Over one trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000) are spent annually on sales forces.
There ought to be expectations when valuable dollars come into the picture. Which isn’t wrong, anybody would expect returns on their investment. However, the issue is that companies are hyper-focused on gaining the “results” ignoring the methods to achieve those results.
Sales teams need to have a more structured and strategic approach to bring the deals to closure. They must be acquainted with the right sales methodologies for driving more revenue and gaining higher profits.
Successful sales methodology implementation can improve sales performance and increase efficiency by impressive margins.
Methodology is applied ideology – Mason Cooler
But wait – what exactly is sales methodology?
Before proceeding, let’s first remove the cloud of doubt.
Just as Isle and Aisle are two different things, in the same way, Sales Process and Sales Methodology aren’t similar.
Do not get confused between the two.
The sales process is a road map covering all the steps/stages on the path to purchase.
Whereas, sales methodology provides the framework outlining how sales reps can approach different stages of the sales process. It introduces discipline through a set of principles and best practices to win more deals.
In layman’s terms – Sales methodology support the sales process.
Sales methodology is more of a strategy.
It offers scalable and predictable ways of operating that determines the company’s ability to gain process maturity and boost results.
Sales methodology fills the gap between what needs to be done and how you must do it.
Every business, no matter big or small, requires a sales methodology that represents their sales goals, products, and its values.
Putting the perfect sales methodology in place can aid your sales team in earning more customers and success.
Vital sales methodologies that you need for your business
For helping sales professionals succeed, many sales methodologies were introduced over the last few decades. Some proved to be helpful while the dubious ones died out with time.
However, as each company has different sales processes, sales methodologies that works for one might not work for others.
So, you should explore various types of sales methodologies and choose the most suitable one for your business. Once you select, ensure you provide proper sales methodology training to your team.
To help you do that, we are compiling a list of best sales methodologies used by sales professionals.
- SPIN Selling Methodology
- The CHALLENGER Sale Methodology
- MEDDIC Sales Methodology
- Conceptual Selling Methodology
- SNAP Selling Methodology
- N.E.A.T. Sales Methodology
- Sandler Sales Methodology
1. SPIN Selling Methodology
Did you know that 70% of purchasing decisions are made for resolving a problem?
But how can you solve a problem if you aren’t aware of the issue and its root cause?
SPIN Selling is one of the sales methodologies that will help you with it.
“Look through your customer’s eye. Are you the solution provider or part of the problem” – Marlene Blaszczyk
SPIN Selling proposes, there are four types of questions that can help in discovering customer’s problems and concerns.
We will elaborate on the questions as we proceed.
SPIN Selling is the brainchild of Neil Rackham. It is a sales methodology that’s based on 12 years of research and 35,000 sales calls.
This effective sales methodology enables sales reps in creating a healthy connection with potential prospects.
Salespeople trained in the “SPIN” model showed 17% improvement in sales results.
Here is the breakdown of SPIN Selling:
S — Situation
Situation questions help you in understanding the prospect and their current situation.
Examples of situation questions:
- How do you keep track of [X]?
- What process do you follow for [X]?
- How do you currently manage [X]?
P — Problem
Problem questions are highly effective as they encourage prospects to speak about the problems they have overlooked.
Examples of problem questions:
- Is [X] negatively affecting your business?
- Are you facing difficulty in keeping up with [X] demand?
- What’s the biggest problem you’ve faced while managing [X]?
I — Implication
Implication questions help prospects understand the potential impact of the problem and the consequences of not addressing them in time.
Examples of Implication questions:
- What has been the result of facing [X] situation in the past?
- What effect did [X] have on your profit margins?
- If you didn’t have [X] issue would it be easier to achieve your primary goal?
N — Need – payoff
Need Payoff questions help the prospects understand the true value of making the purchase.
Examples of need-payoff questions:
- Wouldn’t it help your company if less time gets spent on dissatisfied customers?
- If your churn rate was reduced to half, what impact would it have?
- What could have been the outcome if you had chosen [X] instead of [Y] technique?
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2. The CHALLENGER Sale Methodology
The main issue is that few businesses aren’t aware of their problems or despite knowing it, they choose ignorance.
If businesses don’t face problems that require solutions – they won’t need you.
Challenger Sale methodology helps in educating the potential prospects about their current problem.
The crucial problems that prospects don’t value or aren’t aware that exist.
