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Sales Books Kyle Porter Recommends for the Modern Sales Development Leader

5 min read
May 2, 2016

In any profession, continued education is crucial. So why would this be any different for the modern sales development leader? Aside from actually getting down in the trenches with frontline reps, the best way for a sales leader to stay up to date on the modern trends and strategies in the industry is through the regular consumption of the top sales books on the market.

The content you read — and how you consume it — will directly impact your success as a sales leader. Not only will this reading regimen keep your management skills on par with other modern sales development leaders in the space, but the best sales books, both the classics and the freshly shelved, will keep you competitive in the field and empowered to level up within your organization.

But with thousands of sales books out there, how do you know which are best for you? Each seat in the sales development house, from the newly minted SDR all the way up to C-Suite, may require a different perspective, and your Kindle wish list is probably already maxed out.

So to help narrow your reading list based on the kind of content you’re looking to consume, Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter gave us an updated list of what he considers to be the best sales books on the shelves today:

For the New Sales Development Manager

The Sales Development Playbook by Trish Bertuzzi is the best book to understand the modern SDR movement and get the best practices to implement today.

Simply put, “it’s the best of all the sales books in the business. Nobody’s ever written something as helpful and comprehensive. New reps, old reps, leaders, CEOs, investors… everyone should use it.” 

For the Rookie SDR

It’s the book every sales leader grew up on, and if you skip past all the research and get to the meat, it will serve as your greatest weapon of the sales books in your arsenal.

SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham may be the best selling book of all time.

The plus side? “It’s an easy read. SPIN can help anyone to sell anything. The whole concept is that complex sales deserve a different process and Neil delivers that different process on a silver platter.”

For the Empathetic Sales Leader

My favorite sales book is The Joshua Principle by Tony J. Hughes. It’s a fiction ‘business fable’ that most adequately reflects my beliefs in being a value-adding, empathetic sales leader.

A fiction book making the list may be a surprise, but Kyle’s reasoning? “I’m not sure salespeople need to be as good storytellers as they need to be story uncovers. This book helps you question your prospect at the highest levels, aimed entirely to add value to their business and help them accomplish their objectives. They tell the story, you just give them the ingredients. Great sales is when they become the storyteller so they can tell everyone else in their company.”

For the Analytics Lover

No longer are sales development metrics in the minor leagues. The top of the funnel sales model has officially gone pro, and the key to success is in the specialization, the personalization, and the focus on the right analytics.

The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge is the best analytically-driven inside sales book on the market.”

For the Veteran Rep

While he considers How to Win friends and Influence People to be “possibly the best book ever written,” and the book that influenced who he is as a leader today, Kyle credits The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino as “the most motivational and all encompassing book in sales.”

For the Modern Sales Operations Leader

While Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin’s newest book, Impossible to Inevitable is an inspiration for all business leaders, Predictable Revenue is the reigning champion of the sales books for the modern sales operations leader, as it’s “credited with having started the SDR movement. While it exposes too much email automation, so many of the theories are still spot on, particularly specialization.”

Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler set the standard for specialization.

Remember: this list isn’t evergreen. The industry changes, and even some classics may need to be tossed in a year or two. Just last year, Kyle shared his list of the 10 Best Sales Books Ever Written. Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling made the list, but when asked what sales books should be tossed from your list this year, Kyle’s answer was “anything by Jeffrey Gitomer.”

That’s why it’s crucial to stay up to date on the current content of your industry. That’s why this new list of sales books should help you head into your next season of sales with the confidence and knowledge to be the powerful sales development leaders you were destined to be.

Watch this video to get Salesloft’s VP of Sales Derek Grant’s list of sales books that have shaped the leader he is today. In our weekly sales tips, Derek shares his advice on becoming a successful VP of Sales through reading sales content. Don’t miss this week’s newest video here on the Salesloft blog!