You were an outstanding sales rep -- and now, as a sales manager, you're eager to cultivate the same performance from your team members.
But you quickly realize that leading a team is far different from carrying your individual quota.
Both your day-to-day and ongoing responsibilities are completely different than your previous ones. Plus, you're calling on a brand-new set of skills, like coaching, scaling, and recruiting.
Fortunately, you don't have to figure everything out on your own. Thousands of newly minted sales managers have been in your exact position, and many of them have written top-notch guides to thriving in this role.
We've rounded up sales management books that every first-time manager should read. Scroll down to find your new reading list.
Best Sales Management Books
- Sales Management. Simplified.
- The Accidental Sales Manager: How to Take Control and Lead Your Sales Team to Record Profits
- Sales Management for Dummies
- Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance
- Nuts and Bolts of Sales Management: How to Build a High-Velocity Sales Organization
- Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions: A Tactical Playbook for Managers and Executives
- The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million
- Sales Manager Survival Guide: Lessons From Sales' Front Lines
- Predictable Revenue
- 52 Sales Management Tips: The Sales Manager's Success Guide
- ProActive Sales Management: How to Lead, Motivate, and Stay Ahead of the Game
- The Sales Boss: The Real Secret to Hiring, Training and Managing a Sales Team
- Sales Growth: Five Proven Strategies from the World's Sales Leaders
- The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales
- Inbound Selling: How to Change the Way You Sell to Match How People Buy
- Race to Amazing: Your Fast Track to Sales Leadership
- The Sales Leader's Problem Solver: Practical Solutions to Conquer Management Mess-ups, Handle Difficult Sales Reps, and Make the Most of Every Opportunity
- The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
- The One Minute Manager
- First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently
- The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal
- The Sales Enablement Playbook
- To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
- Smart Sales Manager: The Ultimate Playbook for Building and Running a High-Performance Inside Sales Team
In part one of this concise, no-B.S. read, author Mike Weinberg outlines the various ways sales managers unintentionally sabotage their team. You'll get a crystal-clear idea of what not to do.
In part two, he shares all the information you need to create a dynamite sales machine. When you close the book, you'll know exactly what to do at work the next day -- and the day after that, and the day after that, and so on.
Do you feel like you're spending all day putting out fires, trying to rally an unmotivated team, and missing your previous job, when you only had to worry about your own quota?
If so, Lytle's manual is a must-read. It delves into the causes, symptoms, and cure of this "sales management trap." You'll learn how to turn your B players into A players, recruit and hire candidates with the most potential, run more efficient meetings, and more.
If you want to get a high-level view of what it takes to be a successful manager, Butch Bellah's comprehensive guide is a good place to start.
Bellah, who's been a sales trainer for the past 30 years, covers five main topics:
- Transitioning from individual contributor to leader
- Building your team
- Training and developing your team
- Running sales meetings and measuring performance
- Managing top performers, inspiring middle ones, and letting mediocre ones go
Not only is this book chock-full of insights you can apply immediately, there are also helpful examples taken directly from Bellah's life.
Jason Jordan and Michelle Vazzana
You can't lead your team to success if you don't know what success is. This book boils down a somewhat hazy topic -- "effectively managing a sales force" -- and makes it easy to understand. More importantly, it gives you the exact metrics you should track and sales processes you should implement for your desired business results.
Yes, the data and formulas fly fast and furious. But thanks to the easy-to-read, engaging style, you won't have any trouble finishing this one.
Got the mission for your team down? Good, because this book is all about turning that vision into reality. Treace spends a handful of pages discussing the cultural foundation of your sales team, but he dedicates 90% of the book to what you should do in the trenches.
You'll learn what to do when your salespeople miss their targets, how to present to your manager and other important stakeholders, how to create accurate sales forecasts, how to manage the expense budget, how to design a compensation plan, and more.
It's practical and accessible -- and likely to be one of those books you regularly turn to for guidance or ideas.
In a world where sales strategies are constantly evolving, products change every day, and competition for business is at an all-time high, your ability to successfully coach reps is crucial. After all, it only takes 30 days for them to forget 87% of what they learned in training.
To make your training stick through ongoing coaching, follow the strategies laid out in Rosen's book. It includes case studies, a month-long improvement plan for underperformers, coaching templates and scripts, and hundreds of coaching questions for every situation you'll encounter. Having a step-by-step playbook like this one in hand will instantly make you feel more confident and in control.
7. The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million
Here's the thing about intuition: More often than not, it's wrong. If you want to build the next $100 million business -- or simply a formidable sales team -- you can't rely purely on your gut.
In this book, Harvard Business School senior lecturer and former HubSpot CRO Mark Roberge shares his sales playbook. You'll find the answers to hiring successful sales reps every time, training every salesperson the same way, holding them accountable to one sales process, and providing them with the same quality and quantity of leads every month.
People used to think sales was an art, not a science. However, Roberge's predictable, scalable formula proves that's no longer true.
Your first couple months as a sales manager can feel overwhelming and isolating. Enter David Brock's book.
Its first section provides new sales managers with a concrete, detailed 30-60-90 day plan, so you'll always know what you should be doing, how much progress you should be making, and what you need to accomplish next.
Once you've settled in, you'll find the rest of this "field guide" invaluable. Brock admits that he learned almost all of the lessons in the book the hard way -- but by reading his book, you won't have to.
Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler
This book is all about process. If you want tips and tricks on turning your sales team into a lead-generation and business-closing machine, you've come to the right place.
Ross and Tyler dive into the nuts and bolts of an effective sales process, recruiting and hiring strategy, and autonomous, self-managing team.
