Ultimate List of Top 49 B2B SaaS Marketing Books On Sales, Marketing & Growth
This blog outlined the top 49 books I’ve come across in my marketing career over the last 10+ years and ones that other marketing peers have highly recommended. We hope you find the list useful, and if you have any comments or suggestions on books you’ve enjoyed, please leave us a comment below.
Launch Phase: Must-Reads when Starting Up Your B2BB SaaS
The Lean Startup
Author: Eric Ries
The Lean Startup is an absolute classic must-read for SaaS founders when starting up. This bestseller from Eric Ries explains all the ins and outs necessary for a lean startup. The book introduces concepts for constant experimentation to test, validate, and improve ideas.
Most startups fail. However, many of these failures are avoidable if you’re willing to put in the time. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted by companies across the globe, changing how they are built, and new products launched.
Eric Ries defines startups as organizations that create something new in uncertain conditions. Whether you’re working alone in a garage or part of a team at a Fortune 500 company. They have one thing in common: a mission to penetrate the fog of uncertainty to discover the best way to run their companies.
The Lean Startup approach encourages companies to be more capital efficient and leverage human creativity more effectively than traditional approaches. Lessons from lean manufacturing inspire it. It relies on “validated learning”, rapid scientific experimentation, and several counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure progress, and learn what customers want. It allows companies to change direction quickly, altering their plans at any time, minute by minute.
Rather than wasting time writing elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs a way to test their ideas continuously, to adapt and change them before they’re too late. Ries provides a scientifically sound approach to creating and managing startups in an era where companies need to innovate more. This is a must-read for anyone launching a new B2B SaaS product to the market.
From Impossible to Inevitable: How SaaS and Other Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue
Author: David Meerman Scott, Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin
This book by David Meerman Scott is one of my favourite marketing books. It’s about how to build your brand so that it becomes impossible not to buy.
This book is filled with advice on hiring sales staff, SaaS metrics and more. The title is a bit of an exaggeration – nothing is inevitable about success. But if you want to be successful, these are some good tips.
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work And What To Do About It
Author: Michael Gerber
This book by Michael Gerber is another classic book on entrepreneurship.
It’s filled with practical advice on everything from finding customers to building a SaaS Marketing team and scaling any small business into a world-class business through scalable processes for every part of the business.
A must-read for anyone thinking about starting their own business. Small business consultant and writer Michael E. Gerber. Gerber, with his sharp insights gained from years of experience in franchising, points out how common presumptions, expectations, and even technological expertise can get in the way of running a successful business. He walks you through the steps of the life of a business, from its early stages of entrepreneurial infancy through adolescence growing pain to the mature entrepreneurial perspective.
He shows you how the lessons learned from franchising can be applied to any business regardless of size. Most importantly, Gerbert draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working for your company and working in your company. The E-Myth Revisited helps you grow your business effectively, assuredly.
The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Creating Products Customers Love
Author: Steve Blank
This book by Steve Blank is another classic book on product development. Steve Blank explains why startups fail and how to avoid them. His four steps of customer discovery will help you find your target audience and create a relevant message that resonates with your prospects.
The bestselling classic that has launched 10,000 startups, new corporate ventures, and new products – The Four Steps to Successful Meetings, is one of the most important business books of all time, launching the Lean Startup approach to product development. It was the first business book to offer that startups aren’t just smaller versions of larger companies and that new ventures differ from existing ones.
Startup founders search for business models while established companies execute them. The book offers the practical and tested four-step Customer Development Process for search and offers insight on what makes some startups successful while leaving others selling off their furniture. Rather than blindly executing a plan, The Four-Step Process helps uncover flaws in the product or business plans and correct them so they don’t become costly.
This book explains rapid iteration, customer feedback, and testing your assumptions. It will leave you with new skill sets to organize sales, marketing, and your business for success!
If your organization is planning to start a new venture, and if you’re thinking about how to organize sales, marketing and BD effectively, you need The Four Steps To The Epiphany. Essential reading for anyone starting something.
The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
Author: Clayton Christensen
Clayton Christensen shows how successful, outstanding companies that do everything right can still lose their market leadership or even fail when new, unexpected competitors rise and take over the market. There are two key aspects to this problem.
- Innovation value is an S-curve: Improving a product takes time and many iterations. The first iteration provides minimal value to the customer, but the base gets built up in time, and the value increases exponentially over time. Each iteration is significantly better than the previous one. As time passes, the most valuable improvements become complete, and the value per improvement becomes minimal again. So in the middle is the most value; at the beginning and end, the value is minimal.
- Bigger deals: The big company has a large customer base but low expectations for annual sales. New entrants into an established market often find niches where they can build their products. New entrants into an industry don’t need to have the same level of revenue as incumbents, so they have more time to focus on innovation.
For this reason, there is no need to build a new product for the incumbent’s customer base. This large customer base is not interested in innovation and demands more innovation with the incumbent products. Unfortunately, this incumbent innovation is limited by the overall value of the products at the later end of its S-curve.
Meanwhile, the new entrants are deep into the S curve and providing significant value to their new products. When the new product becomes interesting enough to the incumbent’s customers, it is already too late for the incumbent company to respond to the new product. By now, it’s too late for the incumbent company to keep up with the pace of innovation of the new entrant.
