Timothy Bauer

Writer and Podcast Host at Sweet Fish Media

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The 62 Best B2B Sales Books You Should Read in 2020

Timothy Bauer

Writer and Podcast Host at Sweet Fish Media

Full Profile »

It can be hard to find ways to boost your B2B sales. I know — I’ve been there. But when I’m looking for new ways to boost my sales, I’ve learned to turn to the handy books I keep near my desk.

Well, there are over 60 books in this list; they aren’t ALL near my desk, but they’ve all been in that area at some time or another.

My favorite B2B sales books have helped me make myself and my business better, and who doesn’t want that? They’ve been so useful for me and I think they deserve to be shared. These books are pretty awesome, but I don’t need to tell you that!

So… here are some of my favorite books on B2B sales. Let’s start with my top ten:

What are some of the best books on B2B sales in 2020? The 10 best books on B2B sales in 2020 are:

  1. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
  2. The Sales Development Playbook by Trish Bertuzzi
  3. Content-Based Networking by James Carbary
  4. How to Get a Meeting with Anyone by Stu Heinecke
  5. The Transparency Sale by Todd Caponi
  6. Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff
  7. I Want to Be in Sales When I Grow Up by John Barrows
  8. Sales Engagement by Manny Medina, Max Altschuler, and Mark Kosoglow
  9. Gap Selling by Keenan
  10. Unleash Possible by Samantha Stone

These books have helped me think about how I do B2B sales, and how efficiently I work. For a new B2B salesperson or anyone in B2B sales looking to add some oomph to their work, I would definitely recommend giving these books a read!

These successful authors know B2B sales, and who doesn’t want to learn from the best? Let’s go!

How I’m breaking this down:

  • The best B2B sales books for VPs & Managers
  • The best B2B sales books for Account Executives
  • The best B2B sales books for Sales Development Reps

The Best B2B Sales Books for VPs & Managers

The Transparency Sale by Todd Caponi

This fantastic book by Todd Caponi breaks down how being transparent and vulnerable can boost sales better than a lot of other sales strategies. 

  • 4.6/5 stars with over 50 reviews
  • 201 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 4 hrs and 41 min
  • The Five F’s of Driving Revenue Capacity on B2B Growth podcast

I Want to Be in Sales When I Grow Up by John Barrows

Readers love this adorable kids’ book for ages 8-10 because it explains what salespeople do. Charlie’s cookie selling adventure inspires young readers to explore the world of sales!

Content-Based Networking by James Carbary

I know, I know, I’m biased… but I think this is a pretty dang good book. Content-based networking has worked for me to connect with prospective customers and others. I’ve watched friends build their entire business off of this process. 

  • 5/5 stars with over 50 reviews
  • 196 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 2 hrs and 48 min
  • How to Turn Podcast Interviews Into Meetings on B2B Growth podcast

Unleash Possible by Samantha Stone (link to her episodes on B2B Growth)

This book is a smash-hit, in my opinion. There are plenty of voices out there telling you to make all sorts of changes in your marketing to improve your sales, but this book tells you exactly how to make those changes, including redesigning marketing and sales teams’ relationships. 

  • 4.6/5 stars with over 40 reviews
  • 244 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 7 hrs and 22 min
  • 5 Sales Habits That Disrupt Marketing Success on B2B Growth podcast

The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes

You know how when you try a new diet you always forget about it or quit soon enough? It’s too much change at once! You have to go bit by bit, adjusting to changes — just like Holmes says we should do in sales. We can’t make every change at once, it just won’t work. Less is more!

  • 4.7/5 stars with over 530 reviews
  • 272 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 min

The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge

Why struggle with something when someone else has already told you how to do it? Mark Roberge has a formula for everything, from hiring to training to demand generation.

  • 4.6/5 stars with over 250 reviews
  • 224 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 6 hrs and 24 min
  • The 4 Crucial Components in the Sales Acceleration Formula on B2B Growth podcast

Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler 

I’m going to be honest. Sometimes, I feel like I’m doing too much… I love my job but there’s so much to keep track of! Ross and Tyler cover a ton in this book, but my favorite thing is how to create better teams that are more self-sufficient, so I have more time to focus on things besides managing.

