Sales Methodologies – How to Pick the Right One For Your Team

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Imagine if you could instantly connect with prospects, demonstrate unmatched industry knowledge, and provide hyper-tailored solutions. What would that do for your conversion rates? The right sales methodology makes this vision a reality.

I’ve been building and working with high-performance sales teams for over 10 years, I cannot emphasize enough the immense impact that implementing the right sales methodology can have on the sales performance. However, it takes persistence and dedication to fully embed new sales methodologies into the sales team’s daily sales processes.

In my career, I’ve had the opportunity to closely evaluate and pilot various proven sales methodologies – Solution Selling, SPIN Selling, Sandler Selling System, Challenger Sales Methodology, and Customer Centric Selling, and many others. While each has its own framework and principles, they all provide the roadmap for sales reps to have effective customer conversations versus disjointed sales pitches. Sales methodologies like Sandler selling system, with its emphasis on candid dialogue, and SPIN Selling, with its structured questioning approach, are excellent in my view. However, every sales organization needs to analyze their current sales process, existing customer base, target audience, etc. and sales methodologies listed here to pick the right sales methodology for their business.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Sales methodologies improve consistency, provide a shared framework, enable forecasting, build team confidence, and allow continuous optimization of the sales process.
  • Evaluate your business model, products, customers and team skills. Choose the sales methodology that aligns best to drive results based on deal complexity, sales cycle length, product customization needs, and prospect sophistication.
  • Common sales methodology frameworks involve defined qualification, discovery, demonstration, handling objections, gaining commitment, and closing stages. Others utilize specific sequenced questions or focus on uncovering pain points.
  • By establishing best practices for engaging prospects, uncovering needs, tailoring solutions, quantifying value, and methodically progressing opportunities, sales methodologies can significantly increase win rates.
  • Sales methodologies that focus on becoming trusted advisors and providing highly customized solutions tailored to each customer’s unique situation enable larger deal sizes.
  • Sales methodology that help sales reps take control of conversations, uncover decision criteria, and gain incremental buy-in can help shorten lengthy sales cycles.
  • For complex, high-value sales with long cycles, multiple stakeholder, and highly considered purchasing decisions, sales methodologies provide the most impact.
  • Executive commitment, extensive sales training reinforcement, skills practice, metrics tracking, and ongoing optimization based on data and feedback are key to successfully implementing a sales methodology.
  • Sales leaders must continually refine sales methodologies to changes in the business, market landscape, buyer behaviors, and competitive environment while staying aligned to the core principles.

What is a Sales Methodology?

Sales methodology is a structured, repeatable sales process that provides guidelines on how sales teams should run their sales conversations, interact with prospects, present solutions, handle objections and close deals. It equips sales reps with proven techniques aligned to the business goals, customers and offerings.

Going by what I’ve learned, the key is to do a thorough research and pick one sales methodology and commit to it long-term. Sales reps need extensive sales training on concepts like identifying potential buyers, diagnosing customer pain points, uncovering desired outcomes, mapping solutions to needs, and gaining consensus on next steps. In my view, flawless execution requires sales managers to coach consistently and reinforce use of the sales methodology through sales pipeline reviews and deal debriefs.

I have seen firsthand the remarkable impact on win rates, deal sizes, sales productivity and forecast accuracy when the entire sales team rigorously sticks to the right sales methodology. It eliminates random acts of selling. For example, one client increased average contract value (ACV) by over 30% in the first year of adopting Solution Selling Methodology with proper sales training and execution.

My advice to sales leaders considering this path is to start with a pilot team, measure adoption levels and business impact, then expand sales training in phases. Sales reps will resist initially, but consistency pays off tremendously. Documenting sales methodology usage in the CRM and tying compensation to it helps drive home the importance. With the right focus and commitment, the payoff is game-changing.

How to Pick the Right Sales Methodology

Picking the right sales methodology is a strategic decision that directly impacts sales team effectiveness and revenue growth. There is no one-size-fits-all approach guaranteed to succeed. I highly recommend you and your sales team take time to evaluate your business, customer profile, product mix, and team skills and choose the sales methodology that aligns to drive results.

The best sales methodologies table

The sales methodologies table below provides an at-a-glance comparison of common sales methodologies, highlighting the best situations to leverage each sales model along with less ideal fits.

