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9 Books That Will Make You A Better Sales Manager

by Egan Montgomery

So you want some book recommendations to brush up on your sales manager skills? You’ve come to the right place. This is a carefully curated list of 9 absolute must-reads for sales managers (with 2 bonus books for managers of XDRs). 

Our mission is not to overwhelm you with a massive, incomprehensible list of sales books full of jargon and business school nomenclature. Instead, we’ve created a list of diverse and important reads to help you be the best manager possible.

You don’t have to read every book front to back. Flip around. Find sections that stick out to you. If you can absorb even 10% of what these authors and leaders have to say, you will absolutely be a better manager. 

With further adieu, let’s dive in.

1) Extreme Ownership (Jocko Willink, Leif Babin)

Extreme Ownership is an Incredible perspective on true leadership strategy. Specifically as it relates to operationalizing planning, execution, and review of the actions and activities that lead to successful outcomes. Written by 2 former US Navy Seals, this embodies everything it means to step up as a leader and dominate your patch.

2) Winning (Jack Welch)

It’s Jack Welch…just read it. But seriously if you take nothing else from this book focus on the 20-70-10 rule. It’s not a perfect science, but it works. The greatest managers will let their star performers perform. This is the top 20% of your team. Where you can make the greatest impact is by raising the middle 70%. With proper coaching and direction, this group can move the needle. The bottom 10% of performers where hard decisions must be made. Give them ample time and coaching to reach the middle 70%. But if they are not able to get there, it’s time to find someone new.

3) Cracking the Sales Management Code (Jason Jordan, Michelle Vazzana)

At the end of the day, to truly scale a team it comes down to a repeatable, measurable process. Jason Jordan & Michelle Vazzana outline these processes and how to measure them. It’s difficult to identify improvement areas without a stringent process. Everyone needs to be rowing in the same direction to get to the finish line. 

4) Don’t Fire Them, Fire Them Up (Frank Pacetta)

Everyone has potential. In Sales, it can be difficult to focus on strengths when we have quotas and targets to hit. Find their strengths, coach them on their weaknesses and motivate your team to succeed. 

5) Sales Management. Simplified. (Mike Weinberg)

If you are a first time manager, or need a refresh on setting priorities, this is a great book. When we think about Loupe, it’s all about prioritizing the right and most impactful actions. Mike Weinberg hammers that home in this read. It’s all about ruthless prioritization and the ability to say “no”.

6) Selling in a New Market Space (Brian Burns, Tom Snyder)

Hitting the reset on how you look at and evaluate what is important to your buyer personas should be a regularly occurring process. Selling in a New Market Space gives a great framework to rethink how you are targeting and selling to your ideal clients.  

7) Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (Jennifer Brauer)

Leading is an emotional game. Your EQ matters significantly more now than when you were in an individual contributor role. The livelihoods of those you lead are on the line each and every day. Their hopes, dreams, and emotions impact their day to day. Their day to day impacts your business. Everyone is different so find out what makes each of your sellers tick. Understand how they take feedback. Emotional EQ will you make a more empathetic and therefore more effective leader.

8) Start With Why (Simon Sinek)

In sales, it is important that every seller understands how their service, product, or offering impacts their buyer. It will help you and your reps focus on the real drivers behind your solutions and your buyers. Start With Why gives managers an understanding of how they can motivate and communicate with their teams on a completely different level.

9) Principles (Ray Dalio)

Business acumen is by far and away the greatest predictor of success in sales. Ray Dalio is one of the most successful investors and walks through his business principles. It’s important to create your own set of principles. Hold yourself and your team accountable to create the consistency and coaching framework that will drive you individual and business success.  

SDR Manager Bonus 

10) Predictable Revenue (Aaron Ross, Marylou Tyler)

Predictable Revenue is the original sales math playbook. The impact of this book has been felt across business development teams for more than a decade. It’s an incredible place to start when thinking about how inputs and outcomes impact your teams success. 

11) The Sales Development Playbook (Trish Bertuzzi)

The Sales Development Playbook is a tactical deep dive into what it takes to build and manage a successful XDR team. It is an incredible next step to Predictable Revenue. Sales Development has grown and adapted at an incredible pace. Knowing the strategies and adjustments that you can make based on your target personas, rep skill sets, and the sales process is a game changer for any XDR manager. 

Final Thoughts

While no amount of reading will ever serve as a substitute for hands on practice, books can be a great way to get oriented and to explore new thoughts and ideas. As a sales manager, the willingness to challenge your current assumptions and experiment with new strategies or tactics will make all the difference in getting your team past quota.

What did we miss? If you have other great sales management books, we’d love to hear about it one Twitter. Tweet out your favorite book and why and be sure to tag @LoupeHQ.


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