Umbrex has developed this list of the best books on sales prospecting based on input from the management consultants in our community, our clients, and other professionals.
This recommended reading list includes books that discuss the art of sales prospecting, including scripts, templates, and playbooks.
This list of books is a work in progress, not a final answer, and we invite you to submit your recommendations on our Contact page.
We also invite you to check out our list of the best podcasts on sales effectiveness.
When does the sales process really begin? Some say that sales starts at the very first “hello”. Everything before that first critical opening word, these people say, is marketing; everything after that is sales. Others say that the real work of sales doesn’t begin till the prospect first says, “No”. “Otherwise”, they insist, “it’s just order-taking”.
Antonio Garrido’s Asking Questions the Sandler Way rejects both of those answers. It holds that selling begins when you start asking good questions. This book is about asking the right questions, so that both the seller and the buyer discover the right solution as efficiently and as effectively as possible – even if they discover that the right solution right now is for the prospect to buy from the competition. Although that may be an unconventional selling standard, it’s a powerful and extremely effective one.
This book is about not looking, sounding, or thinking like the average salesperson. It’s about keeping barriers down and communication lines open. It’s about getting to the right solution, faster, more efficiently, and with less stress. It’s about asking the right questions, in the right way, at the right time, for the right reason. It’s about asking questions the Sandler way.Read moreRead less
Fanatical Prospecting gives salespeople, sales leaders, entrepreneurs, and executives a practical, eye-opening guide that clearly explains the why and how behind the most important activity in sales and business development―prospecting.
The brutal fact is the number one reason for failure in sales is an empty pipe and the root cause of an empty pipeline is the failure to consistently prospect. By ignoring the muscle of prospecting, many otherwise competent salespeople and sales organizations consistently underperform.
Step by step, Jeb Blount outlines his innovative approach to prospecting that works for real people, in the real world, with real prospects.
Learn how to keep the pipeline full of qualified opportunities and avoid debilitating sales slumps by leveraging a balanced prospecting methodology across multiple prospecting channels.
This book reveals the secrets, techniques, and tips of top earners. You’ll learn:
Fanatical Prospecting is filled with the high-powered strategies, techniques, and tools you need to fill your pipeline with high quality opportunities.
In the most comprehensive book ever written about sales prospecting, Jeb Blount reveals the real secret to improving sales productivity and growing your income fast. You’ll gain the power to blow through resistance and objections, gain more appointments, start more sales conversations, and close more sales.
Break free from the fear and frustration that is holding you and your team back from effective and consistent prospecting. It’s time to get off the feast or famine sales roller-coaster for good!Read moreRead less
Stacey Brown Randall
Every business needs referrals from satisfied clients. A good referral can lead to a closed sale faster and easier than any other lead. But let’s face it. Asking for referrals can be awkward. And asking is often ineffective. That’s why Stacey Brown Randall developed a method of getting referrals – without asking. In her book Generating Business Referrals Without Asking, she shares her system for revolutionizing any business. Her structured approach reduces the hustle and increases productivity and profit. With Randall’s system, you can stop wasting time and money marketing to cold leads and stalking would-be clients on social media. And you can start doing what you love most – providing the excellent service that made you go into business in the first place. In Generating Business Referrals Without Asking, you’ll get Randall’s five steps to steady business growth, case studies from business professionals, and a step-by-step roadmap that even the busiest business owner can implement.Read moreRead less
Cold email is how I started my business. I originally used it to get interviews to gain knowledge on a particular market, then to get feedback on what I was building and finally to get demo calls to gain new customers as well as expand my network as a founder. It’s what made my business profitable, so I know first hand that it can be a really lucrative channel when executed properly.
The problem is what most people tell about cold email on the Internet is highly subject to the survivorship bias (meaning it worked for them, failing to realize that what really made things work was actually something else), often outdated regarding what works in 2015, at best grossly inaccurate (revealing only half of the story, or tested with just 50 emails), or worse just plain wrong and totally misleading.
So be ready for a ride because all those fancy posts you read on the Internet on cold emails won’t account for a fraction of what you’ll learn in this book.
– I’ll let you know about the number 1 reason why cold emails fail or succeed (based on real data after analyzing both winners and losers).
– I’ll explain why almost everyone is wrong in the way they build their cold email campaigns and how to fix this easily.
– I’ll tell you about every possible ways to build your prospect list
– I’ll show you how to setup up cold emails so you can get people thanking you for your emails and perseverance while not even spending a second on it.