Sales Methodology Best For Not Ideal For Sales Methodology Key Steps
Agile Selling Complex sales process, cross-functional collaboration, rapid testing Simple sales process, little collaboration Iterative sprints, continuous sales process improvement, rapid testing
BANT Selling Qualifying inbound leads quickly Nurturing and developing new prospects Identify budget, authority, need, timeline
Challenger Sales Mature markets, educated buyers, long sales cycle, large deals, competitive displacements Small deals, non-competitive markets, new products Share observations, take control of conversations, offer counter-perspectives
Command of the Sale Controlling sales conversations No selling skill required Prepare, probe, present, handle objections, gain commitment
Conceptual Selling Methodology Highly tailored solutions, breakthrough thinking Pre-defined product catalog sales Collaboratively define future vision, propose solution to enable vision
Consultative Selling High-consideration sales, building long-term enterprise relationships Low dollar value, transactional sales Ask probing questions, provide insights, become a trusted advisor, guide decisions
Customer-Centric Selling Enterprise relationships, multi-stakeholder sales, lifetime account relationships, retention and expansion Transactional sales, high turnover, inbound leads Focus on customer needs, highly tailored solutions, lifetime relationships, empathy, journey focus
Gap Selling Helping prospects reach aspirational goals Status quo customers, simple pain point solutions Understand current state, define desired state, close gap
Inbound Selling Long sales cycle, highly researched purchases, SMB customers Short sales cycle, enterprise customers Attract potential buyers with content, nurture leads, build relationships before selling
MEDDIC Sales Methodology Qualifying and developing complex B2B opportunities Simple or transactional sales Metrics, economic buyer, decision making process, decision criteria, identify pain, champion
NEAT Sales Methodology Considered purchases, B2B sales Simple low consideration sales Identify needs, share experience, build aspirations, tie down with ROI
Sandler Selling Long, complex sales, multiple stakeholders Simple sales, individual decision makers Ask questions, uncover pain points, gain incremental buy-in
Selling as a Science Sales Methodology Large established sales team, ample data Small sales team, limited CRM data Remove opinions using sales analytics, continually test and optimize
Signal Based Selling Marketing and sales stack with buyer signal data Limited marketing automation and sales technology Identify behavioral signals, score and prioritize warmest prospects
SNAP Selling Fast sales cycle, web or eCommerce selling, appointment-based sales Long enterprise sales; Highly complex products Simple open, narrow on struggles, align solution, prompt for commitment
Social Selling Raising brand awareness, establish thought leadership Hard selling Develop insights to share, build network and relationships
Solution Selling Complex, customized products, long sales cycle, requires discovery Transactional sales, low consideration products, commodities, simple products Identify needs, present aligned solution, quantify value, implement
SPIN Selling Complex enterprise sales, lead qualification Simple sales, short sales cycle Ask situational, problem, implication and need-payoff questions
Target Account Selling Large enterprises, strategic accounts High volume SMB sales, small accounts, transactional sales Research accounts, prioritize strategically, pursue aggressively
Value Selling Quantifiable ROI for customer, considered purchases Hard to quantify solutions, low consideration sales Define needs, quantify value, build business case

Decision map to pick the best sales methodologies

Picking the perfect sales methodologies is tough with so many options to choose from. But have no fear – this decision map is here to guide you through the process based on your unique business situation. This doesn’t replace doing your homework on the sales methodologies, but it gives you a super helpful starting point to kick off the sales models evaluation process.

Decision map to pick the best sales methodologies

Top tips on how to pick the best sales methodologies

Selecting the right sales methodology is a big decision – there’s no magic bullet that boosts revenue overnight. You can’t just plug and play. The sales methodology needs to fit your business like a glove. As I’ve learned, even the best teams will flounder executing a sales process that doesn’t align.

Judging from what I’ve seen over the years in sales, these four factors make or break a sales methodology success:

First, what’s the complexity of your offering? If you’re selling enterprise software with all the bells and whistles, solution selling allows ample time to map capabilities to needs. But for easy to grasp products, that’s overkill. SPIN or Challenger selling efficiently move potential buyers along.

Next, think hard about your ideal customer. Are you targeting nimble startups or bureaucratic enterprises? The approach for a 10-person firm looks way different than a 50,000 employee organization.

Sales cycle duration is another biggie. Quick sales need efficient models that progress fast like SPIN selling. But for long complex deals, in my experience, taking the time to become a trusted advisor pays off.

Finally, consider your sales team makeup and strengths. Young guns need structure while veterans want leverage. Combine your team’s superpowers with a methodology optimized for your business and you’re in the ballgame.

At the end of the day, the “best” sales methodologies gets sales results consistently. But sales leaders need to match the approach to reality – their company, offering, customers and people. Do that successfully and revenue growth will follow.

