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8 Best Sales Methodologies That Drive Results in 2024

Anand Venkatraman
February 13, 2024
5
min read
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In today’s dynamic market where rivals pop left and right, understanding customer needs and effectively communicating product propositions has become more important than ever.

But, how do you do it consistently with minimal effort? 

Two words – sales methodology.   

A sales methodology helps you communicate effectively with customers, build relationships, and make them stay with your brand. In simple terms, it bridges the gap between your offerings and the needs of your customers. 

In this article, we will understand the intricacies of a sales methodology and its 8 different types that you can implement in your business.

What is a sales methodology?

Put precisely, a sales methodology is a set of guiding principles, best practices, and steps that empower your reps at different stages of a sales process.

Today, when every sales interaction is unique, a sales methodology provides a consistent and structured framework to seamlessly go from the initial contact with a potential customer to the closing of a deal. This includes handling objections, following up, communication style, and more. 

The ultimate goal of every sales methodology is to increase the conversions of leads into customers and achieve the set sales goals.

Why should you adopt a sales methodology?

In the game of chess, each move influences the overall outcome. Likewise, your chosen sales methodology impacts different stages of your sales process and, eventually the overall success. Here’s how a business like yours can benefit from adopting one or a mix of sales methodologies. 

  • Accurate sales forecasts: Sales methodologies provide a certain standard for deal progression and customer conversations. This consistency allows sales managers to predict and forecast sales outcomes accurately. Improved visibility into each stage of the sales cycle also enables more precise revenue projections.
  • Effective hiring and training: These sales principles also ensure that new hires understand and follow a proven and consistent framework for closing deals. Training becomes more focused and targeted, aligning with the specific steps and strategies outlined in the sales methodology.
  • Structure sales processes: Sales methodologies bring structure and order to the sales process, from prospecting to closing. For example, SPIN Selling suggests asking questions to guide sales reps through each stage of the sales process.
  • Better objection handling: A sales methodology provides a framework for understanding and addressing common objections at various stages of the sales cycle. This way, sales teams are better equipped to address objections and turn challenges into opportunities.
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8 best sales methodologies that drive revenue

With a clearer understanding of the benefits, let’s delve deeper into the nuances of specific sales methodologies that you can adopt. 

1. The challenger sale 

The Challenger sales methodology was introduced by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson. Its core idea is that salespeople need to challenge customers' conventional thinking, introduce new concepts and solutions, and encourage constructive conversations rather than merely responding to their needs or requests with token templates.

According to the challenger sales research, there are five rep profiles and each falls into one or a mix of the following. The aim here is to turn every rep type into a challenger. 

  • The hard worker focuses on improving their role in the conversation and adheres to the laid-out plan. 
  • The relationship builder goes the extra mile to build rapport with different stakeholders and aims to create an internal advocate.
  • The lone wolf is a high performer but not a team player. They are independent and collaboration is usually not their thing. 
  • The problem solver wears the customer's shoes and ensures all customer problems are solved in a detailed manner.
  • The challenger offers a new PoV to his customers and tactfully pressurizes the customers. 

Moreover, 40% of high sales performers primarily used the Challenger style. 

The rep belonging to the challenger profile uses a three Ts approach wherein they teach differentiation to customers, tailor their message based on their understanding of customers, and take control of the sale.

Best used

When you have complex offerings, a niche/category-creating product, or a longer sales cycle, all characteristics prevalent in B2B sales. 

2. Solution selling 

87% of business buyers expect sales reps to act as trusted advisors. Solution selling capitalizes on this and focuses on solving customer pain points and problems through business offerings. The aim is to sell a solution by first making the buyer problem aware (if they are not already) and then recommending products/services to accommodate their needs. 

You might want to understand the two major questions as you connect with your customers 

  1. What are their goals and pain points?
  2. What can solve their needs?

The customer-centric approach of solution selling may include the following key steps  

  • Diagnosing the customer's problems 
  • Understanding the gravity of the problem 
  • Demonstrating the ROI of your pitched solution 

Best used

When you have highly customized products or you sell in packages. It will have more impact in an industry where a customer needs a high level of support like IT. 

3. Value selling

Value-based selling is a sales methodology that concentrates more on selling the benefits of a product/service throughout the sales process. The reps act as consultants who usually help the customers make decisions based on the potential benefit they can derive from your offerings. 