– I’ll share with you 5 email sequences built for different purposes and all performing at more than 50% reply rate in 2015.
And many more things that will give you all the tools you need to crush it with your cold email campaign.Read moreRead less
Hacking Sales helps you transform your sales process using the next generation of tools, tactics and strategies. Author Max Altschuler has dedicated his business to helping companies build modern, efficient, high tech sales processes that generate more revenue while using fewer resources. In this book, he shows you the most effective changes you can make, starting today, to evolve your sales and continually raise the bar. You’ll walk through the entire sales process from start to finish, learning critical hacks every step of the way. Find and capture your lowest-hanging fruit at the top of the funnel, build massive lead lists using ICP and TAM, utilize multiple prospecting strategies, perfect your follow-ups, nurture leads, outsource where advantageous, and much more. Build, refine, and enhance your pipeline over time, close deals faster, and use the right tools for the job―this book is your roadmap to fast and efficient revenue growth.
Without a reliable process, you’re disjointed, disorganized, and ultimately, underperforming. Whether you’re building a sales process from scratch or looking to become your company’s rock star, this book shows you how to make it happen.
The economy is evolving, the customer is evolving, and sales itself is evolving. Forty percent of the Fortune 500 from the year 2000 were absent from the Fortune 500 in the year 2015, precisely because they failed to evolve. Today’s sales environment is very much a “keep up or get left behind” paradigm, but you need to do better to excel. Hacking Sales shows you how to get ahead of everyone else with focused effort and the most effective approach to modern sales.Read moreRead less
After making millions of dollars from sending short, attention-grabbing, money making emails…
Matt Bacak finally reveals how to write emails that sell in his brand new book. You will be absolutely thrilled when you learn the unusual framework revealed inside this little yet, powerful book. It’s full of straight-to-the-point, effective, no-nonsense, how-to write emails that sell kind of information based on 24 years of email writing and email testing.
As you start reading this concise gem, you’ll learn:
Most B2B companies would love nothing more than to double sales – they just don’t know how. They wait on companies to contact them. They wait on their partners to send them referrals. They wait for anything to happen instead of going out and finding these new customers.
In LinkedIn Sales Success, Dana Lindahl of Legendary Leadgen breaks down the exact methods his company uses to generate leads for B2B companies on LinkedIn.
This book acts as a step-by-step guide to doing and learning everything you need to know to start generating more leads and making more sales off of LinkedIn – the world’s largest professional network.
If you sell products or services to your customers B2B and aren’t using LinkedIn to get in touch with new customers, that means you’re losing them to your competitors who are. With the information found within this book, you’ll be able to beat out your competition trying to reach the same targets as you – simply for using a better and tested approach to lead generation on LinkedIn.Read moreRead less
Alex L. Goldfayn
Unlock the power of a simple phone call to boost your sales with guidance from a world-renowned expert
In Pick Up The Phone and Sell: How Proactive Calls To Customers and Prospects Can Double Your Sales, sales expert, consultant, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Alex Goldfayn delivers a comprehensive roadmap to one of the most important weapons in any salesperson’s arsenal: the phone.
From the author of Selling Boldly and 5-Minute Selling, the book teaches you techniques to supercharge your sales by making the proactive call the tip of your selling spear. In addition to critical advice on how to call people you don’t know, this timely and important book includes:
Perfect for new and experienced salespeople alike, who are more comfortable with email, videoconferencing, social media, and text than they are with the telephone, Pick Up The Phone and Sell is an indispensable guide to one of the most important and lucrative tools in the selling profession.Read moreRead less
Have you ever found yourself at a loss for what to say when the gatekeeper asks you what your call is about? Have your palms ever sweated when the decision maker shuts you down with: “I wouldn’t be interested”? Has your heart taken a fast dive into your stomach when, at the start of your presentation, your prospect tells you that they’ve thought about it and are just going to pass?
If you’re in sales, then the question isn’t “Have you ever felt this way?”, but rather, “How often do you feel this way? Are you finally ready to learn how to confidently and effectively overcome these objections, stalls, and blow-offs? If so, Power Phone Scripts was written for you! Unlike other books on sales that tell you what you should do (like build value – hard to do when the prospect is hanging up on you!), Power Phone Scripts provides word-for-word scripts, phrases, questions, and comebacks that you can use on your very next call. Learn to overcome resistance, get through to the decision maker, and then, once you have him or her on the phone, make an instant connection and earn the right to have a meaningful conversation. You’ll be equipped with proven questions, conversation starters, and techniques to learn whether or not they are even right for your product or service, and, if they aren’t, who else in their company or another department might be.