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Solution Selling Methodology

Solution Selling - Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets by Michael Bosworth

Solution selling methodology was developed by Frank Watts in 1975 and has started to see wide adoption in enterprise sales around mid 80s, and for good reason – it just works for complex B2B deals. The lightbulb moment was positioning your solution around the customer’s unique situation and goals. Sales 101, right? Establish pain points, desires, and show how you solve them. But solution selling methodology, from what I’ve experienced, provides the battle-tested framework to execute, from qualification to close.

A book by Michael Bosworth was eventually released in 1994 called “Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets”.

What is Solution Selling Methodology?

Solution selling is a customer-centric sales methodology where sales reps understand client pain points, tailor solutions, and showcase value. It focuses on aligning the benefits of a product or service to the customer’s needs and desired outcomes through qualification, discovery, presentation and closing stages.

Based on my experience, here’s how I recommend you approach solution selling methodology:

First, you need to profile if prospects are real opportunities or tire kickers. Ask probing questions on budget, timeline, decision team to qualify. If they balk, move on. I try not to get sucked into discovery with unqualified leads. Big time suck!

Now for prospects with potential, you do really want to dig deeper and diagnose their business’ ills through discovery. Dig into their objectives, roadblocks, and requirements. I always try to understand the “why” behind the “what”. Map their motivations – why change, why now? I can’t prescribe tailored solutions until I identify the root problems.

Armed with those insights, present a custom solution addressing their unique pain points and goals. Shape demos and materials around their documented needs. Avoid generic capabilities! Your custom solution roadmap gets them from their current struggles to their desired end state.

Finally, confirm the match to needs, share ROI projections, and detail next steps. From my experience, you can gain incremental buy-in during the decision making process to grease the skids for a smooth close.

Mastering solution selling methodology takes work – this isn’t a shortcut! But done right, solution selling methodology makes you a trusted advisor while driving deal size and speed. For multifaceted sales, aligning tailored solutions to each customer is powerful medicine. Tweak as needed, but the framework endures.

Back to the Sales Methodologies Table.

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SPIN Selling Methodology

SPIN Selling - sales book by Neil Rackham

SPIN selling methodology was introduced by Neil Rackham in his 1988 sales methodology book, “SPIN Selling”. Neil Rackham is the founder of the Huthwaite Research Group (which later became Huthwaite Inc.) and a renowned sales strategist and speaker.

I’ve seen SPIN selling transform newbie sales reps into rockstars and reenergize veterans with stale pitches. Through my perspective, SPIN selling provides guardrails when discovery calls veer wildly off course. If you’re struggling to qualify leads or control complex sales conversations, SPIN selling is your answer.

What is SPIN Selling Methodology?

SPIN Selling stands for Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-Payoff. It’s a sales methodology that involves asking targeted questions to qualify prospects, control sales conversations, uncover the customer’s needs, create a sense of urgency, and demonstrate how a product or service addresses those needs effectively.

Let’s break it down each part of SPIN selling methodology:

  • Situation Questions – Understanding context like account history and current solutions
  • Problem Questions – Uncovering the prospect’s pain points, struggles and vulnerabilities
  • Implication Questions – Exploring impacts of problems on the business
  • Need Payoff Questions – Getting the prospect to articulate benefits of solving problems

Now at its core, SPIN selling methodology uses carefully crafted questions to uncover the prospect’s situation, problems, implications, and need payoffs. People think it’s just an acronym, but in my view, it’s a science. Master it and you’ll guide prospects to articulate exactly why they need your solution.

But you can’t just regurgitate generic SPIN selling questions. Every time I’ve done it, it flopped hard. You need to deeply understand each prospect’s unique scenario to tailor relevant questions. What worked for me is doing my homework, listening closely, and asking meaningful follow-up questions until I got to the heart of their needs.

SPIN selling requires persistence and discipline. Based on my time in sales, it’s exhausting for both sides. But power through each stage methodically and I promise you’ll separate the real deals from the tire kickers.

Here’s my last tip – resist the urge to pitch too soon. Use the SPIN selling framework to diagnose needs before presenting your solution. Jumping ahead destroys trust and credibility. Stick to the sales process.

Look, SPIN selling methodology isn’t some silver bullet. But I’ve seen it enable both rookies and veterans to control complex sales conversations and land major deals. Put in the work to craft relevant SPIN selling questions and you’ll be shocked by the results.

Back to the Sales Methodologies Table.

