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One of the key factors to success is to have a clear set of rules your reps can follow to replicate a winning guideline.
A successful sales process relies on a strong sales methodology.
With the PSS methodology, Xerox introduced a “needs satisfaction” approach to sales.
But, you must be wondering that when a sales process exists, what in the world is the role of a sales methodology, and what actually is this jargon being thrown around?
In this article, we’ll learn about -
- What is a sales methodology?
- Comparison of sales methodology vs sales process
- 15 best sales methodologies to boost your sales engine
- How to implement a functional sales methodology
Let’s dive in.
What is a Sales Methodology?
In layman’s terms, a sales methodology is a framework or guidelines set in place to assist your sales reps to close deals.
Each sales methodology at its core is designed to turn goals into actionable steps by empowering them to perform their best using proven tactics to identify and solve problems.
A B2B sales methodology closes the gap between what needs to be done and the process of how to do it.
There are a myriad of sales methodologies to help your sales team close deals faster. For instance, one sales methodology might help you get more leads, while the other could help you develop a clear message.
For an organization to be heading in the right direction of sales success, you must ensure that the sales methodologies are well adopted uniformly across teams.
But, What is the Difference Between a Sales Methodology and a Sales Process?
Every once in a while, sales reps get confused with the thousands of jargon they come across.
To give them credit, most terms in the sales industry do sound similar but often have a different goal.
Before moving ahead, let’s eliminate the cloud of doubt.
Sales methodology vs sales process: what is it?
Just like there and their have two different meanings, similarly, sales process and sales methodology aren’t alike.
A documented sales process serves as a guideline to help sales reps carve out their path to bring prospects through the buyer’s journey to make the sale.
A sales process might look different for different companies. This type of sales approach should be based exclusively on the market you serve, industry, products, and even audience - crafted uniquely for your business.
On the other hand, sales methodology focuses only on one area of a sales process by building specific approaches based on specific business goals, culture, and values.
A sales methodology is more of a strategy than a system, or in other words, the “how” of selling.
Can a Sales Process and a Sales Methodology Fit Together?
For any company to be successful, the sales process and sales methodology should work in tandem with each other.
Without a sales process, your sales reps will definitely not understand your selling cycle. A lack of sales process will therein result in, unclarity on the next steps to take, which direction to head to guide their prospects, and how to turn qualified leads into the bottom of the sales funnel.
Similarly, sans a sales methodology in place, your sales process will lack the unique approaches that showcase what your company is to prospects.
Your sales team can perform to their maximum with both the sales process and sales methodology in place because it provides them with a full set of tools and techniques needed to close deals.
15 Sales Methodologies you Need to Know to Boost your Sales Engine
Let’s take a look at the 15 most popular sales methodologies your sales team can leverage to boost your sales engine -
- Solution Selling Methodology
- SPIN Selling Methodology
- The Challenger Sales Methodology
- MEDDIC Sales Methodology
- Signal-Based Selling
- The Sandler Sales Methodology
- Inbound Sales Methodology
- Value Selling
- NEAT Sales Methodology
- Target Account Selling Methodology
- CHAMP Selling System
- Consultative Selling
- Conceptual Selling
- Customer-Centric Selling
- Command of the Sale
#1 Solution Selling Methodology
Solution selling methodology is based on a sophisticated approach to the discovery of products leaning toward the advantages, effects, and applicability of a customized solution.
Solution selling focuses on the product’s impact and relevance and forgoes the product-centric approach.
Sales reps following this type of methodology delve deeply into their clients’ specific problems to discover their pain spots to agree on a set of criteria that defines an acceptable answer.
Solution selling was first introduced in the 1980s, it has now developed through time and various tactics to accommodate the modern sales approach and shifts in the buyer experience.
Solution selling places a premium on empathy, establishing a connection with the client, and pinpointing your sales reps’ concentration on the buyer’s demands.
#2 SPIN Selling Methodology
The SPIN selling methodology is similar to the solution selling methodology.
In other words, the SPIN framework relies on great sales discovery and question-asking to assist customers and understand their pain points with crystal clear clarity, the impact of their issues, and what the best solution might look like.
