20 Best Sales Methodologies That Drive Real Results

sales methodologies

The ability to drive exceptional sales results is paramount to the success and growth of your sales organization. However, finding the best sales methodology can take time and effort. It may also leave you wondering which approach will truly deliver the desired outcome.

That’s why we have crafted a comprehensive guide specifically tailored for sales leaders like you. Discover 20 of the best sales methodologies that can help you consistently yield remarkable results.

What is a Sales Methodology?

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 20 best sales methodologies and the differences of each.

Sales Methodology vs Sales Process: What’s the Difference?

Although closely related, sales methodologies and sales processes are two different concepts.

A sales methodology is the main approach or principles that help the sales team do and plan their work throughout the sales cycle.

It provides a framework for how salespeople engage with prospects and customers and navigate the various sales process stages.

On the other hand, a sales process is a set of clear steps and tasks to turn a prospect into a customer. They follow some steps to move a prospect through the sales cycle from initial contact to final purchase or contract.

This systematic approach outlines the stages, tasks, and milestones involved in the sales journey.

Do you need to apply a sales methodology?

Applying a sales methodology can improve your sales performance, consistency, and efficiency. However, not every sales methodology is suitable for every situation. You need to choose the one that fits your product, market, and customer needs.

Some of the most popular sales methodologies are: The Challenger Sale, Solution Selling, SPIN Selling, MEDDIC, and Insight Selling. Each of these methodologies has its own strengths, weaknesses, and best practices. Read on to explore these methods in more detail.

20 Types of Sales Methodologies

The diversity of different sales methodologies reflects how complex the sales process is. You need flexible ways to engage with customers and drive successful outcomes.

Discover and choose the best methodology for your sales goals, target audience, and sales environment from the selection below:

  1. SOCO/ Sales Methodology
  2. Challenger Sales Method
  3. Consultative Selling Methodology
  4. Social Selling Methodology
  5. Solution Selling Methodology
  6. SPIN Selling Methodology
  7. Value Selling Methodology
  8. Agile Sales Methodology
  9. BANT Sales Methodology
  10. MEDDIC & MEDDPICC Sales Methodologies
  11. NEAT Selling Methodology
  12. Relationship Selling
  13. Target Account Selling Methodology
  14. Provocative Selling Methodology
  15. Insight Selling
  16. GAP Selling
  17. Conceptual Selling
  18. SaaS Selling
  19. Customer-Centric Selling
  20. Command of the Sale

1. SOCO Selling Methodology

SOCO has a proprietary methodology called ‘SOCO Selling’. We have developed it through training top performing companies in different industries all over the world for many years.

We believe that the ideal sales results are when sales specialists are solution-focused, goal-oriented, and proud of their work. The SOCO/ Selling methodology includes seven pillars that revolve around a top-to-bottom-of-funnel sales methodology. The pillars include Management Mastery, Attitude Advantage, Prospecting Power, Differentiation Dominance, Presentation Perfection, Sustainable Selling and Social Selling.

7 Pillars of the SOCO/ Sales Methodology

SOCO Selling focuses on building sales reps who are resilient, confident, and experts in their field. They come to sales meetings knowing their customer’s business well and bringing solutions that work for their clients. They’re teachers and confidants who can steer the direction of the sale without being pushy.

You can move sales representatives from order takers to product and industry experts with the SOCO Selling methodology.

2. Challenger Sales Method

In the Challenger Sales Model, the seller is proactive in teaching their prospect and leading the customer conversation. This methodology takes an anti-consultative selling stance although there is still lots of overlap between the 2 models.

The Challenger Sales Model is an advanced approach that requires careful execution. Only experienced sales professionals should use the method.

Read Our In-Depth Review of The Challenger Sale Here

3. Consultative Selling Methodology

In Consultative Selling, having strong relationships with the customer is at the core of this approach. The seller needs to thoroughly diagnose the needs of the prospect to be able to suggest the solution that best meets their needs.

Leaders should use this method when their teams are ‘order takers’ – they only write up what the customer says they want. Instead with a Consultative Selling approach, reps learn how to ask questions that reveal the problems they can help solve.

Read Our In-Depth Review of Consultative Selling Here

4. 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.

Social Selling requires sales reps to understand how to use social media for lead generation as well as conversion. We believe that Social Selling doesn’t stop at just generating leads.

Read Our In-Depth Guide to Social Selling Here

5. Solution Selling Methodology

Solution Selling focuses on selling solutions to the prospects’ problems, and not just selling the product. Solution Selling sells the ‘solution’ instead of the ‘product’.

Read Our In-Depth Guide to Solution Selling

6. 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

7. Value Selling Methodology

Customers buy your product or service because they expect to gain a value they would otherwise miss. This is the essence of value-based selling.

Hence, the sales approach focuses on delivering value to the customer based on their needs, using a consultative approach. Above all, this ensures that the product’s potential value drives the sales decision. This is the main principle.

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

8. Agile Sales Methodology

Agile Sales methodology follows a few core principles. One of the principles includes creating short-term goals and working independently to achieve them. It also involves having adequate collaborative support and feedback from the rest of the team.

It allows employees to address changes quickly, adjust their goals accordingly, and use results and feedback from the team. This is because Agile sales management has short-term targets. Instead of blindly following a plan created months, weeks, or even longer in advance.

Read Our In-Depth Guide to Agile Sales

9. BANT Sales Methodology

BANT is an acronym for a sales qualifying methodology used to check the quality of the lead. It helps 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?

