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Sales methodologies 101

Sales are the bread and butter of any business. But how can you consistently work at achieving your sales targets? How can you make sure that everyone is on the same page in your sales team? Adopt a sales methodology.

Sales methodology is the way you do the different steps in your sales process. There is a wide variety of sales methodologies and they focus on different parts of the sales process. When you start to consider them in your business you need to be aware of the following aspects:

  • What type of product are you selling? If you selling a product which is easy to understand then you won’t need to teach your customers about it. You may be more focused on making the purchasing process smooth.
  • Where are you in your business? Are you starting and do you still need to assess what your customers require from your product? Or do you need to pivot in your industry because there has been a disruption?
  • What type of salespeople work for you? You may want to consider the personality of your sales reps as different personalities may be better suited for different sales methodologies.

Here are five sales methodologies to consider

1. The challenger

This methodology was established by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson in their book “The Challenger Sale”. In the book, they recognised that there are five personality types when it comes to sales, namely: the hard worker, the lone wolf, the relationship builder, the problem solver, and the challenger. Through their research, they found that salespeople who understood their business and industry very well and were able to challenge their customers on how they thought about their products, made the most sales. For this methodology to work your sales reps need to be very confident.

2. MEDDIC

If you deal with many stakeholders who need to make a decision in buying a product from you then you may consider the MEDDIC methodology.

The acronym “MEDDIC” stands for:

  • Metrics which are the quantifiable and measurable results prospects can achieve from using your solutions. By identifying the pain point of your customer, you will then be able to explain the ROI they will receive if they implement your solution into their business.
  • Economic buyers are the people who hold the purse strings. They are the financial decision-makers who decide how the budget will be spent. You need to ensure you are speaking to them or the person you are speaking to has access to them and can champion your product to them.
  • Decision criteria looks at what your prospect looks at before making a purchase. Here you need to discover their technical, legal and commercial decision criteria. By knowing these, you will be able to position your messaging in a way that talks to them.
  • Decision process looks at how a decision is reached by your prospect’s company. By knowing how the process works, you can make sure you comply to the different steps. Furthermore, you can ensure you have the correct information for each step in the process.
  • Identify the pain points. This is a critical part of the methodology, if you are not relieving pain from the prospect then they won’t be interested in your product. You need to be very specific when trying to identify what are the pain points which your customer experiences and how can you cure them.
  • Champions are your friends. These are the people who are in your prospect’s business and they stand behind your product. They must have the right influence in your prospect’s business and be able to speak to the decision-makers directly if you are not able to.

3. Solution selling

This methodology looks at asking your customers many open-ended questions which helps them to highlight the problem they have and the kind of solution they want. Here you will identify their pain points, develop questions that further explore and work towards finding a solution and then you will sell the value of your product to the customer. This method works on making the solution the one they have been looking for.

4. Sandler selling method

Here you are working towards both the seller and the buyer having a vested interest in make a successful sale. If either party does not show interest in reaching a win-win solution then the method is abandoned. During this sale methodology, your customer is convinced that they are the ones pursuing the deal.

5. Inbound marketing

In recent years, customers have done more research and have access to more knowledge than before. Therefore they know more about the product they are interested in before they come to you to buy. This method looks at how to attract, connect, engage and delight your customers through the content you make. By being considered a guru in your industry you will get more chances to make sales.

These are some of the main methods to use to work towards a successful sale. You can learn more about sales methodologies here.

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