Consultative Selling Approach

Consultative Selling The Hanan Formula for High-Margin Sales at High Levels by Mark Hanan

Mack Hanan introduced the Consultative Selling Approach through his book titled “Consultative Selling: The Hanan Formula for High-Margin Sales at High Levels.” This sales methodology was unveiled during the 1970s and gradually gained traction amongst savvy sales professionals.

Consultative selling approach has been around forever because it just flat out works – when done right. The goal is becoming a true trusted advisor who earns business through insight, not manipulation. Just sharing from my career, getting there takes work.

What is Consultative Selling Approach?

Consultative selling approach is a sales methodology that centers on building relationships and acting as a trusted advisor. Sales reps deeply understand client business, provide insights guiding the buying decision and focus on long-term value. Consultative selling methodology about collaboration and ongoing support.

In my view, here’s what sets the best consultative sellers apart:

  • They ask thoughtful questions that demonstrate a genuine interest in the customer’s world. Not superficial queries – deep probing around goals, challenges, processes, and priorities. The payoff insights inform meaningful solutions.
  • They listen far more than pitch. Restating pain points in your words builds trust quickly. Potential buyers need to feel heard. Resist the urge to bark generic features and benefits. You uncover real needs through conversation.
  • They invest serious time researching prospects before meetings. Understand their market, competitors, trends, and key challenges. Use that intel to provide valuable perspectives and ideas, not recycled sales pitches.
  • They explain specifically how their solution enables the customer’s success based on learned objectives. No guessing value propositions – tailor messaging to each unique situation.

Now a few words of advice:

  • Potential buyers see through overly slick sales reps masking shallow knowledge with charisma. Back up insights with substance and expertise.
  • Overpromising on capabilities just to close quickly destroys trust when you underdeliver. Honesty and transparency will win the long game.
  • Patience pays here. Creating real partnerships doesn’t happen overnight. But once earned, those relationships drive major revenue.

From what I’ve seen, the consultative selling approach succeeds only when sales reps do the legwork to become true trusted advisors. Take shortcuts and watch deals shrivel. If you can commit for the long haul, the payoff is game changing.

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Challenger Sales Methodology

The Challenger Sale - Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

Thanks to the book “The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation” by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson, the challenger sales methodology exploded onto the scene in the early 2010’s and upended traditional thinking. Challenger sales reps assertively lead sales conversations instead of passively reacting to prospects. They add value by pushing the customer’s thinking with bold insights.

What is Challenger Sales Methodology?

Challenger sales methodology emphasizes challenging a buyer’s status quo by providing deep industry insights, unique perspectives, and thought-provoking discussions. Challenger sales reps take control of the conversation and respectfully push the customer’s thinking without fear of proposing counter perspectives.

If you really want to pursue this sales methodology then you will need to develop extensive knowledge to deliver constructive perspectives that resonate. Experienced challenger sales reps are subject matter experts in their domain – not order takers. Challenger sales reps confidently take control and shape the buying vision.

I personally found challenger sales methodology … well challenging at times. Going by what I’ve come across, challenger sales reps share observations that critique the status quo and identify potential pitfalls the prospect is ignoring. This takes deep up to date  industry knowledge. However, the best challenger sales reps I’ve seen avoid negative selling and frame ideas positively. The goal is expanding the conversation.

From what I’ve noticed, this sales methodology works best later in mature sales cycles with well-educated buyers. Early on, challenger sales reps focus on asking probing open-ended questions to deeply understand the prospect’s business and goals. That context informs the tailored insights they ultimately deliver.

With complex sales, potential buyers appreciate challenger sales reps who provide new considerations and get them thinking bigger. But sales reps must have the expertise to back up bold ideas and add real value. Otherwise, they simply come across as arrogant. I personally encountered that and it wasn’t pretty.

Mastering the challenger sales model requires practice and preparation. Challenger sales reps need expansive knowledge of their prospect’s market right down to the competitive dynamics. But done right, challenger sales reps separate themselves from relationship-focused sales reps through substantive insights.

Now challenger sales model isn’t right for simple sales. But from what I’ve noticed, organizations selling sophisticated offerings into sophisticated companies have seen great success when challenger sales reps learn to take productive control of the conversation.

Back to the Sales Methodologies Table.

Inbound Sales Methodology

Inbound sales methodology was popularized by HubSpot in the late 2000’s. It represents a modern approach optimized for today’s digital era. Instead of cold calls, inbound selling methodology focuses on attracting and engaging potential buyers through valuable content long before any sales conversations occur.