10. 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. Set up as an approved vendor first. 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

11. NEAT Selling Methodology

NEAT Selling is a sales method that listens and understands the customer before anything else. It is an excellent lead qualification process. The acronym NEAT stands for:

N = Needs: Understand what your client needs and see if your product or service can solve their problems.

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.

12. Relationship Selling

Relationship selling is a sales technique that focuses on building trust and rapport with customers, rather than just selling them a product or service. By understanding their needs, challenges, and goals, you can offer them personalized solutions that add value to their situation.

Relationship selling helps you create loyal customers who are more likely to buy from you again and refer you to others. It also helps you stand out from your competitors who may only care about making a quick sale.

Relationship selling works well for expensive or complicated products or services that need more buyer involvement. To succeed in relationship selling, you need to have excellent communication, listening, and problem-solving skills. You also need to follow up with your customers regularly and provide them with ongoing support and guidance. Relationship selling builds a lasting and beneficial partnership with your customer, not just a single deal.

13. Target Account Selling Methodology

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

14. 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. They also and have no idea how to solve it.

Above all, the prospect is utterly unaware of the dangers their company may face. They have no interest in the help you provide. Therefore, making you the best solution when presented with an efficient solution to their new-found problem.

Provocative selling may look like a modern revision of solution selling; But the key difference is that in solution selling, your prospect knows the problem and has the budget to solve it. However, they are not convinced that you are the right person to help them. In provocative selling, it involves finding a problem, triggering a reaction, and positioning yourself as the ideal solution provider.

15. Insight Selling

Insight selling is a high-level sales skill. It helps sales professionals to connect their skills to the customer’s business problems. They do this by uncovering issues in the customer’s strategy to create added value.

In simple terms, Insight Selling uses data-based insights to help a prospect progress by addressing their needs directly. This is something that traditional sales models do not do.

2 Types of Insight Selling

Nowadays, buyers always stay connected and are constantly online, learning 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. They need to be able to see the value of your product or service easily. If not, they will lose interest in speaking with you. So to get the most out of the Insight Selling approach, you need to understand the two types:

1. Interaction Insight

You can apply Interaction Insight when you are communicating with a prospect and moving them through the sales pipeline. You can help uncover a solution they didn’t think of by having valuable conversations about their pains, wants, and needs.

2. Opportunity Insight

Opportunity Insights focuses on selling a particular idea that is likely to lead to a sale. In this case, you are not only finding a hidden opportunity but also proactively seeking to provoke a response.

16. GAP Selling

Gap selling is a problem-centric sales approach. Salespeople focus on learning and understanding prospects’ 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.

17. 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. It drives to convince the prospect why they should buy the product or service, what it can do for them, how much they can save or earn, and then sells it to them.

18. 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 complex and has many steps to turn visitors into customers. Therefore, there’s more room for error than other sales methodologies.

19. Customer-Centric Selling

Michael Bosworth, a sales trainer and author, made Customer-Centric Selling. It helps salespeople stand out from the competition by creating a great customer experience. Overall, the unique selling strategy abandons pushy sales tactics. Instead, it favors establishing meaningful and trusted relationships with your customers.

20. Command of the Sale

Command of the sale is a sales methodology created by Force Management. It helps organizations qualify their pipeline, focus on the best opportunities, understand customer problems, and help them decide easily.

How to Implement a New Sales Methodology

Implementing a new sales training methodology requires careful planning and execution to ensure a smooth transition and maximize effectiveness.

Here are some actionable steps we recommend you take to help you implement a new sales methodology:

  1. Clearly define objectives: Start by defining the objectives and goals you want to achieve with the new sales methodology. Align these objectives with your overall business strategy and sales targets. Ensure your objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
  2. Create an Implementation Plan: Write a clear plan outlining the steps, timeline, and tools you need to implement the new method. Assign responsibilities to team members and establish milestones to track progress. Communicate the plan to your sales team and other relevant stakeholders.
  3. Train your sales team: Invest in comprehensive training for them to learn and implement the new methodology effectively. Provide training sessions, workshops, or online modules covering the methodology’s core principles, techniques, and strategies. Consider engaging external trainers or consultants with expertise in the chosen methodology.
  4. Provide coaching and support: Alongside training, provide ongoing coaching and support to your sales team. Assign them an experienced mentor or coach who specializes in the new method. They can guide and support them as they apply the new methodology in their sales activities. Regularly review performance, provide feedback, and address any challenges or questions during implementation.
  5. Evaluate and optimize: Periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the new sales methodology against your defined objectives. Assess its impact on sales performance, customer satisfaction, revenue, and other relevant metrics. Identify areas for improvement and optimize your implementation approach accordingly. Seek customer feedback and incorporate their input to refine and enhance your sales processes.

Choosing the best sales approach for your company

You need to align your sales process with how your customer buys and the best sales methodology for your situation. A sales methodology is a framework that helps your sales reps to close deals. It provides them with tools, strategies, best practices, and a common language to use.

We have covered many sales methodologies that you can choose from in this article. Your next step would be to train your sales reps, monitor their performance, and measure the results of the chosen methodology.

Implement the SOCO/ Selling Methodology

Teach your team how to sell with SOCO’s cutting-edge sales methodology. You will save time and maximize effectiveness through our SOCO Selling Train-The-Trainer program.

SOCO’s proprietary methodology comes from decades of training world-class companies across industries, around the globe.

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

SOCO Selling Training Leader Program
SOCO Selling Training Leader Program

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