Not all sales books are created equal. The best ones point you to powerful takeaways that you can start implementing today. Here, we’ve rounded up the three of the best sales leadership books and hand-picked the key lesson from each one.

Lesson 1: Become indispensable

From: Linchpin by Seth Godin

As an author of 18 bestselling books on leadership and marketing, Godin makes an important distinction in Linchpin. The goal is not simply to be the best, he argues. Instead, you want to position yourself as an essential ingredient of your company’s success. Not the top seller for this or that quota, but someone whose skills, experience, and vision can boost your company now and in the future.

Lesson 2: Know how to connect

From: To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink

Consumers have so many choices in this marketplace that sales professionals must operate with integrity and offer legitimate help. That’s the way they can connect with consumers and clients—and land the sale. To help sales professionals do just that, Pink wrote one of the best sales leadership books to share the ABCs of moving others:

  • Attunement. This is the “ability to bring one’s actions and outlook into harmony with other people and with the context you’re in.” In other words, humanize the sale. Work to legitimately understand your customer’s perspective.
  • Buoyancy. Hone skills you need to prepare for a sale, and then bounce back after rejection.
  • Clarity. By this, Pink means “find the right problems to solve.” Because information in the digital age is abundant, it’s not enough to know your customer’s problem. You must be able to address why they are having the issue in the first place.

Lesson 3: Challenge your customer

From: The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

In one of the best sales leadership books of the last two decades, Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson divide salespeople into five categories:

  • The Hard Worker
  • The Relationship Builder
  • The Lone Wolf
  • The Reactive Problem Solver
  • The Challenger

Surprisingly, the Relationship Builders consistently sold the least. The Challengers came out on top, because they pushed back with their customer, took control of the sale, and offered unique insights.

This key lesson lines up with Daniel Pink’s idea of “Clarity.” The Challenger is not your standard “pushy salesperson.” Instead, she finds the problem behind the problem and addresses issues her customers didn’t realize they had. And that’s exactly what the best sales leadership books do.


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Dan Sincavage

Dan Sincavage

Dan is a Co-Founder of Tenfold and currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer. Dan oversees the Tenfold sales organization, manages strategic partner relationships and works with key enterprise accounts to ensure their success with the Tenfold platform.

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