February 18, 2021

5 Sales & Marketing Books That Transformed Cleverly

1. Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller

How most companies describe themselves in marketing and copywriting is so unclear that it’s killing their leads and sales. Miller studied great movies going back dozens of years, and reverse-engineered what makes people engage in a story. He found the answers and spun it into exactly what businesses should say on their website and in their marketing.

Key Takeaway: Simplify everything. Every website visitor should know exactly what we do and how they can take action with you within 5 seconds. Our website is built on StoryBrand's principles and converts well.

After reading this book, you’ll know exactly what to say in all your marketing material.

2. The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes

Chet is a sales legend, having coached 60 of the Fortune 500 companies. This book lays out how to dominate the competition through enterprise B2B sales and account-based marketing strategies. 

Key Takeaway: The Dream 100 strategy is a great way to double revenue. Pick 100 dream clients under this criteria: if just a few of them closed, they’d double your revenue. Generally, this comes from spotting commonalities within your best, highest-paying clients. Then, dedicate a disproportionate amount of time and resources over 1-2 years going after them ultra-strategically, across multiple channels, until some sign.

After reading this book, you’ll know how to strategically prospect for and close huge deals.

3. Gap Selling by Keenan

Keenan knows why deals don’t close and will change everything you know about relationships, objections and sales meetings. He shares how problem-centric selling is the key to it all, and lays out formulas for discovery, kick-ass demos and more.

Key Takeaway(s):
Ask strategic questions until you know your prospects exact ‘current state’ and where there’s huge pain, then give them a clear picture of their future state with you, and finally validate for them how the gap is worth it—do all of that and more deals will close.

After reading this book, you’ll know how to run sales calls (especially initial discovery calls).

4. Sales Leadership by Keith Rosen

Synopsis: Rosen writes about how to build a world-class coaching culture, teaching managers how to properly train reps.

Key Takeaway(s):

A. Coach the process, not the results. Translation, stop reminding reps of their quota and start listening to their sales convos, where specific insights that kill/win deals live.

B. Managers should train by asking questions rather than telling people what they 'should do' for two reasons: 1. When people come to the best conclusion on their own, they retain it. 2. When the trainee answers questions, the manager can figure out what they already know (and therefore don't need to teach), and focus on "coaching the gaps".

After reading this book, you’ll know how to coach your sales reps so they bring in more leads and close more deals.

5. The One Thing by Gary Keller

Synopsis: This isn’t a sales book, but is foundational to sales and marketing, because it will help you identify and focus only on the #1 thing that best drives revenue over the long-term. This book will make you twice as productive and efficient, and will give you specific tactics like calendar blocking, prioritization and time-management.

Key Takeaway(s): The focusing question. “What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it

everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

After reading this book, you’ll know the one thing you should focus on each day for disproportionate results in business and life.

Honorable Mentions:

  1. The Challenger Sale - The best salespeople don't just build relationships with customers. They challenge them.
  2. Never Lose a Customer Again - Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days
  3. The Little Red Book of Selling - 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness
  4. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion - Why people say yes and how to apply these insights ethically in business
  5. Sales EQ - How Ultra-High Performers Use Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close Complex Deals