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How to select and implement the right sales methodology?

6 minutes read

What is a sales methodology?

A sales methodology is a framework that outlines how your sellers should approach each phase of the sales process. Sales methodology provides a set of guidelines that act as a common language for all your sales reps and helps them to,

  • Win customers

  • Close deals

  • And understand how to approach various sales scenarios that they could face

It’s crucial to clearly differentiate between a sales process and a sales methodology. A sales process provides a specific road map for accomplishing a task. Whereas, a sales methodology provides a set of guiding principles for how to act within and between the sales stages.

One of the famous sales methodologies of today was developed by Xerox in the year 1970s. They dubbed the “Needs Satisfaction” approach and designed a sales methodology to provide their sales reps with a roadmap to navigate the highly competitive printing and copying space.

It became so successful that Xerox ended up selling their methodology to other companies under the name “Professional Selling Skills”. These companies, as well as individual contributors, began promoting their own iterations that built upon the original. Several of these methods are still used today.

In today’s time, we have got several sales methodologies that cater to different selling needs. Each sales methodology at its core is designed to empower reps to perform at their best using proven approaches to identify and solve problems. (These approaches are usually based on substantiated psychological principles and field-tested tactics, conducted by the experts who developed them.)

But how do you determine which sales methodology is best for your business?

How to choose the right sales methodology for your business?

Here are certain aspects that you need to consider while choosing a sales methodology for your business:

  • First and foremost, ensure that the sales methodology that you choose fits into your business comfortably. Make sure that the methodology is aligned with your business’s mission, goals, targets, and needs
  • Next, your methodology needs to help you with solving the problems or addressing the pain points of your customer base
  • Make sure that the methodology is inclined with your buyers’ personas and their buying cycle
  • Make sure that it brings a positive change in the sales. Meaning it should
    • Either ease the job of your sellers or buyers
    • Or aid in speeding up the sales cycle
    • Or help in attracting more customers
  • Make sure that the methodology is easy to follow for your reps and that it gets used consistently

If a sales methodology ticks all these boxes or the ones that are important for you, then go ahead and implement it.

How to implement a sales methodology in a way that sticks?

Once you select the perfect sales methodology, you need to make sure that it is implemented properly across your sales department. Here is how you can efficiently drive adoption of the sales methodology:

1. Choose champions who can advocate the adoption of the sales methodology

These champions can be anyone from your sales leaders to your most influential sales reps.

Involve your sales leaders at an early stage while rolling out the sales methodology. Get them on board by educating them on the sales methodology and its benefits. Then get them to support and advocate the adoption of the new sales methodology. When people see their direct managers and senior managers advocating the sales methodology it encourages them to adopt and use it.

You can also leverage your most famous or influential sales reps to drive the adoption of the sales methodology. Every department will have a few famous people who are considered to be geniuses by their peers and are respected widely. Get those people on board and have them advocate the adoption of the new sales methodology. If the sales reps see these influential people using the sales methodology or hear from them how the sales methodology made their work easy, chances are that they will follow them.

2. Training and Reinforcement

Training is extremely crucial to successfully drive the adoption of the sales methodology amongst your sales reps. When your salesforce is equipped with proficient knowledge of the sales methodology, it becomes easy for them to use it in their work.

So, conduct virtual or face-to-face training sessions and train your reps on the sales methodology. Reinforce this training regularly in order to make it stick.

You can reinforce by,

3. Empower the managers to coach efficiently

Managers play a key role in driving the adoption of the sales methodology. Their coaching is extremely crucial to get your reps to put the sales methodology into practice.

So, provide formal training to the managers on how to effectively coach the sales reps on the sales methodology.

Also, equip them with coaching materials like

  • “How to” guides that explain how sales methodology can be used in various sales scenarios
  • Sales methodology playbooks
  • Coaching playbooks
  • And other reference material

This empowers the managers to provide the most effective coaching to their reps and prepare them to efficiently use the sales methodology in their work.

4. Incorporate the sales methodology into the CRM

In order to get your reps to adopt the new sales methodology, you need to make sure that it reflects in each and every aspect of their work. This includes the CRM that they use.

You need to make sure that each stage of the sales process in the CRM reflects the sales methodology. This compels the sales reps to follow the sales methodology while they sell as they have to enter sales data in the CRM in accordance with the sales methodology.

This also ensures that there is a formal record of how each rep has implemented the sales methodology. This, in turn, helps you to analyze your sales progress before verses after the implementation of the sales methodology.

5. Collect feedback and improvise

Once the basic training is done and your team is actively practicing the new sales methodology, it’s time to collect feedback to see if the implementation was successful.

Conduct a survey of your reps and ask them,
  • If they are facing any difficulty with the sales methodology
  • If they found the new sales methodology beneficial?
  • Has it helped them to close the deals faster?
  • Has it helped them to work more efficiently?
  • Are they able to engage with the buyers more effectively by using this sales methodology?
  • Do they need any further training or coaching or help with the sales methodology?

This feedback helps you to identify any shortcomings and take necessary actions to course correct or improvise immediately

Learn about the top 6 sales methodologies that will help you to close complex deals efficiently

Top 6 Sales Methodologies for Closing Complex Deals

Learn about the 6 crucial buyer personas and the techniques to sell to them efficiently

The 6 Buyer Personas and how to train your team to sell to them

Want to learn some interesting techniques to overcome sales objections?

Read: 10 Effective Techniques to overcome Sales Objections

Published on Mon Jun 14 2021

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