  • 4.2/5 stars with over 470 reviews
  • 213 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 5 hrs and 7 min
  • How to Build a Predictable Prospecting Engine on B2B Growth podcast

Buyer Personas by Adele Revella

This book is all about reverse-engineering, in my opinion. You think about what your customers like and what they want, and that’s how you improve your business. From an outsider’s perspective, not an insider’s.

  • 4.3/5 stars with 70 reviews
  • 240 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 7 hr and 2 min
  • Stop Screwing Up Your Buyer Personas on B2B Growth podcast

From Impossible to Inevitable by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin

This book argues that achieving growth isn’t luck or hard work: it’s following the right map. With a goal of hypergrowth, this book helps you do what you need to do including finding and controlling a niche — what they say is the missing piece for a lot of companies. 

Rehumanize Your Business by Ethan Beute and Stephen Pacinelli

This back-to-basics book goes all the way back to the social skills we learn in kindergarten. Trust, communication, and having your own identity are the keys to better customer and employee relationships. 

  • 4.8/5 stars with over 100 reviews
  • 224 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 6 hr and 26 min
  • #CX 16: Rehumanize Your Business on B2B Growth Podcast

Blueprints for a SaaS Sales Organization by Jacco van der Kooij and Fernando Pizarro

This book, for leaders in sales, focuses on improving the customer experience by having well-organized, skilled teams that know what to do and when to do it.

Cracking the Sales Management Code by Jason Jordan and Michelle Vazzana

Based in research, this book for sales force managers explains the numbers, processes, and behaviors that lead to positive results in sales. 

The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker

This book discusses the five things effective executives can — and should — be doing to be a great leader. Time management, prioritizing, and strong decision making are just some of the pieces Drucker argues are essential for an effective executive.

Hiring, Onboarding, and Ramping Salespeople by Cory Bray and Hilmon Sorey

This book’s all about the T.E.A.M. method: identifying great talent, engaging your new hires, accelerating your business’s performance, and then developing mastery in your employees. Knowing how to effectively support your team and discern what they need is an important way to improve the effectiveness of your business.

Coaching Salespeople Into Sales Champions by Keith Rosen

Rosen’s careful consideration of how to be a great seller includes case studies, an easy-to-follow guide, templates and scripts for coaches to deliver effectively, and other tools for coaches. Creating “sales champions” is a great way, Rosen says, to create confident, skilled salespeople who can work self-sufficiently and improve measurables like sales.

Sales Management. Simplified. by Mike Weinberg

After gaining expert experience as a consultant, Mike Weinberg wrote this book to help sales departments improve where they don’t even realize they need it most: management. He talks about building company culture, leading meetings, correctly assigning people, and most importantly: retention and remediation.

Leading Sales Development by Alea Homison and Jeremey Donovan

This book is nice and short, but perfectly detailed. It tells team builders how to put together great groups for scalable sales development, from hiring to managing and optimizing. 

  • 4.6/5 stars with 9 reviews
  • 192 pages
  • No audiobook

Dealstorming by Tim Sanders

Tim Sanders’ “dealstorming” is his proposed method to move past even the most difficult obstacles in sales. Bringing in stakeholders outside of sales, employing teamwork, and seeking creative solutions are parts of the seven steps that he uses to climb all sorts of sales hurdles. 

Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff

Benioff, known for his salesforce.com success, discusses the strategies the salesforce.com team used for their business, technology, and social impact to create a highly successful company that stood out, grew, and continued to innovate.

The Sales Enablement Playbook by Cory Bray and Hilmon Sorey

This book focuses on company culture and directing it to encourage sales, providing frameworks and strategies that can work across fields for organizations looking to improve their growth. 

Enablement Mastery by Elay Cohen

This sales enablement guide is all about how to get the whole company on board, so everyone understands the goals and the culture reflects the company’s mission. This book explains how to achieve enablement mastery throughout an organization and why learning and communication are so critical to success.

Sales Manager Survival Guide by David Brock

This is the ultimate guide for sales managers. It explores coaching and other learning that you should use to improve your team, how to build and hire the right team, how to analyze and plan for success, and how to manage your teams well. 

  • 4.7/5 stars with over 130 reviews
  • 358 pages
  • No audiobook
  • Avoid These 2 Prospecting Mistakes on B2B Growth podcast

The Best B2B Sales Books for Account Executives

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Chris Voss is a really cool guy with an even cooler story. He was an FBI hostage negotiator, and this book is the result. Voss talks about nine points he learned that made him a great negotiator. 

