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If You Like Baseball and Love Sales Management, Go See "Moneyball"


This is the story of Oakland A's manager Billy Beane, who meets an Ivy League econ grad, Peter Brand (played by Jonah Hill), who views players through the lens of analytics and statistical probabilities. Beane (played by Brad Pitt) always loses his best players to big-money clubs and needs to find a new way to win. Following a hunch, he hires nerdy Peter Brand, and the pair begin to change the way the club drafts and plays. The two establish a culture of measurement and make hiring decisions based on science and probabilities, which upsets scouts and greatly irritates the Oakland A's coach. The dramatic tension increases as the newly assembled team loses game after game. Beane and Brand hang tough, although Beane is carrying the seeds of doubt from his own can’t-miss-but-did career as a major baseball player. 


As is the case with statistics and probabilities, over time, the bet pays off, and the Oakland A's see a record-breaking streak of 20 winning games in a row.

Moneyball is about the fundamental cultural shift from picking players based on hunches to looking at the game in a more rational and objective way, measuring each player's performance and displaying the results in the forms of percentages, graphs, and comparison charts. In essence, the shift from Baseball 1.0 to Baseball 2.0 allowed Billy Beane to see greater value in the underappreciated or ignored players that the old scouts considered washed out or destined for the minors. The movie has a great scene in which the good old boys chew the fat, commenting on the assets and liabilities of their draft prospects, focusing on age, injuries, and gossip trivia, such as, "If a player has an ugly girlfriend, it means he doesn't have much confidence."

I can easily see Brad Pitt in the role of a sales manager who has lost three of his top producers to the competition. It is not a big stretch to imagine Peter Brand as the new sales operations manager who teaches his boss how to match salespeople's talents to their specific job requirements. The sales operations manager is the science nerd who knows which tools can fix the sales manager’s problems.

Once the sales manager shifts the focus from chasing superstars to creating a Sales 2.0 organization that aligns people, process, and technology, the outcome can be as spectacular as the Oakland A's record-breaking winning streak.

If you are looking to hire salespeople based on science, take a look at or If you want to explore predictive analytics, test-drive or If you want to model your sales-compensation plan and predict results, check out or If you want to take a closer look at 30 of the most valuable and profitable Sales and Marketing 2.0 tools available on the market today, visit and attend our conference. (Full disclosure: I am hosting this event.)

The actionable insight I walked away with after seeing Moneyball: Success doesn't wait for those who act only when they "have a hunch." 

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Impressive blog! -Arron

Anthony Hillman

Couldn't be more true. The Pharmaceutical industry has a wealth of data and have based field size and structure off advanced analytics for decades. Time and time again it's proven worth in advanced market targeting and effort allocation.

A great article, and pertinent movie!

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I am surprisingly amazed with your post. Can't believe i'm gonna find this information from you. Keep up the good work :)

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Stronly suggest admin adding a google+ button for easy share!

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The above photo has that ethereal quality to it, in my mind. Technically it is not great, but the moment is in my opinion. It's not every day you see a rose bow before a petal.


The "game changer" in this post does find relevance in every aspect of our lives, even on the neuroscience side... we too often assess human beings and interpersonal situations based upon appearances rather than easily available hard data.

@gerhard20 has been a thought leader for years with his attention to the details that matter - now, and for a lifetime of practice playing ball.

Even modern psychiatry can learn a few things from sales and from the MoneyBall message, so I included that refreshing 'data perspective' in recent remarks here at CorePsych Blog - fyi:

Great job Gerhard, and best wishes to you, your family and your super Selling Power team for the Holidays!


This was a great book and I'm pumped to see the movie. Nice sales perspective from @gerhard20. I'd love to have a Peter Brand at my side!

Paul Wry

Thanks for the great write - up. I think the other important thing the movies speaks to is accomplishments. Making sure we understand our accomplishments help us create successes in the future...

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