You not only throw light on those problems but also show the prospects how your solution solves them.
Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize themselves – Steve Jobs
In Challenger Sale methodology, sellers tailor their approach as per the quantifiable outcome that prospects value the most. They offer a unique perspective and incite the buyer to take action. Sellers use their understanding of the prospect’s business to challenge their thinking and maintain control over the sales communication.
Challenger Sale is a kind of “commercial teaching” where you:
- Discuss the problem in a way that the buyer agrees to it.
- Provide insights that buyers hadn’t pondered over.
- Share your success stories where you resolved similar problems.
- Suggest behavioral changes that the prospect must adapt for solving the problem.
- Acquaint them to your solution and show how it aids buyers to adapt to those behaviors.
For Challenger Sale to be successful, you need an incredible amount of domain knowledge and industrial expertise. You must offer what your competitors can’t match or present a solution that the prospect can’t overlook.
3. MEDDIC Sales Methodology
Isn’t it demoralizing if you aren’t able to close the deal even after putting in tremendous time and efforts?
The problem might not be in your selling techniques but in the customers whom you are selling to.
You might be approaching the wrong people who don’t require your product.
As per a study, salespeople with a quota of $1 million and an average deal size of $100,000 suffered a loss of $218,000 over the course of a year by pursuing the wrong leads and opportunities. – Insidesales.com
MEDDIC is one of the effective sales methodologies that can save you from chasing bad sales leads. It helps focus your efforts towards better customer qualification.
MEDDIC is a sales methodology that’s created for complex leads; built by Dick Dunkel and Jack Napoli.
MEDDIC stands for:
M — Metrics
Metrics are quantifiable and measurable results that prospects hope to gain from your solution. It can be anything from cost saving to increase revenue or profits.
These metrics help you in describing the economic benefits of your solution.
Once you identify the metrics, you can prove how your solution can provide the best ROI.
E — Economic buyer
Economic buyer is any individual who has the power to make a purchasing decision. He has control over the funds and ultimately the authority to take the final call for the deal.
The MEDDIC approach encourages the sales reps to connect with the person who makes the final decision.
Here are a few questions for finding out the economic buyer –
- What is your role in the decision-making process?
- “If we come to a mutual agreement, is there anybody else that would need to be involved?”
- “Are you the sole owner of this project?”
- “Who is responsible for purchasing decisions in your organization?”
D — Decision criteria
Here you must understand the factors a prospect considers while making a buying decision.
Discover their technical, legal, and commercial decision criteria.
This helps you in deciding whether you can meet the prospects’ criteria or not.
Knowing how prospects choose a product helps in tailoring your messages to capture their interest.
D — Decision process
The Decision Criteria that we saw above tells you what factors are considered while making a company’s buying decision.
On the other hand, the decision process tells you how is that decision made and followed through.
It is the process defined by the organization to reach a purchase decision.
Insight into a prospect’s decision-making process will decrease the chances of losing out on a lucrative deal.
You’ll have a clear idea about what needs to take place on the company’s end for closing the sales. So, you can work accordingly to meet those conditions.
I — Identify pain-points
Nobody likes to experience pain, not even your potential buyers. Businesses seek a solution to combat pain-points.
For providing cent percent customer satisfaction, you must identify these business pain-points and understand the cause. Only then you will be able to offer a solution and relieve the prospects from these pain-points.
Try to get as specific as possible while discovering prospect’s pain.
When you say that a company is losing money, it is quite a vague statement. Try to find the exact amount and reason for losing money. Like losing $20,000 due to slow production. This will help you in pitching your solution in a better and compelling manner.
C — Champion
Find the Champion – an influential person in the company who is affected by the pain is an ideal candidate.
One of the ways to locate your champion is by determining who would benefit the most if the pain is mitigated.
Such champions collaborate with consultants and vendors to resolve the pain ASAP! They work actively in getting your product implemented. These champions understand you can help, so they support you.
Having an insider of the company at your side assists in closing the deal.
4. Conceptual Selling Methodology
Would you blindly make a heavy investment?
Wouldn’t you be interested in knowing what the product will do for you?
People tend to spend their valuable dollars on something that might benefit them.
Businesses are interested in the ROI. They want a solution to their problem and get their needs fulfilled.
Conceptual selling is a sales methodology that encourages sellers to find out such customers’ needs and fulfill it. They try to convince the potential prospects to purchase a concept (desired outcome) rather than the product.