  • 4.8/5 stars with over 5,190 reviews
  • 288 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 min
  • 4 Strategies to Become a Master Negotiator in B2B Sales on B2B Growth podcast

Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff

Pitching is such an important part of selling. You know that, I know that. Here Oren Klaff shares his method for pitching which is based on science. Both cool and super effective. 

  • 4.5/5 stars with over 985 reviews
  • 240 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 6 hrs and 14 min
  • How Top Sales Performers Can Flip The Script and Pitch Anything on B2B Growth podcast
  • Also the author of Flip the Script

Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success by Colleen Stanley

I love this book! It’s written for every person who wasn’t born knowing how to make great connections (and that’s probably just about everyone). Colleen Stanley writes about how important emotional intelligence is to impress and build trust with customers, and she also tells you what to do to improve your emotional intelligence: how to listen, respond, and act.

The Connector’s Advantage by Michelle Tillis Lederman

This exciting book dives into the benefits of building relationships and connecting with people. It shows you ways to think and act to build a new mindset and reap the rewards of connecting with people.

The SaaS Sales Method for Customer Success and Account Managers by Dominique Levin and Jacco van der Kooij 

This one dives deep into how AMs and CSMs should apply sales skills and the ways they should interact with other teams to create the best customer experience.

Influence by Robert Cialdini

“The Psychology of Persuasion” is a pretty great subtitle, not just because it sounds really cool but because it’s also the super-important part of persuasion that this book explains. How to get people to say yes is something any sales rep needs to know, but even better, this book teaches you how to keep yourself from giving in to persuasion too easily if someone flips the switch on you.

To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink

Everyone, Daniel Pink says, works in sales. Business is sales, no matter what job you’re performing. His book is great for people with and without “sales” in their job description, talking about pitching, understanding others, and how to message persuasively. 

Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury

This negotiation and conflict resolution handbook is designed to help you succeed without getting overly emotional: how to compromise with anyone, focus on the right concerns, and succeed even with people who refuse to act fairly or compromise. 

  • 4.6/5 stars with over 1,600 reviews
  • 240 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 6 hr and 17 min

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

This classic self-improvement book can have a great impact in business. The seven behavior changes that Covey describes are small and easy, yet can have transformative results. Thinking ahead and thinking positively can help managers manage better, salespeople sell better, and people be better.

The Best B2B Sales Books for Sales Development Reps

The Sales Development Playbook by Trish Bertuzzi

Sales development reps are always looking for new ways to expand their reach. Trish Bertuzzi’s 6 ideas that she explores tell you how to do just that. 

  • 4.7/5 stars with over 272 reviews
  • 262 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 5 hrs and 58 min
  • A 6-Part Sales Development Playbook on B2B Growth podcast

How to Get a Meeting with Anyone by Stu Heinecke

Stu Henecke’s “Contact Campaigns” have allowed the marketer and cartoonist to do exactly what this title says — get a meeting with anyone. In this book, he tells you exactly how to do it. 

Sales Engagement by Manny Medina, Max Altschuler, and Mark Kosoglow

Lead generation is always on my mind. What can I do to do better? I bet you have the same question — and this book has all the answers we need. 

  • 4.8/5 stars with over 30 reviews
  • 240 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 5 hrs and 29 min
  • How to Hack Sales at the Top of the Funnel on B2B Growth podcast

Gap Selling by Keenan

We all think we know sales, but do we? I thought so, but Keenan disagreed. He taught me totally new ways to think about selling that could improve my sales metrics, like having salespeople consider the psychology of a buyer. What could be better?

  • 4.8/5 stars with over 200 reviews
  • 262 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 5 hrs and 47 min
  • Stop Saying “People Buy From People They Like” on B2B Growth podcast
  • Also the author of Not Taught

The Challenger Sale by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon

Relationships with others have helped in both my personal life and my work life. I think they’re really important, which is why Adamson and Dixon’s book surprised me. They argue, using data from a careful study, that the best sales reps forego relationships and instead offer customers specific information about what they’ll get or how they’ll benefit from the sale. 