The concept was introduced by Neil Rackham in 1988, based on 12 years of research and over 35,000 sales calls.
Rackham and his team found that winning salespersons rarely pitch their products or services. Instead, they focus on strategic, high-value questions designed specifically to gain key insights to steer the conversation.
SPIN is an acronym based on the four elements a sales rep’s questions for their prospects are based on: situation, problem, implication, and need-payoff.
Situation: Situational questions are information-gathering queries about your buyer’s context. These are standard sales questions used to qualify the prospect, but these cannot be qualified just by research.
Problem: Problem questions are raw materials required to steer SPIN selling. They are questions that get your buyers talking about their issues and need to set the stage for two other types of questions: implications and need payoff.
Implication: Implication questions are about the consequences of the problems your buyer voices. They help your prospect realize the seriousness of the problem, and build pain, and urgency. When used rightly, they divide great salespersons from average ones.
Need-payoff: Need-payoff questions uncover the benefits of solving a problem. They get the buyer to verbalize the problem and sell themselves - on solving the problem.
#3 The Challenger Sales Methodology
The challenger sales methodology underscores “commercial teaching”.
This insinuates that educating your buyer about a problem that they either undervalue or don’t know they have. Here is where your product will appear to solve their problem.
In simple words, with the challenger sales methodology, sales reps lead with insights and not the product, which changes their buyers to think about the problem their product solves.
How do you achieve a full challenger sales pitch? Here’s how -
The Warmer: Explain the problem to your customer in such a way that they agree with you.
The Reframe: Deliver insight about the problem that the buyer hadn’t previously considered, so they think about the problem in a fresh way.
Rational Drowning: Tally the costs related to the problem in a way that gets the customer to ponder about it.
Emotional Impact: Tell a story about the problem in a way that impacts other companies in the same niche as your buyer in a way that’s immediately painful.
A New Way: Introduce behavioral changes your buyer would have to adapt to make good on solving their problem.
Your Solution: Now, introduce your solution (not product) and explain how it helps your buyers to adopt those behaviors better than any approach.
#4 MEDDIC Sales Methodology
MEDDIC Framework is a type of sales method built especially for complex, enterprise-level B2B companies.
The MEDDIC sales framework was first introduced by Dick Dunkel and Jack Napoli when they were at the PTC corporation in the mid-1990s.
It highlights the importance of determining if this sales approach is beneficial to getting a consumer into your sales funnel via the usage of extensive measuring methods.
MEDDIC is an acronym for metrics, economic buyer, decision criteria, decision process, identifying customer pain, and champion.
Metrics: Determine a tangible benefit that the buyer desires from your product/service.
Economic Buyer: Determine the decision-maker from your buyer’s company who you will e dealing with since this person is the one you will be frequently in touch with.
Decision Criteria: Acquire an understanding that the buyer will consider when to make a decision as well as weighing those criteria.
Decision Process: Understand the decision-making process - who will make the choice, who will push the deal further, required sign-offs, and deadlines involved.
Identify Customer Pain: What issues does the customer have that your solution can resolve? What happens if they do not purchase your solution?
Champion: Find a person at your buyer’s firm who is invested in your success. The champion is most likely to be the person highly impacted by the company’s misery and the most receptive to your product.
MEDDIC is a type of sales approach that is the most effective when it comes to qualifying transactions and determining where the reps should focus the majority of their time.
#5 Signal-Based Selling
Signal-based selling is a novel approach for converting sales data into successful, actionable customer insights to help reps close deals.
With every sale encounter being recorded digitally - emails, conversations, language, and more - sales leaders have infinite access to massive amounts of data, that sometimes remain unambiguous.
Signal-based selling increases your team’s sales productivity as your business grows by encouraging your team to engage in appropriate revenue-focused activities.
Signal-based selling acts as an ongoing X-ray scan of encounters among your reps and customers, identifying the patterns of winning salespersons and providing the winning traits as guidelines for sales reps to follow and improve.
