The driving force for any organization, be it an SMB or an enterprise company, is Sales.
It’s easy to deliver the objectives and KPIs for once but to carry out them repeatedly you need to have a set of proven rules that will help you scale faster. When you have these rules set up, you don’t need to invent the sales funnel again and again.
If you understand the above statements, congratulations, you just answered the definition of Sales Methodology.
Organizations implement these sales methodologies which help them turn their goals into actionable steps. But you need to understand that there are 146 techniques that may or may not give you scalable results, but the below 9 are tested, proven, and result-oriented methodologies.
So without further ado, let’s understand the 9 sales methodologies to implement for your business.
- Value Selling
- Target Account selling
- SPIN selling
- Challenger Approach
- Solution Selling
- Inbound Selling
- Concept Selling
- Sandler Selling
- NEAT selling
1. Value Selling
When you deliver the value of the product to the customer, instead of the product itself, it is called value selling.
You don’t want to just deliver the product. You want the customer to get all the benefits of it.
When the user starts getting the value from the product, pricing becomes less important.
Consider SemRush and Ahrefs for that matter (SEO tools). Though the ticket size of these tools is high, you still are going to buy them because the value they provide surpass their pricing.
Even B2B SaaS companies have started using this methodology now. Earlier the product pricing was based on the competitor and market trends, But now it is totally upon Value-based selling.
2.Target Account Selling
One of the widely used and effective ways to scale the growth is Target Account Selling.
Now sales reps focus on just a few accounts instead of handling multiple accounts.
With the joint efforts of customer support, marketing, and sales, the end goal is accomplished.
The motive is to place your entire energy and dedication on only a few accounts, in order to build relationships, deliver high values, and know the pain point of the customer you are assigned to.
But this task requires the alignment of marketing, customer supports, and the sales department. Where the marketing team researches, customer team supports, and sales will be the face of the communication process.
3. SPIN Selling
This is a 3-decade old strategy. Meaning, this is a proven and result oriented methodology that was first introduced in 1988 by Nick Rakhahm.
The SPIN spells out for Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need.
Consider this as a process of four stages.
Situation is the first stage where you want to learn about the customer’s current process, resources, and results. This also ignites the question that you want to know from the other end. The question here can be “How are you currently managing X” and “How do you keep a track of Y” which will help you to understand the next stage.
In the Problem stage, your goal is to let the customer talk about the issues and problems that they are facing and make them understand the seriousness of these problems that they have. This is a very powerful stage as the customer is pointing out the problems for you by itself. All you need is a racquet of sympathy gripped with ownership and hit the ball hard.
The implication is that stage where you direct the customer to see the effects and ask if their problem is resolved or not. These questions should address the actual problem. It should not be your sales pitch of recorded questions. Ask questions like “If you are unable to do this, how much time/money is this going to take from you to fix it?
The last stage is Need/Payoff. Now, if you have already played the above part well, the ball is in your court. With this stage, you let the client identify all the benefits for a solution that your product/service can solve for them.
4. Challenger Approach
Compared to SPIN selling, this is a modern approach to selling. This was first mentioned by Matthew Dixon in his book.
Matthew categorized the sales rep into 5 profiles.
Hard Worker, Relationship Builder, Lone Wolf, Problem Solver, and the Challenger.
Challenger is a sales rep who is smart and takes control of the situation with meaningful questions. The prospect wants to listen to them, know their vision, and then finally their solutions option.
Out of all the five profiles, the challenger is the most successful one. Now understanding this approach, companies have started using this.
5. Solution Selling
Solution Selling is an approach where you want to put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
This will make you understand the pain points, the real problems, the adverse effects, and then finally give them a solution for all his problems.
Here, like the Value Selling process, you do not sell your service or product to the customer, you sell solutions to them.
To understand this better, consider the current day situation where the world is working remotely. With schools being shut down, companies see this opportunity and have started selling applications for remote education. They are not selling their product but a solution to a large number of kids who could not attend schools.
6. Inbound Selling
Nowadays with the increase in internet development, content consumption has increased. Instead of a sales team trying hard to bring in leads, marketing teams draw leads from their content strategies.
This is one of the best methodologies as the leads generated from inbound are already qualified and the prospects know about your product/service reducing the efforts of the sales team. Also, the leads are active leads, unlike others, that fell in your cycle accidentally.
7. Concept Selling
Concept selling is a long term approach, Here you have to create an entire strategy where you create awareness, educate, convince, and then sell your service/product.
This entire approach is based upon how the sales rep has talked to the prospect, their journey with the customer, and what questions they asked.
There may be a situation where the intent of the customer may not align with the product but if the sales rep can turn this situation by selling the product/service as an idea, it is a win-win for all.
To understand this better, consider the Conversation Intelligence technology. It is a new face for B2B sales where CI technology is not a necessity but companies have started selling them as a concept that will be a necessity in the coming days Which as mentioned above is a Win-Win for both the members.
8. Sandler Selling
The oldest technique in this list has to be Sandler selling. Unlike concept selling, this is a fast process. The entire methodology is based on the buying behavior of the customer.
Sandler selling can be understood by the below 3 pointers.
- Building Relationship
- Qualify the leads.
- Close the deal.
The first call or connect is a conversation rather than a sales call. In this way, a relationship is built. Instead of bringing out discussions on problems and restrictions, in the later stage of the sales cycle, they are introduced very early in Sandler selling. It helps to understand the intent of the customer better and qualify them.
Once you pass the second stage of qualification, focus on the pain points the customer has, and eventually close the deal.
9. NEAT selling
The last one in this list is NEAT selling. An older technique still useful in today’s time
NEAT spells out for - Need, Economic impact, Access to authority, and Timeline.
Before we learn what the above-jumbled words mean, we need to understand that this sales technique is about putting the pain points of your customer first and then providing a solution.
- Need - You need to deep dive into the customer’s challenges to understand their “Needs”
- Economic Impact- This is self-explanatory. Show the customer the actual ROI they will gain from your selling.
- Access Authority- It is always the decision-makers that delay the sales cycle. So access the authority person and influence them so the deal is closed fast.
- Timeline - Set a tentative timeline for every deal. If it takes longer then its foolish to pursue the deal.
There is no one-way approach to any process. You need to discover, explore, and then filter these techniques to gain the best out of them. Once you spend time in the process, you will understand that the methodology that worked for me is a Big NO for others.
Instead, tweak, understand, and then learn these processes, In this way with more time you invest, you will have a wheel of your own which would be a combination of all the above 9 sales methodologies to use in 2021 and some of your new ones.
Results first, payment later.