Power Phone Scripts is the sales manual you’ve been looking for: over 500 proven, current, and non-salesy phrases, rebuttals, questions, and conversation openers that will instantly make you sound more confident – just like the top producing sales pros do right now. Gone will be your call reluctance; gone will be your fear of calling prospects back for presentations and demos; gone will be the fear of asking for the sale at the end of your pitch! This practical guide is filled with effective scripts for prospecting, emailing, voice mails, closes, and tons of rebuttals to recurring objections you get like:
More than just phone scripts, this book provides practical, comprehensive guidance that every inside sales rep needs. Conquer concerns, provide answers, motivate action, and be the conduit between your prospect’s problems and your solution. Actionable, fun, and designed to work within the current sales environment, this invaluable guide is your ticket to the top of the leader board. With Power Phone Scripts, you will never be at a loss of what to say to a prospect or client.
Communication is everything in sales, and being on top of your game is no longer enough when top producers are playing a different game altogether. You cannot achieve winning stats if you’re not even on the field. If you’re ready to join the big league, Power Phone Scripts is the playbook you need to win at inside sales.Read moreRead less
The proven system for rapid B2B sales growth from the coauthor of Predictable Revenue, the breakout bestseller hailed as a “sales bible” (Inc.)
If your organization’s success is driven by B2B sales, you need to be an expert prospector to successfully target, qualify, and close business opportunities. This game-changing guide provides the immediately implementable strategies you need to build a solid, sustainable pipeline ― whether you’re a sales or marketing executive, team leader, or sales representative.
Based on the acclaimed business model that made Predictable Revenue a runaway bestseller, this powerful approach to B2B prospecting will help you to:
• Identify the prospects with the greatest potential
• Clearly articulate your company’s competitive position
• Implement account-based sales development using ideal account profiles
• Refine your lead targeting strategy with an ideal prospect profile
• Start a conversation with people you don’t know
• Land meetings through targeted campaigns
• Craft personalized e-mail and phone messaging to address each potential buyer’s awareness, needs, and challenges.
• Define, manage, and optimize sales development performance metrics
• Generate predictable revenue
You’ll learn how to target and track ideal prospects, optimize contact acquisition, continually improve performance, and achieve your revenue goals―quickly, efficiently, and predictably. The book includes easy-to-use charts and e-mail templates, and features full online access to sample materials, worksheets, and blueprints to add to your prospecting tool kit.
Following this proven step-by-step framework, you can turn any B2B organization into a high-performance business development engine, diversify marketing lead generation channels, justify marketing ROI, sell into disruptive markets―and generate more revenue than ever. That’s the power of Predictable Prospecting.Read moreRead less
Prospect the Sandler Way shares thirty core principles for mastering stress-free lead development by phone and over the Internet, in accordance with the selling system developed by David H. Sandler. Includes updated strategies on 21st century topics like conducting effective on-line pre-call research, and using LinkedIn to generate referrals. John Rosso is an internationally recognized business development expert specializing in executive sales coaching and sales productivity, with more than 20 years in the Sandler Training organization.Read moreRead less
Do you or your sales team need to schedule a discovery call, sales appointment or demo to advance your sales process with a clone of your very best clients and accounts?
Sell a meeting, and you have a chance to sell a new account.
No meeting? No chance to close a new account.
What people say about the strategies in this book…
– We had set 3022 meetings, 85% of which were with C-level decision-makers
– Grown from three hundred customers to over nine hundred
– Directly contributed to the 5X growth of our organization
“Look Inside” To read the full testimonials.
This guide is about two things.
1. How to earn attention and interactions with top decision makers within accounts that are clones of your best accounts.
2. When you earn that often momentary attention, communicating something substantial, credible and different enough to enable someone who is going to write a big check to conclude you are worth more of their time.
Work a system that allows you to pitch a top dog.
Then don’t screw it up when you do. Have something worthwhile to say.
B2B appointment setting is not rocket science, do a few key things right, avoid the common mistakes that doom your efforts and you are halfway to success before you even made a call or sent an email.
