Top 21 Books for Enablement Practitioners in 2021

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As the business landscape continues to evolve and adapt, sales enablement professionals must be well-versed in leading change, and diving even deeper into best practices for success. It can be difficult to find the time to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in and around the industry, but reading valuable insight written by award-winning thought leaders and experts across management, sales enablement, training, and more will only benefit one’s career and confidence as an enablement professional.

There are many options to choose from off the shelves, so we’ve narrowed down a list of our favorite books for enablement professionals this year:

1. Sales Enablement 3.0: Sales enablement is not just about sales training. To bring enablement to the future, it must be customer-centric and focus on influencing revenue generation through communication, collaboration, and orchestration. Sales Enablement 3.0 explores how to set responsibilities and objectives for enablement that are centered on the buyer.

2. Design Thinking for Training and Development: Taking a unique approach to the traditional design thinking process, this book offers ways to create engaging and effective training curriculums for sales professionals that focus on the learner experience (LX) rather than simply the user experience (UX).

  • Author: Sharon Boller, Laura Fletcher
  • Topic: Adult learning
  • Length: 274 pages
  • Where to Purchase: Amazon

3. Sales Differentiation: Using the 19 strategies outlined in this book, salespeople can accomplish 6 objectives: Engage the buyer in conversation, disrupt complacency, position relevant differentiators, help a buyer think differently about the solutions they could have, challenge buyer beliefs, and evoke a specific call to action.

  • Author: Lee Salz
  • Topic: Sales skills
  • Length: 208 pages
  • Where to Purchase: Amazon

4. It Starts with Clients: Your 100-Day Plan to Build Lifelong Relationships and Revenue: The bar is higher than it used to be for salespeople, as clients are growing more sophisticated and demanding, thus requiring more remarkable skill and business acumen from the representatives who serve them. This book provides a 100-day plan with core weekly challenges that will guide any sales practitioner toward building lifelong relationships with their clients while simultaneously driving revenue for their organization.

5. The Qualified Sales Leader: This book breaks down the basics of becoming a successful sales leader from a five-time CRO and executive consultant for numerous successful public software companies. John McMahon explores the key learnings he’s experienced in his career and how to reframe your approach to sales leadership, providing essential insight for sales enablement professionals can take their leadership from transactional to transformational.

6. Design For How People Learn: Good learning design empowers the learners to emerge from the experience with new or improved capabilities that they can put into practice in the real world. To do so, designers need to consider the knowledge, skills, motivation, habits, and environment needs, while understanding how people remember and focus.

  • Author: Julie Dirksen
  • Topic: Adult learning, learning design, training
  • Length: 304 pages
  • Where to Purchase: Amazon

7. Sales Leadership: In order to be a successful leader, you need to be an effective coach – and not just during scheduled coaching sessions. Keith Rosen provides a guide for creating a coaching culture by leading by example. This book covers a framework for scheduled coaching sessions, impromptu moments, toxic tactics to avoid, and more.

  • Author: Keith Rosen
  • Topic: Sales leadership, coaching
  • Length: 288 pages
  • Where to Purchase: Amazon

8. The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need: Everyone is looking for a shortcut nowadays in the sales profession, but successful sales impact is more complex. This guide takes the reader through the building blocks to becoming a successful seller, enabling sales leaders to improve as sellers and ultimately drive revenue for their businesses’ objectives.

9. Sales EQ: How Ultra-High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal: This book deep-dives on the key to winning over the most stubborn buyers and reaching the level of an ultra-high sales performer: tapping into sales-specific emotional intelligence and using interpersonal skills in conversations with buyers.

10. Revenue Growth Engine: How to Align Sales & Marketing to Accelerate Growth: This book plays on the analogy comparing your business to a car engine in explaining how to streamline marketing and sales efforts to maximize revenue growth and understand how all the parts of your business can work together properly.

  • Author: Darrell Amy
  • Topic: Sales and marketing, revenue growth
  • Length: 298 pages
  • Where to Purchase: Amazon

11. Selling From the Heart: How Your Authentic Self Sells You: When chasing down sales goals, it can be easy to look outward and focus on the external factors that influence success. Instead, true success starts from within. In this book, Larry Levine talks about how sales professionals can embrace their authentic selves in the selling process to build the deep relationships that ultimately fuel success.

