Top 10 Books for Business Development

by | Oct 11, 2018

These books for business development should definitely be in your library if you want to beat your competition and be a more successful business development professional!

If you work in business development you need to work on personal development to beat the competition. Having a life-long learning approach is actually a key trait of successful business developers.

Learning doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s not about starting a new cycle of study just to change a career, but rather a habit that you integrate into your daily life.

Maybe you like watching videos, or listening to podcasts, or simply talk to some colleagues. Every small thing can contribute to making us better business development professionals. As long as we are mindful of the importance of developing ourselves.

Reading books can be a great way to learn new skills and knowledge to become a better professional. Out of personal experience, I can confidently say that this type of reading can totally set you up for success.

I love reading and exactly for this reason I refused to read about business in my free time. Reading has always been a fun activity for me and, well, work is not exactly fun.

But then 1,5 years ago I completely changed my mind. I started working as a business development manager in Amsterdam and I suddenly had 3 hours of commute every single day.

I read quite some novels, but at some point, I felt I could use my time in a more productive way. So I decided to experiment and I bought my first business book, which still now has a special place in my heart.

My first book for business development was “The sales acceleration formula” by Marc Roberge and I loved every single page of it.

I wasn’t very happy with my job, it became too repetitive and really not challenging. That book gave me so many ideas to optimize my job, that I started being excited again.

With this renewed enthusiasm I started making suggestions to my managers, using the latest tools in the market, and furnishing my vocabulary with tons of technical terms.

All of a sudden I became “the expert” and my colleagues would come to me to ask for advice on how to get better results in their job.

I was amazed to have such a status just by reading one book. At that point, I understood the point of articles like “Why successful people read so much”.

Reading totally puts you ahead of your peers. The more you read, the more knowledge you gather, the more precise you can be in your job.

This is especially true in business development. If you want to stand out of the crowd you should really start reading more.

Of course, if you’re just starting, you don’t really know what book to pick first.

So I share with you my personal list of the top 10 books for business development. Include them in your bucket list as soon as you can!

 

1. The sales acceleration formula by Mark Roberge

This book gives so many insights on how to create an outreach strategy. Starting from the targeting to building an awesome team.

It covers everything you need to know to get started with business development.

Plus, since he was CRO at Hubspot, it gives a lot of concrete examples of how they managed to grow exponentially thanks to their sales efforts.

I would recommend it, especially to business development leaders, as it contains very solid advice on how to build and manage your first team.

For more inspiration, you can also follow Mark Roberge on Linkedin and watch some of his videos.

You can buy a copy at this link.

 

2. Masters of Networking by Ivan Misner

The next one in my list of books for business development is all about networking.

When I attended a networking event for business for the first time I was frightened. I felt exposed, scared and I didn’t know how to start a conversation.

Have you ever been in that awkward situation where 2 people are talking and you’re just standing alone next to them? I did and hated it!

I really didn’t want to be in that position again, so I started looking for inspiration and found this book.

It’s basically a collection of articles about different aspects of networking with very different examples. But all focused on a central aspect of networking which is mutual benefit.

My key learning was really understanding the concept of “give and take”. When you network it’s not all about what you offer, but it’s about mutually helping each other.

You can buy your copy at this link.

 

3. Export Now by Frank Lavin and Peter Cohan

A list of books for business development could not lack one about market expansion.

Part of my job is to help companies to expand internationally. I worked across different geographical areas in the past 4 years and I found out that there isn’t really one way to do it.

Most of the time, we just went with the wind and figured out things on the way. But I thought there should be a more structured way, so I decided to learn from someone that mastered this field.

I liked this book because it gives some structure to a process that many companies just act upon without much reflection.

Particularly, I enjoyed the case studies as they really give a practical view of international expansion.

You can buy your copy at this link.

 

4. Hacking sales by Max Altschuler

This is the book for modern business development managers. It answers questions we all asked ourselves at least once and that no one ever seemed to respond too.

Questions like: how do I find leads? How can I maximize my outreach? It does it by using the personal experience of the author, which I find extremely valuable.

It also provides a very extensive list of tools you can use to supercharge your outreach strategy.

The thing I like the most is that it approaches sales in a very modern way and makes use of technology to help us be more efficient.