Through this compelling multi-industry study, Christensen introduces his theory of disruptive innovation which has changed the way managers, CEOs, and entrepreneurs around the world think about innovating.
Christensen then argues that these are common principles that incumbent companies must address:
- Resource dependence: Current customers drive a company’s use of resources
- Small markets struggle to impact an incumbent’s large market.
- Disruptive technologies have fluid futures; it is impossible to know what they will disrupt once they mature.
- Incumbent organizations’ value is more than simply their workers; it includes their processes and core capabilities which drive their efforts.
- Technology supply may not equal market demand. The attributes that make disruptive technologies unattractive in established markets often have the greatest value in emerging markets.
Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth
Authors: Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
In a small B2B SaaS company, getting traction in the marketplace (what some call “product market fit”) is a major problem. Traction is valuable because it walks you through many marketing options like SEO, sales and more.
If you are frustrated by the results one channel brings you, Traction will give you new ideas on what else you can try to increase annual recurring revenue. If you have tried everything and don’t know where to go next, this book will show you how to get traction quickly.
The authors explain how to identify which channels work best for your business and how to use each to achieve maximum growth. They also cover the importance of understanding your customers’ needs and using data to decide which channels to focus on.
Tons of examples and real-world case studies are included to illustrate the concepts covered in the book.
Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into A Sales Machine With The $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com
Author: Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler
Are you in the B2B SaaS market? Do you want to have predictable revenue?
Then read this book!
It shows you how to create a sales pipeline, forecast demand, manage customer relationships, and more. You’ll learn how to use Salesforce to help you grow your business. This book covers all aspects of Salesforce, including CRM, Service Cloud, AppExchange, Chatter, Data Management Platform, Analytics, Marketing Automation, Mobile, Social, Communities, and more.
You’ll learn how to set up your Salesforce instance and customize it to meet your specific needs.
The Art of the Start: Lessons in Creativity From IDEO, the World’s Most Creative Company
Author: Steve Blank
Steve Blank is a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur who founded the famous design firm IDEO. He wrote this book to share his insights on creativity and entrepreneurship. In this book, he shares his experiences designing products at IDEO and how they apply to startups.
This book gives you the tools to be creative and solve problems in any situation. You’ll learn how entrepreneurs think, how to build a team, how to find funding, and much more.
You’ll learn how to develop an innovative product or service, test it, and launch it successfully. You’ll also learn how to deal with failure, run a lean startup, and scale.
This book is unique because it provides concrete advice on how to implement these lessons into your life. It includes exercises to help you practice what you’ve learned.
Steve Blank, who co-founded the wildly successful design and development firm IDEO, reveals his secrets for fostering a culture of continuous innovation. There isn’t a business in the United States that doesn’t want to become more creative in its thinking and products.
Being first with a concept and being first to market is critical for many companies just to survive. IDEO doesn’t believe in the myth of the lone geniuses working alone, waiting for great ideas. Instead, they believe in collaboration, teamwork, and a culture of innovation. Kelley believes everyone can create something innovative, and the goal of her firm is to tap into the wellspring of creativity in people to make innovation a way of life.
How does it do that? IDEO fosters an atmosphere conducive to freely expressing ideas, breaking the rules, and freeing people to design their work environments. IDEO’s focus on teamwork generates countless breakthroughs, fueled by the constant give-and-take among people ready to share ideas and reap the benefits of the group process. IDEO has created an intense, quick-turnaround, brainstorm-and-build process dubbed “the Deep Dive.”
In entertaining anecdotes, Kelley illustrates some of his firm’s successes (and joyful failures) and pioneering efforts at other leading companies. The book reveals how teams research and immerse themselves in every possible aspect of a new product or service, examining it from the perspective of clients, consumers, and other critical audiences.
Kelley takes the reader step by step through the IDEO problem-solving method.
IDEO has won more awards than any other firm of similar size. It has been featured on Nightline, and a full hour-long presentation of its creative process was one of the most-watched segments in the history of the program. The Art of Innovation provides business leaders with the insights they need to make their organizations the leading-edge, best-in-class stars of their industries. You’ll learn how to:
• Carefully observing the behaviour or “anthropology” of the people who will be using a product or service
• Brainstorming with high-energy sessions focused on tangible results
• Quickly prototyping ideas and designs at every step of the way
• Cross-pollinating to find solutions from other fields
• Taking risks and failing your way to success
• Building a “Greenhouse” for innovation
The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator
Author: Randall Stross
Paul Graham, a key founder of the organization, is widely known for his excellent essays (Do Things That Don’t Scale is my favourite Graham essay). He also wrote a popular book Hackers & Painters about the differences between hackers and artists.
In this book, he shares stories about Y Combinator’s founders, a seed accelerator that helps startups get off the ground. This book is a must-read if you want to know what it means to be a startup founder of a product-based company, especially B2B SaaS.
11 marketing books every B2B SaaS CMO must read
These 11 books should be mandatory reading for every B2B Software VP Marketing or B2B SaaS CMO of a software company and the senior members of their team.
1. This is Marketing
Author: Seth Godin
The foundation of modern marketing and content development. This book discusses the importance of understanding who you’re talking to, why they buy, and how to use these things to develop a B2B SaaS Marketing strategy. It’s not a book about how to write copy, but rather how to understand the audience and craft messages that speak directly to them.