THE BUYERS ARE OUT THERE AND YOU MAY BE THEIR BEST OPTION. BUT if you don’t get their attention or communicate what they must hear to conclude that you are worth some of their valuable time, a competitor will get their check. You were not able to sell the meeting.
Sales scripts: Many companies are sitting on great things to say and not saying them. Learn to create a “pile of words” so that crafting impactful phone scripts, voicemails, Emails and more will flow easily.
DON’T LET QUALIFIED BUYERS LUMP YOU IN WITH ALL THE KNUCKLEHEADS THAT CONTACT THEM AND WASTE THEIR TIME.
Your guide to clarity on how to book more first sales conversations, Scott Channell, learned in the trenches, sitting in a cube, dialing the phone and experiencing the monotony, frustration, and euphoria of high-level sales prospecting. Before he started coaching sales teams, he smiled and dialed his way to booking more than 2,000 face-to-face sales appointments with C-Level executives in diverse industries. His paycheck used to depend upon setting appointments that ended up closing in both B2B and B2C markets — still training teams and coaching reps on these strategies 25 years later. He has seen what works in many environments and adapted to those changes over time.Read moreRead less
Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
What’s the secret to sales success? If you’re like most business leaders, you’d say it’s fundamentally about relationships-and you’d be wrong. The best salespeople don’t just build relationships with customers. They challenge them. The need to understand what top-performing reps are doing that their average performing colleagues are not drove Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson, and their colleagues at Corporate Executive Board to investigate the skills, behaviors, knowledge, and attitudes that matter most for high performance. And what they discovered may be the biggest shock to conventional sales wisdom in decades.Based on an exhaustive study of thousands of sales reps across multiple industries and geographies,The Challenger Sale argues that classic relationship building is a losing approach, especially when it comes to selling complex, large-scale business-to-business solutions. The authors’ study found that every sales rep in the world falls into one of five distinct profiles, and while all of these types of reps can deliver average sales performance, only one-the Challenger- delivers consistently high performance.Instead of bludgeoning customers with endless facts and features about their company and products, Challengers approach customers with unique insights about how they can save or make money. They tailor their sales message to the customer’s specific needs and objectives. Rather than acquiescing to the customer’s every demand or objection, they are assertive, pushing back when necessary and taking control of the sale.The things that make Challengers unique are replicable and teachable to the average sales rep. Once you understand how to identify the Challengers in your organization, you can model their approach and embed it throughout your sales force. The authors explain how almost any average-performing rep, once equipped with the right tools, can successfully reframe customers’ expectations and deliver a distinctive purchase experience that drives higher levels of customer loyalty and, ultimately, greater growth.Read moreRead less
Alex Berman and Robert Indries
Change your life and take your sales team to the next level by implementing Silicon Valley’s multi-billion dollar secret weapon.
Cold Email is a superpower. It allows you to:
* Pitch companies that do not know you in order to get what you want
* Clone your most profitable client
* Add predictability to your sales pipeline
* And more
Cold Email Manifesto distills the insights we’ve found teaching over 100,000 people across the globe and works for any B2B company.
Most organizations struggle to grow. The most common issues that sales teams cite are 1) not enough leads and 2) conversion rate is too low. Cold Email Manifesto fixes both of these by giving you access to a predictable system for finding leads, messaging them, selling to them and growing your sales team.
Hop in and let’s transform your business in the next 90 days!Read moreRead less
Struggling to find new clients and grow your sales? Don’t know how to find your next 6-figure client? Afraid you can’t meet your sales target?
Learn how to use the proven 5 step cold email system to get new business consistently.
Why this 5 step cold email system works:
In “The Cold Email Playbook” you’ll get step-by-step techniques that you can use immediately to connect with your dream clients, engage prospects and grow your sales.
And many more strategies that can help you build new relationships and turn them into sales.Read moreRead less
The Sales Acceleration Formula provides a scalable, predictable approach to growing revenue and building a winning sales team. Everyone wants to build the next $100 million business and author Mark Roberge has actually done it using a unique methodology that he shares with his readers. As an MIT alum with an engineering background, Roberge challenged the conventional methods of scaling sales utilizing the metrics-driven, process-oriented lens through which he was trained to see the world. In this book, he reveals his formulas for success. Readers will learn how to apply data, technology, and inbound selling to every aspect of accelerating sales, including hiring, training, managing, and generating demand.
