My favorite sales & marketing books from 2011


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As I’ve done before, these don’t necessarily all represent books written this year. But each were among my favorites for a combination of inspiration, strategic help and tactical advice.

1. Tell To Win
Told through a series of stories (appropriately), Peter Guber makes several important points with countless examples about how effective stories are built, communicated and shared. His specific experience comes primarily from the motion picture and entertainment industries, but his recommendations will work anywhere.

2. Steve Jobs
I’m sure many of you have already read this. The author does a great job telling a balanced story about a brilliant and complicated man. I don’t always describe business biographies as “page turners”, but this was definitely one of them. It was also valuable to get a more intimate taste for how Jobs worked his magic – how he made decisions, what influenced him, etc.

3. Anything You Want
Written from the perspective of an “accidental entrepreneur”, this quick read outlines how single-mindedness about common-sense business practices and customer value can make you successful even without the right education, experience or support structure. The perspective and tactics are inspiring.

4. Tested Advertising Methods
Last year one of my favorite books was a 1923 handbook on “scientific advertising.” This year I equally appreciated the time-tested, proven techniques first published in 1932. Books like this should be required reading for anyone who wants to excel in B2B and/or direct response marketing.

5. Great By Choice
The latest from Jim Collins goes quickly, and at least half of the book is filled with details from the years of research that back up his premises. Given the work that went into it and the reams of data that support it, it’s hard to argue with the findings. And, as with most of Collins’s books, the recommendations are within reach of most businesses.

6. Disciplined Dreaming
It’s great to have ideas, important to stay creative and innovative. But great ideas don’t mean anything unless you can operationalize them, test them and ship them. Balancing innovation with the requirements of day to day execution is difficult, but Josh gives a strong argument and blueprint for how to do it.

7. The Myth of the Garage
A great example of repurposing, this book by the Made To Stick authors is basically a collection of their Fast Company Magazine columns. But if you haven’t been keeping up, this is a must read. Fast and relevant.

8. It’s Not About You
Written as a fictional “business fable” but laced with ideas and anecdotes that will feel like the author has spent a few days in your own meetings and internal discussions, this book challenges conventional thinking about business value, brand and sustainability.

9. Cracking the Sales Management Code
You could fill rooms with the sales strategy & management books written each year, but Jason’s book stood out to me this year for it’s real-world relevance, pragmatic approach and tactical suggestions for improving performance. All levels of sales professionals – executives, managers and front-line reps – will learn from this book.

10. Predictably Irrational
Why do we say we want one thing then choose another? Why can’t our customers or employees or managers operate more rationally? This book explains why. Important stuff if you want to better get inside the heads of those you’re trying to work with, influence and/or sell to.

Would love to hear about books you’ve read this year that were particularly compelling.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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