In case you don’t do it yet, you should follow Sales Hacker There you can find plenty of news and tips about sales specifically.

You can buy your copy at this link.

 

5. Predictable Prospecting by Marylou Tyler and Jeremy Donovan

This book deserves to be in the top 10 business development books because it offers so many practical tips.

I loved it, especially for my sales development strategy. It outlines an entire strategy from A to Z on how to craft an effective outreach strategy.

One of the things I liked the most is that it provides email templates that you can immediately test.

I built an entire sequence based on this book and I swear it works.

The basic principle of this book is that you need to approach sales keeping the customer journey in mind. So basically every email you craft actually matches a stage in the customer journey.

Beautiful and extremely effective!

You can buy your copy at this link.

 

6. Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang

Next, in the top 10 books for business development, there is a book that will completely change your idea of rejection.

Fear of rejection is really something that can hold you back. We should all make sure that we don’t let it take over and impede us to be successful.

Before reading this book I actually watched this video. I got fascinated and curious to know more because, just like anyone else, I hate being rejected.

I really wanted to learn how to deal with it better, because it doesn’t matter if you work for 9 years in this field, it still hurts!

This book because it’s more like a novel. You laugh and you get inspired at the same time. That’s why I loved it.

It’s an awesome read to change your mindset and really see rejection just as part of the job.

After reading this book, I ensure your fear of rejection will be a memory from the past

You can buy your copy at this link.

 

7. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This is not really one of the books for business development in the strictest sense. But, effective communication is something we all deal with on a daily basis.

A problem I faced very often in my life as a business developer is how to convince my managers to undertake new initiatives.

Sometimes I got very frustrated because they would discard any idea or innovation I would propose. The worst is that they wouldn’t give me any feedback on them. So after talking to some friends, I got this book as a gift.

It was an eye-opener. First, because I realized I already did many of the things it suggested. Second, cause I got to learn a few new techniques to be more likable.

My favorite lesson was that the best way to win an argument is to actually avoid it. Because it doesn’t matter if you win or lose. The other person will either feel humiliated or strengthened which is bad in both cases!

You can buy your copy at this link.

 

8. Zero to one by Peter Thiel

This book is not really for business development as it’s was meant for entrepreneurs actually.

However, I believe that a good business developer is an entrepreneur deep inside. And this book really gives valuable insights. You can find ideas to build your company, choosing your partners, building a solid plan.

As a business development manager, I approach my daily job as if it was a “mini” company. I have a plan, I chose my partners carefully and I try to execute my job in the most effective way. Reading this book can really open your mind and give you a new perspective on your job.

You can buy your copy at this link.

 

9. Start with Why by Simon Sinek

I first discovered Sinek on YouTube when I was looking for some motivation.

My job started draining me. It was too repetitive, in a company that wasn’t really creating an impact in the world and I got very demotivated. I felt really down and when I saw Sinek I got hit by a new inspiration wave. I bought this book and read it in 2 days.

Starting with why really means going to the core of why you’re doing something. It really obliges you to be more meaningful in your actions.

Moreover, if you start asking yourself why you also become more empathic and able to better communicate with your prospects.

You can buy your copy at this link.

 

10. Never eat alone by Keith Ferrazzi

This is on the list of top books for business development because it focuses entirely on relationship building.

The thing I like the most about my job is to be in touch with so many different people and stakeholders. I love that is so diverse. This book is all about leveraging your network to be successful. I must admit, I always considered networking in a bad way.

Maybe that’s because I’m Italian and networking in my country is often translated in nepotism. However, if I would go back I would definitely be more active in my network. Contributing to my knowledge and asking for advice from more experienced peers.

I started doing it after 9 years and even created a community to help other business developers be successful in their job. And I regret not having started before!

You can buy your copy at this link.

Knowledge is power!

If I had to define business development success, in short, I would definitely say that:

Knowledge is power!

As business developers, our job is to be the eyes and ears of our company. We can’t consider ourselves professionals until we realize the importance of personal development.

If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, check out our business development course. You will be part of a unique learning experience that will give you the tools, knowledge, and skills to be great at business development.

Author

Lucia Piseddu

Founder at The BD School

The thing I love the most in business development is its creative process. My job is to help people unleash their potential and become great at business development.

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