Summer is here, and with it comes vacation: You've got your flights, hotels, swimsuits, and sunscreen . . . But do you have your sales books?
If you're like me, you always take a business book or two on vacation: A non-fiction book offers the opportunity to catch up on business trends, but more importantly it helps you avoid the certain guilt that accompanies a week of totally unproductive self-indulgence.
So what makes a great summer book for vacationing sales executives?
Without question, it must contain insights that will make you better at your job. But the book should also be easy to read. You don't want a book filled with complex frameworks that build on themselves from the first page to the last. You want a book that serves up bite-sized morsels that fit perfectly between your afternoon swim and evening cocktails. A book that will make you think, but won't necessarily make you work.
The following are four recently published books for salespeople and sales leaders that meet my summer book criteria. You can jump into them for some stimulation, jump into the sauna for some relaxation and then jump back into them once more before jumping into your golf shoes.
by Jill Konrath
Everyone lives in a hectic, always-on world, but that reality is even more challenging for those of us in sales. Social media, email, and mobile devices all conspire to distract us from the most important task of sales -- creating satisfied customers.
In More Sales, Less Time, best-selling author Jill Konrath provides research-based techniques for reclaiming all that lost time, so you can focus on the high-impact activities that lead to a more rewarding career and life. This well-written book contains clever tactics, personal exercises and recommended apps for improving your personal productivity. The effort you invest in reading this book will return itself many times over.
by Cannon Thomas
Thousands of books have been written about the "right" things to do in sales. But what about the wrong things? What about the deviant sales behaviors and bad management decisions that should be avoided at all costs? Wouldn't it be fun to know those too?
In Sales Insanity, Cannon Thomas shares first-hand accounts of 20 sales "worst practices" he's observed during his career as a consultant. This book is truly entertaining, as each cringe-worthy story reveals things you should never do as a salesperson or manager, as well as the lessons you should take from each disastrous vignette. If you've spent any time in sales, you can't read this book without laughing out loud.
by Anthony Iannarino
Despite the never-ending narrative that sales is more complex than ever before, success as a seller still comes down to the brilliant execution of fundamental sales behaviors At every stage of your career, there are certain high-impact skills that you have to master. And never forget.
In The Only Sales Guide You'll Ever Need, professional speaker and blogger Anthony Iannarino details the specific beliefs, behaviors and abilities that set rock star salespeople apart from the rest. Whether you're a new salesperson needing to kick-start your career or a seasoned salesperson wanting to sharpen your saw, this engaging book is an excellent resource that should remain on your shelf forever.
by McKinsey & Company
Every sales force wants profitable growth. Unfortunately, sales growth is not guaranteed -- sales leaders need to make smart decisions about how to direct and focus their teams. In other words, they need solid sales strategies.
In Sales Growth, the experts at McKinsey & Company share insights from hundreds of interviews with successful sales executives. Underneath the "five proven strategies" are 15 chapters that contain 33 great interviews on individual sales leadership topics. Though somewhat weightier than the other books on this list, it belongs in every senior executive's travel bag this summer.
Hopefully you'll have a nice, long summer, with several vacations woven into your calendar. And if you read these four books, you'll have a productive summer, as well.