There are hundreds of sales methodologies out there, some have stood the test of time, some get thrown on the scrap heap and some are just a carbon copy of the other.
A sales methodology is different than the sales process; a sales process is typically steps taken and the methodology is the how, to get to those steps.
Whilst most methodologies focus around the “how”, the how is normally focused on how to ask the questions, how to work out what is going on or who signs the cheques, the impact of the solutions to the business or what happens if the prospect does not buy or how to help them buy, in a nice, softly- softly way.
What they are typically are not doing is driving the actual sales process, nor are they set up to accelerate the sales process, whilst embodying customer loyalty.
Standing the test of Time.
A great sales methodology must stand the test of time, it must coach the sales rep and coach the client; I can think of my top 4 methodologies that have done such, and are utilised by sales trainers and companies everywhere:
- Situation Questions ; Problem Questions; Implication Questions; Need Payoff Questions – a consultative approach; that hones in on the customers issues, and coaching the customer to look at what they need to do; without giving them the hard sell. Designed by Neil Rackman and a best selling book; It is practical and taught by many sales trainers world wide.
2. NEAT Selling –
- Used to replace BANT and ANUM; other acroynms used as methodologies, NEAT is used to understand core NEEDS, Economic Impact, Authority, Timeline – it is a perfect methodology for qualification of a prospect and why they would be wanting to buy or indeed if they are ready to buy.
3. The Sandler System –
- Almost like reverse physcology, the Sandler system is used to bring up all objections at the start and the sales reps are qualifying out immediately, meaning that the buyer is almost forcing the the seller, to sell. It’s like playing hard to get when you are dating. It focuses on the behavioural aspect of sell
4. The Challenger Sale
- Another methodology, born from another book. Having studied sales reps performances, the authors have concluded, that challenger persona’s are top performers. All about teaching and tailoring clients and then taking control of the situation. And the seller is teaching about a larger problem; not just the problem that their product addresses and then challenging the customer on what they are doing. A great methodology to use for the boardroom or larger audience.
Pros and Cons
All of these methodologies, to some extend, have been implemented into the sales process, at every large organisation, at some point. Various organisations have flipped between all of them; perhaps called them something different, such as Complex Sales, or the like. They have been taught by trainers worldwide and all of them have lasted the time test. I have worked with companies that have gone as far to implement different methodologies, at different levels of the sales process.
They all help build rapport and understand customer’s current pains and they all enable the seller to become more credible and solution orientated.
As much as these methods are aimed at improving the conversion rates and qualifying customers quickly and really understanding customer needs; they are not considering the long term relationship of that customer; they are part of the sales process and not driving the sales process.
GAME FACE UK’s methodology
Our methodology drives the process, it is your playbook, tactics and strategy; speeding up the sales cycle, adding more value to your customer and focuses on customer retention and loyalty, thus maximising the value of an initial sale. It is memorable and easy to implement as a sales process and it evokes the seller to be accountable of how they sell and more knowledgeable of their customers and the targeting the right customer.
A great methodology in selling should not only allow for greater customer understanding, but also greater customer loyalty and embraced through the whole sales and marketing process, not just by the seller. It’s not all just about great questions and evangelising…
Don’t try and fit in 2 or 3 different methodologies into your sales process; it complicates things for the seller, who eventually, goes off track, which leads to difficult coaching conversations.
So use a methodology, that is driving the whole process, from prospecting- to – customer retention, our methodology embodies every step along the way.