As SVP of Worldwide Sales and Services for software company HubSpot, Mark led hundreds of his employees to the acquisition and retention of the company’s first 10,000 customers across more than 60 countries. This book outlines his approach and provides an action plan for others to replicate his success, including the following key elements:
Business owners, sales executives, and investors are all looking to turn their brilliant ideas into the next $100 million revenue business. Often, the biggest challenge they face is the task of scaling sales. They crave a blueprint for success, but fail to find it because sales has traditionally been referred to as an art form, rather than a science. You can’t major in sales in college. Many people question whether sales can even be taught. Executives and entrepreneurs are often left feeling helpless and hopeless.
The Sales Acceleration Formula completely alters this paradigm. In today’s digital world, in which every action is logged and masses of data sit at our fingertips, building a sales team no longer needs to be an art form. There is a process. Sales can be predictable.
A formula does exist.Read moreRead less
Raise your hand if your company needs more new customers.I suspect your hand is (figuratively) up. This book is about not just growth, but high-growth, explosive-growth, the kind of growth that weather satellites can see from space.The success of any business-to-business company is directly linked to how effectively they acquire new pipeline. To skyrocket growth, sales development is the answer.This book encapsulates author Trish Bertuzzi’s three decades of practical, hands-on experience. It presents six elements for building new pipeline and accelerating revenue growth with inside sales.
1. Strategy offers a framework for aligning your sales development model with your specific market and buyer’s journey.
2. Specialization presents stories of new thinking. You’ll learn about segmenting your prospect universe, specializing roles, and how it all comes together.
3. Recruiting offers a roadmap for hiring with urgency. Tactics, compensation, and a bullet-proof hiring process are presented in great detail.
4. Retention goes deep on the stuff that never seems to get enough consideration: engaging, developing, and motivating people.
5. Execution switches gears and presents examples and tactics for onboarding, crafting buyer-based messaging, and designing effective outreach cadence.
6. And, finally, Leadership, gives actionable advice on what it takes to lead sales development today.
There’s a lot to learn about quota setting, measuring what matters, and acceleration technologies, so those are covered in depth. As Ken Krogue (President of InsideSales.com) writes in the Foreword, “This is the playbook for how to succeed today. After reading this book, I know it will help you succeed, help your company grow, and change our industry.”Read moreRead less
Cory Bray and Hilmon Sorey
In The Sales Enablement Playbook, sales veterans Cory Bray and Hilmon Sorey provide insights into creating a culture of sales enablement throughout your organization. This book provides a series of stand-alone chapters with frameworks and tactics that you can immediately implement, regardless of company size or industry. Whether you are a sales executive, sales practitioner, or a non-sales executive looking for ways to impact growth, The Sales Enablement Playbook will help you identify your role in a thriving enablement ecosystem.Read moreRead less
David Sandler and David Mattson
All prospects lie, all the time. Never ask for the order. Get an I.O.U. for everything you do. Don t spill your candy in the lobby.
Until now, these unique rules (and 45 more) were given out only to Sandler Training clients in special seminars and private coaching. After three decades of proven success, the secrets are out in The Sandler Rules. And when salespeople know the rules, they get results.
Early in his sales career, David Sandler observed that some salespeople work hard and struggle for every deal, while others consistently, and almost effortlessly, uncover new opportunities and close sales. Why is it, he wondered, that two salespeople selling the same product in the same market can have such different results?
Are great salespeople born with a special gift–perhaps the right personality? Were they better educated? Did they have more experience? Were they just lucky to find themselves in the right places at the right times with the right people? No, they simply understood human relationships.
Using Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis, Sandler devised a selling system and distilled forty-nine unforgettable rules that are frank, sometimes fun, and always easy to put to use. Sandler Training CEO David Mattson, coauthor of Five Minutes with VITO, delivers this fresh and often funny guidebook, filled with real-world tactics for successful prospecting, qualifying, deal-making, closing, and referral generation.Read moreRead less
David H. Sandler
The bestselling sales classic! Revised and expanded to help you supercharge personal and team performance in today’s ultra-competitive sales environment.
“People make buying decisions emotionally and justify them logically.”
That shrewd, timeless insight from the first edition of this bestselling book has become a “no-brainer” among sales professionals. Now You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar comes with new insights, information, and tools every sales leader can use. It combines Sandler’s classic, battle-tested advice on driving personal and organizational success by breaking the rules of conventional selling with up-to-date best practices from experienced trainers of Sandler, now run by David Mattson.Read moreRead less