#6 The Sandler Sales Methodology
The Sandler sales method, developed in 1967 by David Sandler, focuses on matching the right customers with the right products, compared to the rest of the sales methods that prioritize selling as many products as possible.
The Sandler selling methodology, in fact, is the most celebrated sales methodology for this particular reason.
The Sandler sales methodology has two goals -
- Persuade the buyer that they do have a problem that can be only solved by your product.
- Persuade the buyer that your product is a top priority that will solve organization-wide and individual needs.
This type of sales methodology follows the following steps to get the maximum out of the framework -
Develop a Bond: Formally called the “Bonding & Rapport” in the Sandler sales method, this stage involves forming a genuine connection with your prospect by focusing on asking the right questions to filter the prospect.
Up-front Contracts: This stage involves the sales rep identifying the process for future communication in a clear-cut way, to move to the next step in the funnel.
Pain point: The “pain” stage qualifies the lead to make sure they are the right fit for the product and vice versa. This stage assesses the buyer’s needs to determine how your product can help.
Budget: The budget stage in the Sandler sales model is where the sales rep identifies how much the buyer is willing to spend on a product.
Decision: The decision stage is when the salesperson ensures the buyer is fully satisfied with the product they have purchased and how it will be delivered.
Post-sell: The final stage in the Sandler sales method provides support to ensure the buyer’s total satisfaction with your product and involves a possible upsell.
#7 Inbound Sales Methodology
The sales and marketing departments are incredibly related to each other by contributing positively to the organization’s revenue engine.
Modern-day customers are increasingly well-aware of the ecosystem they are in and are highly informed about their purchasing behavior.
The inbound sales methodology justifies this explanation perfectly by blending marketing and sales beautifully to provide the sales team with a matching profile to move further into the funnel.
The inbound sales methodology consists of four steps -
Identify: Discover the right target audience to propel your deal further.
Connect: Help your buyer understand the priority level of your product and why they need it.
Explore: Understand your buyer’s challenges and goals to understand if your product is the best fit for them.
Advice: Assist your buyer to understand why your product will solve their current problem and how it is uniquely positioned to solve their needs.
#8 Value Selling
The value selling method follows a customer-centric approach, where the salesperson focuses on lead qualifying and lead value evaluation, helping sellers close deals quickly and engage only those leads who will likely make an impact on the portfolio.
This conversational sales methodology was proposed by ValueSelling Associates to focus on the value buyers get by purchasing your product.
The value selling framework follows the Qualified Prospect Formula.
This formula is a quick way to assess a business opportunity.
QP = VMD x V x P x P®
Decide if the prospect is the right match by asking these questions -
Differentiated VisionMatch: Will your buyer’s world shift with purchasing your product?
Value: Is your product worth it? Assess if the buyer actually sees any value in purchasing your product.
Power: Does your buyer have the authority to make the final decision?
Plan: Talk to them and understand when will they make the purchase. Do not create a plan without them only to find out they won’t move ahead because they don’t find any value in your product.
#9 NEAT Sales Methodology
The NEAT sales methodology was developed by the Harris Consulting Group and Sales Hacker Inc. is a modern twist that blends two classic methodologies -
- AIDA (Attention, Interest, Demand, Action)
- BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Training)
The NEAT framework essentially helps in qualifying leads and allocating the sales reps’ time to closing the deal.
NEAT is an acronym for -
Need: What is the buyer’s requirement? What is distressing them?
Economic Impact: What’s the direct monetary impact of your buyer’s pain point? How will profit from the discovery of your product?
Authority: Who has the final call to purchase your product and how can your rep contact that individual?
Timetable: What is the feasible timeline for closing the transaction? What deadline will force your buyer to purchase your product?
As opposed to qualifying consumers based on the salesperson’s requirements, NEAT focuses on requiring the salespersons to evaluate the benefits they get out of the buyer.
#10 Target Account Selling Methodology
Target Account Selling (TAS) is a B2B sales methodology that is typically recognized and sold strategically to large enterprise accounts.
Target selling focuses on the exact match of your target accounts, or your ideal customer profile.
This kind is the best suited since target accounts are the best suited to drive high value to your business’s revenue engine.
