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How do you define sales methodology?

We have seen methodology being defined in so many different ways and this impacts the outcomes that the methodology is able to impact. Curious to see how our community defines methodology.

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    • 1
      Profile picture of Rodrigo Morais
      @rodmorais
      ( 600 POINTS )
      1 year, 8 months ago

      I Think the sales methodology is how you process your sales activities during a sales cycle. This methodology and task/process will vary depending on the size and roles of a sales team, the type of product you are trying to sell, etc. So if you have a SDR + BDM + AE you can have a more complex sales process and with that a different methodology, while lower roles enable you to create a simpler process.

      Regarding the results, if you have a good methodology adapted for your sales team and company goals, you can achieve similar results regardless of your sales team size. At the end of the day it is all about how efficient you are in terms of managing your sales activities and how skilled is your team.

      • 1
        Profile picture of Petek Hawkins
        @petek
        ( 585 POINTS )
        1 year, 8 months ago

        Ok – so I have a follow up question-why not call it a sales process versus methodology?

        • 0
          Profile picture of Rodrigo Morais
          @rodmorais
          ( 600 POINTS )
          1 year, 8 months ago

          “…sales methodology is how you process your sales activities…”

          So, process contains the steps/sales activities, and methodology is how you apply skills/knowledge to do the process. That’s how I see it.

    • 1
      Profile picture of Brenda Quinney
      @bq
      ( 795 POINTS )
      1 year, 8 months ago

      Not to be glib, but a sales methodology is more of a “lifestyle” than a process. When a company truly adopts a sales methodology everyone is on the same page; working toward the same goals; and speaking the same language — field sales, inside sales, corporate marketing, product marketing… everyone. When everyone is bought in – it’s a beautiful thing.

      • 0
        Profile picture of Petek Hawkins
        @petek
        ( 585 POINTS )
        1 year, 8 months ago

        It is absolutely a life style!

    • 1
      Profile picture of Renee Burrell
      @rbmstar
      ( 461 POINTS )
      1 year, 8 months ago

      @jacco wrote a great article on this exact topic not too long ago.

      “A sales methodology is a set of rules for how you sell your products or services to customers. It’s a philosophy of selling, often based on a particular belief about customer psychology. It defines how you should approach prospects and the kind of things that you should say to them. It offers a framework for how your rep should approach the client and win the deal. If it’s working well, all your reps should be approaching clients with consistent style and messaging.”

      https://www.saleshacker.com/sales-methodology-blueprint/

      • 0
        Profile picture of Petek Hawkins
        @petek
        ( 585 POINTS )
        1 year, 8 months ago

        @rbmstar this is great! In a way how you meet customer where they are, and manage their expectations to make the buying decision easy.

    • 1
      Profile picture of GigglySquid
      @gigglysquid
      ( 185 POINTS )
      1 year, 8 months ago

      The whole debate around Sales Process versus Sales Methodology is a complete red herring IMHO. In most organisations there is no real distinction between the two, and in many organisations sales process is quite broken – by which I mean it doesn’t serve either of its two main purposes very well at all.

      Sales process/methodology, or whatever you choose to call it, needs to do two things well: 1. provide guidance to sales teams on how to qualify and progress their deals forwards, hopefully to a won opportunity; 2. provide governance on how deals are managed and (crucially) reported (as a revenue forecast) to the business.

      The problem arises when sales teams don’t follow the process, and when that happens there is no effective governance, which usually means revenue forecasts are completely meaningless – which matters, because most businesses make critical decisions (hiring, investment etc.) based on the revenue forecast.

      So why do most/many sales teams not follow their sales processes, especially when their orgs have invested so much time & energy in training them and establishing such processes? Again, IMHO, its because most sales processes simply don’t reflect the reality of sales and selling – and this has become more true in recent years as buyers have become more empowered, and expectations of who is actually in control of buying processes have shifted from seller to buyer.

      For a sales process to work, it needs to reflect the customers buying process (i.e. be based on customer outcomes) and needs the flexibility to cope with the real world, which is messy and non-linear, rather than constrain a sales team to following a pre-defined set of activities, based on some sales guru’s idealized view of the world.