Author: Stijn Hendrikse
Modern B2B SaaS companies use the playbook to get to $100 million in ARR. This book discusses ideas around channel marketing, the stages of growth every B2B SaaS must undergo to achieve hockey stick growth (as the name suggests) triple twice and double three times within a specified amount of time. Stijn discusses some valuable lessons from growing and scaling over 50+ B2B SaaS companies in his career as a CMO. This is a must-read for any B2B Fractional CMO, full-time SaaS CMO, or founder looking to grow fuel growth at their B2B SaaS (especially during Series A funding and after).
3. Building a Story Brand
Author: Donald Miller
This book forces you to nail a simple version of your Positioning and Branding. It gets you started quickly with a solid foundation for your website’s content, email campaigns, and product branding . It also gives you a framework for thinking about your brand and positioning it in a new light.
4. Crossing The Chasm
Author: Geoffrey A. Moore
Published more than 20 years ago, this is a classic book. If you’ve ever struggled with selling innovation, this book is for you. This book is recommended to guide you through strategic challenges such as launching your market or moving into a new market.
Selling new software for the first time without running out of money is hard, so take advantage of Moore’s advice. Some of the technology examples in the book are older, but don’t let that hold you back from getting tremendous value from the book.
5. Start with Why
Author: Simon Sinek
Simon’s high impact research into driving strategy from the essence of your customers’ values and your own. Simon Sinek started an initiative called “Start With Why” to help people become more inspiring at work, and in doing so, inspire their colleagues and customers too.
More than 27 million people watching his TED talk based on ‘Start With Why.’
Sinek starts by asking a fundamental questions:
- Why do some people and organizations succeed more often than others?
- Why do some companies get more loyalty than others?
- Why are there so few who can repeat their success among the successful?
People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY.
They realized people wouldn’t buy into a product, services, movement, or idea unless they understood its why.
Start with why shows us that the people who’ve had the greatest impact on the world all think, behave, and communicate differently than everyone else. And it’s the opposite of how everyone else acts and thinks.
Sinek calls his powerful idea “The Golden Circle,” It provides a framework for organizations to be built, movements to be led, and people to be inspired. And it all starts by asking why.
6. Thinking, Fast and Slow
Author: Daniel Kahneman
528 pages of wisdom and insights from the inventors of the field of Behavioral Science. All books that came after, around the way people make decisions, price psychology, consumer behavior, and preferences, are grounded in this masterpiece.
The book’s main idea is that there is a dichotomy between two modes of thought: System 1 is fast, instinctive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, deliberative, and logical.
It describes rational and irrational motivations or triggers associated with different types of thinking processes, and how they complement one another, starting with Kahneman’s research on loss aversion. From framing choices to people’s tendency to replace a difficult question with an easier one, the book summarizes several years of research to suggest that we have far too much confidence in our judgment.
In the book’s first section, Kahneman describes two different ways the brain forms thoughts:
- System 1: fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypical, and unconscious. Examples (in order of complexity) of things system 1 can do:
- determine that an object is at a greater distance than another
- localize the source of a specific sound
- complete the phrase “war and …”
- display disgust when seeing a gruesome image
- solve 2+2=?
- read text on a billboard
- drive a car on an empty road
- think of a good chess move (if you’re a chess master)
- understand simple sentences
- associate the description’ quiet and structured person with an eye for details’ with a specific job
- System 2: Slow, effortful, infrequent, logical, calculating, conscious. Examples of things system 2 can do:
- get ready for the beginning of a sprint
- direct your attention towards the clowns at the circus
- direct your attention towards someone at a loud party
- look for the woman with the grey hair
- try to recognize a sound
- sustain a faster-than-normal walking rate
- determine the appropriateness of a particular behavior in a social setting
- count the number of A’s in a certain text
- give someone your telephone number
- park into a tight parking space
- determine the price/quality ratio of two washing machines
- determine the validity of a complex logical reasoning
- solve 17 × 24
7. The Long Tail
Author: Chris Andersen
Access to information and the ability to reach individuals with unprecedented precision has changed marketing forever. Instead of trying to sell everything to everyone, marketers can focus on creating a long tail of products and services that appeal to specific niches.
The book argues that if a product has a low demand or a low sales volume, it can collectively build a better share than its competitors, or even exceed the relatively few current bestselling books and blockbusters, provided that the store or distribution channel for the product is large enough.
Long Tail has become a popular term for describing a strategy of selling a large number of different items, each in relatively small quantities, usually in addition to selling large quantities of a small number of popular items. In an October 2004 Wired magazine article, Chris Anderson popularised this idea, where he mentioned Amazon.com, Apple, and Yahoo! as examples of companies using this strategy.
8. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Author: Robert B. Cialdini
Building on the work by Kahneman and Tversky, making it specific to influencing behavior, this book describes how we humans respond to persuasion and influence. It explains the six principles that have been proven repeatedly in hundreds of studies to generate almost any kind of human response.
According to Robert Cialdini, the six principles of human response are reciprocation, consistency, liking, authority, social proof, and scarcity. This can easily be applied to marketing by understanding what motivates customers/consumers, especially when creating offers, pricing your B2B SaaS and improving CRO.
9. Behind the Cloud – The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry
Author: Mark Benioff
The book was written by Marc Benioff, co-founder and CEO of Salesforce.com. He describes how he, Jeff Weiner, and Dave Duffield created the company.
