You were an outstanding sales rep — and now, as a sales manager, you’re eager to cultivate the same performance from your team members.
But you quickly realize that leading a team is far different from carrying your individual quota.
Both your day-to-day and ongoing responsibilities are completely different than your previous ones. Plus, you’re calling on a brand-new set of skills, like coaching, scaling, and recruiting.
Fortunately, you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. Thousands of newly minted sales managers have been in your exact position, and many of them have written top-notch guides to thriving in this role.
We’ve rounded up the eight sales management books that every first-time manager should read. Scroll down to find your new reading list.
Best Sales Management Books
In part one of this concise, no-B.S. read, author Mike Weinberg outlines the various ways sales managers unintentionally sabotage their team. You’ll get a crystal-clear idea of what not to do.
In part two, he shares all the information you need to create a dynamite sales machine. When you close the book, you’ll know exactly what to do at work the next day — and the day after that, and the day after that, and so on.
2) The Accidental Sales Manager: How to Take Control and Lead Your Sales Team to Record Profits
by Chris Lytle
Do you feel like you’re spending all day putting out fires, trying to rally an unmotivated team, and missing your previous job, when you only had to worry about your own quota?
If so, Lytle’s manual is a must-read. It delves into the causes, symptoms, and cure of this “sales management trap.” You’ll learn how to turn your B players into A players, recruit and hire candidates with the most potential, run more efficient meetings, and more.
If you want to get a high-level view of what it takes to be a successful manager, Butch Bellah’s comprehensive guide is a good place to start.
Bellah, who’s been a sales trainer for the past 30 years, covers five main topics:
1. Transitioning from individual contributor to leader
2. Building your team
3. Training and developing your team
4. Running sales meetings and measuring performance
5. Managing top performers, inspiring middle ones, and letting mediocre ones go
Not only is this book chock-full of insights you can apply immediately, there are also helpful examples taken directly from Bellah’s life.
4) Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance
by Jason Jordan and Michelle Vazzana
You can’t lead your team to success if you don’t know what success is. This book boils down a somewhat hazy topic — “effectively managing a sales force” — and makes it easy to understand. More importantly, it gives you the exact metrics you should track and sales processes you should implement for your desired business results.
Yes, the data and formulas fly fast and furious. But thanks to the easy-to-read, engaging style, you won’t have any trouble finishing this one.
Got the mission for your team down? Good, because this book is all about turning that vision into reality. Treace spends a handful of pages discussing the cultural foundation of your sales team, but he dedicates 90% of the book to what you should do in the trenches.
You’ll learn what to do when your salespeople miss their targets, how to present to your manager and other important stakeholders, how to create accurate sales forecasts, how to manage the expense budget, how to design a compensation plan, and more.
It’s practical and accessible — and likely to be one of those books you regularly turn to for guidance or ideas.
6) Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions: A Tactical Playbook for Managers and Executives
by Keith Rosen
In a world where sales strategies are constantly evolving, products change every day, and competition for business is at an all-time high, your ability to successfully coach reps is crucial. After all, it only takes 30 days for them to forget 87% of what they learned in training.
To make your training stick through ongoing coaching, follow the strategies laid out in Rosen’s book. It includes case studies, a month-long improvement plan for underperformers, coaching templates and scripts, and hundreds of coaching questions for every situation you’ll encounter. Having a step-by-step playbook like this one in hand will instantly make you feel more confident and in-control.
7) The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million
by Mark Roberge
Here’s the thing about intuition: More often than not, it’s wrong. If you want to build the next $100 million business — or simply a formidable sales team — you can’t rely purely on your gut.
In this book, Harvard Business School senior lecturer and former HubSpot CRO Mark Roberge shares his sales playbook. You’ll find the answers to hiring successful sales reps every time, training every salesperson the same way, holding them accountable to one sales process, and providing them with the same quality and quantity of leads every month.
People used to think sales was an art, not a science. However, Roberge’s predictable, scalable formula proves that’s no longer true.
Your first couple months as a sales manager can feel overwhelming and isolating. Enter David Brock’s book.
Its first section provides new sales managers with a concrete, detailed 30-60-90 day plan, so you’ll always know what you should be doing, how much progress you should be making, and what you need to accomplish next.
Once you’ve settled in, you’ll find the rest of this “field guide” invaluable. Brock admits that he learned almost all of the lessons in the book the hard way — but by reading his book, you won’t have to.
This book is all about process. If you want tips and tricks on turning your sales team into a lead-generation and business-closing machine, you’ve come to the right place.
Ross and Tyler dive into the nuts and bolts of an effective sales process, recruiting and hiring strategy, and autonomous, self-managing team.
Are you overworked and under-supported? Do you have ambitious revenue goals — but few resources? Have you realized you need to take charge of your own success?
Anyone who’s emphatically nodding “yes” to these questions should pick up Rosen’s book. He’s called upon 20 years of sales management and coaching to write this straightforward, impactful guide.
11) ProActive Sales Management: How to Lead, Motivate, and Stay Ahead of the Game
by William “Skip” Miller
Reactive sales management is synonymous with “poor sales management.” To drive results, you need to spot and resolve potential issues early. This book, which is jam-packed with actionable techniques, delves into:
Motivating your reps
Helping them prospect and qualify
Streamlining meetings and reports
Effectively coaching and counseling
Forecasting with up to 90% accuracy
Transforming good performers into great ones
12) The Sales Boss: The Real Secret to Hiring, Training and Managing a Sales Team
by Jonathan Whistman
Hiring is a big part of any management position. But for a sales manager, it may well be the most important part. After all, your team members are collectively responsible for your goal. To become a fantastic people manager, you need to know how to hire the right people at the right team for the right role. You need to know what your salespeople need to be as successful as possible. You need to know how to remove obstacles from their path so they can focus on selling.
Good news: That’s exactly what this book will teach you.
Have your eye on a director — or someday, VP — role? You’ll want to study this pick, written with the help of experts from McKinsey & Company. It provides you with a blueprint for sales growth that’s based on interviews with 200-plus of the world’s most successful global sales leaders.
You’ll understand which levers to pull, how to develop your organization’s “sales DNA,” what technology to arm your reps with, and more.
Use these resources to cut your learning curve dramatically. In time, you’ll be just as good a leader as you were an individual team member — hopefully even better.