    • 1
      Profile picture of Coldsteele1969
      @coldsteele1969
      ( 520 POINTS )
      1 year, 8 months ago

      I have read all the comments and I think there is consensus that they are one in the same. I will differ a little. I think the Methodology is the framework in which you approach the process. For example. I have a methodology that sales “In my career, I want to be in a sales role to maximum my output. The way I will do that is to work for a company that has relevant products and I will only take a role that focused on my strengths which is to sell to the most relevant companies in my market, Ie I do large enterprise sales for Google, (not smb, or sled). And lastly I will build long-term relationships with the people that matter in those companies, and I will only do it for the accounts in my local Geo. (have small kids at home.). That’s my methodology, now the process in which I do that is different. I buy lunches, I host community events, I follow the corporate process of. Qualify-Refine-Solution Dev-Proposal-Negotiation-Close .. that’s the company process.. How I do is my internal process, WHY I do that is my methodology. Just my .02.

    • 1
      Profile picture of Rick Pizzoli
      @salesforceeurope
      ( 340 POINTS )
      1 year, 8 months ago

      Sales Process and Sales Methodology are different and both are required for success.

      Sales Process is the structure you set up for your team, such as a multi-channel outbound approach for Lead Generation, delivering a 100 touch points per day, clear reporting and management of KPIs. Tools leveraged in your data stack, content selected per vertical and persona. If taking deals through to revenue, process tracks steps such as need capture, proposal, demos, trials, agreements, closing, payment.

      Sales Methodology is selecting the right people for the right job, providing training (sales, product, business benefits, operations), and establishing methods and tactics used during lead generation through to the closing of the opportunity. Its about preparing the team so that they are effective while working through the process.

      At Sales Force Europe we’ve built 100s of Lead Generation and Outsourced Sales teams. Process without Methodology, or the reverse, is bound to fail. It’s a journey where you must plan well upfront, deploy, listen to market feedback, review results, and improve on the fly. No one gets it right upfront and we’ve certainly made our mistakes.

    • 0
      Profile picture
      @
      ( 0 POINTS )
      1 year, 8 months ago

      As a set of steps required in ur daily sales routine.. that kind of makes selling to clients a process.. in fact we made the smallest sales process and then incorporated into our app maxcalling.com.. do check it out..

      • 0
        Profile picture of Petek Hawkins
        @petek
        ( 585 POINTS )
        1 year, 8 months ago

        Ok – so I have a follow up question-why not call it a sales process versus methodology?

        • 1
          Profile picture
          @
          ( 0 POINTS )
          1 year, 8 months ago

          So final ans.. methodology is the intent in ur mind with which u would like to tackle sales.. while process are steps u would devise having some methodology in mind, say over time and after iterating a few times..

          • 0
            Profile picture of Petek Hawkins
            @petek
            ( 585 POINTS )
            1 year, 8 months ago

            We are getting close 🙂 It is one step ahead of intent thou, because without the execution intent does not lead outcomes 🙂

            • 0
              Profile picture
              @
              ( 0 POINTS )
              1 year, 8 months ago

              yes! absolutely. Guess some intent then execution steps.. then feedback analsysis sort of an OODA loop.. till we get hold of the problem and the start seeing the results we seem to want…

    • 0
      Profile picture of Paul ATHERTON
      @paulieatherton
      ( 230 POINTS )
      1 year, 8 months ago

      The Best Sales Methodology is simply the thinking and behaviour of the individual or team who takes every step necessary at the exact time said perfect buyer is ready for the next small step, each one moving them both closer to agreement. It is our perception of what we need to do to make a Sale, but only the best build their behaviour after learning their perfect buyers psychology &very move. The majority create a process they think Is going to take control of our prospect and everybody has to learn it and tell stories as to how they had to wrestle with the alligator at step 5, but the ipopytiddlyup at the start of step 6 won the day! The truth is nobody uses it, and most of us just get to gently guide our prospects in the general direction they’re happy to go in anyway, and most of the time we know enough about our product, about them, about human nature, about the required bedside manner, to get their respect sufficiently for them to tell us they’re ready to go for it and the sale is made although we never admit it’s that easy,..

      Once again we are obliged to tell a story that resembles the Mohammad Ali v George foreman fight better known as The rumble in the jungle …..such his life

      that is my experience of sales methodology.

      I hope that’s helpful, I’m done talking! Paul

    • 0
      Profile picture of amerry
      @amerry
      ( 170 POINTS )
      1 year, 8 months ago

      A sales methodology introduces discipline through a mechanism/cadence/process of principles and best practices that translate into actions for sellers.

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