Executing a sales methodology is a task that has puzzled even the best salespeople in the industry. The reason is simple, choice of a particular sales method depends on a variety of factors that includes the nature of the product, lead’s mindset, their stage in the sales pipeline, buying intent, etc. One should consider all these factors before making a choice.
But this is not all. Depending on the deal, sometimes, you may have to take bits and pieces of different sales methodologies and craft one for yourself. So let us start with the basics.
What is a Sales Methodology?
Sales methodology acts as a guide on “how” to sell. While a sales process applies to the entire sales cycle, a sales methodology deals with specific parts of the process. It allows sales representatives to use proven methods to solve problems.
Every business should have a sales methodology that best represents its values, product, and market. The right methods equip the sales team with several benefits, such as – process clarity, identification of best practices to improve success rates, tools to evaluate sales events, unity across the organization, and tactics to deal with sales challenges.
How to Implement a Sales Methodology?
There are certain factors that you need to consider before executing a sales methodology in an organization. And, it is vital to understand these factors first rather than diving directly into the different sales methods.
- Planning the entire sales process – The first step should be to map the present sales stages of the buyer’s journey. With this, you can adopt different methodologies for different stages. Each process stage needs to be clearly defined and structured.
- Understanding the buyer’s needs – Once the sales process is laid out into stages, it would be necessary to bridge the gap between the salespeople’s offering and the buyer’s need. Therefore, it is crucial to recognize the buyer’s technical, financial, and personal needs, as well as their motivations.
- Developing methodologies for each stage in the sales process – Each stage in the buyer’s journey should have a sales method that best supports them. The sales methodology should guide what the sales representatives should do at a particular stage.
- Incorporating coaching and training materials – The most significant part of executing a methodology is to have the right training material that can help the sales representative enhance their skills and foster accountability.
Top 8 Sales Methodologies:
1. Solution Selling
The basic concept of solution selling is selling a solution rather than a product. It focuses on knowing the customer’s unique needs and offering them products with tailored solutions. This method acknowledges that buyers today are more informed.
Solution Selling is suitable for industries with highly customized products and services. It is not ideal for organizations that provide simple and standardized solutions, and organizations that sell primarily over the phone.
2. SPIN Selling
In this method, the salesperson guides the prospects to identify the product’s value rather than openly telling them about it. SPIN is the acronym for the four types of questions a salesperson should ask.
- Situation questions – to understand the prospect’s current situation;
- Problem questions – to learn about the prospect’s problems;
- Implication questions – to get the prospect into thinking about the outcomes of not addressing their problems;
- Need-payoff questions – to get the prospect thinking about how the situation would be better if the problem is solved.
SPIN Selling is the best consultative selling method for Tech and SaaS companies. Just like solution selling, it is a good fit for firms with customizable offerings. It works best in smaller, more transactional sales with a lesser number of stakeholders involved in the buying process.
3. Target Account Selling
In this method, each sales agent works on a handful of accounts rather than infinite opportunities. Target accounts are the ones where there can be maximum sales because it matches the ideal customer profile.
Target Account Selling is an excellent sales methodology if you are managing sales through a complex network. It is because this method breaks the entire process into key parts.
4. Challenger Approach
The Challenger approach aims at educating the prospects about a problem they either don’t have or underrate. It helps you to tailor the sales process as per their needs and taking control of the discussion. Challengers bring in new ideas and address bigger problems that the prospects may be facing.
When introducing new product categories, Challenger Approach will prove most useful because often buyers don’t realize the problem that the product would be solving. It also works well in highly competitive markets, since the pitches focus on the strengths.
5. MEDDIC Sales
This sales framework focuses on the idea that better customer satisfaction leads to higher sales. It can help save time and resources spent chasing bad sales leads. MEDDIC takes the sales agent through a six-part process with each of their accounts. It stands for:
- Metrics – What is the measurable impact of the solution?
- Economic Buyer – Who is the financial decision-maker?
- Decision Criteria – What is the formal evaluation criteria for choosing a vendor?
- Decision Process – How does the company make decisions?
- Identify Pain – What are the primary pain points and the consequences of the problem?
- Champion – Who is selling on your behalf?
MEDDIC works best in B2B selling environments with complex internal systems and multiple buyers.
6. Sandler Selling System
This methodology emphasizes on building a relationship by playing the role of a trusted advisor instead of an aggressive salesperson. It prioritizes building mutual trust between the salesperson and the prospect. Objections, time, and budget restrictions are dealt with upfront rather than later in the sales cycle.
You can adapt the Sandler Selling System to most selling situations because of its versatility.
7. SNAP Selling
SNAP selling methodology accepts the buyers’ busy schedules and offers ways to get their attention. It includes four directives for sellers:
- Simple – It involves making the process as simple as possible for the buyer to adopt the solution.
- INvaluable – Demonstrate the value of the product.
- Align – Align the products to meet the buyer’s challenges, objectives, and needs.
- Priority – Focusing on what’s most important for the buyers.
SNAP is suitable for companies that conduct transactional B2B deals and that sell inside crowded markets. It also works well in an organization building its sales and marketing efforts through a solid CRM and has its process streamlined.
8. Conceptual Selling
This methodology emphasizes the perception that people buy a product based on the concept of a solution it offers. The seller focuses on listening and understanding a prospect’s perception of their product. The five stages of questions in conceptual selling are
Confirmation question – to reaffirm information; New information questions – to clarify the prospect’s concept of the product; Attitude questions – to understand the prospect on a personal level and what they can gain from a solution; Commitment questions – to know how invested the prospect is in finding a solution; Basic issue questions – to address potential problems.
Conceptual Selling is not a good fit if the selling process involves exchanging small amounts of information. It is best suitable when working with large accounts with multiple stakeholders. Here a lot of information exchange is involved between the buyer and the salesperson.
There are several sales methods available for an organization. We have covered some of the common models above, and how to choose the right one.
While there are many sales methodologies available out there, you must explore and test to figure out which of them works best for your business. These methodologies can help equip a sales team to sell a product effectively.
LeadSquared CRM Software helps implement sales methodologies by tracking customer activities and providing rich customer insights. With this, you can adopt and execute the best sales methodology for the buyer’s stage and take them towards frictionless closure.
Take a free trial of LeadSquared now and see for yourself.