Are you overworked and under-supported? Do you have ambitious revenue goals -- but few resources? Have you realized you need to take charge of your own success?
Anyone who's emphatically nodding "yes" to these questions should pick up Rosen's book. He's called upon 20 years of sales management and coaching to write this straightforward, impactful guide.
William "Skip" Miller
Reactive sales management is synonymous with "poor sales management." To drive results, you need to spot and resolve potential issues early. This book, which is jam-packed with actionable techniques, delves into:
- Motivating your reps
- Helping them prospect and qualify
- Streamlining meetings and reports
- Effectively coaching and counseling
- Forecasting with up to 90% accuracy
- Transforming good performers into great ones
Hiring is a big part of any management position. But for a sales manager, it may well be the most important part. After all, your team members are collectively responsible for your goal. To become a fantastic people manager, you need to know how to hire the right people at the right team for the right role. You need to know what your salespeople need to be as successful as possible. You need to know how to remove obstacles from their path so they can focus on selling.
Good news: That's exactly what this book will teach you.
Have your eye on a director -- or someday, VP -- role? You'll want to study this pick, written with the help of experts from McKinsey & Company. It provides you with a blueprint for sales growth that's based on interviews with 200-plus of the world's most successful global sales leaders.
You'll understand which levers to pull, how to develop your organization's "sales DNA," what technology to arm your reps with, and more.
14. The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales
Need more customers? The answer is likely a yes. Author Trish Bertuzzi, with her three decades of sales experience, introduces six elements for using inside sales to build pipelines and boost revenue growth: strategy, specialization, recruiting, retention, execution, and leadership.
This book provides strategies your team can use to fill their pipelines and generate more customers -- and ultimately propel your business forward with high-growth revenue increases.
In the age of the empowered buyer, how do you and your sales team remain relevant? Brian Signorelli, director of HubSpot's Global Sales Partner Program, provides a step-by-step approach to inbound selling and details how to manage an inbound sales team.
This book is a must-read for all sales professionals: frontline sales representatives, sales managers, and executives. And you'll have the information and strategies you need to cater to today's buyers.
Krista S. Moore
Krista S. Moore is the Founder and CEO of K.Coaching, Inc. -- a sales leadership coaching, consulting, and training organization -- and was the sales leader for multimillion-dollar startups and Fortune 500 companies.
In her book, she expresses the need for companies to upskill their sales leaders so businesses can achieve sales success and innovation. She offers a “coach approach” to leadership and provides the information you need to build a winning sales strategy, create a sales management system, and develop your leadership style.
17. The Sales Leader's Problem Solver: Practical Solutions to Conquer Management Mess-ups, Handle Difficult Sales Reps, and Make the Most of Every Opportunity
Training and development are often focused on individual sales representatives, with little emphasis on manager and leadership training. Founder of Sales Management Services, Suzanne Paling, took her two decades of sales consulting and management experience and created a guidebook for sales managers.
The book acts as a coach and offers guidance on solving common issues with the salesperson who won't prospect, sells inconsistently, only pursues the easiest clients, doesn't enter data into the CRM, etc. Suzanne develops an easy-to-follow format for sales leaders to tackle these challenges head-on.
Michael Bungay Stanier
Coaching isn't something you do once a week at check-ins with your staff. Bungay Stanier shares his techniques for making sales coaching an informal part of your day. How? Talk less and ask more with Bungay Stanier's seven essential coaching questions.
Authors Brené Brown, Daniel Pink, and Dave Ulrich are fans of this book, so you'll be in great company when you give it a read.
Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.D, and Spencer Johnson, M.D.
Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.D, and Spencer Johnson, M.D. share the secret to success in this strategic guidebook. You'll learn easy-to-master techniques like one-minute goal setting, one-minute praise, and even one-minute reprimands.
Dr. Johnson is the author of the revered business book "Who Moved My Cheese," and he brings his expertise to the table again in this quick read.
Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman, and Jim Harter
Do you think all great managers have something in common? These authors do. Buckingham, Coffman, and Harter argue that not everyone can achieve everything they set their mind to -- even with the right training. Instead, good managers help people overcome their weaknesses.
This book looks at Gallup studies of great managers and draws 12 simple statements that set strong departments apart from the rest. Learn how to apply these statements to your own work and see your team flourish.
21. The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal
Social psychology, neuroscience, behavioral economics ... if you thought none of these topics applied to management, think again.
In his book, Hoffeld shows you how to use the way our brains work to sell better. After all, the stronger you are at selling, the better you'll be able to lead a team to greatness.
Cory Bray and Hilmon Sorey
Sales pros Bray and Sorey share hard-learned strategies for creating a culture of sales enablement in this must-read. No matter your company's size or industry, the authors promise you'll discover how to impact growth and contribute to a sales organization that thrives.
Daniel H. Pink
Have a career in sales and haven't read this book? Blasphemy! Sales managers should brush up on this read and share it with all new members of their team.
Pink shares the new ABCs of moving others, explains why changing people's minds isn't always the best way to close a sale, and shares give frames for making your message clearer and more persuasive. Haven't read this classic in a while? Give it another look today.
24. Smart Sales Manager: The Ultimate Playbook for Building and Running a High-Performance Inside Sales Team
The shift from field sales to inside sales is undeniable. In her book, Feigon shares a playbook for selling to the new, elusive buyer, choosing the best tools for your team, and hiring, training, and retaining top inside sales talent.
You'll learn from real-life examples and walk away with new communication strategies that will boost your managerial clout.
Use these resources to cut your learning curve dramatically. In time, you'll be just as good a leader as you were an individual team member -- hopefully even better.
Originally published Apr 11, 2019 1:55:00 PM, updated June 24 2019
Topics:Best Sales and Business Books