Inbound sales methodology flowchart

What is Inbound Sales Methodology?

Inbound selling is a sales methodology that leverages content like blogs, guides, and social media to attract, educate and engage with potential buyers early on. The main goal of the inbound sales methodology is to address buyers needs and pain points, build relationships and trust before any sales conversations occur.

The goal is establishing inbound sellers as subject matter experts and helpful resources for prospects researching solutions. This content can take many forms – blogs, guides, webinars, social media, etc. The focus is educating, not selling.

Armed with insights into prospects’ challenges and interests gained through content interactions, inbound sellers can deliver personalized outreach when the timing is right. Emails, calls and nurture tracks relate specifically to the prospects’ demonstrated needs.

In my experience, inbound selling methodology works really really well as it helps inbound sellers build awareness and relationships before asking for any commitments. Prospects appreciate learning and engaging on their terms versus being sold to. In my view, for products with longer sales cycles, inbound content builds trust over time leading to highly qualified leads.

Of course, inbound selling methodology works best for lower to mid-tier transactional or recurring revenue sales. For high-touch enterprise deals, content complements but doesn’t replace in-depth consultative selling. Though, in my experience, insights gained still enhance sales conversations.

For sales teams struggling to grab prospects’ attention amidst nonstop sales outreach, inbound sales methodology represents a customer-centric alternative. As I see it, value and relevance attract potential buyers while content engages them long-term.

Now inbound selling methodology requires substantial work upfront creating a lot of relevant content and integrating sales methods with your CRM and marketing. But based on my observations, over time, it enables inbound sellers to establish authority and engage potential buyers on their terms.

Back to the Sales Methodologies Table.

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Sandler Sales Methodology

You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar, 2nd Edition - Sandler Training’s 7-Step System for Successful Selling by David Sandler

In the 1960s, David Sandler developed the Sandler Selling System to empower salespeople with greater effectiveness and efficiency by truly understanding the needs and desires of buyers. Sandler, who was not only a sales trainer but also a motivational speaker, founded the Sandler Training company in 1967. His insights are encapsulated in his book “You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar: Sandler Training’s 7-Step System for Successful Selling.”

Here’s the deal – Sandler Selling System works. As someone who’s been in the sales game for over 10+ years, I’ve seen it transform clunky conversations into clear pathways to closure. But it’s not easy, and it’s certainly not a shortcut. Mastery takes work.

What is Sandler Selling System?

The Sandler Selling System is a sales methodology that was developed in 1967 by David Sandler. It focuses on consultative selling approach where sales reps maintain control of the conversation through meticulous questioning to uncover pain points and gain incremental buy-in to key milestones.

At its core, Sandler selling system is about controlling complex sales discussions through smart questioning and gaining incremental commitments. Don’t even think about pitching early on. You need to diagnose before you prescribe.

I always try to use carefully crafted open-ended questions to uncover real struggles and frustrations. I highly recommend you resist the temptation to make assumptions or accept surface level answers. Always probe to reveal the root issues.

Guide the prospect through affirming next steps and mini milestones. Get them saying “yes” to a follow-up call or trial. Going by what I’ve learned, small commitments build momentum.

Frame questions in a manner where the prospect acknowledges pain points and the need to address them. From the lessons I’ve gained, this urgency greases the skids for forward progress.

Now a few cautions that I want to share with those who want to try implementing Sandler selling system:

  • Don’t dominate the conversation. I’ve learned it the hard way. You must direct things, but let the prospect articulate their needs in their own words.
  • Sandler selling system shines when multi-stakeholder deals require a clear path forward. It’s overkill for transactional sales.
  • Stick with the Sandler sales methodology through proficiency. It’s a long game commitment, but the payoff is worth it.

If your sales team fumbles complex sales talks, Sandler sales methodology provides proven techniques to take control while gaining buy-in. But mastery takes work. There are no shortcuts.

Back to the Sales Methodologies Table.

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Target Account Selling Methodology

I’m convinced that aligning your strategy to target key accounts is critical to efficient growth. Trying to sell broadly dilutes resources and reduces win rates. With target account selling, you research deeply, pursue aggressively, and capture more deals faster. But it takes rigorous planning and execution.

What is Target Account Selling Methodology?

Target account selling is a sales methodology that concentrates on high-value prospects. Sales reps personalize interactions, align solutions with client objectives, foster engagement, and build lasting relationships. This sales methodology enhances the focus on tailoring the sales process for impactful results.