This book is a great example of how to build a successful business. The authors share their experiences and lessons as they built one of the most valuable companies today.
It’s also a story of innovation and entrepreneurship. In the early days, the founders struggled with many challenges, including raising capital, attracting customers, and building a culture that would attract top talent.
While these were important topics, what made the difference was their focus on solving problems and creating value for customers. Their approach to building a new industry was based on open source technology and collaboration.
In addition to being a good read, the book provides some practical advice for entrepreneurs who want to start their businesses. For instance, the authors suggest that startups should have a clear vision and mission statement. They also recommend that entrepreneurs take advantage of all available resources such as mentors and advisors.
In short, the book offers useful information for anyone interested in starting their own business.
What I Liked About This Book
1. It’s a fun read! The authors provide interesting anecdotes and stories about how they started the company, overcame obstacles, and grew their business.
2. The authors share their experience and lessons learned as they build one of the most valuable business today.
3. The book is full of actionable tips for entrepreneurs.
4. The authors offer much practical advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
5. The book is easy to understand and doesn’t require any prior knowledge of business.
10. The Hard Thing About the Hard Things
Author: Ben Horowitz
Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog.
While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders daily, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.
Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs and those aspiring to their new ventures, drawing from Horowitz’s personal and often humbling experiences.
11. Value as a Service: Embracing the Coming Disruptions
Author: Rob Bernshteyn
Predicting the future is always tricky! But there is one thing that author Rob Bernshteyn is quite confident about: across a host of industries, people will move to a model he calls value as a service.
Many traditional product companies now offer their services online through an as-a-service business model. As this transition is completed, the next disruption will focus less on delivery models and more on the value provided.
Value as a Service is the simple idea that delivering measurable value to customers will be the ultimate battleground. Every customer wants to understand exactly what they’re paying for. They will want a measurable difference between their options.
Companies like Amazon are embracing this new way of looking at services and value creation, Salesforce, Dropbox, Airbnb, and others Cloud computing technologies have made it easier for startups and established companies to adopt new technology.
The result: A new way of thinking about what it means to be an online service provider.
We’re constantly evolving, and so is the world. With Value as a Services, you’ll learn why conventional business models are breaking down, and what’s coming next for our economy (including how blockchains will change everything). You’ll understand exactly what industries are ripe for disruption by looking at new trends like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, machine learning, and most importantly, the end game: On-demand services that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime.
The authors also explain how this shift is crucial for any business, regardless of industry, size, or type. It will allow companies to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing world by providing them with the tools to do so.
Effective sales books for any B2B SaaS owner or Entrepreneur
Hacking Sales: The Playbook for Building a High-Velocity Sales Machine
Author: Max Altschuler
An amazing book that talks about how to build your sales machine from scratch. In this book, the author goes through the entire process of building a high-velocity sales machine and explains how to make that happen.
Hacking Sales helps you transform your sales process using the next generation of sales tools, tactics, and strategies. Author Max Altshuler has dedicated his business helping companies build modern, effective, high-tech sales processes that generate more revenues while using fewer resources. He shows you the most effective ways you can change, starting today, to improve your sales and continuously raise the bar.
You’ll walk through the entire sales funnel from start to finish, and learn critical hacks every step of your way. You should start by finding and capturing your low-hanging fruit at the top of the funnel, then use ICP and TAM to build massive lead lists, utilize multiple prospecting techniques, perfect your follow-up strategy, and outsource when advantageous.
Over time, build, refine, and enhance your business pipeline. Use the right tools for the jobs. This book is your roadmap to quick and efficient revenue growth.
Without a reliable time management process, you’re disjointed, disorganized, and ultimately underperforming. Whether you’ve built a sales process from scratch, or want to become your company’s rock star, this guide shows you how to make that happen.
- Identify who your ideal customer is and your total addressable market.
- Build massive email lists and properly target your marketing campaigns
- Learn how to effectively message and social media outreach.
- Overcoming customer objections before they happen.
The economy is changing, the customer is changing, and sales itself is changing. Forty percent of the companies on the Fortune 500 list from 2000 were absent from the list in 2015, precisely because they didn’t evolve. Today’s business environment is a “keep up or get left out” paradigm, but you need to do better to excel. Hacking Sales shows you how to get ahead of everyone else with focused effort, and the most effective approach for modern sales.
The Sales Acceleration Formula: How Technology Can Help You Grow Your Business Faster and Smarter
Author: Mark Roberge
He discusses different aspects of sales such as marketing automation, CRM, lead management, pipeline management, account management.
The Sales Acceleration Formula provides a scalable, predictable approach for growing revenue and building a successful sales team.
As an MIT alum, Roberge challenged the traditional methods of scaling sales by using the metrics-driven, processes-oriented lens through which his training had taught him to see the world.
As VP of Worldwide Sales and Services at software company HubSpot, he led hundreds of his employees in acquiring and retaining their first 10,000 customers in more than 60 countries.
- Hire the same successful salesperson every time — The Sales Hiring Formula
- Train every salesperson in the same manner — The Sales Training Formula
- Hold salespeople accountable to the same sales process — The Sales Management Formula
- Provide salespeople with the same quality and quantity of leads every month — The Demand Generation Formula
- Leverage technology to enable better buying for customers and faster selling for salespeople
Business owners, sales execs, and investors are interested in turning their brilliant ideas into the best $100 million revenue business they can imagine.