  • 4.4/5 stars with over 1,000 reviews
  • 240 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 5 hrs and 43 min

Go for No! by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz

I don’t think anyone likes failure, but Fenton and Waltz think it’s exactly what you need to be successful. This book changed my mind about failure lightning-fast. It redefines what failing is and… wow, just wow. 

  • 4.7/5 stars with over 1,500 reviews
  • 80 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 1 hr and 33 min

Predictable Prospecting by Marylou Tyler and Jeremey Donovan

Okay, so here’s the thing about me. I love game plans. Knowing what I’m doing, why, and how, makes it so much easier to fully relax when I’m off the clock. Not only does this book come with a prospecting game plan specifically for B2B businesses, but it also includes things like charts and templates for emails, which is super useful to help you revise and refine your current email strategy.

Get the Meeting! by Stu Heinecke

There’s a reason I have multiple Stu Heinecke books on this list: they’re freaking awesome. This one is packed with new suggestions and tons of case studies to demonstrate “contact marketing” — Stu’s method to help you, well, get the meeting.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This is the most classic business book I can think of. If you still haven’t read it or somehow haven’t heard of it, consider this as the message from the universe to do it. The title is extremely self-explanatory here… The book offers lots of methods to win friends and influence people.

Sell with Authority by Drew McLellan and Stephen Woessner

Selling with authority is all about owning it. Being an expert, a thought leader. It’s what can make a business stand out, trusted and regarded with authority.

Ignore Everybody (and 39 Other Keys to Creativity) by Hugh MacLeod

In this fun read, the funny and wise Hugh McLeod talks about how to find opportunities for creativity and inspiration. He emphasizes originality and hard work to be a successful creator.

Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini

Cialdini, a social psychologist, knows his stuff. He writes all about the critical moments just before your pitch or message delivery. That, he argues, is the crucial piece to successful persuasion.

Outbound Sales, No Fluff by Rex Biberston

This fast read is a great primer or reminder of the key skills for sales. It breaks down what to do to find great opportunities with outbound prospecting, since it focuses on what a sales rep can control rather than what they can’t. 

  • 4.3/5 stars with over  110 reviews
  • 57 pages
  • No audiobook

Agile Selling by Jill Konrath

The key to this one is being proficient in sales. Being able to adapt, learn quickly, and succeed are super important to sales professionals in new or changing situations. Konrath talks about strategies for managing busy times and information overloads, and equips her readers with the tools they need to succeed in all sorts of different conditions. 

Mastering the Complex Sale by Jeff Thull

Some people love the challenge and adrenaline of a difficult or complex sale, while some people hate the newness and lack of stability it can bring. This exploration of tricky, competitive sales goes through how to find and reach the right people in the right places, build trusting relationships with buyers, and offer the right solutions for the right clients. 

SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham

This short(ish) read breaks down good sales performance into an easy strategy acronym: Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need payoff. It explains the differences between large and small sales and how strategies and skills need to be adapted when switching between the two, using graphics, examples, and case studies to help readers fully understand its advice.

Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount

Explaining everything you need to know and consider about prospecting, Blount explains how salespeople and organizations can and should work to keep consistent prospecting activities so the well never runs dry. He talks about the Laws of Replacement and Familiarity, social selling, and prospecting effectively via phone, email, and even text. 

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need by Anthony Iannarino

Iannarino really does have a great sales guide in this not-too-long read. A salesperson can learn all of the characteristics and skills that Iannarino argues a seller should have, including how to follow through, own your wins (and losses) and use your background to get creative with your sales. 

The Predictable Pipeline by Matt Heinz

This brand new book examines seven areas that marketing can drive results for, including refocusing your time from unprepared buyers on prepared buyers, and ensuring that your company’s message is refined and ready for the growth you want to achieve.

  • No reviews; will be released November 2020
  • 256 pages
  • No audiobook (yet)
  • How to Turn Marketing From a Cost Center to a Profit Center on B2B Growth podcast
  • Also by Matt Heinz: Successful Selling

Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann

This one’s all about relationships. Building trust, giving others a reason to want to work with you. Written in a narrative style, this book is about a young man named Joe who learns from the best of the best why being a go-giver, rather than a go-getter, is so much better. 