The Conceptual Selling approach helps you in understanding your potential buyers at a much deeper level. This sales methodology emphasizes on customer-centric communication and helps you concentrate on results.
There are three things you need to focus on while using this sales methodology:
- Garner information about the buyer’s business.
- Find out their interests, challenges, and concerns.
- Discover the reasons behind those challenges and concerns.
- Describe the solution.
- Align it with the challenges and show how it can help.
- State the USP and show how your solution differs from the competitor’s.
- Overcoming uncertainties.
- Asking for a commitment to move the deal forward.
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5. SNAP Selling Methodology
SNAP is an acronym that’s quite popular in the sales domain. SNAP Selling is one of the most advanced sales methodologies introduced by Jill Konrath to speed up sales. It is a fresh approach for selling to today’s modern buyers who are extremely busy and under constant pressure.
The modern buyers don’t easily trust salespeople. Besides, they have access to endless information, which increases the difficulty level for sales reps to convince them.
SNAP Selling shows you how to win more business and handle these smart customers.
This sales methodology is composed of four basic components.
Make it as easy as possible for your potential prospects to purchase from you. Eliminate the unnecessary complexities so that the prospect can easily adapt to your selling process.
Be unique and showcase the value of your solution. Stand out from the crowd and become a trusted expert. Try presenting a solution that the prospect can’t leave without purchasing.
To gain your prospect’s confidence, be in sync with their concerns, goals, and needs. It is all about making people work with you by establishing trust and credibility.
Understand the prospects top priorities and tap right into them. Your prospects should look at your product as an urgent need that they should implement without further delay.
6. N.E.A.T. Sales Methodology
N.E.A.T. is an updated (and much better) version of the older sales methods like –
N.E.A.T. is a simple yet effective sales methodology that can help you achieve success in selling.
N.E.A.T. stands for:
N — Need
Find out – What are the core needs of your prospects?
Here you need to have an in-depth understanding of the customer’s main requirements.
Most of the sales reps just look at the general problems of the prospects avoiding their core challenges.
This is why they aren’t able to convert prospects into paying customers.
Dig deeper while gathering information about prospect needs and find out what is majorly impacting their business.
E — Economic impact
Convey the economic benefits of your solution.
Link your product with the customer needs, and explain how your solution addresses their main challenges.
You need to help the buyer visualize the economic opportunities of implementing your solution.
Showcase real value to the opportunity cost as buyers don’t mind spending if they get value for their money.
US consumers say they’re willing to spend 17 percent more to do business with companies that deliver excellent service. Inc.
A — Access to authority
You surely might have faced situations where you had to wait for getting a positive response from the company.
You can cut down on waiting time by coordinating with the person who can influence the decision-makers.
As we have seen above, ‘Champion’ is the word generally used for such a person.
With the help of such a person, you can get access to authority. This will increase the possibility of closing the deal quickly.
T — Timeline
A timeline is pivotal if you intend to fulfill your monthly or quarterly sales targets.
Buyers tend to take their own sweet time to decide. Such deals often get stalled in the sales pipeline and eventually slip through the cracks.
You should have a closing deadline and take the necessary steps on-time for avoiding delays in closure. So, ensure you set a timeline within which the buyer must take the final decision.
7. Sandler Sales Methodology
With 50 years of history behind it, the Sandler Selling system is one of the most effective sales methodologies. Though it was developed in 1967 by David Sandler, it continues to produce positive results till date.
The Sandler sales methodology emphasizes on a mutual level of commitment between both the parties. It is a counterintuitive approach where sales reps spend more time qualifying rather than closing the deal.
Instead of being too pushy, sales reps play the role of a trusted advisor while implementing this sales methodology.
This sales methodology has two basic goals:
- Convince the potential buyer of challenges that can be resolved by your solution.
- Create a conviction that this is a top priority for resolving their problems.
Make the most of the best sales methodology
All these sales methodologies have been in the sales domain for quite a while and have helped many sales professionals. These sales methodologies help you gain a better understanding of the customers for giving them the best buying experience.
Success won’t be too far if you take the right path.
You just need to choose the sales methodology that works best with your sales process. Go through various sales methodology examples for making the best decision. Along with a proper selling framework, you even need the right sales training and product or service knowledge to succeed.
Having the right solution to handle your sales process will surely increase your chances of winning.
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