. You'll learn the 5 C's of Social Selling, the 5-Step Telephone Framework and the 4-Step Email Prospecting Framework. Once you finish this book, your next campaign will be supercharged.
This isn't a bunch of feel-good hokum. I've used Blount's tactics with much success, as they have been tried and tested several times over.
Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross and Marylou Taylor
This book takes you inside the growth playbook behind one of the most successful companies of our time: Salesforce.
Predictable Revenue will teach you how to build a sales machine. It outlines common mistakes C-level executives and VPs of Sales keep making (and how to avoid them). The book will teach you that not all leads are created equal, giving you a step-by-step process that turns leads into paying customers.
Predictable Revenue gives readers a valuable peek inside the engine that build Salesforce into a multi-national force. If you're hitting a wall with sales, you owe it to yourself to read this book.
Closing the Deal:
Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff
Klaff has used the methods described in his book to raise more than $400 million. If you can attract leads but just can't get the deal you're looking for, you need to read Pitch Anything.
This book will teach you how to shift the power of negotiation to your side, but still have both parties walking away like they got a fair shake. Instead of just feeding you recycled rah-rah advice and having you come off like a car salesman, Klaff preaches the importance of understanding neuroscience to close major deals.
The Perfect Close by James Muir
I love this book because it delivers such practical advice. Muir has developed a sure-fire method of closing that works 95 percent of the time ... in just two questions.
He details this is in more of a conversational way, making this an easily-approachable book for those who aren't really motivated by some of my more confrontational selections.
The Perfect Close will get you into the proper mindset you need to become a better salesperson in 2017. The advice is simple, logical and effective.
Hiring and Managing:
The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge
In a similar vein as Predictable Revenue, Roberge explains how he helped build Hubspot from a startup to a company worth more than $100 million.
No matter what stage your company is in -- whether it just launched or it's a known commodity -- you can learn from The Sales Acceleration Formula. Just like many of you, Roberge wasn't a born salesman. He's an MIT grad with a background in engineering. In this book are the lessons he's learned along the way, going from novice to closer.
Roberge's book explains how to hire the employees who can supercharge your sales, how to train those employees and how to leverage technology throughout the sales funnel.
This book is a must-have if your business focuses on inbound marketing, or if you want to get a leg up on your competition.
Cracking the Sales Management Code by Jason Jordan and Michelle Vazzana
Your sales team could be killing it week in and week out, but unless you've got the proper measurement systems in place, would you even know? That's the problem Jordan and Vazzanna solve in Cracking the Sales Management Code.
This is a valuable read if your sales structure is a bit too disorganized. It breaks down the 5 fundamental sales processes you need to enact. Instead of simply setting a goal and hoping your sales team makes it, this book explains how to set your employees up for success, providing value from cover to cover.
This isn't for novices and it might take a couple reads to truly understand the message Jordan and Vazzana are laying out, but it's a vital tool that any sales manager could learn from.