Here’s how you can begin with value selling: 

  1. Know what sets your company apart from the competitors – your USP
  2. Give them a reason to buy and don’t rush into selling your product/service
  3. Focus on building a quality pipeline instead of filling it with any and every type of lead. Give adequate time to each quality lead. 
  4. Know your products inside out as different customers come after different levels of research. Learn how you stack up against different market competitors. 

Now, you might be wondering how value selling and solution selling differ. The key difference lies in their emphasis. Value selling highlights the benefits and outcomes of your solution in its present form. In contrast, solution selling focuses on delivering a unique solution (even if it has to be customized) to meet the current customer needs.

Best used

When the market is highly competitive and the customer is considering a complex or high-value purchase.

4. SPIN selling

Neil Rackham introduced this sales methodology in his book ‘Spin Selling’. The most important aspect of spin selling is asking strategic and high-value questions. What questions a rep asks has a lot to do with the quality of information they procure from a customer which is why spin selling focuses on the need to ask the right questions. 

SPIN stands for the four stages in a questioning series. 

S– Situation; these questions address the current state of the customer. These include 

  • Which tool do you currently use?
  • Who uses this tool?
  • How do you perform a specific task?

P– Problem; these questions help the rep understand the needs, opportunities, and pain points of the customer. These include 

  • How long does it take to perform a specific task?
  • How much effort goes into doing this?
  • Does this process work without fail?

I– Implication; these questions help understand the magnitude of the prospect’s pain points. These include. 

  • Would saving this much time and effort make a difference to your workflows?
  • Using X, would it be easier to achieve this? 
  • Does this prevent you from achieving your goals? 

N– Need payoff; these questions can help you understand the prospect's receptiveness to the benefits of your product. These include

  • Would it help if..?
  • Would your team find value in doing it this way?
  • Do you think this can impact your outcomes?

However, it's important to ask as few questions as possible so that they don't overwhelm the prospect. Striking the right balance between gaining maximum information and asking fewer questions is crucial in spin selling. 

Best used

When there’s an absence of face-to-face meetings and your reps are selling remotely. For instance, during online calls, your agents can ask direct questions to gather crucial information quickly and understand more about the prospects and their thought processes. Also, works well when you have a complex sales cycle or operate in the B2B space. 

5. MEDDIC 

MEDDIC offers a disciplined approach to qualifying and closing complex deals. This sales methodology is highly controlled through metrics, relevant data, and quantitative standards established for lead qualification. The MEDDIC methodology concludes when a buyer successfully vouches for your product.

The typical MEDDIC-based sale flows through the following framework: 

  • Metrics – Communicating how your product helps the buyer achieve certain metrics like costs saved, time saved, etc.
  • Economic buyer – Identifying who’s in charge of the buying decision. 
  • Decision – Fulfilling the checklist or the requirements the buyer has to make the purchase. 
  • Decision process – Walking through the different steps involved in actually purchasing the product. 
  • Identify pain – Understanding the problems your product is solving for the buyer 
  • Champion – Finally, discovering an internal supporter on the buyer’s side who will make the case for your product 

Best used

When you have lengthy sales cycles and you have to get approvals from multiple stakeholders. Ideal for companies with B2B enterprise sales. 

6. Sandler 

50% more salespeople with Sandler hit quotas than those without Sandler. Sandler sales methodology is a comprehensive seven-step approach wherein the reps act as trusted consultants to the customers. It emphasizes building customer relationships rather than just being a stubborn salesperson. Here’s how the approach can be broken down:

  • Bonding and rapport building: The primary step is establishing trust and a comfortable relationship with your prospects. 
  • Up-front contracts: Next, set clear expectations and agreements with them regarding the sales process, objectives, and next steps.
  • Pain: Identify the challenges and pain points of your prospects and understand how your product can meet their needs and motivations.
  • Budget: Now, determine the financial capability and willingness of a prospect to invest in a solution within the initial few conversations. 
  • Decision: Discuss the prospect’s decision-making process including the timeline, stakeholders, and other important factors. 
  • Fulfillment: Present your solution in a light that addresses the prospect's pain points, budget, and objections. 
  • Post-sell: Finally, close the deal and follow up after the sale to ensure customer satisfaction. 

Best used

This one is a flexible approach and blends in with companies of all shapes and sizes. It works especially well in industries like real estate, healthcare, insurance, and more.

7. Gap selling 

Gap selling is a sales methodology that focuses on the problem a potential customer is facing. It aims at bridging the gap between a customer's current situation and their ideal future.

