If you want to grow, you need to learn, there is no exception to this universal rule. These titles were chosen by our Head of Business Development, combined with suggestions gathered from his peers – a selection of books that will not only help you grow as a business developer but, in the bigger picture, understand human behavior better, especially when it comes to business.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

by Robert Cialdini

Best books on business development: Cialdini R., Influence. The psychology of persuasion

Robert Cialdini explains the basic principles of the psychology of influence.

Cialdini has a solid background in acknowledging the mechanism behind the “yeses” people say, not only being a psychology professor, but also due to having spent years working undercover in places specialized in influencing people, such as salesmen trainings, advertising agencies, and charities gathering funds, which resulted in a broader understanding of influence on people. Due to the real-life conditions, Cialdini was able to observe more authentic behaviors than those occurring while conducting lab research and, as a result, defining key factors of having impact on people’s behavior.

According to the author, influence is constituted by six main principles: reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, liking, scarcity. Cialdini teaches understanding said principles for becoming a skilled persuader, as well as efficiently defending yourself against them.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

by Dale Carnegie

Best books on business development: Carnegie D., How to win friends and influence people

Dale Carnegie teaches us to focus on what others want to be able to get what we want.

This self-help book was originally published in 1936, translated into 37 languages, sold in millions of copies worldwide, and mentioned in the Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential books. Although some of the mentioned situations may seem a bit old school, the book’s core underwent a lift in the 80’s and serves its role to this day. Carnegie’s advice teaches establishing successful relations not only on professional grounds but in the private sphere as well. Be a good listener, remember your conversation partner’s name, be sympathetic, appeal to nobler motives – this down-to-earth guidance helps to build and maintain rewarding relations and, as a result of focusing on what others want, achieve what we want.

The Sandler Rules: 49 Timeless Selling Principles and How to Apply Them

by David Mattson

Best books on business development: Mattson D., The Sandler Rules

David Mattson lays out the basic tactics of the sales process.

David Mattson adapted the rules of David Sandler, the creator of the Sandler Selling System. The 49 rules are a handful of straightforward, vividly and convincingly described principles, enabling sales representatives to achieve better results in their work. Is it really the most talkative sales representatives that close the most deals? Or, although it may seem madness to let your prospect do the talking, is there a method in it?

SPIN Selling

by Neil Rackham

Best books on business development: Rackham N., Spin Selling

Neil Rackham uncovers how to close multi-million deals.

This book is a result of 12 years of gathering data and researching thousands of calls, determining the crucial elements of successful sales and likelihood of more efficient sales. To establish the best relationship with the buyer, sales representatives should ask the right kind of questions, addressing individual needs and problems. SPIN divides the questions into four types: Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-payoff, and proves that buyers who feel that their needs are well understood are more willing to seal the deal.

Fanatical Prospecting

by Jeb Blount

Best books on business development: Blount J., Fanatical Prospecting

Jeb Blount brings it to the basics on how to keep your pipeline busy and hit your quota.

In the words of the author, “The No.1 reason for failure in sales is an empty pipeline”. Fanatical Prospecting is another business publication based on real-life experience and struggles, resulting in comprehensive, data-backed solutions for keeping your pipeline busy. One of the most important lessons learned here emphasizes the significance of human interaction, which should not be neglected even in today’s digital world.

Predictable Revenue

by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler

Best books on business development: Ross A., Predictable Revenue

Aaron Ross lays out in simple steps how to build a growth machine based on outbound email campaigns.

Ross transformed how sales worked at Salesforce.com, resulting in a $100 million recurring revenue achieved without cold calls. Predictable Revenue doesn’t focus on marketing; instead, it is a lesson on building a growth machine based on outbound emails. The strategy behind this lesson is to create a consistent process based on understanding your funnel, determining the acceptable average deal size, and defining time frames. Establishing such frames allows you to create a system, enabling the desired predictability.

Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue

by Dan Steinman, Lincoln Murphy, and Nick Mehta

Best books on business development: Customer success

Steinman, Murphy, and Mehta explain the importance of customer satisfaction and retention for any growing business.

A thorough guide to the new model of customer management: understanding customer success, building an effective strategy, and providing products that enable buyers to achieve their own business goals. Turning your enterprise to a customer-centric model results in long-term, loyal relationships and minimized churn – a truly win-win situation.

Thinking, fast and slow

by Daniel Kahneman

Best books on business development: Kahneman D., Thinking fast and slow

Kahneman provides guidelines on intuitive marketing based on understanding instinctive motives.

How do people make decisions? Why do we get deceived by appearances and make wrong decisions based on judgments? Kahneman helps to understand the process behind decision making. Recognizing the way people think and the ability to differentiate the two thinking systems, Fast and Slow, results in comprehending the mechanisms driving our judgment process. Thinking, fast and slow enables marketers to understand behavioral economics and use more intuitive solutions in business.

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions

by Dan Ariely

Best books on business development: Ariely D., Predictably irrational

Ariely makes us aware of what makes people tick and how to avoid certain irrational mistakes in decision-making.

Ever wondered if a beer connoisseur would tell the difference when served a mediocre beer in a bottle of a better brand? Or why we slack and procrastinate against our better judgment? Predictably Irrational shows the mechanisms behind certain actions and decisions, how our sound judgment is affected by emotions, desires, and inclinations, not to mention the magic word “free”.

From Impossible to Inevitable: How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue

by Jason Lemkin and Aaron Ross

Best books on business development: From impossible to inevitable

Lemkin and Ross present a broad overview of revenue hypergrowth cases in order to inspire better results.

When dedication and hard work are not enough to build a growing revenue, these proven solutions are the right means. No matter if your enterprise is a $100,000 or $1 billion business, it can benefit from solutions presented in this book. From Impossible to Inevitable presents real-life examples of skyrocketing revenues due to implementing proven routines, tested in vivo by, among others, Salesforce.com.

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