Top 5 Books Your Sales Reps Will Actually Read

Brooke Martin June 30, 2016

It’s no secret that reps have a love hate relationship with “book clubs” that are frequently held within sales organizations. These book clubs were created to ensure reps are sharpening their skills consistently learning how to be the best in their craft. However, we find that reps regard these clubs as yet another take home assignment leaving reps asking, “Is there a sparknotes version of this?”

These book clubs can be extremely impactful if done right. It all starts with selecting books that reps will actually read, not just skim.

We talked to reps and sales leaders alike and compiled a list of the top 5 books that get the most engagement in these clubs.

*Keep in mind that the best run book clubs are those that have some structure to guide reps throughout the entirety of the book. Try setting a goal prior to beginning the book on what you would like to accomplish as a group. Have weekly check-ins to see where you are at to goal and reflect on if the goal was reached at the end of the book.

1.) Sales Acceleration Formula –
The Sales Acceleration Formula provides a scalable, predictable approach to growing revenue and building a winning sales team. Authored by Mark Roberge (Chief Revenue Officer at HubSpot), Roberge challenges the conventional methods of scaling sales utilizing the metrics-driven, process-oriented lens through which he was trained to see the world.

Why your reps will like it: Whether you are in a business development, closing, or management role, this book defines the key formulas for success. Your reps will learn how to  apply data, technology, and inbound selling to every aspect of the sales acceleration process. This book places equal, if not more, responsibility on reps engineering the sales success of an organization. After this book, your reps and leaders will feel like a united front when it comes to scaling a world-class sales team.

2.) Emotional Intelligence 2.0 –
Authored by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, this skill-based book has one single purpose: to increase your emotional intelligence and thus enhance every single aspect of your life. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 succinctly explains how to deal with emotions creatively and employ your intelligence in a beneficial way.

Why your reps will like it: This book has a lot of easy quick tips that your reps can apply almost immediately in their day to day workflow. Reps learn the art of mastering self awareness, self management, relationship management and social awareness strategies. This book is heavy on self reflection and introduces ideas and emotions reps may not have been aware of before. Added bonus: There is an online quiz reps take before starting the book that scores their baseline EQ. Once the book is over, reps take this test again and apply what they learned to see if they can improve their EQ score.

3.) The Productivity Project –
The Productivity Project tackles a topic that every single one of us cares deeply about: How to be more productive at work and in every aspect of our lives. Authored by Chris Bailey, this book introduces over 25 best practices for increasing productivity such as the “rule of three” and shrinking/eliminating the unimportant. Chris Bailey went on a year long journey doing a deep dive experiment into the pursuit of productivity and this book walks you through his journey and revelations.

Why your reps will like it: This is another actionable book that reps can apply almost immediately to their day to day. This book allows reps to pick and choose the best practices that most likely align with their workflow. The Productivity Project encourages reps to hit pause and reflect on their current workflow: what’s working, what’s broken, what needs to be changed. Each week reps can talk about the experiments they tried and brainstorm on new productivity tactics they have not yet tried. Contrary to popular belief, reps will learn that sometimes doing more can hurt their productivity.

4.) Promise of a Pencil –
Authored by Adam Braun, The Promise of a Pencil explains one clear step that every person can take to turn your biggest ambitions into reality, even if you start with as little as $25. This book chronicles Braun’s journey to find his calling and eventually founding Promise of Pencil which has since built over 200 schools around the world.

Why your reps will like it: From the cover, this book may not seem like your typical sales focused read but there are key takeaways that reps can apply to their work and personal lives. Rather than presenting data driven best practices, Promise of a Pencil takes a light-hearted approach to encourage the audience to pursue their passion in life and not take no for an answer. Reps will appreciate the change of pace this book provides and will get a surge of inspiration.

5.) Start with No –
Start With No Introduces a system of decision-based negotiation. Authored by Jim Camp, this book offers a contrarian, counterintuitive system for negotiating any kind of deal in any kind of situation. This book introduces the idea of a win-lose negotiation and ensures that you never fall victim to this type of negotiation, ever again.

Why your reps will like it: We all know negotiation is the hardest part of any sales cycle. Start with No gives reps real life examples and scenarios that incorporate this decision-based negotiation mindset. Reps will learn how to properly manage their emotions and instincts when it comes to the final leg of a deal in order to win back control. Say bye bye to unnecessary compromise and hello to confident winning reps.