It’s no secret that you can grow a SaaS business faster when you learn from the mistakes and insights of people who have done it before. The SaaS industry, in particular, is ripe with online content. However, in our experience, strong fundamentals always beat the “flavor of the week” techniques in the long run. That’s what we have compiled here. These are the best SaaS marketing books we have found over the years.
From Impossible to Inevitable: How SaaS and Other Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue
by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin
In their book “From Impossible to Inevitable,” Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin argue that doubling, tripling or 10xing the size of your business isn’t a case of luck or even hard work. Instead, they say there’s a template that the biggest companies in the world follow to grow faster than everyone else.
Over the course of the book, Ross and Lemkin detail the playbook that companies like HubSpot and Salesforce used to become marketing software leaders. Whether you want to follow in their footsteps or build a successful lifestyle company, you can use the insights in this essential SaaS marketing book to help you get there.
The authors don’t just cover the same stale advice that you see in other SaaS marketing books. In fact, one of the book’s best pieces of advice is that you don’t need to focus on social media if you don’t want to, says marketing consultant Jason Levin.
Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion
by Robert B. Cialdini
Robert B. Cialdini’s Influence has sold over five million copies worldwide and is the go-to resource for persuasion —the building blocks of everything marketing and sales. The latest version adds new research, additional insights and even more examples.
Influence may seem like a fairly broad topic, but Ciadini does a great job of breaking it down into easy-to-digest chapters. You’ll understand all of the major reasons why people say yes and how to apply those insights in an ethical way to your SaaS business. You’ll also learn how to protect yourself from those who would attempt to use these insights against you.
The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million
by Mark Roberge
In The Sales Acceleration Formula, Mark Roberge will show you how to use data, technology and inbound selling to build a remarkable team and accelerate sales. Roberge, who has pedigree building a $100 million dollar business, explains how he eschewed the standard ways of scaling sales in favor of a process-driven lens that applies data, technology and inbound selling to every part of the sales process.
They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer
by Marcus Sheridan
If you’re serious about pursuing content marketing as a SaaS brand, They Ask You Answer is a must-read. It will show you how to put together a top-ranking content strategy that Sheridan himself used to turn his pool company from a struggling business to a market leader. The key is to stop selling and start answering, says Sheridan. In doing so, you become an authority, not an advertiser — and you reach millions of people daily through Google as a result.
Sheridan’s book offers a “brilliantly simple approach to content marketing,” says George Stenitzer, founder and chief content officer at Crystal Clear Communications. He recommends this SaaS marketing book to any owner or marketing manager of a small or medium-sized business looking to beat competitors using content marketing.
Crossing the Chasm, 3rd Edition: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers
by Geoffrey A. Moore
A big part of SaaS marketing is learning how to make the most of your product. To learn how, we recommend Crossing the Chasm where Geoffrey A. Moore highlights the hidden chasm between early adopters and the early majority when it comes to product uptake. The latest edition has dozens more examples and strategies that you can use to narrow the gap between adopters and the majority and accelerate product adoption.
“This book is extremely helpful when starting a company, especially in tech,” says former founder and software sales leader Elias Voelker. He goes as far as saying anyone involved in marketing, sales or the product should read this book.
HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategic Marketing
by Clayton M. Christensen, Theordore Levitt, Philip Kotler and Fred Reichheld
HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategic Marketing is a collection of the ten articles from the Harvard Business Review that the authors believe can have the biggest impact on your marketing efforts.
Topics include figuring out what business you’re in, better understanding your brand’s strengths and weaknesses, delivering value to B2B customers and ending the war between marketing and sales.
Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century
by Jeff Lawson
In Ask Your Developer, Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson shows how you can empower software developers to reach their full potential and use them to help your SaaS grow. Rather than treat developers like digital factory workers, Lawson argues these talented individuals can solve business problems and contribute to product development. As a former software developer himself, Lawson is better placed than almost anyone in SaaS to make this case.
“This book should be read by anyone who doesn’t yet engage closely when developing products,” says digital product manager Marc Abraham. Software developers are regularly involved too late in the product development process. This book will have you engaging with them early and often.
Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love
by Marty Cagan
What’s the difference between companies like Google and Netflix, that routinely make products loved by billions of people, and other tech companies? Their product development process looks very different. Inspired by Marty Cagan shows you how to build an effective product-focused organization that creates products customers love.
This one makes our list of SaaS marketing books because it covers everything from hiring the right people with the right skills, finding the perfect product, building an effective process and creating a strong culture. You’ll be able to implement almost everything immediately into your own SaaS business.
There’s a lot to love about the way this book is written, too. Software engineer Andy Grunwald says the short chapters make it “a quick and enjoyable read.” The writing style is also much closer to a reference book, which makes for a faster read and means Cagan doesn’t waste time on points made in a previous chapter.
The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback
by Dan Olsen
If you want to build products customers love, then make The Lean Product Playbook your guide. Building new products will never be a simple process, but this book by Dan Olsen significantly improves your chances of success by showing you how to apply Lean principles to your product development process.
In this SaaS marketing book, you’ll discover the simple, repeatable process to iterate your way through product-market fit that includes finding your target customers, identifying their needs, creating an MVP, testing it and iterating rapidly to achieve fit. If you play any part in the product development process, you’re sure to find it a valuable resource.
The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness
by Eric Jorgenson
If you want to develop the mindset of SaaS leader, you could do worse than read The Almanack of Naval Ravikant. Curated by Eric Jorgenson, The Almanack is a collection of Entrepreneur and investor Naval Ravikant’s wisdom and experience on building wealth and success in tech. The short story: building wealth isn’t about luck. It’s a skill that can be learnt.
If you’ve already read Ravikant’s thoughts on the topic in his Twitter thread, there’s still more to discover in the book. It covers those tweets in much more detail, writes web developer Bugra Gulculer, making it the perfect book to pick up and read when at a lost end.
Blueprints for a SaaS Sales Organization: How to Design, Build and Scale a Customer-Centric Sales Organization
by Jacco van der Kooij and Fernando Pizarro
If you run (and want to improve) a SaaS sales team, reading this SaaS sales and marketing book should be high on your priority list. Blueprints for a SaaS Sales Organization by Jacco van der Kooij and Fernando Pizarro is the result of the two authors’ years of experience building high-performing SaaS sales teams and sets out a list of instructions that you can follow to build a similarly successful team. Follow van der Kooij and Pizarro’s advice and you’ll build a sales team in a thoughtful and methodical manner that serves the entire customer relationship
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