The ability to drive exceptional sales results is paramount to the success and growth of your organization. Yet navigating the vast array of available sales methodologies can take time and effort, leaving 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 Methodology vs Sales Process
- 20 Types of Sales Methodologies
- How to Implement a New Sales Methodology
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 very closely related, sales methodologies and sales processes are two different concepts.
A sales methodology is the overarching approach or philosophy that guides the sales team’s actions and strategies 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 the series of structured steps and activities that a salesperson follows to move a prospect through the sales cycle from initial contact to final purchase or contract.
It is a systematic approach that outlines the stages, tasks, and milestones involved in the sales journey.
20 Types of Sales Methodologies
The diversity of sales methodologies reflects the complexity of the sales process and the need for adaptable approaches to engage with customers and drive successful outcomes.
Discover and choose the methodology that aligns best with your goals, target audience, and sales environment from the selection below:
- SOCO/ Sales Methodology
- Challenger Sales Methodology
- Consultative Selling Methodology
- Social Selling Methodology
- Solution Selling Methodology
- SPIN Selling Methodology
- Value Selling Methodology
- Agile Sales Methodology
- BANT Sales Methodology
- MEDDIC & MEDDPICC Sales Methodologies
- NEAT Selling Methodology
- Red Team Vs. Blue Team Exercise
- Target Account Selling Methodology
- Provocative Selling Methodology
- Insight Selling
- GAP Selling
- Conceptual Selling
- SaaS Selling
- Customer-Centric Selling
- Command of the Sale
1. SOCO Selling Methodology
SOCO’s proprietary methodology ‘SOCO Selling’ is gleaned from decades of developing and delivering training for world-class companies across industries around the globe.
Founded on the belief that creating solution-focused, goal-oriented sales specialists who take pride in their profession makes for ideal sales results. The SOCO/ Selling methodology includes seven pillars that revolve around a top-to-bottom of funnel sales methodology: Management Mastery, Attitude Advantage, Prospecting Power, Differentiation Dominance, Presentation Perfection, Sustainable Selling and Social Selling.
SOCO Selling focuses on building sales reps who are resilient, confident and experts in their field. They come to sales meetings armed with knowledge of their customer’s business, ready with solutions that deliver real results for their clients. They’re teachers and confidants who can steer the direction of the sale without being pushy.
It’s a methodology that moves sales representatives from order takers to product and industry experts.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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.
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.
5. 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’.
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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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?
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. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
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 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.
15. 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.
2 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.
16. 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.
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, which moves to convince them about the benefits, explaining the features, defining the return on investment, and finally selling.
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 a complicated set of actions you initiate to turn visitors into paying clients; therefore, there’s more room for error than other sales methodologies.
19. 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.
20. 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.
How to Implement a New Sales Methodology
Implementing a new sales 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:
- 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).
- Develop an Implementation Plan: Create a detailed plan outlining the steps, timeline, and resources required to implement the new sales methodology. Assign responsibilities to team members and establish milestones to track progress. Communicate the plan to your sales team and other relevant stakeholders.
- Train your sales team: Invest in comprehensive training for your sales team to equip them with the knowledge and skills required to 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.
- Provide coaching and support: Alongside training, provide ongoing coaching and support to your sales team. Assign experienced mentors or coaches who can guide and support individuals as they apply the new methodology in their sales activities. Regularly review performance, provide feedback, and address any challenges or questions during implementation.
- 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.
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.