Want recommendations on the very best business development books?

Then you should definitely read this article. It reveals 25 of some of the very best business development books and why each is awesome.



If you were to ask the question “what is the secret to life?” You would get a variety of answers.

If you asked an educator their answer may be the pursuit of knowledge.

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If you would ask a pastor or a minister, they might indicate that the secret to life is pursuing a relationship with God.

Or if you asked a member of a close-knit family, they might respond by saying that the secret to life is support and love to and from the family.

When it comes to the world of business if you were to ask what is business development you again would get several different responses.

For an individual in the sales department, they would indicate that business development is all about sales.

Others might say that business development is about partnerships while others may say that business development is about customer cultivation.

With all of this in mind, let us look at some of the best business development books available that may help you clarify business development and how to proceed.


25 Best Business Development Books


1.  The Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms

When talking about business development, it is important to speak the language.

Therefore, the Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms by John Downes and Jordan Goodman provides an understanding of financial and investment terms.

There are over 5000 terms that are discussed that relate to aspects of the business world.

Some of those definitions include words used in investments (related to stocks, mutual funds, bonds), banking, transactions in the financial markets, tax laws, etc.

It is hard to understand the concepts and strategies of business when communication is impaired.

Click here to check it out


2. How Finance Works

How Finance Works by Mihir Desai captures a popular class taught by a Harvard Business School professor.

To fully engage in business development, the premise of this book is that finances need to be embraced and understood and for the business leader not to ignore or be intimidated by numbers.

The book is designed to guide the reader into the complexities of the world of finance especially as it relates to business development and helps to clarify the financial process.

Click here to check it out


3.  Financial Statements, Third Edition

Thomas Ittleson has written the book known as Financial Statements, Third Edition.

This book helps the reader to navigate through the jungle of financial statements which is critical in the business development world.

The book focuses on three major accounting statements that are designed to reflect the health and financial position of the company.

This book not only provides knowledge as it relates to accounting and the use of accounting vocabulary but suggests that these three financial statements are important as they are compared to a three-legged stool

The three financial statements that are focused on include the profit and loss statement, cash flow, and balance sheet.

Click here to check it out


4. Financial Intelligence

Financial Intelligence, Revised Edition by Karen Berman is another option that is provided to the individual who wishes to know more about understanding business development numbers.

The book offers a guided understanding that takes into account all of the various understanding of numbers that are needed to move forward in the business development process.

The book not only outlines what the numbers mean but what is the significance and importance of those numbers.

Click here to check it out


5. The Sales Acceleration Formula

The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge is a book that is offered on creating a dynamic outreach strategy.

The strategy begins with the building of a dynamic team and then covers everything pertinent to getting started with the development of the business.

The book is replete with examples that are solid and will be insightful as they reflect on how to grow exponentially due to the efforts in sales.

Of particular significance is the important emphasis on starting with a team that is built for success and how to interact with the team.


6. Masters of Networking

Masters of Networking by Ivan Misner is about the importance of networking and how to engage and utilize this powerful way of interacting with others.

To get the point across, the book relies on the book which is a compilation of a variety of articles all designed to provide different looks and angles as it relates to networking.

However, the one common thread or denominator is the “how-to” of networking and its importance in business development.

One of the key teachings is the “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” type of process in which the networking process involves give-and-take.


7. The Greatest Salesman in the World

The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino is a book about character, perseverance, and self-confidence.

All of these personal attributes are critical in the business development world.

Demonstrating these personal attributes and pillars of character will not only create the foundation for success for you as an individual but your business as well and in addition, be an inspiration to your customers and your company team.

Click here to read more about this book


8. Export Now

One of the main goals or objects in business development is the ultimate strategy of increasing services or expanding your customer base and increasing profitability.

Therefore, the book entitled Export Now by Frank Lavin and Peter Cohan is a quality business development book about market expansion.

Many businesses have an expansion plan in place but either don’t follow it or it has not been fully developed.

This book provides an expansion plan structure so that a definitive plan of action is developed and followed to grow the business.


9. Hacking Sales

Hacking Sales by Max Altschuler is a cutting-edge book for the managers of today.

So often, the questions asked with no clear-cut answer can include:

  • How do I find leads?
  • Maximizing my outreach
  • And more

The author draws upon his personal experience and provides many tools that can be incorporated into the company’s strategy for outreach.

The value of this book is that he answers these questions and provides a strategy that is very modern in its approach and utilizes the power of technology to realize this strategy.


10. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni captures the attention of the reader by telling a story about a businesswoman who took the helm of a Silicon Valley firm that was dysfunctional.

She was able to turn the dysfunction into a functioning well-oiled team and trusting team.

The author then dives into the deep end of the detailed instruction pool by helping the reader to recognize dysfunctional behavioral tendencies and how to overcome these actions.

Some of those dysfunctional behaviors include:

  • Peer conflict
  • Lack of commitment
  • No accountability
  • No attention to results

Some of those demonstrated dysfunctions include:

  • Fear of conflict
  • No commitment
  • No accountability
  • Inattention to results
  • No trust


11. Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer And Venture Capitalist

Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer And Venture Capitalist by Jason Mendelson and Brad Feld.

This book can serve as a primer for the individual entrepreneur who is considering starting a new venture.

The book details a strategy and actions to take as it relates to dealing with contracts involving lawyers and the potential of investments from venture capitalist firms.


12. The Professional’s Guide to Business Development 

The Professional’s Guide to Business Development by Stephen Newton is a book that offers details on how to identify potential clients by utilizing a sophisticated system that evaluates their potential.

The book is replete with step-by-step guides, charts, and a variety of meaningful worksheets.


13. Organization Development

This book is designed for both the expert and the novice as it relates to Organization Development written by Gary McLean.

The book goes into great detail in discussing different aspects of organizational development and the language is clear, concise, and easy to grasp.

This book is specially designed to speak to individuals who have a desire to pursue consulting work as an organizational development specialist and want to be on the cutting edge of business development.


14. Beyond Training And Development

A book written by William Rothwell is Beyond Training And Development.

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This dispels the thinking that is popular amongst chief executive officers today that businesses would be more energized if they didn’t have to worry about their employees and controlling their work.

The book outlines different strategies and ideas that can be implemented to empower CEOs and companies to obtain maximum growth on investment.

The focus of the writing is to help the CEO understand more urgently that the focus should be on advanced training not so much on the employee’s behavior or the organizational goals.


15. Measuring Leadership Development

A book that concentrates on teaching the importance of performance as it relates to measuring and tracking job roles accomplished by employees.

It also addresses evaluating the investments that are enacted as it relates to human capital programs through decision-based data and evidence.

The focus of Measuring Leadership Development is to provide a strategy for you to become a development leader through a variety of measurable techniques.

In addition, the collection of this data, its measuring, and reporting of the outcomes experienced by investing in the training are highlighted.


16. Business Development

Business Development by Sherran Spurlock is a book offering to help the management team and businesses modify and streamline their efforts as it relates to marketing.

The book offers valuable insights and suggested actions to help the business to become more lean, concise, practical, easy and understanding manner.

The book also details a process that is focused and to the point on ways that business opportunities can become successful and enhance the growth of the business.

The readership of the book is specially designed and focused on the business development specialists, professional staff, managers within the company, and other employees involved with professional services.


17. Business Development for Dummies

Business Development for Dummies is part of the “Dummies Series” written by Anna Kennedy.

The book is designed to increase the growth of small to medium-size businesses with a business development component designed specifically for business-to-business and business-to-customer service firms.

Some of the topics include strategy, client management, partnerships/alliances, marketing, and more.

The goal of this book is to help you to learn how to structure, execute an effective development plan, organize, and more.


18. New Sales. Simplified.

New Sales. Simplified. is designed to help those businesses who find themselves in the unenviable position of the inability to attract, develop and finalize customer deals.

The book offers formulas that are practical and have proven to be successful.

The tone of the book can be a bit on the light side as the author, Mike Weinberg, points out the basic mistakes that executives and sales personnel make and offers practical solutions to counter those mistakes.

The practical insight and steps that he offers to be successful in achieving sales include:

  • Reaching out to clients through phone calls
  • Social media
  • Voicemail
  • Emails

Click here to check it out.


19. What, Exactly, Is Business Development?

The book entitled What, Exactly, Is Business Development? can be described as a primer that reiterates the basics of business development.

In particular, it underscores the importance of business development and offers suggestions and processes on how to be precise in business development.

The book is helpful regardless of what level you or your business may be at and provides suggested solutions for a variety of challenges.

The book is replete with practical advice and offers powerful solutions based on the author’s experience in the area of business development.

Click here to check it out.


20. The Sales Development Playbook

The Sales Development Playbook by Trish Bertuzzi is a powerful book that helps a company to maximize its growth potential.