The Sales Acceleration Formula completely changes the way we think about sales.
There is a formula for predictable sales outcomes, especially regarding training and scaling your sales team.
This book is a great resource for entrepreneurs who want to improve their sales techniques by leveraging the power of a new sales approach and technology.
The Ultimate Sales Machine: How to Sell More Than Ever Before…with Less Effort!
Author: Chet Holmes
In this book, they teach you how to become a high-velocity sales machine. They show you how to make cold calls, how to prospect, how to follow up, how to close, and much more. If you’re looking for a book that shows you step-by-step how to sell like a pro, this is the right book.
The Ultimate Sales Machine shows you how to tune up and soup up virtually every part of your business by spending just an hour per week on each impact area you want to improve—sales, marketing, management, and more.
The SaaS Sales Method: Sales As a Science
Author: Jacco Van Der Kooij
This SaaS Marketing Book: Sales as a Science is a great book about the science of sales. It’s impossible to scale a recurring revenue business without treating sales as a scientific discipline. This first book of the Sales Blueprints series breaks down the science of sales by breaking it down into its basic elements.
Unlike any book before, The SaaS Sales Method reveals the math behind each stage of revenue production, from marketing to sales, to customer support, and shows how revenue leaders should structure processes, organizations, and trainings for each.
By linking all three functionalities together, The SaaS sales method provides a framework for the sales leader to understand and improve their entire system, shifting from a superstar culture to a scientific one. While subsequent books in this series go into greater detail on each revenue function’s specific functions and associated skills, The SaaS Sales Method is the glue that binds the entire approach together.
Product Demos That Sell: How to Deliver Winning SaaS Demos
Author: Steli Efti
Product demos that sell: How to deliver winning SaaS demos is a great book written for product managers responsible for creating successful software demos. It contains 12 chapters covering various aspects of demo creation, including the importance of having a strong story, using video, and how to design a compelling demo experience.
Each chapter includes several exercises that you can complete to test your knowledge. This book is perfect if you want to master the art of delivering powerful software demos.
Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers
Author: Jeff Haden
Social Selling: Techniques To Influence Buyers and Change Makers is a great book written to teach you how to connect with buyers and influencers through social networks. The author, Jeff Haden, shares his secrets for connecting with influential people online. He explains how to find them, build relationships with them, and convert them into paying clients.
In each chapter, he teaches you different techniques for building rapport with potential clients. These include asking open-ended questions, sharing personal stories, and giving testimonials. He also teaches you how to leverage social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and blogs to promote yourself and your company.
I recommend Social Selling because it’s packed full of useful information. It teaches you how to identify prospects, how to communicate effectively, and how to close deals. In addition, it shows you how to leverage social networking sites to generate leads and drive traffic to your website or blog.
The Sales Handbook by Intercom
There’s one problem every company will inevitably confront: how do I grow my revenue faster? In this book, the best in the business offer a roadmap of industry-tested advice and frameworks for getting to breakout growth and beyond.
- Why you need to build and scale your sales team with intention.
- How to craft a sales strategy — and the crucial inputs for long-term success.
- Industry-tested sales techniques for turning new leads into new business.
- How to grow your revenue faster by acquiring and converting leads in real-time
Enabling Top-Performing Sales Teams
How the fastest-growing organizations onboard, train & develop their sales teams.
This digital book provides a modern playbook for solving the most critical sales problems with learning initiatives.
The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales
Author: Trish Bertuzzi
This book is about growth, not just growth hacking, but high-growth growth, explosive growth, the kind of growth seen by weather satellites from space.
The success of any B2B company depends on how well they acquire new pipeline. To skyrocket growth, Sales Development is the answer. This book encapsulates author Trisha Bertuzzi’s three decades of practical, hand-on experience. Inside Sales Pipeline: It presents six elements to help you build a pipeline and accelerate revenue growth with inside sales
1. A strategy provides a framework for aligning the way you sell with your specific market and buyers’ journeys.
2. Specialization presents stories that present new ways of thinking. You’ll learn about the different types of segments, including demographic, psychographic, behavioral, and geographic, and how they all come together.
3. Hiring framework offers a roadmap for hiring quickly. Many tactics, compensation, a bullet proof hiring procedure, and a whole lot more are covered in great detail.
4. Retention goes deep into the things that never seem to get enough consideration: engagement, development, and motivation.
5. It then goes into detail on how to craft messages that resonate with buyers, how to design an effective outreach cadence, and how to execute effectively.
6. Finally, Leadership, provides actionable advice on what is needed to succeed in sales development today. There’s much information about quota setting, measuring, and acceleration technologies, but they’re all covered in depth here.
As Ken Krogues (President of InsideSales) writes in the Foreword, “This is the playbook for success today.”
“After reading this book, I now know it will help you achieve success, help your company grow and change our industry.
To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
Author: Daniel Pink
From the bestselling author (Drive) of A Whole New Mind and (Sales) of MasterClass on Sales and persuasion comes a surprising–and unexpectedly useful new book that explores how we sell in our lives.
According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in nine Americans works for companies that sell products or services. More than fifteen million people earn their living daily by persuading others to buy things.