Identify your ideal customers – target accounts meeting your sweet spot for deal size, growth potential, and probability of winning. Resist spreading efforts thin on fringe targets. Prioritize accounts with profiles destined for success.

Research target accounts extensively – know their pain points, projects, org charts, and current solutions intimately. Going by what I’ve learned, this allows you to craft truly tailored outreach and conversations. Generic pitches flop. Demonstrate you truly understand their world.

Map all key stakeholders and map messaging to each buyer persona. Determine technical, financial, and executive decision makers and what matters to them. Adapt pitches accordingly. Win over the collective buying group.

Invest in multiple personalized touches across channels. Orchestrate targeted email campaigns, customized content, dedicated events, and consistent social media engagement. Apply pressure from all angles.

Arm the sales team with key insights to build rapport quickly. Provide individual account plans to help sales reps personalize conversations and relationships leveraging intel.

Continuously track target account progress and shift resources accordingly. Double down on hot leads while promptly re-evaluating stagnant ones. Remain nimble and optimize your pursuits.

With rigorous targeting, research and execution, you maximize mindshare with accounts destined to buy. In my experience, spreading efforts dilutes impact. But concentrated resources on qualified targets yields more deals with expanded value. Target account selling focuses energy where it matters most. Let me know if you need any other sales strategy perspectives from the frontlines!

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NEAT Sales Methodology

The Harris Consulting Group

NEAT sales methodology was developed by Richard Harris and the Harris Consulting Group. I’m a strong believer in the NEAT sales methodology. Through my perspective, it just aligns so well with how prospects actually buy – when executed correctly. NEAT sales methodology provides a loose framework while allowing you to improvise based on each unique situation.

What is NEAT Sales Methodology?

NEAT stands for Navigate, Engage, Automate, and Transform. It is a sales methodology that combines AI tools with personalized human interactions to enhance buyer’s journey. It involves identifying prospect’s challenges, presenting the solution, quantifying value, and obtaining commitment aligned to the buying process.

Let’s break it down and see what NEAT stands for:

  • Needs – Kick things off by asking smart questions to understand goals and pain points. Don’t even think about pitching yet! You’ve got to diagnose before you can prescribe.
  • Experience – With needs identified, share specific customer stories demonstrating you can get them the outcomes they want. But make sure they’re relevant – no generic case studies!
  • Aspirations – Now get them envisioning the future. Paint a clear picture of where your solution gets them compared to today’s struggles. Make it tangible.
  • Tie-Down – Lastly, quantify that ROI, map the steps ahead, and ask for the sale once they connect your experience with their aspirations. But don’t rush here – timing is everything.

Based on my experience, NEAT sales methodology only works if you execute fluidly:

  • Keep the conversation natural – never sound like you’re just checking boxes. Pivot seamlessly between steps.
  • Customize everything to the prospect’s unique situation. No cookie cutter NEAT pitch!
  • Listen deeply before presenting your experience. Never assume you get their needs without probing.
  • Time your tie-down when they can clearly see achieving success through partnering with you.

From what I’ve seen, NEAT sales methodology aligns sales conversations to how complex deals are won – when done right. It takes skill but pays dividends.

Back to the Sales Methodologies Table.

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Company profiles
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Conceptual Selling Methodology

Conceptual Selling Methodology by Miller Heiman Group

Conceptual selling methodology was created by Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman, who also founded the company Miller Heiman Group that provides sales training and consulting services.

Here’s the reality – conceptual selling methodology delivers tremendous value, but only for complex, tailored solutions and only with skillful execution. After many years matching high ticket offerings to unique visions, conceptual selling methodology remains my go-to.

What is Conceptual Selling Methodology

Conceptual selling is a sales methodology that focuses on understanding the buyer’s concept of value. It aims to collaborate with prospects to define an ideal future state vision, foster a deeper connection, and create a custom solution matching desired objectives rather than selling predefined products.

Conceptual selling methodology boils down to deeply collaborating early on to design ideal future state solutions tailored to each prospect’s complex world. No predefined pitches or products here – you co-create the vision.

This sales methodology takes patience and persistence. Thoughtfully probe their goals, challenges, and success metrics through strategic questioning. Identify their ideal end state. That becomes your North Star guiding concept design.

With the future state defined, present a preliminary solution custom-built to achieve their complex needs and vision. I urge you to make no assumptions though – the prospect provides feedback to refine the concept further.

You finalize the offering incorporating their insights to ensure every capability maps directly to their desired outcomes. The result is a breakthrough custom solution tailored to their aspirations.