  • Author: Larry Levine
  • Topic: Sales engagement, sales skills
  • Length: 206 pages
  • Where to Purchase: Amazon

12. The Experience Maker: How to Create Remarkable Experiences That Your Customers Can’t Wait to Share: In this book, Gingiss provides an interesting framework for companies to optimize the customer journey, both through B2C and B2B lenses. He uses WISE (Witty, Immersive, Shareable, Extraordinary) to suggest various ways in which organizations can enhance their experiences for buyers.

  • Author: Dan Gingiss
  • Topic: Sales engagement, customer experience
  • Length: 220 pages
  • Where to Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

13. MEDDICC: The Ultimate Guide to Staying One Step Ahead in the Complex Sale: The world of sales is becoming increasingly complex, with more stakeholders involved in buying decisions, intensifying competition, and rapidly changing expectations of the skills and knowledge sellers need to be successful. In navigating this complexity, the MEDDICC methodology can help provide a common language for everyone in the sales organization to more efficiently and effectively qualify deals and generate a clear path to success.

  • Author: Andy Whyte
  • Topic: Sales process, sales methodology
  • Length: 264 pages
  • Where to Purchase: Amazon, Target

14. Sales Management. Simplified.: In today’s modern sales environment, sales teams have more tools and resources available to them than ever before to help them do their jobs. Yet, many teams still struggle to hit their numbers. Sales leaders are quick to blame individual performance or changing markets and buyer expectations – but often, the main reason why sales teams don’t perform well is because of how they are led. This book dives into management issues and presents a framework for successful sales management.

  • Author: Mike Weinberg
  • Topic: Sales management, sales leadership
  • Length: 224 pages
  • Where to Purchase: Amazon

15. The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues: Using a fable about a business leader faced with needs to scale and build a team, Lencioni gives a framework and tools to identify, hire, and develop ideal team players as a business leader.

16. Beat The Bots: How Your Humanity Can Future-Proof Your Tech Sales Career: In order to out-sell the power of automation and AI, sellers need to focus on delivering personalized value for their customers through human-to-human selling.

  • Author: Anita Nielsen
  • Topic: Personalization, customer experience, sales skills
  • Length: 212 pages
  • Where to Purchase: Amazon

17. Connected Strategy: Building Continuous Customer Relationships for Competitive Advantage: In an increasingly competitive marketplace, it’s no longer good enough for companies to sell a product through a simple, one-time transaction with buyers they may never see again. New forms of connectivity provide opportunities for companies to anticipate customer needs as they arise, or even before. Simultaneously, enabled by these technologies, companies can create new business models that deliver more value to customers.

  • Author: Nicolaj Siggelkow, Christian Terwiesch
  • Topic: Customer relationships
  • Length: 288 pages
  • Where to Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

18. The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honesty and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results: This book makes the case that the key to success in sales is being transparent – embracing flaws, being vulnerable, and prioritizing honesty. In doing so, salespeople can better engage customers and build loyalty.

19. Authentic Selling: How to Use the Principles of Sales in Everyday Life: Authenticity is the one human trait that technology cannot replace. It helps build trust in the sales process and therefore is essential to success in sales. But more than that, it is how salespeople can add value and differentiate themselves from machine learning and artificial intelligence.

  • Author: Jeff Kirchick
  • Topic: Sales skills
  • Length: 199 pages
  • Where to Purchase: Amazon

20. The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty: Sales enablement has started to evolve and encompass more customer-supporting teams. The insights in this book can help align enablement efforts with customer trends. Dive into customer service research and learn how creating a low-effort experience for customers is what drives true customer loyalty.

  • Author: Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick Delisi
  • Topic: Customer engagement
  • Length: 256 pages
  • Where to Purchase: Amazon, Thriftbooks, Walmart eBooks

21. The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal: In The Science of Selling, David Hoffeld goes into how sales reps can better align their outreach and utilize effective questioning techniques to drive buyers to make positive decisions.

With our top 21 recommended books for sales enablement leaders in 2021, we hope you discover something new and exciting to learn that can help in your career and beyond. If there’s a book you’ve recently read or a topic you’d like to learn more about from Sales Enablement PRO, please reach us and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

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