But if you dig deeper, a surprising truth emerges:
Yes, 1 in 9 Americans works in sales. The truth is so do the other eight, they just don’t realize it.
Whether we’re employees pitching colleagues on a good idea, entrepreneurs enticing investors, or parents and teachers encouraging kids to study, we spend most of our days trying to persuade others. We’re all in sales now. Whether we like it or not.
To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the science and art of selling. Daniel H. Pink wrote Drive and A Whole New Mind, which explores the idea that we need to change how we view human behavior. Pink draws on a vast array of social science research for his counter-intuitive insights into human behavior. It reveals the new ABCs for moving others (it’s not Always Be Closing), explains why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople and shows how giving people a way out for their actions can matter far more than actually changing their mind.
Along the way, she describes the six successors to an elevator pitch, the three basic rules for understanding another’s perspective, the five common frames that can make your messages clearer and more persuasive, and much more exciting. The result is a perceptive and practical book that will change how you see the world and transform what you do at work, school, and home.
The 2020 Startup Sales Playbook
Author: Steli Efti from close.com
This is the playbook you need to build and scale a winning sales team and process. Learn the best tips and tactics around 90+ pages of tactics to smash your sales goals.
The Playbook is filled to the brim with results-driven insights including identifying your perfect customer, building your outbound program right the first time, and crushing your lead generation goals.
- Identifying your perfect sales model
- Prospecting new leads like a pro
- Forecasting revenue & growth
- Perfecting cold outreach
- Using video throughout the cycle
An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
Author: Oren Klaff
Oren Klaff has unmatched credentials when it comes to delivering pitches. For the first time, he shares his unique formula to help you deliver an effective pitch in any business situation—and it’s guaranteed to get results.
Whether you’re selling ideas to investors, pitch clients for new business, or negotiate for a higher salary, Pitch Anything will transform how you present your ideas.
According to Klaff (2016), creating and presenting a great presentation isn’t an art; it’s a simple science. Applied to the field of neuroeconomy, Klaff shares eye-opening stories of how the brain makes decisions, and how it responds to pitches. With this information, no matter where you are in the pitch process, you’ll be able to stay in complete control.
Pitch Anything teaches the exclusive STRONG method for pitching, which can be used immediately.
- Setting the Frame
- Telling the Story
- Revealing the Intrigue
- Offering the Prize
- Nailing the Hook Point
- Getting a Decision
A good pitch can improve your career and make you much cash—but it might not be enough to change your life. Success depends on how you approach the problem, not how hard you work to solve it. “Better approach, more money,” Klaff says. “Much better approach, much more money.” Klaff is the best because he has the most effective approach. And now it can be yours.
Simply, apply all the tactics and strategies outlined in this book to engage and persuade your audience. You’ll see how well it works and have more funding and support than you ever thought possible.
Books on B2B SaaS Growth Hacking for startups and scale-ups
Author: David Cancel
Having founded one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies, Drift, David Cancel presents a super impressive piece on how SaaS founders can achieve HYPERGROWTH. The book includes practical advice and frameworks SaaS founders can replicate for their business.
David Cancel shares a modern approach for SaaS product development and management with customer communication at the center.
Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising
Author: Ryan Holiday
Growth Hacker Marketing is a great book written by Jason Miller.
He explains how companies should be thinking about marketing today.
He argues that traditional marketing methods aren’t working because consumers have become more savvy than ever.
To succeed in the modern marketplace, you must embrace the concept of growth hacking. This means you should focus less on selling products and services and more on building customer relationships.
This book will teach you everything you need to know about growth hacking. It includes chapters on customer development, lead generation, sales funnel management, and much more.
You don’t need any experience or special skills to read this book. All you need is curiosity and determination. Once you start reading, you’ll realize why it’s such a popular choice among readers.
Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make it… and Why the Rest Don’t
Author: Verne Harnish
In this book, Derek Sivers talks about scaling up. He shares his experiences as well as lessons he learned along the way.
He explains why it’s important to scale up. And he shows you how to do it successfully.
You’ll learn how to identify problems early on. Then you’ll be able to fix them before they become big issues.And once you start scaling up, you’ll discover new opportunities. You’ll be able to take advantage of these opportunities because you won’t have any distractions.
Derek also shares stories about companies that failed to scale up. And some of those companies even went bankrupt. So if you’re planning to scale up, I highly recommend reading Scaling Up. It’s packed with valuable advice.
And if you’re already doing great things, read this book still. You might pick up a tip or two that will help you scale up even further.
Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success
Author: Sean Ellis
This book provides insights into how today’s fastest-growing companies drive breakthrough success.
The author shares personal experiences and lessons they’ve learned while building their businesses.
They explain how they’ve used customer feedback to improve their products. They also show you how to use data to optimize your marketing efforts.
You’ll learn about the different types of growth hacks that are available to you. And you’ll see examples of each type of hack used by other successful entrepreneurs.
B2B SaaS Books on customer success, building authentic brands and creating a great customer experience
Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue
Author: Mehta, Murphy and Steinman
Your business success is now forever tied to your clients’ success. Post-sales support is becoming a cost center for most organizations. Customer Success teams are being created to quarterback the customer lifecycle and drive adoption, renewal, up-sell and advocate.
You’ll get expert guidance from the start of the project through its completion:
- Understanding the context that led to customer success
- Build a Customer Success Strategy that has been proven by some of the most successful companies in the world.
