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Review: Baseline Selling by Dave Kurlan

At just over 200 pages, Baseline Selling’s main premise is that most “modern sales experts, authors, trainers, and consultants”, have “unnecessarily complicated the entire sales process”.

The book covers the end to end sales strategy developed by Kurlan and uses the game of baseball as a training analogy. Kurlan starts the books building his case with a brief analysis of statistics on sales performance, a discussion on the history of sales training, and then introduces his primary sales methodology he calls Baseline Selling, based on the AIDA (Attention Interest Desire Action) formula.

The book has five sections: Warming Up, Getting to First Base, Getting to Second Base, getting to Third Base, and Running Home. Each of the sections includes multiple chapters where the author breaks down his sales process. Warming Up includes an explanation of the four bases of Baseline Selling and addresses goals. Section two covers Kurlan’s approach on the psychology of being a sales person, prospecting, and getting a prospect to first base through initial qualification. In section three, the author describes his process of finding problems and building the case for a sale (Getting to Second Base).

Section four is where Kurlan covers qualification and decision making concerns. Lastly, section Five covers ways to present and win the business including proposals, follow up, and closing techniques. Section five also includes a chapter on Account Management (selling further into existing customers). The books also includes a helpful appendix section where he lists the baseball terms he uses and how they line up with situations that occur during the sales process.

I think newer salespeople or those that have difficulty with more complex systems, would benefit the most from this book, as it does to a good job in relaying actionable steps for the sales process and contains enough useful info to improve sales performance. One area of weakness is that the book makes no distinction in how the system it describes applies to different type of sales, i.e. small dollar sales, vs, commodity sales, vs. enterprise sales. This weakness in mind, Baseline Selling’s stated purpose is to offer a simple sales strategy and I believe it succeeds in its goal.


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Hi, Mark Powers here.

I am the reviewer, owner and creator of this book review blog.

I have a degree in library science and work in a large city library.

My passion is reading, and it is a pleasure for me to launch this book review blog.

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