This involves going through the following stages:

  • Understanding the current situation facts of the prospect/product 
  • Learning what problems the prospect is facing due to the current product 
  • Figuring out the impact of these problems on the overall business 
  • Discovering the root causes of their problems 
  • Tapping into the emotion of the prospect
  • Demonstrating a better product to improve the future state 
  • Pitching your product as the ideal solution 

All these steps help you assess the gap, establish your product’s value in the prospect’s lifecycle, and finally seal the deal.  

Best used

When you’re involved in high-stake sales regularly or you’re selling complex products/services. Such a methodology also fits well if your business offers modern alternatives to legacy solutions. However, it is important to make your sales pitch problem-centric and not product-centric. 

8. Social Selling

Social media’s widespread usage today has given birth to a modern sales methodology known as social selling. This involves using social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to identify, connect with, and nurture relationships with potential customers. 

Getting started with social selling looks like this:

  1. Update your profile pictures, write clear bios, and add contact and website details. 
  2. Use tools like Locobuzz. Hootsuite to get a complete understanding of all online conversations related to your brand, products, industry, and competitors.
  3. Develop content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience. Use a mix of formats such as articles, videos, infographics, etc. 
  4. Respond to comments, messages, and mentions regularly to show that your brand is self-aware and responsive. Like, share, and comment on relevant audience posts.
  5. Reach out to prospects through direct messages or comments to initiate conversations and keep them going. 
  6. Qualify leads based on their level of interest, budget, authority, and timeline. Schedule personalized discovery calls, and demos to move them down the funnel.

Data validates the effectiveness of this approach as 78% of social sellers outsell their peers who don’t use social media. 

Best used

When you have a longer sales cycle or operate in a highly competitive market—ideal for startups and small businesses with limited resources.

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How to choose and implement the right methodology for your business

Now, these might seem like a lot of options to choose from. However, you need to make sure that the sales methodology you choose blends nicely with your sales processes and the industry you operate in. To do just this, let’s understand four critical steps.

Step 1: Understand the target market

First, conduct market research using surveys, and focus groups, review existing customer data, including purchase history, and feedback, and identify common trends. Gather frontline customer insights from sales and marketing teams. 

Then, create detailed buyer personas that include the characteristics, goals, challenges, and buying behaviors of your ideal customers. This will offer a framework for you to execute in the next steps.

Step 2: Map your buyer’s journey 

Identify buyer touchpoints at different stages including awareness, consideration, decision-making, and post-purchase. Determine the key interactions that happen at discovery, solution evaluation, negotiation, and purchase confirmation. Then, select a sales methodology that goes well with the unique needs and preferences of your target audience.

Step 3: Experiment and evaluate 

Roll out pilot programs to experiment with different sales methodologies. Define and measure key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversion rates, lead-to-opportunity ratio, average deal size, and sales cycle length to assess the effectiveness. Also, gather feedback from sales teams to better evaluate the pilot. 

Step 4: Coach and empower your team 

Once you narrow it down to the most suited sales methodologies, start conducting training programs that cover the principles, outreach strategies, and best practices of the selected methodology. 

Create sales enablement material such as playbooks, scripts, templates, and objection-handling guides to assist your team in executing the sales methodology successfully. Offer ongoing coaching, mentoring, and feedback to help your sales team become pros. 

Why Happysales is your partner for executing any sales methodology

Outreach is an important stage in every sales methodology. With tens of different channels to connect with your customers today, you can’t do without automation. 

Happysales is an AI-powered sales strategy suite that can help you tailor communication with strategic insights for each prospect so that your reps can confidently turn conversations into wins. 

Here’s how it can add value to your business sales. 

  • Insights to know the personalities behind the persona from the DISC framework
  • Capture prospect intelligence using call evaluation to understand their challenges.
  • AI-backed recommendations based on personality, market, and account insights for perfect pitches.
  • Conversation starters to initiate conversation depending on buyer personalities.
  • Get multiple versions of your company’s value proposition tailored to personas and their unique challenges.
  • Simulate realistic sales conversations with an AI model with auto-generated summaries of your prospect's LinkedIn profile.
  • Hyper-personalize your sales outreach and email nurture with relevant content deeply contextualized by 100+ real-time intelligence sources and triggers. 

That’s not it! Know more about everything Happysales can do for your reps by joining their exclusive waitlist.

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