In my last blog I looked at Sales Processes. On reflection I thought that it was important to define how a sales process is different to a Sales Methodology.
Fundamentally a ‘Sales Process’ is the approach or map for how to perform a task in selling. The ‘Sales Methodology’ is the ‘how’ of selling as a skill set. It is a set of guiding principles for how to act within and between the sales stages.
One of, if not the first sales methodology was developed by Xerox in the 1970s. It was dubbed the ‘Needs Satisfaction’ approach. It was designed 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 sales 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, and several of these methods are still used today.
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, as well as field-tested tactics conducted by the experts who developed them.
To put it simply, sales methodologies are the actionable, how-to “guides” behind a sales process. These activities keep prospect and buyer needs in mind, bridging the gap between each stage of the sales cycle.
In order for a methodology to be effective, it must be well adopted across the entire sales organization. This means having efficient training that empowers reps, managers and even director-level salespeople. Most importantly, training must provide actionable and scalable advice to help reps build their skillset.
The benefits of Sales Methodology
Sales Methodology adoption leads to improved pipeline and forecast accuracy. It reveals opportunities to coach and advise sales reps on a deal-by-deal basis. It provides a framework for opportunity qualification and strategy sessions. This will ensure that time is spent focusing on how to advance a given opportunity. It also helps with utilizing the best strategies, resources, and tactics rather than just inspecting the revenue value of the deal.
A Sales Methodology helps the Sales Rep Shift their focus from “how to sell”, to understanding “how the customer makes buying and investment decisions”. This puts the sales rep into a consultative role. It provides insight on how to prioritize and execute activities needed to advance and close opportunities. It simplifies the discovery of customer issues, desired solutions, and outcomes. The results are stronger customer relationships, shorter sales cycles, and higher margin deals.
Sales methodologies include frameworks and models, which have “skill steps” and involve the interactions between seller and buyer.
How CRM can assist organisations with their Sales Methodology
A CRM system benefits an organisation through the visibility of its sales activities. This visibility is fundamental to the management and control of the sales process. This visibility enables management to understand why, when, who and how opportunities are being won, stalled, or being lost. If it cannot be monitored, it cannot be managed. The visibility offered within the CRM system also allows management to make educated business decisions based on hard data.
ProAptivity are an independent CRM solutions provider. We focus on the implementation, training, and support of highly customised CRM software solutions. Our CRM software supported by our sales training provide customers with the tools needed to deliver successful sales process management.
Fundamentally, we help organisations embed CRM best practice throughout their organisation.
If you need help in understanding why my business needs CRM, maybe some of our eBooks could help! Alternatively visit Maximizer CRM or Pipedrive CRM for more information. Contact us today on 028 9099 6388 or via firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you assess if your business is CRM ready.