31 Brilliant Books Recommended by Top SaaS Experts
There are plenty of blogs and websites dedicated to SaaS out there, but sometimes nothing beats a good book. An expertly written book offers a great way to learn in-depth strategies and tactics that you can explore in your day-to-day tasks and along your long-term career path.
It’s always a good idea to explore new resources to continually grow your knowledge, so we asked a few experts to recommend their favorite SaaS growth books. Some are sales related, some offer a fresh perspective on content marketing, and others cover great growth hacking techniques. Suggestions came from a variety of SaaS experts, including Brian Massey, Jane Portman, Tim Suolo, Max Alts, Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré, Phil Wainewright, Aaron Ross, Ian Moyse, Andy Mura, and more.
Bonus: Looking for additional resources to stay up-to-date with SaaS trends, and learn new insights? Then check out these 26 SaaS & subscriptions podcasts to listen to on the go!
If you’re looking to start off in the SaaS industry or simply looking to discover new growth tactics and best practices, get one or more of the books listed below, read them cover to cover, and enthusiastically apply the techniques these experts reveal to help your SaaS business reach new realms of growth.
Without further ado, here some of the most recommended growth books from SaaS experts:
Hacking Sales: The Playbook for Building a High-Velocity Sales Machine
Hacking Sales helps you transform your sales process using the next generation of tools, tactics, and strategies. Author Max Altschuler (CEO and founder of Sales Hacker Inc) has dedicated his business to helping companies build modern, efficient, high-tech sales processes that generate more revenue with fewer resources. In this book, he shows the most effective changes you can make to evolve your sales and continually raise the bar.
Behind the Cloud
by Marc Benioff
Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce, tells the (untold) story of the $50 billion cloud software company he launched in 1999. In Behind the Cloud, Benioff shares the strategies that have inspired employees, turned customers into evangelists, leveraged an ecosystem of partners, and allowed innovation to flourish. This is a must-read for anyone who works in cloud software!
(Recommended by Phil Wainewright)
How to Win Friends & Influence People
Dale Carnegie’s time-tested advice has helped countless people succeed in business and personal life. How to Win Friends & Influence People is one of the most innovative, timeless, and best-selling books of all time. Make sure to give it a read to discover six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.
(Recommended by Matt Billoti)
The 48 Laws of Power
Released in 1998, this is considered by many to be one of the most powerful books ever written, for business and beyond. The 48 Laws describes world leaders and how they dominated. Drawn from 3,000 years of the history of power, this definitive guide helps readers achieve for themselves what Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, Louis XIV, and Machiavelli had to learn the hard way.
(Recommended by Max Alts)
Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing
Good SaaS marketers know that customer-centric marketing is essential. Successful marketers need to anticipate, plan, and execute on what their customers perceive as relevant. Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing offers a perspective on Persuasion Architecture, a proven Persona-based methodology. Give this book a read to learn about the six-sigma marketing approach that can skyrocket the effectiveness of your interactive marketing strategy.
(Recommended by Brian Massey)
Value as a Service: Embracing the Coming Disruption
In Value as a Service, enterprise software and spend management expert and Coupa CEO Bernshteyn provides step-by-step insights for today’s business leaders on how they can better deliver and measure value to customers. The book sends a loud and clear message – disruption is coming. Given that business models are shifting across all industries, Rob Bernshteyn explains the areas of change that will be necessary for a company to provide value as a service.
(Recommended by Phil Wainewright)
From Impossible To Inevitable
by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin
From Impossible to Inevitable details the hypergrowth playbook of record-breaking companies like Zenefits, Salesforce, and EchoSign. Whether you’re a small business owner or have a $1 billion firm, you can use the insights from these notable companies to learn what it really takes to break your own revenue records. The authors show how you can grow your company by developing repeatable processes that will consistently drive revenue and increase your growth.
(Recommended by Aaron Ross)
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
by Ben Horowitz
Ben Horowitz is the cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs. In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, he offers essential advice on building and running a startup. 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. This is an invaluable read for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to start their own ventures for the first time.
(Recommended by Aaron Ross and Matthew Howells-Barby)
The Lean Startup
by Eric Ries
Eric Ries is an entrepreneur and author of the popular blog “Startup Lessons Learned.” The Lean Startup provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in an age when companies need to innovate more than ever. Rather than wasting time describing elaborate business plans, the book offers entrepreneurs in companies of all sizes a way to test, adapt, and adjust their vision continuously.
Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It … and Why the Rest Don’t
In Scaling Up, Verne Harnish, founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), and his team share practical tools and techniques for building an industry-dominating business. The book focuses on the four major decisions every company must get right: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash. It’s written so everyone from frontline employees to senior executives can contribute to the growth of a firm.
(Recommended by Pierre Lechelle)
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
by Peter Thiel
In Zero to One, entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how to explore the new frontiers of innovation and continuous expansion of information technology, to learn how to take advantage of the endless opportunities to create value in the world. The book presents an optimistic view of the future of progress in the United States, and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.
(Recommended by Sujan Patel)
Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue
by Nick Mehta, Dan Steinman and Lincoln Murphy
Customer success is the hottest B2B movement since the advent of the subscription business model, and this one-of-a-kind guide shows you how to make it work in your company. The three co-authors, Nick Mehta, Dan Steinman, and Lincoln Murphy, show you how to kickstart your customer-centric revolution and make your investment in success stick for the long term.
(Recommended by Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré)
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t
by Jim Collins
In Good to Great, Jim Collins establishes how companies can transition from being good companies to great companies, and how most companies fail to make the transition, and ways to avoid that. If you are looking to boost your SaaS company’s growth, Jim Collins has laid out seven principles to follow to transform your business from just good to great.
(Recommended by Sujan Patel)
Disrupting Digital Business: Create an Authentic Experience in the Peer-to-Peer Economy
by R “Ray” Wang
Among the many books about digital transformation, this one by technology guru Ray Wang is an excellent read. He shows how organizations can surf the waves of change and keep their promises to customers. Learn why companies must pivot with and ahead of major social, organizational, and technological shifts or risk being left behind.
100 Days of Growth
by Sujan Patel & Rob Wormley (eBook)
100 Days of Growth brings you 100 effective growth tactics based on the strategies and techniques that experts Sujan Patel and Rob Wormley have used to help hundreds of clients move the needle and actually grow their businesses over the last decade. You’ll get to read about real companies and people that have or are currently using these growth strategies to get ahead in their industries.
(Recommended by Shayla Price and William Harris)
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
In his New York Times bestseller, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini explains the psychology behind the reason why people say yes and how to apply these principles ethically in business and everyday opportunities. If you’re looking to upscale your SaaS venture, this book is a must-have in your library. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion exposes six universal principles of influence and how to become a skilled persuader through reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and most importantly, scarcity.
(Recommended by Tim Suolo)
Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content
by Ann Handley
B2B content marketing can be incredibly boring. But it doesn’t have to be. Ann Handley is a true content guru and a marketing veteran, and Everybody Writes is a wonderful guide to attracting and retaining customers with stellar online communication. It offers great guidance and insight into the process and strategy of content creation, production, and publishing, with actionable how-to advice designed to get results.
(Recommended by Joel Klettke)