A Sales Methodology

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A Sales Methodology

Do you have a sales methodology that your team follows?  Let’s step back.  What is a sales methodology? Sales best practices? A sales process? Documented steps/procedures in the sale? Sales skills? Tools? All of the above?

A sales methodology is the system a sales organization follows to win business.  In one sense (not the best sense), every sales organization and/or salesperson has a sales methodology whether it is the remnants of one that had once been put in place, the norm people follow, or what a particular salesperson has figured out for him or herself.

An effective sales methodology is one that a sales organization has thought out clearly and provides it to its salesforce.  The differences between a sales methodology that just exists because a company or most salespeople pretty much operate that way and a highly effective sales methodology boils down to six critical success factors.

Documentation:  Map out clear steps as a guide for salespeople to follow/repeat.
Best Practices:  Embed it with what your top performers consistently do.
Training:  Prepare your salesforce to ensure they have the knowledge and skills needed to carry out the steps.
Tools:  Give salespeople and sales managers tools, such as easy to use CRMs, planners, access to research … to make them more productive.
Execution:  Follow it and coach to it.
Assessment:  Ongoing feedback, tweaking and refinement.

The goal of having a sales methodology is to win more deals and to win them more quickly.

The initial question was do you have a sales methodology.  The second question is if not should you have one?

Take the time to map out the steps it takes to identify and convert a lead into a customer.  Make it a collaborative process with marketing team and your top performers.  It is more than worth the effort.  Ten percent of your reps will do fine without a clear sales methodology.  But 80% will do better with one.