Continuing education is a proven way to succeed in any career field. Conferences and training workshops are great tools to teach new sales models or techniques, but it is not always feasible to hop on a plane to attend the next seminar.
It's especially important in smarketing for sales and marketing teams to become better aligned; one of the ways to improve the smarketing alignment is through continuing education of how each department works. Whether you are new to business-to-business sales or are a seasoned veteran, reading these books (or listening to the audio version!) can help sharpen your mind and increase your efficiency, and improve your understanding of the department's needs. Peruse this list of the five best sales books for business-to-business marketers to learn how the other side works.
To Sell is Human: The Uprising Truth about Moving Others
Daniel Pink’s #1 New York Times Business Bestseller puts a new perspective on selling. Pink discusses how the old methods (e.g. “always be closing”) are no longer the most effective. His insights, which include discussing the replacements to the standard elevator pitch, are valuable to both B2B and B2C marketers.
The Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea
Bob Burg and John David Mann’s book is unique because, unlike most sales books, this one is fiction. Joe, a businessman who is described as a go-getter, is desperate to secure a career-changing sale; anxious about the sale, Joe seeks help from a consultant, Pindar. Pindar meets with Joe and ultimately teaches him that the secret to success is giving. Business-to-business marketers will be able to apply Pindar’s teachings to their own sales tactics. Like Pink’s To Sell is Human, The Go-Giver supports the idea that to thrive in sales, one must have more empathy towards the client. By focusing on your client’s needs, you’ll forge better relationships and consequently be more successful.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
With over 10 million copies sold, Stephen Covey’s book continues to stand out as an inspirational business book. While this is not specifically geared towards B2B marketers, Covey’s approach is still applicable. Covey asserts that the key to success is striking the right balance between personal and professional efficiency. Thus, implementing Covey’s seven habits will ensure that any B2B marketer is not only successful in his personal life but also in his professional life.
SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today's Frazzled Customers
Jill Konrath explores a salesperson’s hardest task: getting in the door and making the first sale. Konrath offers straightforward, simple advice; her four rules include keeping it simple, becoming an invaluable asset to your client, supporting your dream client’s needs, and focusing on priorities. Like the previous two books on this list, SNAP Selling highlights the importance of focusing on the client’s needs.
Screen to Screen Selling: How to Increase Sales, Productivity, and Customer Experience with the Latest Technology
Doug Devitre knows that technology is ever-changing and ever-useful. Screen to Screen Selling is full of valuable information to a B2B marketer, including how to incorporate the latest technology to establish a person-to-person connection, which will increase sales and improve performance. The global business boundaries stretch far and wide across the globe, and Devitre proves that successful selling can be done with current technology without physically being present.
This list of the best sales books, while not comprehensive, contains a multitude of thought-provoking gems. Challenge your marketing team to read at least these books, reap the rewards of better cohesion, alignment, and understanding of B2B selling.