Most Popular Books For Product-Led Growth Leaders

Building a SaaS business has never been easier. 

What used to cost 1M to build 10 years ago now costs less than 10k. 

Given the low barrier to entry, SaaS companies are popping up faster than ever before. 

This sounds great until you realize that this is driving customer acquisition costs through the roof on a macro level. 

What used to cost $1000 to acquire a customer five years ago now costs north of $1,550 to acquire the exact same customer. (source)

Pair that with the fact that customer willingness to pay for features has dropped by 30% over the same period of time and, well, your expenses go up while your profitability goes down. 

Not a good combo.

As a result, argues Andrew Chen, it’s becoming more expensive to acquire customers. 

In order to thrive, you can’t risk playing it safe by using the same marketing and sales playbook that everyone else is using. 

That’s why I asked some of the top SaaS leaders to share their most helpful books with you.

Each of the books below shows you how to build a modern SaaS business.

SaaS Go-To-Market Strategy

  1. Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself
  2. Crossing the Chasm
  3. Mastering Product Experience (in SaaS): How to Deliver Personalized Product Experiences with a Product-led Strategy
  4. Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets
  5. Category Creation: How to Build a Brand that Customers, Employees, and Investors Will Love
  6. Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It
  7. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
  8. The 33 Strategies of War
  9. Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters
  10. Inside the Tornado: Strategies for Developing, Leveraging, and Surviving Hypergrowth Markets

Management

  1. High Output management 
  2. It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work
  3. Radical Candor
  4. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't
  5. Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World
  6. The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business
  7. Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business
  8. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
  9. Rework
  10. Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business
  11. The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal
  12. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
  13. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
  14. Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry
  15. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Operations

  1. Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
  2. Blueprints for a SaaS Sales Organization: How to Design, Build and Scale a Customer-Centric Sales Organization (Sales Blueprints)
  3. Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine
  4. Topgrading: The Proven Hiring and Promoting Method That Turbocharges Company Performance
  5. Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You
  6. Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...and Why the Rest Don't
  7. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen
  8. Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life
  9. Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself

Product

  1. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
  2. The Elements of User Onboarding
  3. Start with NO...The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don't Want You to Know
  4. Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works
  5. Lean B2B: Build Products Businesses Want
  6. Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue
  7. Product Roadmaps Relaunched: How to Set Direction while Embracing Uncertainty
  8. When Coffee and Kale Compete: Become great at making products people will buy
  9. Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice
  10. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Metrics

  1. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs
  2. How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
  3. Winning with Data: Transform Your Culture, Empower Your People, and Shape the Future
  4. Scaling Lean: Mastering the Key Metrics for Startup Growth

Marketing

  1. Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth
  2. The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you
  3. Scientific Advertising
  4. High Growth Handbook
  5. Retention Point: The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth for Associations, SAAS, Publishers, Digital Access, Subscription ... Membership and Subscription-Based Businesses
  6. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Conclusion

Reading these books will help you build a modern SaaS business but, at the end of the day, execution is the ultimate differentiator. 

Let's put this knowledge to good use, shall we?

Wes Bush
Wes Bush
Wes Bush is the bestselling author of Product-Led Growth. He founded the Product-Led Institute to help SaaS leaders learn "how" to build a product-led business.
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