10 of the best marketing and sales books for developing

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Reading books is one of the methods you can use to learn about trends and patterns in the sales and marketing sector. Books may help you improve your sales skills by teaching you how to learn from industry experts and their experiences, explore others' thoughts on lead conversations and discover how various marketing concepts work. Researching books for marketing and sales can also help you identify the ideal resources for different scenarios. In this article, we list 10 of the best marketing and sales books.

10 marketing and sales books

The following is a list of 10 marketing and sales books you can consider reading to increase your knowledge. These include:

1. The Psychology Of Selling—Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy's The Psychology of Selling shares ideas, strategies and methods you can use to increase your sales. Its tagline reads 'Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible'. Brian Tracy has written over 80 other books with translations in several languages. His books often focus on self-development and motivation.

The Psychology of Selling has eight chapters. It guides salespeople on the skills they require to become top sales reps, explains how to create realistic goals and elaborates on strategies to motivate prospects to purchase goods or services. The book also discusses the concept of creative selling and guides salespeople on how to get more appointments. Its final chapter gives 10 tips for success in sales and marketing.

Related: 7 of the best project management books for you to read

2. The Ultimate Sales Machine—Chet Holmes

The Ultimate Sales Machine explains how developing and implementing sales plans can help businesses increase their sales. It highlights 12 strategies Chet Holmes developed throughout his 20 years of working in sales. It tackles time management, regular training, setting standards, sales strategy formulation, talent scouting and persuasive skills. The book highlights Holmes's sales experiences and explains lessons you can learn from them.

For example, in the first chapter, he recounts how he found leading nine divisions for billionaire Charlie Munger challenging. According to the chapter, he worked for over 10 hours a day, mostly responding to employee support requests. Recognising this strain, he developed a time management system that helped reduce his working time to nine hours a week, enabling him to be more proactive.

3. Sell or Be Sold—Grant Cardone

If you're looking for a book that explains the importance of sales and marketing in both business and life, you can read Grant Cardone's Sell or Be Sold. Cardone is an international speaker, author, entrepreneur and sales trainer. He has written six other business-related books, including The 10X Rule. According to Grant, treating everything in life as a sale can help you become a successful salesperson. In Sell or Be Sold, he explains that it's crucial to first sell the product to yourself if you want to increase sales.

The book says that if you can convince yourself that the goods or services you're selling are worth buying, you can convince prospects too. It highlights four strategies for achieving this:

  • Believe in the product 100%.

  • Show people how much you care and how they can benefit from the product before asking them to buy.

  • Dedicate adequate time to plan and execute the sales.

  • Build a network of your family, friends and acquaintances, and use them to reach other prospects.

Related: A list of best sales tools to achieve your targets

4. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook—Gary Vaynerchuk

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a resourceful book for salespeople who want to learn about the use of social media in marketing. The book's subtitle, 'How to tell your story in a noisy social media world', summarises what it discusses. It explains how businesses can leverage social media by developing creative campaigns. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook loosely translates to give, give, give and ask. Gary Vaynerchuk uses this phrase to tell salespeople that prioritising creating value for your customers can help you increase sales.

He says that it's crucial for businesses to research their target markets and customise campaign messages to suit the platforms they're active on and the audience's needs. According to the book, the more companies can convince prospects that they value them and that they've designed products to address their needs, the more they're likely to become customers. Give clients reasons to buy products before asking them to purchase.

5. Dotcom Secrets—Russel Brunson

Russell Brunson published Dotcom Secrets in 2015 for businesses or marketers who want to increase sales. The book includes Brunson's experiences and the lessons he learned from them. It focuses on e-commerce sales and features actionable advice relating to physical or hybrid stores. According to Brunson, online businesses that find it challenging to attract traffic or convert traffic into sales assume that they have traffic issues, but that's not true. Instead, he says that the issue is usually funnel-related.

Dotcom Secrets suggests that the most effective solution to underperformance is building good sales funnels. Sales funnels are marketing models illustrating a theoretical customer journey, enabling companies to evaluate user experiences and make them better. The book highlights how businesses can organise sales funnels to attract more traffic.

6. Expert Secrets—Russell Brunson

Expert Secrets explains how to convert online traffic into lifelong customers. Before writing the book, Russell assembled a team that analysed over six million funnels and evaluated over 130,000 split tests to understand what makes a funnel successful. The book highlights the study's findings and illustrates how salespeople can convert online visitors into clients using the following three methods:

  • Find your message. Identify the target market's needs and customise your sales techniques to suit them. If the audience relates to your message, they're likely to trust and buy the products you're selling.

  • Build a tribe. Reinforce the market's trust in the products by telling memorable stories. Retaining customers is as crucial as converting prospects into clients.

  • Change the world. Use sales funnels to create a loyal client base you can use to reach others.

7. SPIN Selling—Neil Rackham

SPIN Selling summarises Neil Rackham's 12 years of marketing research, during which he closed over 35,000 sales. The book suggests that to sell goods or services, it's crucial for the salesperson to first convince customers that the product is worth their money. It also says that convincing prospects to buy goods requires asking the following four types of questions:

  • Situation questions: You can use these questions to collect information on a customer's background, needs and purchasing power. According to the book, the more experience you have in the industry, the less you use situational questions because you can apply hindsight to deduce customers' backgrounds.

  • Problem questions: As you gain experience, you can begin using more problem questions to identify and resolve challenges in the sales funnel. For example, you can ask prospects if they're happy with products in the market currently, identify areas that require improvements and interpret their responses to find gaps in the market.

  • Implication questions: Here, the focus is on identifying the consequences of a problem. For instance, you can ask customers if they've missed business opportunities because of equipment limitations.

  • Need–payoff questions: The last category of questions seeks to find the potential value of solutions. An example is asking how much a company can save if you help them reduce their product's return rate.

Related: What is SPIN selling? (Including definition and tips)

8. Secrets of Closing the Sale—Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar was an international motivational speaker, salesperson and author. He travelled around the world, coaching businesses on how to close sales. In Secrets of Closing the Sale, Ziglar suggests that the most challenging sales aspect for companies may be convincing prospects that their product is valuable. He says that it's crucial for salespeople to persuade customers that the product's value matches its price. The book also illustrates how to convince clients they can afford goods or services by breaking the cost into smaller segments.

Related: Closing skills and techniques (plus how to use them)

9. The Greatest Salesman in the World—Og Mandino

This book looks at the philosophy of salesmanship. It follows the parable of Hadid. Hadid's teacher, the greatest salesman of all time, teaches him 10 lessons from ancient scrolls which he uses to become a successful salesperson. He then gives these teachings to Paul, who introduces them to Christianity. The scrolls suggest that successful salesmanship requires discipline and faith in oneself. They also insist on prioritising providing value for customers. The Greatest Salesman in the World can help you gain people skills, such as empathy, patience and genuine interest in others.

10. How to Win Friends and Influence People—Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the oldest marketing and sales books. Dale Carnegie published it in 1936. The book highlights three techniques for handling people, explains six strategies to make people like you or the products you sell and discusses 12 methods to persuade others into your way of thinking. It also illustrates nine ways to convince others to change without provoking resentment. If you want to improve your interpersonal skills, you can learn several tips from this book.

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