- Structure your customer success organization, tier your customers, and develop the right cross-functional playbook
Customers want products that help them achieve their business outcomes.
By enabling your customers to realize value in your product, you’re protecting recurring revenues and creating a customer for lifetime. This book will cover these steps in-depth and help you streamline it.
28 The 80/20 Principle, Expanded and Updated
Author: Richard Koch
Be more effective with fewer resources by learning how to identify the 80/20 principle. It’s one of the greatest secrets of highly effective people in business and life. Did you know, for example, that 20% of customers account for 80% of revenues?
The unspoken corollary to the 80/20 principle is that little of what we spend our time on actually counts. But by focusing on those things that do work, we can unlock the immense potential of the magic 20% and transform our effectiveness in everything from our jobs to our careers to our businesses and our lives.
This book will teach you how to apply the 80/20 to your life and business. It’s a timeless classic that’s great for B2B SaaS owners looking to run lean and are likely bootstrapped or have limited funding.
Disrupting Digital Business: Create an Authentic Experience in the Peer-to-Peer Economy
Author: R “Ray” Wang
We are no longer an economy of products and services. The digital transformation demands that we focus our attention on experiences and outcomes. Business leaders and their organizations must shift to keeping promises—no matter how their customers interact with them.
But organizations no longer control the conversation. In this era of social and mobile technology, customers, employees, suppliers, and partners are directly communicating with one another. Those personal networks and the brands they’re passionate about influence their decision-making and spending.
The workforce has changed too. Employees expect to determine when and how they will work, the technology they’ll use, and the values their company will espouse.
Organizations can participate in this conversation only if they recognize how and where it’s happening. Resisting these changes will leave executives, managers, and their companies powerless. Organizations must pivot with and ahead of these social, organizational, and technological shifts or risk being left behind.
Technology guru Ray Wang shows how organizations can surf the waves of change—how they can keep their promises. Current trends, when taken seriously, require a new way of thinking about business that includes five key areas:
1. Consumerization of technology and the new C-suite
2. Data’s influence in driving decisions
3. Digital marketing transformation
4. The future of work
5. Matrix commerce
Digital disruption has changed how we do our work. But by mastering these trends you’ll delight your customers with every interaction.
Author: Al Ramadan, Christopher Lochhead, Dave Peterson, and Kevin Maney
The founders of a well-respected Silicon Valley advisory firm study famous category-creating companies, revealing a groundbreaking discipline called “category design.”
Winning today isn’t about beating the competition at yesterday’s game.
Farsighted, pioneering book by the founders of Silicon Valley consulting firm Play Bigger. They use data analysis and interviews to learn about category kings—companies such as Amazon, SalesForce, Uber, and Ikea—that give us new methods for living, thinking, or doing business. Often, they solve problems we didn’t realize we had.
The authors assemble their findings to present the new discipline of category creation.
Crossing the Chasm revolutionized how we think about creating new products in an existing industry.The Innovator’s Dilemma taught us about disrupting an aging industry.
Great advertising and marketing books for B2B SaaS Marketers
Content Strategy for the Web
Author: Kristina Halvorson
If your website content is not up to date, relevant and engaging, you are missing out on an important opportunity to engage, convert, and retain customers online. Without meaningful content, your website is not worth much to your target audience. Content production can be a challenging avenue for many B2B SaaS startups, but worth it in the long run to achieve greater growth once you reach PMF (product-market fit) and need more users and revenue.
Content Strategy for the Web explains how to create and provide useful, usable content for online audiences, when and wherever they need it most. This book discusses the following elements of a great content strategy:
- Find out why so many web projects implode in the content development phase … and how to avoid the associated, unnecessary costs and delays
- Learn how to audit and analyze your content
- Make smarter, achievable decisions about which content to create and how
- Find out how to maintain consistent, accurate, compelling content over time
- Get solid, practical advice on staffing for content-related roles and responsibilities
Ogilvy on Advertising
Author: David Ogilvy
This classic book was written by the father of advertising David Ogilvy and is the primer on all aspects of advertising. David & Mather an advertising agency with 450 offices in 120 countries. This text covers what does as well as what does not sell, and is illustrated with 185 advertisements.
This is a must read for those getting into the advertising space even today. Check out this great summary of the book here.
Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster
Author: Croll and Yoskovitz
Whether you’re a startup entrepreneur trying to disrupt an industry or an intrapreneur trying to provoke change from inside, your biggest risk is creating something that no one wants. Lean Analytics can help you avoid the biggest mistakes when you’re just starting out with your B2B SaaS and maybe you’re bootstrapped.
By measuring and analyzing your progress, you can validate whether an issue is real, find the best customers, decide what to build, and figure out how to monetize it. Focusing on the one metric that matters to your business right now gives you the focus you need, and the discipline to know when it’s time to change direction.
Written by Alistair Croll (Coradiant, CloudOps, Startupfest) and Ben Yoskovitz (Year One Labs, GoInstant), the book lays out practical, proven steps to take your startup from initial idea to product/market fit and beyond.
This book is packed with 30+ case studies, based on a year of interviews with 100+ founders and investors. It’s an invaluable, practical guide for Lean Startup practitioners everywhere.
