Today’s business environment is ever-changing, so it’s crucial to have a reliable sales methodology in place to help you make the best decisions for your company. Adapting to new environments without losing your top performers is essential for success.
As it serves as the bedrock for guiding your sales team through diverse situations and empowers them to excel in their pursuit of closing deals and capturing new customers. By understanding and embracing the right sales methodologies, you can unlock a world of strategic possibilities and optimize your sales process for unparalleled success.
This article explores different sales methodologies and their implementation to achieve the best results.
What is a Sales Methodology?
A sales methodology is a structured approach or set of principles that outline how a sales team should navigate the sales process. It provides guidelines and strategies for sales representatives to effectively engage with prospects, address their needs, and close deals. Essentially, it’s a roadmap that helps sales professionals achieve consistent results by outlining what to do and how to do it throughout the sales journey.
This set of principles is meant to guide the sales team throughout the process. This is regardless of the situations they may encounter. In sales methodologies, organizations are instructed on how to work together to close more sales and win more customers. As the backbone of a successful sales process, it answers the questions “What to do” and “How to do”.
The sales process is a set of instructions for executing a task. It involves documenting all the stages (usually 7) you go through to make a sale. However, methodologies describe how you approach each stage. The sales methodology is a set of guidelines for intervening during and between the phases of the sales process.
Sales Methodology vs Sales Process
People often confuse Sales Methodology with Sales Process, so we thought it is better if we break it down for you. Earlier in the article we defined Sales Methodology, now let’s take a look at the definition of Sales Process.
Sales Process means a process of selling a product or service in an organized series of steps that a salesperson follows to guide a prospect through the buying journey, from initial contact to closing the sale. It typically includes stages such as prospecting, qualifying, presenting, handling objections, closing, and post-sale follow-up.
The sales process is a tactical framework that outlines the specific steps and actions to be taken in a sequential manner to move the prospect closer to making a purchase. It provides a structured approach for executing the sales strategy effectively. On the other hand, a sales methodology is a broader set of principles, strategies, and guidelines that inform the overall approach and mindset of the sales team.
In essence, the sales process focuses on the “how” of selling by providing a roadmap for executing the sales strategy, while the sales methodology focuses on the “what” and “why” of selling by guiding the overall approach and principles that drive the sales team’s actions. The sales process is a practical, step-by-step guide, while the sales methodology provides the strategic foundation for the sales process.
Both the sales process and sales methodology are crucial for sales success. The sales process ensures consistency and efficiency in the sales activities, while the sales methodology provides a guiding framework to align the sales team’s efforts, customer interactions, and overall sales strategy. When combined effectively, they create a structured and strategic approach to maximize sales performance and achieve desired results.
This is the difference between Sales Methodology Vs. Sales Process.
What are the Types of Sales Methodology?
At the core of each sales methodology, representatives are empowered to perform at their best by using proven methods for identifying and solving problems. Most of these approaches are backed by substantiated psychological principles and field-tested tactics developed by professionals.
The purpose of each methodology differs, so it is imperative to consider not only the buyer’s needs and communication style but also your organization’s cultural fit. Five sales methodologies are outlined here with examples of scenarios where they may be applied
List of Best Sales Methodologies
1. The Challenger Sales Methodology
The Challenger sales methodology is better suited to companies with considerable sales experience and is not recommended for start-ups. Getting it off the ground requires a great deal of domain knowledge from your sales team. It also needs some guidance from the marketing team to explain the market to the sales team. In a nutshell, Challenger’s sales methodology can be explained as:
- Educating prospects
- Tailoring the sales process to their requirements
- Controlling the conversation
The challenger sales methodology is used by 40% of high-performing salespeople. A sales representative needs the right training to use this approach.
2. The Sandler Selling Method
Using Sandler’s approach to sales, salespeople act as advisers who control the selling process through a low-pressure and consultative approach.
Sandler’s seven-step (shown above) submarine sales method is frequently portrayed as a non-visible and low-pressure strategy.
This methodology, however, may cause concerns for salespeople, including budget and time. These are concerns that they will need to address proactively in order not to spend their resources on prospects who do not appear to be their ideal customers.
It is versatile as it can be used in various situations related to sales. Due to this, many sales organizations rely on it, no matter how experienced they are.
3. Inbound Selling Sales Approach
Marketing strategies and inbound sales methodology are tightly connected, so the seller’s business needs to engage prospects with highly personalized messages. A buyer persona guides inbound sellers instead of direct pitches to prospects.
This methodology consists of four steps shown below:
It is helpful for sales organizations that are experienced in contacting decision-makers and have a good deal of inbound marketing resources.