The Perfect Close by James Muir

Being realistic, normal, and friendly is the new seller, James Muir says. Rather than coming off like a retail clerk paid on commission, “checking in” constantly and clearly trying to make a sale, you want to seem like a smart person who sells what your client needs, and who they want to work with. Low-pressure closing, with two questions that Muir says can work in any situation. 

  • 4.7/5 stars with over 200 reviews
  • 284 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 4 hr and 13 min
  • The Only 2 Questions You Need For the Perfect Close on B2B Growth podcast

Sales Differentiation by Lee B. Salz

Everyone wants to stand out and be special — for an organization, it’s the way to differentiate yourself from the competition. When it comes to sales, what and how you do it make a big difference in how customers see you. Salz talks about ways to improve sales messaging and attitudes, and how to take advantage of the sales process to make the customer experience exceptionally impressive.

Sales EQ by Jeb Blount (link to his episode on B2B Growth)

With greater access to information than ever before, the sales game is changing. Buyers have power and know how to use it, and salespeople have to up the persuasion to be successful. He provides lots of strategies and methods for all parts of the sales process and all sorts of buyer types.

  • 4.6/5 stars with over 200 reviews
  • 320 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 9 hr and 2 min
  • The 3 Parts to Every B2B Sales Negotiation (& How to Approach Them) on B2B Growth podcast

Ditch the Pitch by Steve Yastrow

Back to that pushy retail clerk from earlier — customers don’t like pushy. They’re not they’re to give you money, they’re there to get something for themselves. Persuasion doesn’t have to be bottled or canned, and it shouldn’t be. It should be dynamic and relevant and natural. Yastrow talks about how improvisation is critical to effective selling, with advice from the best: improv comedians, and musicians who improvise regularly. 

Snap Selling by Jill Konrath

To help salespeople sell faster and better, Jill Konrath explores four rules that she says will help improve the sales process for salespeople: being simple and clear, proving your brand’s value, focusing on fitting the customer’s needs and sticking to your intent.

Mindset by Carol S. Dweck

Dweck’s explanation of growth mindset has taken the world by storm as a new classic. Looking to learn and grow, rather than succeed for the point of succeeding, can help people accept failure, celebrate small victories, and work towards their goals rather than struggling to find motivation and purpose.

  • 4.5/5 stars with over 3,700 reviews
  • 320 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 8 hr and 34 min

Selling to the C-Suite by Nicholas Read and and Stephen Bistritz

This book examines what c-suite executives want in the salespeople they work with, how to find the right executives, and how to make sure you’re the right match for them. 

  • 4.3/5 stars with over 60 reviews
  • 240 pages
  • No audiobook

Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer

This handbook to sales is designed to give wisdom and advice that won’t change with time or new technology — something that applies to any sale, at any time. 

Exactly What to Say by Phil M Jones

A key part of persuasion is how you deliver, and that means Jones’ book is a fantastic resource to help you close sales. Knowing the right messaging, timing, and attitude can help you have the most effective, successful result.

Eat Their Lunch by Anthony Iannarino

This B2B-specific sales guide focuses on how to earn clients from your competition, teaching salespeople that trustworthiness and long-term value are the way to win clients, not by displaying insatiable hunger. Knowing and understanding your goal clients and figuring out what they need from you is, Iannarino says, the way to go. 

The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden

This book is all about the mental shift that we call “motivation.” Haden argues that it isn’t found, it’s gained — so lack of motivation isn’t why you can’t do something, it’s the thing you’ll gain by doing that thing. Haden explains why he believes success is never about luck, it’s about commitment and drive and earning motivation from your hard work. 

  • 4.4/5 stars with over 190 reviews
  • 288 pages
  • Audiobook on Audible
  • Length: 6 hr and 30 min
  • The Reason This Writer Gets 1.7 Million Readers a Month on B2B Growth podcast

There are so many to choose from…

I know! But these books are all wonderful, and I’m sure there’s something in each one that could teach you something. They all gave me new ideas, which is why I think they’re worth sharing. 

Whether you’re looking for the best B2B sales books you should read as a VP or manager, account executive, or sales development rep, there’s definitely something here for you.

Don’t feel like reading right now?

I feel you. Sometimes you just want to sit down and listen. Lucky for you, I’ve got just the thing: The B2B Sales Show. We do all the work for you, you just have to click play!

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