Nothing happens by chance in sales. No matter the industry they’re working in, salespeople need to be prepared for every possible scenario if they want to win over customers and close more deals. Fortunately, there are specific techniques they can use.
Sales methodologies are proven approaches for identifying and solving problems. As a result, they enable sales reps to perform to the best of their ability. But for them to be effective, it’s essential your sales teams fully understand and adopt them.
Let’s see in detail the most prominent sales methodologies you should include in your sales team’s training program.
5 sales methodologies to consider
While there are various sales stages, using sales methodologies as guidelines can better prepare your teams to navigate through the selling process.
By following the SNAP sales methodology, sales reps aim to reach the prospect’s level. This acronym stands for:
- Keep it Simple: Sales reps must make clear to prospects how their product or service can change their current situation.
- Be iNvaluable: The salesperson’s expertise can showcase the value and make it easy for the product or service at stake to stand out.
- Always Align: It all comes down to aligning business objectives with core beliefs. Salespeople need to persuade people to work with them.
- Raise Priorities: Buyers have priorities. Sellers must make sure they tap into these priorities.
This methodology is particularly useful with busy and knowledgeable prospects as it allows salespeople to discover how their product or service connects to their prospects’ needs and, as such, be able to sell it more easily.
SNAP involves three critical decisions that sales reps must be aware of:
- allowing access (the buyer’s first decision on whether or not they should hear what you have to say)
- the choice to move away from the status quo
- changing resources
These decisions allow sales reps to keep their deals on track and provide a smooth and easy purchasing process for the buyers.
The Sandler selling system that you can include in an engaging sales training program approaches the sales process from a different perspective. It is a seven-step process based on a consultative and low-pressure selling method.
Usually, sales reps have the idea that they need to pursue and convince sellers. On the contrary, the Sandler methodology is based on equal participation and mutual trust between both parties.
The seven steps every sales rep should follow with this methodology are:
Bonding and rapport building: During this stage, open and honest communication between the seller and the prospect is encouraged.
- Up-front contracts: Establishing roles and expectations is what comes next. It’s crucial to set clear rules to make the prospect comfortable.
- Pain: This is the qualification stage, where the sales rep discovers the prospect’s pain points and how the product/service at stake can help solve them.
- Budget: This step allows sellers to understand whether the prospect can afford the product/service being discussed and if they can invest the necessary time, effort, and resources.
- Decision: The seller explores how the prospect wants the buying process to move on.
- Fulfillment: Salespeople may now present how their product/service can help the prospect fix their issues. Any request the prospect has, can now be fulfilled.
- Post-sell: At this point, both parties seal the deal.
While following these seven steps, if the rep finds out that their solution doesn’t fit the potential customer’s needs, they won’t spend more time trying to convince them.
MEDDIC is a preferred sales methodology for enterprise sales with high complexity. The acronym MEDDIC stands for metrics, economic buyer, decision criteria, decision process, identify pain, and champion.
It is a process that puts emphasis on achieving better customer qualification, which means realizing from the beginning whether you should put effort into persuading a customer.
The questions that accompany this sales methodology are:
- Metrics: What’s the economic impact of the solution?
- Economic buyer: Who is in control of the relevant budget?
- Decision criteria: Which are the criteria to compare vendors’ capabilities, info, and financial hurdle rates
- Decision process: How do you select a vendor? Which are the steps you need to follow?
- Identify pain: What are the pain points and their business consequences?
- Champion: Who sells on your behalf?
This simple checklist for sales ensures your reps have all the information they need to achieve their goals. MEDDIC focuses on gathering knowledge instead of using sales tricks.
The idea behind conceptual selling is that customers don’t just buy the product or the service but the solution it represents. Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman, founders of the conceptual selling methodology, encourage sales reps to discover the prospect’s concept of their product and then dig into how they make decisions.
There are five stages in questions salespeople should ask prospects:
- Confirmation questions to reaffirm the information prospects have found or researched
- New information questions to better understand the prospect’s idea of the product or service and which are the main pain points they’re facing
- Attitude questions to understand everything about the thought process and personality of the buyer, together with discovering how they can connect with the project
- Commitment questions to find out how much a prospect can invest in the project
- Basic issue questions help raise potential problems
For instance, a sales representative would typically ask:
- “How long has this been a problem?”
- “What solutions have you tried so far?”
- “How quickly can you implement a new solution?”
- “Who else is involved in this problem and the solution-finding process?”
- “What would stop you from sealing the deal today?”
So, sales reps can get information, give information, and get a commitment in three stages by being active listeners.
The customer-centric sales methodology puts your customer first. Sales reps elevate their prospects and empathize with their needs every step of the way. During this approach, salespeople must adapt to any specific circumstances of the prospect by encouraging a two-way discussion, adjusting the timelines accordingly, and using a problem-solving method.
In a few words, sales reps are trying to help people, not sell.
Some key steps for this people-centered sales approach that reps need to follow are:
- Being empathetic towards customers: Salespeople should have increased empathy and people skills so that they’re able to put the prospect’s needs first.
- Show honest curiosity in every interaction: Sales reps should ask insightful questions in a friendly, warm way to discover how they can help.
- Empower prospects to solve pain points: Will the prospect’s life improve? And how? These are questions sales reps should ask themselves to be able to help prospects make decisions for finding a solution to their problems.
- Align with shared values and voice: By being transparent, salespeople should be prepared to discuss company culture, ethical implications, and accountability issues at any given point.
- Create a continuous and fantastic customer experience: The selling process doesn’t start and end in the sales department. Sales reps must have planned pre- and post-selling processes to successfully provide an amazing customer experience overall.
Attract the results you seek
Each of these popular sales methodologies can help your sales teams and the whole organization succeed in leading prospects down their funnel.
However, even if they are successful and powerful, you should carefully consider picking the one(s) that perfectly align with your company culture and goals. Then, it’s essential to implement it in your sales training strategy using the right tools for effective learning. After all, the theory is best applied when it can perfectly cover your needs.