The TAS method follows a structured, repeatable, and strategic approach to engaging accounts, making it highly valuable for all kinds of circumstances.
The TAS selling method follows these components -
Account Intelligence: What is the working structure of this account?
Market Intelligence: What’s the market?
Competitive Intelligence: Who are our competitors and what are they doing?
Primary Research: What basic information am I missing that wasn’t included in my primary research?
Go-to-market Research: How do I bring my product to the market and what are the marketing activities that I will follow based on the research?
TAS is proactive, not reactive, because it’s based on information gathered actively by your sales team to target the right accounts.
#11 CHAMP Selling System
The CHAMP selling framework is a customer-driven selling solution that primarily focuses on mid-market, enterprise SaaS, and sales management accounts.
This framework was introduced by Zorian Rotenburg in 2007 that focuses on an authentic, genuine, customer-centric process with a motto: “Make your Customer a Champion”.
The CHAMP selling method defines selling as “the process of creating value for your customers by helping them solve their pain points and delivering a high return on investment (ROI)”.
CHAMP Selling = High Value + Help + High ROI
CHAMP is an acronym for challenges, authority, money, and priority.
Challenges: As a customer-centric selling system, the top priority for sales teams must be to assess the buyer’s business challenges, understand their situation, and provide a possible solution for the same.
Authority: Assess who in your buyer’s organization has the decision to make the final purchase, e-sign, and be fully involved throughout the process.
Money: Purchasing software, especially in SaaS businesses are all about understanding and allocating the right budget to attain the right ROI. Learn who that person might be.
Priority: What is the priority and how much is it to solve the business challenges and when will the prospective buyer wish to purchase your solution?
P in CHAMP also stands for Process (buyer’s internal process for decision making) and Plan (what the roadmap is to move forward).
CHAMP is an all-in-one framework and not just a sales methodology - it comes with a repeatable and predictable sales process and a sales management blueprint.
This framework is supposed to be a data-driven system for scaling SaaS companies fast.
#12 Consultative Selling
The consultative selling method was introduced by veteran seller Mack Hanan, based on solution marketing which utilizes the experience, technical expertise, and credibility of a senior salesperson to push the deal.
Consumers typically make the purchase with this dynamic since they “trust” the seller and anticipate high-value outcomes and advantages.
The consultative selling method consists of six stages -
Preparation: Corroborate that the knowledge attained by you about your customer and your product is foolproof.
Connection: Establish a good rapport with your buyer and make an impactful first impression.
Recognition: Acquaint yourself with the customer and their requirements.
Recommendation: Provide the best suggestion for your buyer’s problem.
Commitment: Make a firm promise to your buyer on the services you will provide.
Act: Monitor your progress and ensure you stick to your obligations.
#13 Conceptual Selling
The conceptual selling method convinces the buyer to acquire an idea, rather than a commodity, or a service.
This method is centered around listening and comprehending the buyer’s fundamental requirements. The seller’s primary objective is to probe and actively listen in order to ascertain the buyer’s desired end state.
Conceptual selling follows this process -
- Confirmation queries to ensure that you fully understand previously provided information by your buyer.
- New informational queries to elicit more information about the buyer’s perception of your product.
- Queries around your buyer’s attitude to elicit information about them.
- Commitment inquiries to understand the prospect’s investment in the project on which they are currently working.
- To have a better understanding of possible issues, ask about fundamental issues.
Conceptual selling is built on the belief that both the seller and the buyer are equally benefitted to receive the highest satisfaction.
Conceptual selling is more likely to be successful for organizations that rely significantly on the reputation for customer satisfaction and anticipate making a high volume of repeat sales.
#14 Customer-Centric Selling
The customer-centric selling method is focused on the buyer’s difficulties, goals, and comfort.
This selling method was based on John Holland’s, Micheal Bosworth’s, and Frank Visgatis’s book of the same name. The goal of this method is to assist salespersons to develop a rapport with the client and earning their trust.
This selling technique is directly comparable to conceptual and consultative marketing. It consists of eight components -
- Pose important questions rather than provide views.
- Solution-oriented rather than relationship-oriented.
