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Five Must-Reads to Get From Sales Development to Sales

4 min read
Oct. 20, 2015

Whether you’re building out a curriculum for your sales development team, or you’re an SDR looking to advance in your career — we have one simple tip for your personal growth plan: read. Reading is the simplest and most attainable way to continue your personal education and continue your personal growth.

These are a few of our recommendations for must-read books to add to your nightstand that will help you use sales development as the springboard to your sales career.

1. The Servant by James C. Hunter

A story of a man seeking guidance in his life’s direction, both professionally and personally, The Servant is about how he found resolution in the presence of a former Wall Street legend turned Benedictine monk. A curricular read for Salesloft SDR Captains, this story encapsulates not only the core values behind successful sales philosophy, but how everything you do as a person will reflect in your career, leadership, and personal life.

Leadership: The skill of influencing people to work enthusiastically toward goals identified as being for the common good.

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Another Salesloft SDR career matrix must-read, How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of CEO Kyle Porter’s top recommendations for all subjects — not just sales. The book runs the gamut of fundamental techniques in handling people, making them like you, and winning them over to your way of thinking — all skills that will launch you into leadership and success.

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

3. Sales Side Negotiation by Patrick Henry Hansen

This must-read from Salesloft Account Executive William Bond is all about building and maintaining power in sales. It’s crucial for reps to build power in sales relationships, and everything that rep does either builds or diminishes power. But throughout the sales process, the building of personal credibility, value props and compelling information will lead to a rep from becoming an effective seller to an effective negotiator.

The better you sell, the less you will negotiate. Winning a sale without a formal negotiation is the ultimate sign of a skilled negotiator… and is simply a natural conclusion of a well-executed selling process.

4. The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

This is a book that our SDR Executives read as they prepare in their final steps in a sales development role before entering a sales Account Executive seat. A new kid on the block compared to the rest on this list, The Challenger Sale‘s model goes against traditional thinking that sales is all about relationships. It flips that relationship-based gameplan and focuses on being the advisor in each sale — working your customers towards improving their roles through new solutions. Mixing this read into your curriculum will help give variety to your sales growth perspective.

Sales professionals who challenged customers thinking and offered new insights or solutions proved to be four times more likely to be a top performer.

5. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

A recommended read from Salesloft Account Executive Wayne Henderson, Think and Grow Rich is a sales classic that pulls from two eras. The first reaches into the minds of millionaires like Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison and the principles behind their success.  The second rendition, updated by Arthur R. Pell, Ph.D., spins the story on its 21st century axis to show how contemporary billionaires used the same principles to grow their wealth.

The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.

What books have you read that have influenced your sales career? Comment below so we can add them to our sales development repertoire.