From the outside, the sales cycle is often thought to follow a structured and linear pattern, which requires negotiation and persuasion with potential buyers using specific techniques! In reality, the selling process is much more complex than that.
Where there are variances in the sales strategy, selling skills, or a lack of cohesion with the prospects buying journey, the possibility of failure significantly increases. Therefore, to be a successful salesperson, it is necessary to continuously develop sales skills and expand your understanding and repertoire of sales techniques.
An essential part of developing a sales strategy is determining your sales methodology. A solid sales methodology works in tandem with the sales process and facilitates the delivery of desired outcomes based on a predetermined plan.
Different sales approaches are better suited to specific sales objectives. Therefore, choosing the right sales methodology can enable your organisation to reach peak sales efficiency and meet your scalable growth goals.
This article will discuss popular sales methodologies and how you can choose the right sales approach.
Common Sales Methodologies to Consider
All sales approaches and frameworks are designed to guide salespeople through a structured and defined set of stages that increases efficiency and conversion. Since these approaches were conceived their results have been tried and tested.
However, sales is a discipline in which change is constant. For this reason, it is limiting to see these methodologies as absolute systems. These approaches can sometimes interact with and affect each other, and these hybrid techniques can produce much more efficient results.
Let’s discover some well-established sales methodologies in the industry.
The Challenger Sales Methodology
In the Challenger Sales methodology, sales reps transform the customer’s ideas, goals, and knowledge into a constructive dialogue. During this dialogue, salespeople challenge the customer’s approach to their business and focus on bringing new perspectives.
Presenting new or challenging perspectives focuses the customers attention on areas that may not have previously been considered. Sales representatives are able to help educate customers on the the potential impact of these issues and how to effectively solve or mitigate against these new challenges.
At the end of the process, the sales representative establishes a student-teacher relationship with the customer. This relationship’s sense of trust increases the customer’s probability of buying the product or service.
This sales methodology is most successful when selling solutions in new product categories where not much industry knowledge has been accumulated.
For this technique to work flawlessly, it is essential that the organisation stands out as a leader in the sector and that the sales representative has a certain level of knowledge.
Solution Selling Methodology
Solution Selling Methodology is an empathetic and solution-oriented sales methodology. When sales representatives make sales with this method, they focus on the potential buyer’s needs instead of explaining the features of their products.
To do this, as a first step, they ask questions to identify the buyer’s pain points. In the next step, questions are asked to determine who the problem is affecting and the level of impact.
The final step is to put the prospect’s fully defined pain points into concrete examples. It is then explained that the solution to these problems is the product being sold.
When the process works successfully, customers become fully aware of their needs and solutions to their problems.
This sales method is very effective, especially for products or services that can be customised according to customer needs.
Spin Selling Methodology
This methodology was introduced to the industry by Neil Rackham in 1988. It prioritises analysing customer needs just like the solution selling approach.
In this methodology, sales representatives try to define customers’ needs by asking different types of questions within specific categories called SPIN (Situation, Problem, Implication and Need-Payoff)
- Situational questions are designed to gain essential information, such as your buyer’s business structure, goals, and the organisation’s position in the industry.
- Problem questions are asked to identify your buyer’s pain points and problems.
- Implication questions allow the buyer to realise the importance of the problem. In the answering process, buyers identify the nature and details of their problems.
- Need-Payoff questions are where the buyer realises the benefits of finding an answer to solve the problems. At this stage, buyers discover the positive differences the solution will make in their lives.
Answers to these questions provide salespeople with insights about customers that cannot be obtained through standard research.
MEDDIC Sales Methodology
The MEDDIC sales method is an approach that allows the salesperson to create the right decision-making process for the potential deal by considering 6 criteria.
- Metrics: Measuring the economic consequences of the deal
- Economic Buyer: Identifying the real beneficiary of the outcome of the deal
- Decision Criteria: Understanding which criteria the organisation’s decision makers follow to conclude
- Decision process: Analysing the procedures followed during the decision phase
- Identify Pain: Identifying the pain-point that will cause the potential buyer to need the product
- Champion: Identifying an employee with authority, influence, and credibility within the potential buyer’s organisation
If you want to achieve maximum efficiency in complex B2B sales deals where more than one buyer plays a role, this approach is beneficial.
Value-Based Sales Methodology
In the value-based sales approach, the value that the product or service will add to the buyer is emphasised rather than the product itself.
For this reason, sales professionals should determine what is considered “valuable” for the buyer and transfer this value to every stage of the product’s sales journey. Thus, the buyer feels they are not purchasing just a product but a whole personalised solution.
How to Decide On the Best Sales Approach
Identifying the right sales approach may not be easy. Varying factors determine the sales methodologies you will use, such as your organisation’s position in the sector, the structure of your sales team, and your customer personas.
Evaluating all these factors makes it possible to determine a usable sales methodology. However, in the modern sales world, basing your whole strategy on a single sales methodology will cause you to miss sales opportunities and not reach peak efficiency.
The sales sector is constantly changing, especially with the effect of digitalisation. As a result of this evolutionary process, the efficiency of traditional sales methodologies is inevitably declining.
For this reason, it is much more effective to establish the proper sales mindset instead of choosing one of the best sales methodologies.
A team with the right sales mindset can effectively use many sales methodologies and quickly adapt to customer expectations. Thus, when the current sales method becomes inefficient, they do not despair and can quickly adapt to a new solution.
For this reason, while designing LSOS sales training, we have adopted a unique approach that is flexible and adaptable. These characteristics make a critical difference in establishing a modern sales culture.
LSOS uses the fundamentals of solution or consultative selling principles as a guide. However, it does not use a single sales methodology or framework. It blends the techniques of many effective sales methodologies for the modern sales world and builds a unique approach in line with certain principles.
The LSOS approach is based on proven outputs. It emerged from the collaborative work of an experienced team that has examined the results of all common selling methodologies.
The essence of sales is about solving problems and finding and developing solutions– this is more about how salespeople think and their attitude (the values they hold) than any sales methodology. If you can’t directly help a customer but know a solution, then sharing that information is in the customer’s best interest. This mindset builds your sales team’s solid reputation, brand, and credibility.
Every sales methodology has merit; however, the actual value lies in the salesperson’s ability to adapt to the environment, understand the challenges deeply, and qualify and subsequently match solutions to help the customer achieve their desired outcomes.
At LSOS, we work with our customers to understand their challenges. We ask lots of questions in our discovery sessions. We like to qualify and involve stakeholders in the design process, and subsequently, we develop programmes which infuse real-life examples that are relatable and support the learning process. We build training solutions and coaching interventions around the people and the company’s sales processes.
We want to develop the right behaviours so that salespeople who are curious, willing to learn, and open to ideas can think for themselves and adapt to any situation or changes.
With LSOS training programmes, where the sales experience is blended with a modern approach and enriched with continuous learning, teams can design a solid sales strategy to yield efficient results under all conditions.
Discover LSOS’s sales training programmes for yourself or your team for an e-learning course that will unlock your potential, performance and skill set.
If you need further information, you can always contact us. We are more than happy to help!