Based on my experience, conceptual selling methodology failed me every time I took shortcuts. So I highly recommend you invest time to uncover then align to the prospect’s unique concept. Do that sincerely and you build partnerships that far surpass transactional sales. When strategically executed, it delivers immense value.

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SNAP Selling Methodology

SNAP Selling - Accelerate Sales and Secure Greater Business from Today’s Busy Customers by Jill Konrath

Jill Konrath, a renowned sales strategist and speaker with a client roster including IBM, GE, and Hilton, is the mind behind SNAP selling methodology. This sales model was unveiled in 2010 in her highly successful book titled “SNAP Selling: Accelerate Sales and Secure Greater Business from Today’s Busy Customers.”

After many years doing complex B2B sales, I’m convinced SNAP selling methodology is incredibly effective when executed correctly. It provides the perfect framework to progress sales conversations smoothly while adapting to prospects in real-time. But mastery takes work.

What is SNAP Selling Methodology?

SNAP selling stands for Simple, iNvaluable, Aligned, Priority. SNAP selling is a sales methodology that focuses on keeping sales conversations simple, narrow, aligned and precise using a four-step framework to open strong, probe issues, demonstrate unique value, aligns with buyer goals and needs, and get commitments.

Here’s how to make SNAP selling methodology work:

  • Keep the Simple opening riveting. Lead with their core pain or need. Watch body language to ensure you hooked them. If they look confused, your open missed the mark. Pivot.
  • Narrow relentlessly until you pinpoint the root of their struggles. Many sales reps stop digging once they get surface level pain points. But you must prod deeper through targeted questions to uncover the true sources of friction.
  • Align every capability and deliverable back to those narrow pain points uncovered. Sales reps often present generic capabilities not linked to pain points and lose the prospect. Ensure your solution clearly addresses their specific struggles.
  • Time the Prompt judiciously. Set the stage thoroughly before asking for commitments. Overanxious sales reps probe needs shallowly, present generically, and then rush to close before properly laying the groundwork. Have patience.

From what I’ve found, SNAP selling methodology gives the perfect balance of structure with fluidity to adapt real-time. But resist sounding robotic. Conversationally move through steps based on prospect reactions. I recommend you let SNAP selling methodology guide, not dictate discussions.

With commitment and refinement, SNAP selling methodology provides a proven framework for progressive sales conversations that diagnose, align and drive action. But execution is everything – master it and results will follow.

Back to the Sales Methodologies Table.

Command of the Sale Methodology

The Command of the Sale methodology (or Command of the Message) was created by Force Management, a company that provides sales training and consulting services, as a structured approach to consultative selling. It provides a framework for sales reps to take control of the sales conversation, build rapport with prospects, uncover their needs, and guide them towards a solution.

This sales methodology is best suited for complex, high-ticket B2B sales where multiple decision makers are involved. It works well for seasoned sales teams selling highly customized products or services that require a solutions-oriented approach.

What is Command of the Sale Methodology?

Command of the sale is a five-step sales methodology that empowers sales reps navigate complex deals. Command of the sale focuses on gaining control of sales conversations through preparation, probing, presenting, addressing decision dynamics, handling objections, and orchestrating a cohesive buying experience.

Through trial and error across many sales cycles, I’ve learned these best practices for Command of the Sale Methodology training:

  • Conduct small group roleplaying sessions. Break sales reps into groups of 3-4 to practice smart questioning and share feedback on each other’s command skills. Rotate partners frequently.
  • Record practice sessions on video. This allows managers to review tapes and provide coaching on body language, tone, and pacing in addition to questioning technique.
  • Roleplay throughout the sales cycle. Don’t just practice discovery calls. Also run through presenting solutions, handling objections, gaining commitment, and closing.
  • Practice on actual prospects. After initial sales training, have sales reps record live sales calls for critique. This surfaces real-world challenges to refinement.
  • Do multiple rounds of practice. Mastery takes repetition over weeks and months. Skills must become second nature through regular reinforcement.
  • Maintain ongoing skills practice. Schedule monthly “tune-up” sessions to sharpen command abilities even for seasoned sales reps.

With deep dedication to skills practice using these tips, I’ve seen teams reduce sales cycles by 30-40% and exceed revenue targets by millions. But it does require an organizational commitment from sales leadership and managers to prioritize roleplaying. Simply reading about Command of the Sale Methodology is not enough – doing is critical.