The offering of this book expounds on six core principles of creating a new business. Those core principles are:

  • Developing a pipeline to maximize revenues,
  • Strategizing
  • Specializing,
  • Retention
  • Leadership
  • Recruiting Execution


21. The premise of Revolutionize Learning and Development

The premise of Revolutionize Learning and Development by Clark Quinn concentrates on the business-enhancing power of the social and technological advancements that are available and that can revolutionize one’s business.

Through his writing, he endeavors to shake the businesses that are asleep at the wheel into taking action and incorporate the advancements available today that can be utilized to maximize the company’s growth and potential.


22. Good To Great

Good To Great by Jim Collins is a narrative that captures five years of research by the writing team on how to take a good company and make it great.

The book is broken down into three main components.

The first component is the process that is followed to set yourself up for greatness.

This involves an inflection point that when reached, puts you at the crossroads and moves your company to greatness.

The second phase talks about leadership and the importance of getting the right leader involved with the right team, embracing discipline thoughts, and indulging in disciplinary action.

The final point component takes in the concept of the flywheel.

This involves determining what is needed for the best future outcomes and then taking those steps one at a time and pushing the flywheel in that consistent direction until a breakthrough point is achieved.


23. Business Development

Business Development by Scott Pollack is a lesson plan that is offered to the reader by the author who has experience spanning a 15-year career.

The selling point of this book is that the author has made all of the mistakes, figured it all out, learnt the lessons, and is now sharing with the reader the value of his trial-by-error experience.


24. Blue Ocean Strategy

Thinking in terms of the business market being composed of two types of oceans, red and blue, this book entitled Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim provides an understanding of what separates them, understanding the difference, and learning how to transform your organization.

The thrust of the writing is for you as the entrepreneur to be involved in a low-cost and new market space and create a specific and new demand.

By successfully following this roadmap, your business will have no competition and therefore be involved in a market space that has no competition


25. Zero to One

If within the starting stage of being a startup, this book may hold some key teachings and actions that may benefit and solidify your foundation.

This writing reflects the approach of an author who became a chess master before reaching the age of 21, had a doctorate in law by the age of 25, and a company sold for 1 1/2 billion dollars by the time he reached the age of 35.

The approach to business and the greatest strides that you can make are in a vertical direction not horizontal, that businesses and society benefit from monopolies, and that the founder of a startup needs a dynamic vision to take their business from Zero to One.

Zero to One is authored by Peter Thiel.


Personal Story

One of the intriguing roles that I had when I worked with a not-for-profit was the job description and title of financial development director.

Interestingly, many of my peers and those in leadership positions saw this role in a myriad of different ways.

Some thought it was all about raising more money so that the organization could have the financial resources to provide the services needed.

Others thought it was the development of a revenue-generating process to have which included a variety of financial streams of revenue.

Some of those financial streams of revenue included:

  • Grants
  • Donations
  • Mail appeal
  • Special events
  • Etc.

Finally, a wise individual cut through all of the fluff and peeled back all of the layers of the role of a financial development director.

They informed me that it was the KISS principle.

KISS stands for “keeping it simple stupid.”

He went on to explain that it was all of those roles and responsibilities but much more and simpler.

He advised me to simply keep in mind that being a financial development director was all about the donor.

Therefore, he suggested that my role be strictly the cultivation of the donor, building the relationship, keeping the communication open by listening and sharing the good things that were happening, etc.


Business Development Books to Read FAQs

What Are the Best Characteristics or Policies of an Engaged Business?

Some of the characteristics of a good company that has maximized or continues to work towards business development include:

  • Good business plan
  • Quality leadership
  • Focusing on strengths
  • Taking calculated risks
  • Positive business culture
  • Healthy work environment
  • Effective use of technology
  • Excellent customer service


What Do Customers Want From a Company That They Do Business With?

The expectations of customers include:

  • Fairness
  • Efficiency
  • Reliability
  • Convenience
  • Fair pricing
  • The integrity of the product or service


You Can Do It

You have probably found out in life that the best way to learn about a subject is through reading.

As it relates to business development, it is no different.

There are a variety of business development books available on the market.

It’s just a matter of doing your personal and business investigation to determine which book or books it is that you wish to read.



Asking questions from a variety of people will give you a variety of answers.

Perhaps, the best answer is a blending of all the responses whether it relates to the meaning of life or business development.

If four people were to view a mountain but one was viewing it from the north to south, another south to north, and the other two east to west and west to east.

In each case, it is the same “mountain” that people are viewing.

They are just seeing the same mountain from a different angle or different perspective.

Their perspective is neither right nor wrong, it is just their response from where they are situated and their life filters as it relates to their viewing.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

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Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!