Author: Mark Hughes
“There’s fake corporate marketing and then there’s real marketing. This is the real stuff for real people.” -Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
These days consumers are paying less and less attention to advertising. A majority already zap commercials, and new technology keeps making it easier to tune out marketing messages.
Mark Hughes has written a breakthrough guide to the art of successful buzz marketing which many people talk about but few truly understand. He draws on his own real-world experience as an executive and consultant, as well as untold stories of some of the great buzz generators of our time, including American Idol, tie-dye shirts, and the birth of Lite beer.
Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer’s Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business
Author: Adele Revella
See your offering through the buyer’s eyes for more effective marketing
Buyer Personas is the marketer’s actionable guide to learning what your buyer wants and how they make decisions. Written by the world’s leading authority on buyer personas, this book provides comprehensive coverage of a compelling new way to conduct buyer studies, plus practical advice on adopting the buyer persona approach to measurably improve marketing outcomes. Readers will learn how to segment their customer base, investigate each customer type, and apply a radically more relevant process of message selection, content creation, and distribution through the channels that earn the buyers’ trust. Rather than relying on generic data or guesswork to determine what the buyer wants, the buyer persona approach allows companies to ask the buyer directly and obtain more precise and actionable guidance.
Buyer personas are composite pictures of the people who buy solutions, services or products, crafted through a unique type of interview with the people the marketer wants to influence. This book provides step-by-step guidance toward implementing the buyer persona approach, with the advice of an internationally-respected expert.
- Learn who buys what, and why
- Understand your buyer’s goals and how you can address them
- Tailor your marketing activities to your buyer’s expectations
- See the purchase through the customer’s eyes
A recent services industry survey reports that 52 percent of their marketers have buyer personas, and another 28 percent expect to add them within the next two years – but only 14.6 percent know how to use them. To avoid letting such a valuable tool go to waste, access the expert perspective in Buyer Personas, and craft a more relevant marketing strategy.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout
Author: Al Ries & Jack Trout
A true classic covering the basic laws of marketing that can not be violated, and if they are your marketing will suffer greatly and so will your business. Here are the first of the 3 laws covered in the book.
Law #1: The Law of Leadership
It’s better to be first than it is to be better.
Law #2: The Law of Category
If you can’t be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in.
Law #3: The Law of The Mind
It’s better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace.
This is a good book for those getting into marketing and starting their B2B SaaS and need to lay down the foundational groundwork for future customers to engage with your brand and ultimately purchase. It covers all aspects of marketing, from understanding your target audience, creating a vision and mission statement, building a strong team, setting KPIs, managing budgets, defining metrics, and measuring results.
Bonus books SaaS founders can draw inspiration from:
The One Thing
Author: Papasan and Keller
People are using this simple, powerful concept to focus on what matters most in their personal and work lives. Companies are helping employees be more productive with study groups, training, and coaching. Sales teams are boosting sales.
People are living more rewarding lives by building their careers, strengthening their finances, losing weight and getting in shape, deepening their faith, and nurturing stronger marriages and personal relationships by focusing their energy on one thing at a time.
YOU WANT LESS. You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what’s the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, smaller paychecks, fewer promotions–and lots of stress.
AND YOU WANT MORE. You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends.
NOW YOU CAN HAVE BOTH ― LESS AND MORE. In The ONE Thing, you’ll learn to:
- cut through the clutter
- achieve better results in less time
- build momentum toward your goal
- dial down the stress
- overcome that overwhelmed feeling
- revive your energy
- stay on track
- master what matters to you
The book has:
- Made on more than 575 appearances on national bestseller lists
- Been #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller, New York Times bestseller, and USA Today bestseller
- Been translated into 40 languages
- Won 12 book awards
- Voted Top 100 Business Book of All Time on Goodreads
Don’t Just Roll The Dice – A usefully short guide to software pricing
Author: Neil Davidson
How do you price your software? Is it art, science or magic? How much attention should you pay to your competitors? This short handbook will provide the theory, practical advice and case studies you need to stop yourself from reaching for the dice.
Zero to One
Author: Peter Thiel
The book, Zero to One, was inspired by a collection of lectures delivered at Stanford University by Peter Thiel. Along with co-founder (and former student) Andrew Mason, Thiel has put together an important set of standards for entrepreneurs and startups to consider when building their next big thing carefully. This book is great for people starting their B2B SaaS and are building their first company from scratch.
Some parts of the book are so well written that one just sits there thinking after reading them. Each chapter of Founders at Work contains an example of how to develop the future successfully.
But why would he be right? Peter Thiel may have played a role in partnering, inspiring, and/ or investing in some of the biggest tech entrepreneurs in the US (and probably the world).
- Elon Musk – who founded SpaceX and co-founded Tesla Motors
- Reid Hoffman – who co-founded LinkedIn
- Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim – who together founded YouTube
- Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons – who founded Yelp
- David Sacks – who co-founded Yammer
- Himself, Peter Thiel – who founded PayPal and Palantir
And by the way, all of the above named tech companies are worth at least $1 billion each. That’s quite a lot of money. Listening to Zero to One is like peeking inside the mind of one of today’s most successful multi-billionaires.
- The “do’s and don’ts” of startups
- What to focus on when building a startup
- Insights on building a billion-dollar startup that stands the test of time
Thank you for reading our blog post. If you have any recommendations to add to our list please drop us a comment below or send us a message.