Building IT sales strategies from scratch can be a little overwhelming, especially if you are new to running your own business and/or have never been responsible for a sales process before.

Online research and courses are great ways to improve your IT sales techniques, but most owners of computer consulting businesses, VARs, and MSPs also like to have manuals on hand for background information and to dip into as needed.

Having an entire shelf of books dedicated to sales and marketing is not overkill; the following seven books are the ones that you will find yourself referring to time and time again:

  1. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini: In order to sell, you need to learn how to persuade someone to buy something from you. The key is to achieve this without doing it in an aggressive, intimidating, or overly-manipulative way. Knowing the psychology behind persuasion is very useful. This book will improve your IT sales strategies the right way.

  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie: This is one of the first books published about sales and marketing. It has been in print since 1936 and had a major overhaul in the 1980s, which has brought it up-to-date. It holds your hand through some complex topics, such as how to avoid conflict, how to get your prospect to do most of the talking, and how to be a leader in your marketplace.

  3. Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions – Guy Kawasaki: The thing that all these books have in common is that in order to make a sale, the prospect needs to like you. This book takes that concept to another level. It requires a change in mindset. It applies the likeability and trustworthiness factors to every part of your business and life. A lot of it is just common sense, but sometimes you need to see it in writing.

  4. The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible –Brian Tracy: Why a second book on the psychology of selling? Well, it is important to get training from a variety of sources. Different trainers explain different techniques or the same techniques in different ways. You will find that you evolve your own IT sales style by amalgamating bits and pieces of advice from each source you come across until you have your own robust sales strategies in place.

  5. Relationship Selling - Jim Cathcart: This book is all about building long-term profitable business relationships, which is exactly what the basis of your IT sales strategies needs to be. Jim Cathcart explains everything in an easy-to-understand way, making it simple to apply to your sales process. If you only choose to buy or read one of these books, this is the one to choose.

  6. The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using the Social Web – Mari Smith: I’m not keen on gurus in general. Most times, you find that books from gurus are insubstantial, with totally left-of-field theories. However, this one genuinely provides what it says on the cover. With social media, it is very important to get it right the first time around; Mari takes you by the hand and provides you with a common-sense approach to getting it right.

  7. Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition – Michael Stelzner: Like the previous book, this one focuses on marketing more than sales. However, it ties together many of the strategies from the other books and turns them into actionable activities. I’ve used these techniques and have participated in several events based on these strategies with successful outcomes.

Making a sale takes effort; there is no quick and easy solution.

You will have to work on the techniques in these books, and absorb and apply the skills from the courses you take and from the research you carry out in order to build a set of viable IT sales strategies. It is an iterative process; it will evolve over time as you gain experience.


How do you brush up on your sales strategy? Have you read any of the books on this list? Have they helped or hindered the building of your IT sales process? Join the conversation and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below here.

And if your sales strategy needs a reboot for today's marketplace, be sure to enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.

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