Business owners always employ sales playbooks, frameworks, and various strategies. The reason: they want to profit and scale. Sales methodologies have played a significant role in helping businesses realize the revenue goals.

Sales have gone through many changes in the past decade. There have been experiments on the way businesses can grow their revenue cycle.

In this article, we will be explaining one of the sales methodologies, i.e., N.E.A.T. Selling™.

So, what Does N.E.A.T. Selling™ Stand For?

Every letter in the N.E.A.T. Selling™ acronym is a guiding principle or framework.

The methodology intends to guide sales professionals while selling.

Needs

This is where sales professionals understand the importance of finding out the needs of prospects.

They also get to know understanding the pain points the prospects have.

Once the prospects find out whether they could benefit from your product or not, it is easy for them to make a purchase.

Economic impact

Here, the prospect must be allowed to understand the financial impact their decision will have on their problem.

The aim of this point is to show the financial benefit of choosing your solution.

Access to authority

Your sales process gets delayed because many times, sales reps are not able to reach the decision-maker.

Having a direct conversation with the decision-maker is essential to move the prospect ahead in your sales process.

In this part, sales professionals understand the importance of reaching decision-makers or someone who has influence over making the final purchase, early in the sales process.

Timeline

In this section, sales professionals will learn why it is crucial for them to create a timeline of their sales process and why they must achieve sales in the set timeframe.

N.E.A.T. sales qualification method promotes active listening

If your sales professionals are going out there to close a number in their spreadsheet or make sales pitch to a prospect, they will probably fail.

N.E.A.T. sales emphasize on the fact that sales professionals must listen carefully to the prospect.

Listening to the problems of prospects helps sales professionals delve deep into their needs.

Ever felt like your sales reps have a bad reputation!

The most likely reason for this situation is that your prospects feel they are interacting with a radio or cassette player.

Or maybe the sales reps who have “conversation” with the prospect are more driven by the completion of their quota than understanding the prospects’ needs.

No prospect wants to feel like a number! And no ones like getting interrogated!

Help your sales professionals learn the art of shifting focus.

Help them understand how and when they must tap the pause button and hit the “listen” button. 

In this section, we are going to provide a small N.E.A.T. sales methodology training.

We will also show you why N.E.A.T. sales methodology is ideal for a sales organization.

In other words, you can say that N.E.A.T. Selling™ (by Harris Consulting Group) is more effective as a lead qualification process.

It allows organizations to understand the prospects’ needs and eliminates prospects who don’t fit for using your solution.

N.E.A.T. Selling explained

NEAT selling explained

As discussed above, N.E.A.T. stands for:

  • Needs
  • Economic impact
  • Access to authority
  • Timeline

In layman terms, the N.E.A.T. sales technique helps you locate the needs or pain points of the prospect.

It then allows you to respond with your product or service, positioned as the solution to the need or pain point.

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Evolution of N.E.A.T. Selling™

In the sales domain, customers have changed drastically. So yes, the selling techniques too needed an upgrade.

N.E.A.T. Selling™ evolved because of a realization that the sales process is no longer linear.

N.E.A.T. sales methodology builds on lessons learned from previous methodologies such as BANT and ANUM.

BANT is a sales qualification process.

This process is based on a prospect’s

  • Budget
  • Authority
  • Need
  • Timeframe 

ANUM is another sales qualification process which is based on a prospect’s

  • Authority
  • Need
  • Urgency
  • Money

Salespeople across the globe have been clinging on to these acronyms because of their time-tested results.

BANT was created in a very different era.

ANUM improved over BANT!

Based on previous learning, the methodology helps businesses develop a process that addresses the problems that modern customers face!

We would strongly advise businesses to do an in-depth study of modern sales methodologies and see which fits their organization best.

Why?

Because if you are sticking to a methodology or sales process just because it used to work, then it is not a smart move!

Yes, this also means that in the coming years, the effectiveness of N.E.A.T. selling will get questioned too, but for now, it is advisable to include it in your business.

The methodology focuses your attention on core pain points and helps in positioning your product as a solution to those pain points.

This reason makes N.E.A.T. selling one of the best approaches for qualifying your leads.

Execution of the N.E.A.T. Selling™ process

Approach your prospects with a set of questions.

Let’s have a look at this N.E.A.T. Selling™ example below.

NEAT selling process

Every section of the N.E.A.T. methodology has recommended questions.

But it is up to the sales professionals to use these questions as a part of a broader, more organic discussion.

You must always shuffle the order in which these questions are asked based on what the buyer answers.

We are laying out a mock flow of stages and examples that you can consider when you apply the N.E.A.T. Selling™ process.

Need

What is the core need of your prospect?

In this stage, you’re looking for the leading cause of their pain.

This means that your team must understand why solving the pain point of your prospect matters.

They need to put themselves in the prospect’s shoes to understand the core issues.

Train your sales team members to be empathetic and listen more than speak.

Economic impact

How do these needs impact them financially?

This can be calculated by measuring the economic impact of their current situation against the financial impact your solution will make.

For instance; your prospect is currently losing 30% of website visitors because of broken forms.

Your solution not just helps in making the perfect forms; it automates the creation and storage of contacts directly from the forms.

Not just that, you can create automated workflows that allow them to set email reminders for each of these contacts and assigns them to your sales team members.

Position your solution as a potential for saving those 30% leads and much more than that!

Access to authority

Who is authorized to make financial decisions and how to reach that person?

We never said that the path to closing sales involves one or two people.

Your sales reps might have to explain your solution to important individuals before reaching the decision-maker!

That’s why it is crucial to train your salespeople about the importance of reaching out to the person who has the signing authority.

Timeline

What’s the realistic timeline for closing the deal?

Never perceive; keep a check on reality.

There are many factors involved in closing sales.

It is essential that you take them all into account before establishing a practical timeline.

Your sales rep must find out how soon the prospect wants to implement your product or service.

Empathize with your prospect.

It will help in developing a mutually beneficial relationship with them.

Your prospect wouldn’t like to be rushed into making a purchase.

Ask smart follow-up questions that reflect you are good at listening to them.

Understand and show your prospects that you genuinely care for solving their issues but in the mentioned timeline!

After all, time is money!

Concluding thoughts

N.E.A.T. Selling™ takes the human side of sales into account.

It allows you and your team members to develop a greater understanding of the prospect’s needs, economic aspect, and the timeline of implementation.

Your business needs to couple this methodology with a smart sales tool.

The reason: You need to automate your sales process, save your team from the wrath of manual labor and close more deals on-time.

CRM software with an array of features is the best option.

You can align your sales methodology with your chosen CRM system and get rid of unnecessary steps in the sales process.

You can also compartmentalize the contact information inside your CRM software and feed the conversation with the prospects in it.

The 24/7 accessibility to this information across multiple platforms allows your sales team to stay sharp and in the game!

We hope this article was able to shed some light on how implementing a sales methodology in your sales process can be extremely beneficial to your business.

Suggested reading: SPIN Selling methodology.

Until next time!

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A writer with an uncommon funny bone and a knack for perfection, Saptarshi loves to write about anything that can be of help to businesses, people, and dogs! A true human at heart, he likes to spend most of his time researching the internet to find ways technology is influencing our daily life (positively).

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