10 Must-Read Books for Sales and Marketing

View all Best Picks for Adults book lists; This list was last updated on 8/13/2013
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release date: Jan 15, 2003
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Making Rain
Professionals who work with clients or large accounts can create lifetime relationships based on these well-researched secrets. Based drawing from extensive interviews with client executives, Making Rain offers a series of provocative insights on how to shed the expert-for-hire label and develop long-term advisory relationships. Exploding the popular myth of the "Rainmaker," a dated and dysfunctional figure that clients no longer welcome, Andrew Sobel argues that any professional can learn to "make rain" on an ongoing basis with existing clients by developing a special set of skills, attitudes, and strategies. These innovative tips and techniques from a recognized leader in the field of professional services will enable any consultant, salesperson, or service professional to create enduring client loyalty.
release date: Nov 10, 2011
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The Challenger Sale
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.

release date: Sep 06, 2011
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Escape Velocity
“Readthis book to learn how to create a company as powerful as Apple.”—Guy Kawasaki,former chief evangelist of Apple

InEscape Velocity Geoffrey A. Moore, author of the marketing masterwork Crossingthe Chasm, teaches twenty-first century enterprises how to overcome thepull of the past and reorient their organizations to meet a new era ofcompetition. The world's leading high-tech business strategist, Moore connectsthe dots between bold strategies and effective execution, with an action planthat elucidates the link between senior executives and every other branch of acompany. For readers of Larry Bossidy's Execution,Clay Christensen's Innovator's Solution, and Gary Vaynerchuck'sCrush It!, and for anyone aiming for the pinnacle of business success, EscapeVelocity is an irreplaceable roadmap to the top.

release date: Mar 14, 2011
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Conversations That Win the Complex Sale: Using Power Messaging to Create More Opportunities, Differentiate your Solutions, and Close More Deals

Win more deals with the perfect sales story!

“Power Messaging is a foundational element in our global marketing campaigns and sales training programs. We believe the concepts are core to engaging in customer conversations that are focused on their outcomes and what they want to achieve.”
―Karen Quintos, CMO and SVP, Dell Inc.

“The concepts outlined in this book are critical skills to building a world-class presales organization.”
―Ken Hamel, Senior Vice President, Global Solutions and Presales, SAP

“Our new messaging, using the approaches presented in this book, is great and is being widely used by our sales team. We've never had a year end sales meeting with content that was met with such widespread acceptance and enthusiasm.”
―Jerry D. Cline, Senior Vice President, Retail Sales and Marketing, AmerisourceBergen Drug Company

“The best salespeople sit across the table and make change easy for their customer by creating a succinct story and vision for what to change, how to change it, and how it will impact customer results. An enterprise focus on sales messaging, using the concepts in this book, is the hidden secret to driving incremental sales productivity and overwhelming customer success!”
―Ken Powell, Vice President, Worldwide Sales Enablement, ADP

“The Power Messaging techniques in this book are the foundation of how our marketing team creates our sales messages, as well as the process our field sales teams use for delivering that message in a unique and compelling way. At Kronos our results are a reflection of the power of the tool.”
―Aron Ain, CEO, Kronos

About the Book:

In today's highly competitive world of complex sales, commoditization of your brand is one of the greatest dangers. You must differentiate yourself from the competition―or you will lose out. And the way to do that is through customer engagement. Rather than sell your own corporate story and brand message, you need to tell customers their story―the one in which they are the heroes and they achieve success.

Erik Peterson and Tim Riesterer have been developing and honing their Power Messaging sales technique for more than 20 years, and now they reveal all their secrets in Conversations That Win the Complex Sale.

Presenting a catalog of facts or playing 20 questions with prospective customers is the surest way to lose the sale. Peterson and Riesterer provide the tools you need to recraft your message into a compelling story that wins more deals.

With Conversations That Win the Complex Sale, you'll learn how to:

  • Differentiate yourself from the competition by finding your “Value Wedge”
  • Avoid parity in your value propositions by creating “Power Positions”
  • Create a message that can literally double the number of deals you close
  • Spike customer attention and create “Wow” in your conversations
  • Prove all your claims without resorting to lists of boring facts and statistics

Your competitors are out there telling their own corporate story―a story customers don't want to hear. Now is the time to seize the moment. This book is the one and only source you need to reframe your sales story and turn the tables on the competition by fully engaging their would-be customers.

Conversations That Win the Complex Sale helps you create and deliver messages that customers care about, giving your brand the clear edge in today's crowded markets.

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Let's Get Real Or Let's Not Play
The new way to transform a sales culture with clarity, authenticity, and emotional intelligence.

