Sales Methodologies: A Comparison of 16 Essential Approaches

sales methodologies

What are Sales Methodologies?

Sales Methodologies are a framework, tactic, or strategy used to guide sales teams to achieve the best sales results. Here at SOCO/ Sales Training, we believe there is not one best sales methodology. Instead, the approach should vary depending on the team, market, and product you’re selling. As a result, we recommend a hybrid of styles, depending on the scenario. So in this guide, we explore 16 common Sales Methodologies and the differences of each.

Different Types Of Sales Methodologies

Challenger Sales Methodology

The Challenger Sales Model is a sales methodology in which the seller takes a proactive approach to teach their prospect and takes control of the customer conversation. This methodology takes an anti-consultative selling stance although there is still lots overlap between the 2 models.

The Challenger Sales Model is an advanced approach that needs to be implemented with caution and only with seasoned sales professionals.

Read Our In-Depth Review of The Challenger Sale Here

Consultative Selling Methodology

Consultative Selling refers to a selling approach where strong relationships with the customer are at the core with an emphasis for the sales rep to thoroughly diagnose the needs of the prospect to be able to suggest the solution that best meets their needs.

This methodology is ideal when leaders find their teams are falling into the ‘order taker’ trap – only writing up what the customer tells them they want. Instead, by using a Consultative Selling approach, reps are taught to ask questions to uncover problems they can help solve.

Read Our In-Depth Review of Consultative Selling Here

Social Selling Methodology

Social Selling is a sales methodology that incorporates social media to generate leads and to enhance the sales process. Here are SOCO we wrote the book on Social Selling in which we share how to prospect, position and present using social media.

When it comes to Social Selling we find that it’s important for sales reps to understand how to use social media to generate leads as well as how to use to turn leads into closed deals. For us, Social Selling doesn’t stop at lead generation.

Read Our In-Depth Guide to Social Selling Here

Solution Selling Methodology

Solution Selling is a sales approach that came along to replace old ‘Product Selling’ practices. It’s a sales process that focuses on selling the solution to the prospect’s problem instead of just focusing on selling the product. Solution Selling sells the ‘solution’ instead of the ‘product’.

Read Our In-Depth Guide to Solution Selling

SPIN Selling Methodology

SPIN Selling is sales strategy that focuses on a question-based sales framework (situation, problem, implication, need-payoff). In order for salespeople to increase the likelihood of closing a deal, they need to  ask the right questions, at the right time.

Read Our In-Depth Review of SPIN Selling

Value Selling Methodology

Value-based selling is based on the understanding that customers buy your product or service because they anticipate enjoying a value that they would not have in the absence of it. Hence the focus is on benefitting the customer throughout the sales process, taking a consultative approach to provide value based on the customer’s needs. Above all, this ensures that the sales decision is made based on the potential value the product can provide.

Read Our In-Depth Guide To Using Value Proposition to Differentiate

Agile Sales Methodology

The core principles of the Agile Sales management methodology are based on creating short-term goals and working independently to reach those goals while still having adequate collaborative support and feedback from the rest of the team.

Due to each target’s short timeframe, Agile sales management gives employees the ability to address changes rapidly, alter their immediate goals to reflect these changes, incorporate real-world results and feedback from their team. Instead of blindly following a plan created months, weeks, or even longer in advance. 

Read Our In-Depth Guide to Agile Sales

BANT Sales Methodology

BANT is an acronym for a sales qualifying methodology used to determine the quality of the lead which can then be used to prioritize leads based on their score.

Here’s what BANT stands for:

B = Budget: Does the lead have a budget to afford what you’re offering?

A = Authority: Does the person you are talking to have the ability or authority to make a purchase?

N = Need: Do they have a need for your product or service? 

T = Timing: Does the prospect have a critical need for your solution now?

MEDDIC & MEDDPICC Sales Methodologies

Similarly, MEDDIC and MEDDPICC are also Sales Qualifying Methodologies. Here’s a quick breakdown of their acronyms.

Metrics: Do you understand the impact that this will have on their business, the identified pain? Can you articulate what it is? 

Economic Buyer: Have we had a conversation with the economic buyer? 

Decision-Making Process: Do we understand the decision-making process?

Decision Criteria: Do we know what is the criteria with which they will make that decision? Do we fit that criterion? Even better, have we maybe help that prospect frame the criteria.

Process: The fun-stuff or The Paperwork Process. You have to be set up as an approved vendor. Are there any NDA’s you have to sign? Just get your paperwork in order. 

Identified Panic: What is your prospects issue? What motivates them?

Competitors: what’s the competitive landscape? Who else are you up against? = C was the Champion.

Typically MEDDPICC is suitable for bigger deals with a long buying process or an extensive and complicated cycle. 