- Rather than users, approach decision-makers.
- Emphasize product usage rather than the product alone to generate interest.
- Concentrate on being the top seller rather than being the busiest.
- Settle on the buyer’s schedule, not the seller’s.
- Empower customers to make a purchase rather than just pushing them to.
- Converse in situations with your customers instead of presenting plain ideas.
#15 Command of the Sale
The Command of the Sales methodology involves selling with urgency, having incredible product knowledge, and exceptional situational awareness - aspects of sales that could be commanding in their own right.
The command of the sales method focuses on the understanding of the salesperson’s knowledge of what a buyer hopes to achieve, the ways a buyer wants to create for their business, and how the rep’s solution can be good for the buyer.
With these bases covered fully, a salesperson who operates within this methodology needs to be able to define how their product will solve the buyer’s problem clearly and interests them in a way the competitors cannot.
How to Implement a Sales Methodology to Attain Maximum ROI
According to the Sales Benchmark Index, a well-implemented sales process can improve your team’s win rate by 24%, reduce your sales cycle length by 20%, and increase your average sale price by 15%.
In order to reap these benefits rightly, it is important to correctly implement your sales process and sales methodology effectively.
To implement your sales methodology correctly, look at the four following elements -
- Map your Entire Sales Process
- Understand your Buyer’s Needs
- Adopt Sales Methodologies Effectively for Each Stage
- Create Perfectly Coachable Materials
#1 Map your Entire Sales Process
The first step to implementing a sales methodology is to map out the existing sales process.
Here are the three steps to map your existing sales process -
- Define each process stage
- Use a structure
- Map your existing sales process
#2 Understand your Buyer’s Needs
Once you map out your sales process, it’s time to bridge the gap between the sales process and the sales methodology, and also, your customer needs.
To make this process entirely effective, leverage the best of both qualitative research and quantitative questions such as talking to the customers, assembling focus groups, or even surveys to understand the pain point your product solves.
A buyer’s needs can be grouped into three groups -
- Technical needs can be outlined clearly in a request for discussion.
- Financial needs that your product suffices to the buyer to solve their pain point.
- Personal needs to understand your buyer’s personal motivation.
In addition to these, there are several buyers' needs such as relevant pricing options, trust in the brand they are associating with, fear, and affinity.
#3 Adopt Sales Methodologies Effectively for Each Stage
With each stage of the sales process mapped out correctly, you can choose the right sales methodology to support it. Each methodology should guide your reps on what to do at each stage.
Adopt any sales methodology such as the Challenger Sales Methodology, MEDDIC, or even the NEAT Sales Framework.
#4 Create Perfectly Coachable Materials
The final and most important part of implementing sales methodology is creating the right training.
Start the process by developing and recording new methodologies. Create guides, training materials, eBooks, and playbooks based on previous conversations and winning sales methodology that sales reps can always come back to.
Salesken’s intuitive dashboard lets you record, play over, and store perfectly coachable moments that can be easily passed down for the team to learn and put into practice.
Make use of these 15 incredible sales methodologies that are tried and tested to rocket fuel your business. In sales, your buyer’s success must be the focal point of every deal you make.
Help your buyer attain complete success by finding the perfect sales methodology that consistently fulfills those needs and creates sales that are meaningful to your customers.
Salesken’s AI-based sales assistant gives you full visibility into customer-facing conversations to help maximize the success and adoption of your sales methodology.
Book a demo with one of our sales experts today and watch it in action.
Frequently Asked Questions
A sales methodology is a framework or approach that outlines the specific steps and processes salespeople follow to sell a product or service to a customer. It typically includes a set of best practices and guidelines that help salespeople engage with prospects, identify their needs and pain points, and ultimately close the deal.
Implementing a sales methodology requires a comprehensive approach that involves training, coaching, and ongoing support. To implement a sales methodology effectively, start by educating your sales team on the methodology's principles and processes. Then, provide ongoing coaching and support to ensure they can apply the methodology to their day-to-day activities. It's also important to regularly evaluate and adjust the methodology as needed to ensure it continues to meet your business's changing needs.
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