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A few years ago, Pete Caputa, VP of Sales for HubSpot posted a list of the 3 best sales books that new representatives should read. In this short list figure Baseline Selling by Dave Kurlan which is the consultative sales methodology Prima Resource uses for its clients.
You may be wondering what baseball has to do with sales! The purpose of the article is to answer this question by explaining the fundamentals of the methodology.
The Baseline Selling Methodology: consultative selling at its best
The reason I use consultative selling in my practice is not a personal preference. My primary motivation is to help reps and sales teams achieve better performance.
Since Objective Management Group statistics show that the top 26% of salespeople use a consultative sales approach, my choice was a natural one.
The easiest sales methodology to visualize
Whether you are familiar with baseball or not, almost everyone knows that you have to go around the field touching the bases and ultimately go to home plate to score. Although consultative selling is often perceived as difficult to understand and apply, the Baseline Selling Methodology erases these difficulties by providing a visual aspect.
When I introduce the methodology, it only takes my clients a minute to understand the basic steps and a few more to remember the more detailed steps. The visual representation of the methodology ensures that reps exposed to it for the first time retain information more quickly than they would without an image.
Conversation is at the heart of the Baseline Selling Methodology
In sales, being authentic can be difficult, especially if you use rehearse arguments and a rigid sales pitch. Moreover, the excessive use of these techniques has contributed to the negative perception of salespeople.
The secret of the effectiveness of the Baseline Selling Methodology is that it is fundamentally rooted in conversation. It is not a question of trying to convince potential customers, to change their minds or to fill their heads with information they don’t need. It’s actually the opposite! With Baseline Selling, reps are truly there to understand their customers.
A methodology that covers all aspects of the sales process
Most sales methodologies, even if they are consultative, do not provide the means to carry out all the steps of the sales process. This is the case with Spin Selling, for example. While this is an excellent approach, it does not provide the necessary tools for prospecting, qualifying or closing. The methodology is partial, which means that other elements must be added to cover all stages of the sale. The danger is that it is difficult to align several methods together without affecting sales and results.
Baseline Selling goes through the steps starting in the on-deck circle – that is, before even starting to prospect – and then moving into the players’ shelter once the points have been scored.
A fully customizable methodology
Rigid sales methodologies are ineffective and only partially executed, as representatives tend to withdraw what doesn’t apply to their situation.
The Baseline Selling Methodology allows for a very high degree of customization. This allows you to create various sales process depending on the products to be sold and the markets in which they are to be sold.
We systematically help our customers to build their sales processes based on this approach.
To approach sales like baseball is truly universal. I think that this is a strong element that contributes to the success of the methodology. Clients I worked with several years ago are still using this approach. For me, this is an indisputable sign that the methodology works.
Even though the book Baseline Selling was published over 10 years ago, the principles of the method are still very relevant today.