I’m often asked what sales management books I would recommend. Here are some of the books I feel all sales manager should take the time to read. The books that I recommend for sales manager are not just about sales. It’s a good idea to also look at books that focuse on management and leadership. Each of the book cover pictures are a link to amazon. This is an affiliate link and I receive a small commission when you make a purchase using this link. This helps support the Sales Management Workshop podcast. Use the link or go to your local book store to find the books I recommend. They are well worth the read.
Manager’s Guide to Effective Coaching, Second Edition (Briefcase Books)
As a sales manager your skills as a coach represent one of the most important skills that will lead you to success. In Effective Coaching, Marshall Cook walks you through the entire coaching process. I recommend the book because it will explain what coaching is. How to use coaching with your team and what to lick for. You will have an opportunity to rate yourself as a coach and examine the differences between a boss and a coach.
You will see how to coach, when to coach and the benefits of coaching. I like the exercises that you can use with your team. I use some of this in the coaching sessions I have with my clients.
Don’t fire the, Fire Them Up, is a book that has been around for a while now. I think this book was first released in 1995. This is the story of a new sales manager taking on a new team, in a new city, that wasn’t meeting the mark. Most people would just say if the salespeople aren’t getting it done, just get rid of them and start over. Frank Pacetta, the young manager and Author, saw it differently. He engaged the staff and found the with support and motivation, he could help them to grow and meet and exceed expectations. I recommend this to any sales manager that is looking to build a strong team and better understand how leaders can develop their teams. I think you’ll find this book will provide you with in site and help you motivate your team and yourself.
Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions: A Tactical Playbook for Managers and Executives
One of the biggest factors in sales management success is you ability to coach. We have talked a lot about coaching at the sales management workshop and If you are looking for a book to help you become a better coach, this is it. I highly recommend this book.
ProActive Sales Management: How to Lead, Motivate, and Stay Ahead of the Game
One of the best ways to succeed and grow as a manager is to consistently challenge and question how you manage. ProActive Sales Management can help you do that. The book provides step-by-step methods on becoming a pro-active sales manager. You don’t have to agree with them all. But this book let’s you reexamine just how you manage. The key is that it allows you to determine if you are being pro-active as a manager or re-active. It’s a good read for any sales leader.
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
Good to Great is a book by Jim Collins that has stood the test of time. Jim Collins and a team of 20 researchers look to see what it took to take companies from good to great. The book covers eleven companies that Collins and his team considered to be Great. They studied companies that delivered returned 3 times the market over a 15 year period. By using fifteen years it took the luck factor out of the equation.
I like the entire book, but one of the key take aways for sales managers would be chapter two. Level 5 leadership. You’ll get a lot out of this section. This entire concept of good to great is truly fascinating. It’s based on the fact that if you except good, you can never become great.
The book was first published in 2001 and I first picked it up in 2010. Today it’s a top seller because of the concepts it teaches. What’s interesting is to get a look at companies like Bank of America, Circuit City, and A&P. Two out of business and one on the edge that were one considered Great.
I highly recommend this one.
Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance
If you are looking for ways to get better control over sales performance, this may help. Cracking the Sales Management Code is based on research into how world-class sales organizations measure and manage their salespeople. It contains some of the best practices used to identify and implement the critical activities and metrics that drive business results.
The Accidental Sales Manager: How to Take Control and Lead Your Sales Team to Record Profits
I like this book, The Accidental Sales Manager. Not everyone started off thinking they would be responsible for leading a sales team. Most people become sales managers because they were successful in the field. The problem is that when their success is based on the success of the team, they struggle. The most neglected position in the business world is that of the sales manager. This book takes a look at the role of the sales manager and how you can move from selling to managing with better success. Even if you have been managing for a while. I recommend this one.
HBR’S 10 Must Reads: The Essentials
The Essentials is a book I highly recommend. Not just this book, but the entire series of books that I feel should be a part of every sales managers library. This is “HBR’s 10 Must Reads, HBR stands for Harvard Business Review. What the folks at Harvard Business Review did, was go through hundreds of articles and selected what they felt was essential reading for managers. The first book to read in the series is “The Essentials.” In the Essentials you get ten articles by authors like Michael Porter on creating competitive advantage and distinguishing your company from rivals. Peter Drucker on managing your career by evaluating your own strengths and weaknesses. Robert Kaplan and David Norton on measuring your company’s strategy with the Balanced Scorecard. Other articles include creating competitive advantage, leading change, using emotional intelligence, orchestrating innovation, and keeping customers loyal. This is an excellent reference for any manager.
HBR’s Must Reads Boxed Set (6 Books) (HBR’s 10 Must Reads)
This collection of six books includes articles from the world’s top management experts. The folks at Harvard Review have done all the work gathering the best information for you. The books cover leadership and strategy. They also have information on managing yourself and your team. HBR’s Must Reads offer foundational articles on essential business topics to help you maximize your organization’s performance and your own. The titles include: Managing Yourself, Managing People, Change Management, Strategy, Leadership, and The Essentials. This box set of six books retails for $99.00, but by following this link, you can get it a very healthy discount. The series isn’t devoted to sales management, but they are great for every sales manager to own and read.
Time Management In an Instant: 60 Ways to Make the Most of Your Day (In an Instant (Career Press))
This is an Excellent Book on Time Management. The ability to properly manage your time is a challenge for every manager. This book by by Karen Leland and Keith Bailey can help. Time Management In an Instant: 60 Ways to Make the Most of Your Day (In an Instant (Career Press)). Not only will you learn some key concepts on time management. This book includes exercises that will help better time management. The key to effective sales leadership is the ability to manage your time. For that you need a time management system in place. You will be amazed at how much more efficient and effective you’ll become.
Sun Tzu – The Art of War for Managers: 50 Strategic Rules Updated for Today’s Business
In today’s business climate you know it’s competitive. You have to find a way to capture the high ground and and keep it. If not, your competition will. Chinese military theorist Sun Tzu can show you how. Gerald A. Michaelson’s classic book give you insight into lessons to help you move from manager to leader. In this edition, Steven Michaelson offers examples from companies that are using Sun Tzu to help them achieve their sales objectives. The information in this book has been tested for twenty-five centuries. It’s a good read, and it will help you seize the advantage, storm your competitors’ gates, and conquer the marketplace!