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Sales Madness Bracket Challenge First Round Review

5 min readMarch 25, 2020

Okay, Sales Friends. Our version of Madness is still in full swing!

Have you cast your votes yet for the most influential sales book that you’ve read?

The results from the first round matchups in the Sales Madness Bracket Challenge, sponsored by Revenue.io, are in! There were a lot of upsets in this First Round. Check out how your favorite sales books fared.

All results are given in percentage of votes received for each match-up. (The seeding numbers are given for each book.)

#1 How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie) vs. #64 Mastering Your Sales Process (David Masover). How to Win Friends was a big winner with 86% of the votes.

#32 The Secrets of Closing the Sale (Zig Ziglar) vs. #33 The Perfect Close (James Muir).
The Secrets of Closing the Sale moves on to Round 2 with 71% of the votes.

#16 Sell or Be Sold (Grant Cardone) vs. #49 The Machine (Justin Roff-Marsh). Sell or Be Sold collected 68% of the votes in this match-up.

#17 New Sales. Simplified. (Mike Weinberg) vs #48 Solution Selling (Michael Bosworth) New Sales. Simplified simply advances with 61% of the votes.

#8 To Sell is Human (Daniel Pink) vs #57 Sales is an Away Game (Lance Tyson). To Sell is Human was one of the big winners in Round 1 with 80% of the votes in this match-up.

#25 Stories That Stick (Kindra Hall) vs #40 Cracking the Sales Management Code (Jason Jordan.) Stories That Stick broke the code with 60% of the votes submitted.

#56 Conversations That Sell (Nancy Bleeke) vs #9 How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling (Frank Bettger.) In one of the major upsets of Round 1 Conversations That Sell raised itself to victory with 54% of the votes cast.

#41 High Profit Prospecting (Mark Hunter) vs #24 The Psychology of Selling (Brian Tracy) In another unexpected result, High Profit Prospecting squeezed into Round 2 by the most narrow of margins, 50.5% of the votes.

#4 The Go-Giver (Bob Burg & John David Mann) vs #61 Nonstop Sales Boom (Colleen Francis). It was a runaway for The Go-Giver with 72% of the votes.

#36 Gap Selling (Keenan) vs #29 The Sales Acceleration Formula (Mark Roberge). Gap Selling by Keenan (who goes by a single name in the fashion of Brazilian soccer players) was one of the big upset winners of the first round spanning the chasm into Round 2 with 82% of the votes.

#13 Way of the Wolf: Straight Line Selling (Jordan Belfort) vs #52 Be Bold and Win the Sale (Jeff Shore). Way of the Wolf prowls into the next round with 57% of the vote.

#45 How to Get a Meeting with Anyone (Stu Heinecke) vs #20 80/20 Sales and Marketing (Perry Marshall). How to Get a Meeting with Anyone, in an upset, arranged a meeting with it’s next opponent in Round 2 with 57% of the vote.

#5 The Coaching Habit (Michael Bungay Stanier) vs #60 Heart and Sell (Shari Levitin). The Coaching Habit prevailed with 57% of the votes cast.

#28 Never Eat Alone (Keith Ferrazzi) vs #37 Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive (Harvey MacKay). It was Never Eat Alone prevailing in this contest of classic books with 56% of the vote.

#12 Exactly What to Say (Phil Jones) vs. Same Side Selling (Ian Altman). Exactly What to Say said enough of the right things to win 51% of the vote and move on.

#21 The Ultimate Sales Machine (Chet Holmes) vs. Selling from the Heart (Larry Levine). In a tight battle The Ultimate Sales Machine powered to a narrow win with 51% of the vote.

#2 Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill) vs. Pick up the Damn Phone (Joanne S. Black). Think and Grow Rich grows into Round 2 with 62% of the votes cast.

#31 The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need (Anthony Iannarino) vs #34 Selling to Big Companies (Jill Konrath). The modestly titled The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need steps into Round 2 with 60% of the votes.

#15 Little Red Book of Selling (Jeffrey Gitomer) vs #50 Stop Selling & Start Leading (Deb Calvert) It’s the Little Red Book of Selling moving into the second round with 58% of the votes.

#47 Sell with a Story (Paul Smith) vs #18 The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone (Fredrik Eklund, Bruce Littlefield). Sell with a Story tells a strong story of a big upset with 75% of the vote.

#7 Go for No (Richard Fenton, Andrea Waltz) vs #58 Selling To Zebras. Go for No refused to take, well, you know, for an answer and moves into the next round with 67% of the votes.

#26 The Sales Development Playbook (Trish Bertuzzi) vs #39 Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions (Keith Rosen). The Sales Development Playbook claimed the Rd 1 win with 52% of the votes.

#10 The Challenger Sale (Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson) vs #55 Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success (Colleen Stanley). The Challenger Sale breaks through into the next round with 62% of the votes.

#42 Sales Differentiation (Lee Salz) vs #23 Sell it Like Serhant (Ryan Serhant). In another major upset, Sales Differentiation was different enough to win 80% of the votes to move into the 2nd round.

#3 Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Robert Cialdini) vs #62 Whale Hunting (Barbara Weaver Smith). This was a big win for Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion with 78% of the votes cast.

#35 The New Strategic Selling (Robert Miller, Stephen E. Heiman) vs Smart Calling (Art Sobczak). The New Strategic Selling is into the next round with 56% of the vote.

#14 Fanatical Prospecting (Jeb Blount) vs #51 Insight Selling (Mike Schultz, John Doerr). Fanatical Prospecting prevails with 69% of the vote.

#19 Spin Selling (Neil Rackham) vs Combo Prospecting (Tony Hughes). Spin Selling spins into its next match-up with 72% of the votes.

#6 The Greatest Salesman in the World vs. Blueprints for a SaaS Sales Organization (Jacco van der Kooij) The Greatest Salesman in the World is still considered great by 72% of voters and moves on to Round 2.

#38 The Art of Closing The Sale (Brian Tracy) vs How to Master the Art of Selling (Tom Hopkins). In this match-up of two classic books, The Art of Closing The Sale squeaks by into the 2nd round with 52% of the votes.

#11 Pitch Anything (Oren Klaff) vs. 7 Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell (Mike Adams). The pitch prevailed over the story as Pitch Anything collected 60% of the votes to advance.

#43 The Science of Selling (David Hoffeld) vs #22 Predictable Revenue (Aaron Ross, Marylou Tyler). In an unpredictable upset, The Science of Selling jumps into the Round of 32 with 59% of the vote.

Tomorrow I’ll preview the head to head matchups in the Round of 32. If you can’t wait for that click here to see the next round match-ups in the Sales Madness Bracket Challenge. And then cast your votes for the most influential sales books in your life.

Click here to vote.

As they used to say in Chicago back in the ‘60s: Vote early. Vote often.


About the Author

Andy PaulRevenue.io

Bestselling author of Amp Up your Sales and Zero Time Selling, Andy Paul is #8 on LinkedIn’s list of the Top 50 Global Sales Experts to follow. With more than 170,000 followers, Andy is a highly sought-after speaker and sales sage who interviews the world’s foremost sales minds and extraordinarily interesting people to bring you strategies and insights that you can use to generate epic wins and massive value.