Too often, the sales process is all about fear.

Customers are afraid that they will be talked into making a mistake; salespeople dread being unable to close the deal and make their quotas. No one is happy.

Mahan Khalsa and Randy Illig offer a better way. Salespeople, they argue, do best when they focus 100 percent on helping clients succeed. When customers are successful, both buyer and seller win. When they aren?t, both lose. It?s no longer sufficient to get clients to buy?a salesperson must also help the client reduce costs, increase revenues, and improve productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction.

This book shares the unique FranklinCovey Sales Performance Group methodology that will help readers:

? Start new business from scratch in a way both salespeople and clients can feel good about
? Ask hard questions in a soft way
? Close the deal by opening minds
release date: Jan 01, 2010
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Business Model Generation
Business Model Generation is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow's enterprises. If your organization needs to adapt to harsh new realities, but you don't yet have a strategy that will get you out in front of your competitors, you need Business Model Generation.

Co-created by 470 "Business Model Canvas" practitioners from 45 countries, the book features a beautiful, highly visual, 4-color design that takes powerful strategic ideas and tools, and makes them easy to implement in your organization. It explains the most common Business Model patterns, based on concepts from leading business thinkers, and helps you reinterpret them for your own context. You will learn how to systematically understand, design, and implement a game-changing business model--or analyze and renovate an old one. Along the way, you'll understand at a much deeper level your customers, distribution channels, partners, revenue streams, costs, and your core value proposition.

Business Model Generation features practical innovation techniques used today by leading consultants and companies worldwide, including 3M, Ericsson, Capgemini, Deloitte, and others. Designed for doers, it is for those ready to abandon outmoded thinking and embrace new models of value creation: for executives, consultants, entrepreneurs, and leaders of all organizations. If you're ready to change the rules, you belong to "the business model generation!"

release date: Jul 02, 2007
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The Leaky Funnel
The Leaky Funnel is the marketing strategy book authored by Hugh Macfarlane. This business novel is packed with fresh, key arguments for a major change in the way businesses organise and manage their combined Sales and Marketing resources. The central argument, that a new framework is needed for the aggregate Sales and Marketing force, is based on Hugh's 20 years-plus experience, and has now been well proven in many leading businesses as a means of accelerating the effectiveness of their endeavours to earn more customers. "At last something different. This is a realistic picture of how sales and marketing get negotiated inside an organisation." -- Grahame Dowling. Professor of Marketing, Australian Graduate School of Management "highly relevant look at one of today's most critical topics, how to bring sales and marketing together." -- Don Schultz. Professor Emeritus-in-Service, Northwestern University, USA
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Crossing the Chasm

Here is the bestselling guide that created a new game plan for marketing in high-tech industries. Crossing the Chasm has become the bible for bringing cutting-edge products to progressively larger markets. This edition provides new insights into the realities of high-tech marketing, with special emphasis on the Internet. It's essential reading for anyone with a stake in the world's most exciting marketplace.

release date: Nov 12, 2009
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All Marketers are Liars (with a New Preface): The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works--and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All
Seth Godin's three essential questions for every marketer:
"What's you story?"
"Will the people who need to hear this story believe it?"
"Is it true?"

All marketers tell stories. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a $20 glass than a $1 glass. We believe that an $80,000 Porsche is vastly superior to a $36,000 Volkswagen that's virtually the same car. We believe that $125 sneakers make our feet feel better--and look cooler--than a $25 brand. And believing it makes it true.

As Seth Godin showed in this controversial book, great marketers don't talk about features or even benefits. Instead, they tell a story--a story we want to believe, whether it's factual or not. In a world where most people have an infinite number of choices and no time to make them, every organization is a marketer, and all marketing is about telling stories.

Marketers succeed when they tell us a story that fits our worldview, a story that we intuitively embrace and then share with our friends. Think of the Dyson vacuum cleaner, or Fiji water or the iPod.

But beware: If your stories are inauthentic, you cross the line from fib to fraud. Marketers fail when they are selfish and scurrilous, when they abuse the tools of their trade and make the world worse. That's a lesson learned the hard way by telemarketers, cigarette companies, and sleazy politicians.

But for the rest of us, it's time to embrace the power of the story. As Godin writes, "Stories make it easier to understand the world. Stories are the only way we know to spread an idea. Marketers didn't invent storytelling. They just perfected it."

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Start with why
"A powerful and penetrating exploration of what separates great companies and great leaders from the rest."
-Polly LaBarre, coauthor of Mavericks at Work

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty?

In studying the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way-and it's the complete opposite of what everyone else does. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.

Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire.

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