MEDDPICC Qualification Methodology

NEAT Selling Methodology

NEAT Selling focuses primarily on listening and understanding the customer first and is considered an excellent lead qualification process. The acronym NEAT stands for:

N = Needs: Focusing on the needs of your client, which is important to discern whether their pain points allign with the benefits and features of your product or service.

E = Economic Impact: How will not buying impact your potential customer?

A = Authority: It’s imperative to find the decision-maker in any given company. Who can sign off on your deal?

T = Timeline: Set out a time frame for yourself to ensure that you can complete your deal within the sales cycle.

Red Team Vs Blue Team Exercise

The Red Team Vs. Blue Team exercise is a qualifying activity developed by the military but primarily Hackers and Technology. Specifically, the technique seeks to test an organization’s internal strength; therefore in turn, this analysis can improve specific areas and allow your sales reps to receive a first-hand experience of your sales process.

Target Account Selling Methodology

Target Account Selling is an account hunting/go to market sales strategy that focuses on selling to a select few targeted accounts per sales rep instead of going after a large number of accounts with less focus.

Provocative Selling Methodology

The foundation of this modern sales approach is the idea that challenges are opportunities. Therefore, prospects in this scenario are entirely unaware that they have a pressing, urgent problem and have no idea how to solve it.

Above all, the prospect is utterly unaware of the dangers their company may face and are not even looking for the help you’re offering. Therefore, making you the best solution when presented with an efficient solution to their new-found problem.

Provocative selling seems like a modern revision of solution selling; however, the real difference is that while in solution selling, sure your prospect is aware of the problem, have the budget to solve it – but the prospects not entirely sure they should ask you to solve it. In provocative selling, you’re uncovering a problem, provoking a response and then positioning yourself as the ideal solution provider.

Insight Selling

Insight selling is an advanced-level sales skill that requires sales professionals to connect their abilities to a customer’s business issues by uncovering issues in the customer’s strategy to create added value. In simple terms, Insight Selling is the process of using data-based insights to move a prospect forward by speaking directly to their needs—something which traditional sales models do not.

The two types of Insight Selling

Nowadays, buyers are always connected and constantly online, learning more about your company and competitors. Technological advancements alongside social media have changed the buying process and, as a result, the selling process. Buyers are more empowered than ever before, so if they can’t easily find or see the value in your product or service – they won’t bother to speak with you. So to get the most out of the Insight Selling approach, you need to understand the two types:

1. Interaction Insight

The need and opportunity for Insight Selling can arise through the interactions you have with a prospect as you move them through the sales pipeline. By having valuable conversations about their pains, needs and wants – you can help uncover a solution they hadn’t considered.

2. Opportunity Insight

Opportunity Insights focuses on selling a particular idea that is likely to lead to a sale. Therefore, in this instance, you’re not just uncovering a hidden opportunity – but you’re proactively seeking to provoke a response.

GAP Selling

Gap selling is a problem-centric sales approach, where salespeople focus on learning and understanding prospective customers desired outcomes to their needs. At its core, salespeople identify the gap between where the prospect is and where they want to be in the future. So, the larger the gap – the more value you can add when you help them achieve desired state.

Conceptual Selling

Conceptual Selling is a broad sales methodology developed by Robert B. Miller and Stephen E. Heiman. The process focuses on raising awareness of the benefits or USP (Unique Selling Point) of products and services after understanding the requirements of their ideal target customers. Therefore, the process involves educating the prospect, which moves to convince them about the benefits, explaining the features, defining the return on investment, and finally selling.

SaaS Selling

SaaS sales is a complex process of selling full-featured software as a licensed service for use over the internet. However, the SaaS sales process is a complicated set of actions you initiate to turn visitors into paying clients; therefore, there’s more room for error than other sales methodologies.

Customer-Centric Selling

Sales trainer and author Michael Bosworth created Customer-Centric Selling to help salespeople to differentiate from the competition by creating a great customer experience. Overall, the unique selling strategy abandons pushy sales tactics in favour of establishing meaningful and trusted relationships with your customers.

Command of the sale

Command of the sale is a sales methodology created by Force Management to help organisations qualify their pipeline better, focus on the right opportunities, recognise customer pain points, and smoothly guide them through the decision process.

Equip leaders to implement the SOCO/ Selling Methodology

Train your team in SOCO’s cutting-edge sales methodology while saving time and maximising effectiveness through our SOCO Selling Train-The-Trainer program.

SOCO’s proprietary methodology is gleaned from decades of developing and delivering training for world-class companies across industries, around the globe.

Our Train-The-Trainer program includes everything your trainers and leaders need to easily implement an effective ‘digital first’ sales training system including an e-learning portal, workbooks, videos, and complete ‘Training Leader’ manuals.

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