If you're in sales, and this is your first year on the job, you should make it a priority to read the following 17 books. That's a book or two a month -- meaning you'll be fully ramped and selling like a pro by your one-year anniversary.

Check out our key takeaways from the best sales books of all time

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey's life-changing book is a great place to start. To be fair, I'm a little biased here -- this is one of my favorites. Inside this 384-page book, Covey reveals the secrets to developing the habits we need to be successful. Although it was published more than 20 years ago, the book's productivity tips and techniques are still highly relevant. As a salesperson, you'll appreciate the different approaches Covey suggests for mastering your day.

2. The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople

Stephen Schiffman

Keeping with the theme of habits, this book by Stephen Schiffman helps salespeople amp up their motivation -- and ultimately, their success.

Readers will learn how to convert leads into customers, dominate presentations, stay motivated, and inspire those around them, while remembering to have fun and enjoy the journey. Schiffman has written more than 50 books and worked with IBM, AT&T, and Motorola, among others. His knowledge of the field is excellent.

3. Little Red Book Of Selling

Jeffrey Gitomer

Jeffrey Gitomer wrote The Little Red Book of Selling back in 2004, diving into what he believes are the 12.5 principles of sales greatness. Throughout the book, Gitomer reveals the reasoning behind why people buy. He teaches readers how to pick up on the small details to infer what prospects are thinking. More than half a million copies sold, lending credence to his ideas and principles. You'll appreciate Gitomer's straightforward, no-B.S. style.

4. The Sales Acceleration Formula

Mark Roberge

Mark Roberge joined HubSpot as employee number four and helped take the company from $0 to $100 million in revenue. Inside his debut book, Roberge tells readers how to use data, technology, and inbound selling to grow revenue at an unbelievable rate. This book is particularly valuable for entrepreneurial sales reps who'd like to understand the hiring, scaling, and analytical aspects of a sales organization. Although you might not put the knowledge to use right away, these strategies will come in handy as you progress in your sales career.

5. Secrets of Closing the Sale

Zig Ziglar

Look up "Sales quotes" in Google, and it's almost guaranteed you'll find some Zig Ziglar gems. Ziglar's advice for building strong relationships with prospects still hold true today. The book focuses on the principle that has become more prevalent than any other in sales: Build a strong relationship with the prospect. Inside this book, first-time reps will discover how to enthusiastically approach a client while projecting warmth and overcome the reasons people don't want to buy. Ziglar also shares 700-plus sales questions applicable to every part of the sales process.

6. Presentation Zen

Garr Reynolds

Effective communication continues to be one of the most important parts of selling. After all, if you can't clearly and concisely share your thoughts and paint a compelling vision for your prospects, they'll have little reason to buy your product.

In Garr Reynolds' Presentation Zen, readers learn how to present to any audience and make a lasting impact on potential buyers.

7. The Best Damn Sales Book Ever: 16 Rock-Solid Rules for Achieving Sales Success!

Warren Greshes

Does the title give away what this book is all about? For more than 25 years, Warren Greshes has been teaching salespeople how to find inspiration, stay focused, and become goal-oriented. Greshes gives us the keys to maintaining motivation, developing a positive self-image, and performing thorough preparation.

8. The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible

Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy clues us in to the role our subconscious plays in every purchasing decision we make, and reveals how to influence a customer's decision to buy. Over the course of 240 pages, Tracy gives his readers the ins and outs of the sales process and teaches them how to use psychological tricks to truly connect with and influence their prospect. This is a great primer before your first day on the job.

9. Sales Blazers: 8 Goal-Shattering Strategies from the World's Top Sales Leaders

Mark Cook

Mark Cook spent a significant amount of time and effort working with sales forces at Fortune 500 companies. During his research, he compiled eight different strategies used by the top salespeople at each company. These are the tactics behind dramatic growth -- and the best part is they can be learned and iterated by individual salespeople.

10. The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource

Jeffrey Gitomer

Gitomer published the original Sales Bible in 1994 and came out with a revised edition in 2003. This easy-to-read book provides reps with the techniques to start conversations, maintain relationships, and eventually turn each prospect into a customer. In addition, Gitomer teaches readers the basics of the sales process by providing glimpses from his own experiences. Clear, concise, and full of great suggestions, this book is a fantastic primer for first-time reps.

11. The Challenger Sale

Matthew Dixon and Brent Adams

Traditional relationship-building strategies are no longer enough to win deals. These days, you can't just make friends with your prospect -- you have to challenge them. In their best-selling book The Challenger Sale, Matthew Dixon and Brent Adams lead you through the step-by-step process of crafting compelling insights and shaking up the buyer's worldview. This book is a crucial part of learning how to sell; in fact, your sales manager will probably recommend it during your first few months on the job. You'll be ahead of the game if you've already picked it up.

12. The Sales Survival Handbook

Ken Kupchik

Need a break from the more traditional sales advice? This funny book is perfect. Written by Ken Kupchik, who manages the hilarious and insanely popular Sales Humor Facebook and Instagram accounts.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wonder just what you've gotten yourself into ... and then you'll start the next chapter, and the cycle will repeat itself.

13. More Sales, Less Time: Surprisingly Simple Strategies for Today's Crazy-Busy Sellers

Jill Konrath

Most sellers are overwhelmed -- especially if they're new. In the digital age, buyers expect quick answers and results, and sales veteran Jill Konrath has the cutting-edge research and battle-tested strategies you need to meet that demand.

From reclaiming an hour of every day to optimizing your sales process and focusing on high-impact activities, you'll find this book a helpful guide to speeding up and gaining control.

14. Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success: Connect with Customers and Get Results

Colleen Stanley

Ever find yourself getting a little defensive in a demo or caving too quickly on a prospect's pricing demands? Colleen Stanley's book is exactly what you need.

Hone your emotional intelligence -- which studies find has a strong correlation to success -- and maximize your results. You'll learn how to increase impulse control for better questioning, develop empathy to close bigger sales, and even how to improve your prospecting efforts.

15. The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales

Trish Bertuzzi

Trish Bertuzzi is a sales legend and this book encapsulates her three decades of experience into six elements for building a strong pipeline and turbo-charging revenue growth.

Strategy, specialization, recruiting, retention, execution, and leadership are the areas you'll work on -- and a lucrative sales career is what you'll get in return. 

16. Car Sharks and Closers: A Master Closer's Secrets for Closing Car Deals

Gary Swanson

Author Gary Swanson knows what he's talking about, having closed more than 18,000 car sales deals over the course of his career. After working in everything position in the industry, from a car sales rep on a lot to become the owner of a dealership, Swanson shares his learnings that are helpful for anyone starting out in the car sales industry.

17. The Evolving Sales Engineer

Edward S. Levine

Sales engineers have a hard job -- they're expected to be both technical experts and effective salespeople. What's more, the sales engineering field is relatively new, so there isn't as much sales engineering-specific career advice out there. This book provides a clear roadmap for sales engineers that includes tips, training, and advice for every level of advancement in the field. It even includes a section for sales engineering management, for those who are managing sales engineers while working alongside sales reps.

If you're just entering the sales world, and aren't exactly sure how the venture is going to pan out, check out these books. Learning the strategies used by some of the world's most successful salespeople is sure to have a positive impact on the way you begin your sales career.

Want more? Read our list of top books for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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Originally published Jan 3, 2019 5:11:00 PM, updated January 11 2019

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Best Sales and Business Books