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Gap Selling Methodology

Gap Selling Getting the Customer to Yes - sales book by Keenan

I’ve found Gap selling methodology to be highly effective for driving complex, enterprise-level deals. Developed by Keenan is CEO and president of sales consulting firm, A Sales Guy Inc., gap selling methodology centers around uncovering the gap between a prospect’s current unsatisfactory situation and their desired future state. Keenan also wrote a book on gap selling methodology titled “Gap Selling: Getting the Customer to Yes,” providing comprehensive insights into this sales methodology.

What is Gap Selling Methodology?

Gap selling is a sales methodology that focuses on identifying where customers want to be in the future and articulating how the solution bridges the gap from their struggle to achieve desired end state. By highlighting pain points and showcasing the solution’s value, it engages prospects and guides them to conversion.

Bridging this gap is key to moving deals forward. But doing so requires intimate knowledge of the customer pain points, customer’s business, and goals.

Follow these best practices that I’ve learned over the years to master Gap selling methodology:

  • Research the Prospect’s Industry – Thoroughly research the prospect’s vertical, competitors, challenges, and trends. This enables sales reps to hold strategic conversations.
  • Identify the Economic Buyer – Engaging the true economic buyer is crucial early on. They control budget and sign-off. Avoid wasting time with peripheral contacts.
  • Diagnose Before Prescribing – Resist the temptation to pitch immediately. First diagnose core challenges and root causes through targeted questions.
  • Uncover Decision Criteria – What factors drive the prospect’s decision? How will they evaluate proposed solution? Understand their buying criteria.
  • Quantify the Impact of Pain – Help prospects understand the tangible cost of unresolved challenges in terms of time, money, productivity, etc.
  • Facilitate Consensus Among Stakeholders – Deals stall without alignment between multiple decision makers. Facilitate consensus.
  • Provide a Vision – Paint a detailed picture of the prospect’s desired future state once the gap is bridged. Make the vision tangible.
  • Gain Explicit Commitment – Never leave meetings without clear next steps and prospect commitments to advance the sale.

From my perspective, mastering Gap selling methodology elevates sales conversations from random feature dumps to strategic discussions that diagnose issues, provide vision, and drive the right outcomes. For sales teams selling complex, tailored solutions, Gap selling is an invaluable sales methodology.

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MEDDIC Sales Methodology

During the 1990s, Jack Napoli and Dick Dunkel while working at PTC (a tech company), created the MEDDIC sales methodology. Their goal was to provide sales teams with a focused approach to address the pivotal factors guiding purchasing decisions and to navigate the sales process from its inception to successful closure. Notably, while at PTC, Jack Napoli and Dick Dunkel used MEDDIC sales methodology to increase revenue from $300 million to an impressive $1 billion in just a span of four years.

I’ve seen firsthand how mastering MEDDIC sales methodology elevates strategic selling skills. MEDDIC sales model provides a rigorous qualification framework for progressing complex, high-value deals in a way aligned with the customer’s buying process.

What is MEDDIC Sales Methodology?

MEDDIC stands for Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, Champion. This sales methodology guides sales reps to qualify prospects, focusing on key factors for effective engagements. It emphasizes understanding buyer needs, aligning solutions and navigating decision-making process.

Let’s dig deeper into each component of MEDDIC sales methodology:

  • Metrics – Sales reps must go beyond identifying a prospect’s superficial pain points. Quantify how these challenges impact revenue, productivity, operational expenses, etc. This illuminates the potential ROI of addressing gaps.
  • Economic Buyer – Failure to engage the true economic buyer early and get their buy-in makes closing difficult. Sales reps must identify and build relationships with those holding the purse strings.
  • Decision Making Process – Strategic sales reps map the prospect’s formal decision-making process in detail. Who are the critical voices that must provide sign-off? What do their discovery process, qualification process and consensus building process look like?
  • Decision Criteria – Sales reps need intimate knowledge of how prospects will evaluate proposed solution. Is security compliance their top priority? Ease of integration? This drives positioning.
  • Implementation Timeline – When does the prospect expect to implement a solution? Sales reps must align sales cycle length accordingly. Trying to force acceleration often backfires.
  • Identifying Pain – Ask probing, open-ended questions to identify customer pain points. Then dig deeper into root causes. Mastering pain diagnosis is fundamental.

For seasoned sales teams pursuing complex deals, MEDDIC sales model provides indispensable guidance. In my opinion, it brings rigor, discipline, and strategic customer alignment to opportunity qualification. Simply put, it enables sales reps to progress opportunities in a way that resonates with how prospects buy.

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