4. MEDDIC Sales Methodology
The acronym MEDDIC stands for metrics, economic buyer, decision criteria, decision process, identify pain, and champion.
Sales representatives can use MEDDIC to qualify for opportunities and determine where to spend most of their time. It is a beneficial methodology for companies with multiple possible targets and investments that need to be targeted at the best prospects. Rather than focusing on how to make the sale, it focuses on where sales are most likely to occur.
5. SNAP Selling Solution
SNAP Selling Solution is based on four principles: simplicity, iNvaluable differentiation, alignment, and priority. It is suitable for companies operating in highly competitive markets and engaging in transactional B2B sales.
For instance, a wholesale distributor of office supplies may adopt the SNAP Selling Solution to streamline the sales process, differentiate itself by offering unique value propositions, and prioritize quick and efficient transactions.
6. Solution Selling Plan
Solution Selling revolves around understanding the customer’s pain points and offering tailored solutions. It works well for companies with complex products or services. For example, a cybersecurity company may utilize Solution Selling to identify vulnerabilities in a client’s IT infrastructure, provide customized security solutions, and mitigate potential risks.
7. Consultative Selling Strategy
Consultative Selling focuses on becoming a trusted advisor to the customer. It involves asking insightful questions, actively listening, and providing personalized recommendations. For instance, a business consultancy may employ Consultative Selling to understand a client’s specific challenges, offer strategic advice, and guide them through organizational improvements.
8. Social Selling
Social Selling leverages social media platforms and online networks to connect with prospects, engage in conversations, and build relationships. For example, a fashion retailer may utilize Social Selling techniques by sharing visually appealing content, interacting with potential customers on social media, and providing style tips to generate interest and drive sales.
9. Relationship Selling
As the name suggests relationship selling means building and nurturing strong relationships with customers. It prioritizes trust, credibility, and long-term partnerships. For example, a luxury car dealership may focus on Relationship Selling to establish a loyal customer base, provide exceptional customer service, and ensure repeat business and referrals.
10. Team Selling
Team Selling involves collaborative efforts from multiple individuals within an organization to win a sale. It harnesses the collective expertise and strengths of various team members. For example, a software company selling enterprise solutions may utilize Team Selling by involving sales representatives, product specialists, and implementation experts to deliver comprehensive and tailored solutions to clients.
11. Conceptual Selling
On understanding the customer’s conceptual needs and aligning the sales process accordingly. For instance, a marketing agency may adopt Conceptual Selling to identify a client’s vision for their brand, conceptualize creative marketing strategies, and present a compelling vision that resonates with the client’s aspirations.
12. Value Selling
Demonstrating the value and return on investment that a product or service can deliver to the customer. For example, a software company offering a productivity tool may employ Value Selling by showcasing how the tool can save time, increase efficiency, and generate cost savings for the client’s organization.
13. Account-Based Selling
Account-Based Selling (ABS) is a strategic approach that targets specific key accounts or high-value prospects. For example, a pharmaceutical company may adopt Account-Based Selling to tailor their sales efforts to the unique needs and requirements of healthcare providers, focusing on building strong relationships and delivering personalized solutions.
14. Agile Selling
Agile Selling embraces flexibility and adaptability in the sales process, allowing for quick adjustments based on customer feedback and market changes. For example, a tech startup may utilize Agile Selling to iterate its product offerings based on customer input, quickly adapt its sales pitches, and respond to evolving market trends.
15. Transactional Selling
High volume, Low-complexity in sales transaction is enough to define Translational selling sales methodology. For example, a retail clothing store may employ Transactional Selling by providing efficient and streamlined sales processes, offering promotional discounts, and ensuring a smooth customer experience to drive sales volume.
You choose a sales methodology depending on the complexity, price of a product, and your customer’s buying preferences. Throughout the sales process, prospects are guided toward becoming customers through various stages. Within these stages, your chosen methodology determines the method and group of activities that the sales team will utilize.
The goal should be to achieve a win-win outcome for your sales representatives and prospects.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The 7 sales process stages typically include prospecting, qualifying, needs analysis, presentation, handling objections, closing, and follow-up. These stages serve as a roadmap for salespeople to guide their interactions with prospects from initial contact to finalizing the sale.
The most effective approach in sales depends on various factors such as the nature of the product or service, the target market, and the buyer's preferences. Different sales methodologies, such as consultative selling, value selling, or relationship selling, can be effective in different contexts. The key is to align the approach with the specific needs of the customer and the sales objectives.
When choosing a sales methodology, several factors should be considered. These include the complexity of the product or service being sold, the preferences and needs of the target customers, the sales team's skills and expertise, and the organization's overall sales culture. It's important to select a methodology that aligns with these factors and supports the sales team in effectively engaging with prospects and achieving sales goals.