What are sales methods or methodologies?
A sales methodology is a set of principles that leads your team to close clients. It takes company goals and turns them into useable steps for your team to follow during each part of the sales process.
Following are a few examples of the most successful methodologies being applied today.
3 of the Most Effective Sales Methodologies
1. The SPIN Selling System
Neil Rackham popularized the SPIN sell in his book, SPIN Selling.
SPIN stands for the four elements your sales team’s questions to a prospects should focus on:
Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-Payoff.
These subjects often pinpoint buyer challenges and help a sales person build rapport with buyers.
- Situation questions look to understand a prospect’s situation.
- Problem questions get to the heart of the prospect’s issue.
- Implication questions ask the prospect to think about the consequences of not solving their problem.
- Need-payoff questions prompt the prospect to consider how the situation would change if their problem were solved.
Here’s an example of the SPIN sell that a Hiring Firm would use when speaking to a construction client looking to fill a Project Management position.
- “How does your current hiring process work?”
- “Do you find that you have trouble filling your Project Management positions with quality candidates?”
- “If a Project Management position goes unfilled, how does that affect your company?”
- “If you were able to get a list of quality candidates for Project Management, how would that help your HR department and your entire company?”
Rather than straight forwardly telling prospects about a product or service’s value, the SPIN system aims to guide prospective clients to these realizations on their own.
2. The N.E.A.T Selling System
Developed by The Harris Consulting Group and Sales Hacker, this qualification system is designed to replace standby systems like Budget-Authority-Need-Timeline (BANT) and Authority-Need-Urgency-Money (ANUM).
“N” in N.E.A.T. represents for core needs. Rather than focusing on surface-level pain, this methodology urges your sales reps to go deeply into their lead’s challenges. How will this product matter to them as an individual and within the organization?
“E” stands for economic impact. Don’t just give your solution’s ROI — help the buyer to understand the financial impact they’ll realize without your product or service versus the impact they’ll see if they make a change.
“A” is for access to authority. If you can’t speak with the CEO, get to someone who can champion talk to the CEO on your behalf.
“T,” refers to Timeline, the exciting event enticing your prospect to make a decision. Create a deadline that will result in negative consequences if missed.
3. The Conceptual Selling System
Conceptual selling is founded on the idea that customers don’t buy a product or a service — they buy the concept of a solution instead. With that in mind, this system urges salespeople not to lead with a pitch — instead, they encourage teams to uncover their prospect’s concept of the product or service and understand their decision process.
This system encourage sales reps to ask questions that fall into five categories:
- Confirmation questions, which reaffirm information.
- New information questions, which clarify the prospect’s concept of the product or service and explore what they’d like to achieve.
- Attitude questions, which seek to understand a prospect on a personal level and discover their connection to the project.
- Commitment questions, which ask about a prospect’s investment in the project.
- Basic issue questions, which raise potential problems.
This sales method places the emphasis on listening and divides the sales process into three stages:
- Getting information
- Giving information
- Getting commitment.
All transactions should be win-win for both the prospect and the salesperson. If the salesperson feels this is not the case, they should walk away from the deal.