There are many ways to define a sales methodology. At Richardson, we define it as “a set of non-linear practices, learned behaviors, tactics, and strategies used in a dynamic way to make decisions and take actions to execute the sales process.”
This definition was developed in response to changes in customer buying behavior.
The buying process is no longer a straight line, and since the path to a final purchase decision is no longer characterized by a logical progression. A sales methodology must be dynamic and iterative.
In response to this need for change, we’ve developed a flexible series of sales methodologies that address the challenges of today’s selling environment.
Our sales methodologies are important to both the sales professional who wants to follow a simple sales process and build sales skills to win deals AND the sales manager who wants to ensure their team is pursuing high quality, winnable opportunities and build a sales forecast that is accurate and reliable.
Building Unique Sales Methodologies for Different Types of Sales Professionals
The first component of our sales methodology is identifying the stages and high-value activities that define what sales professional what needs to accomplish to win business.
This component is typically known as “sales process” and, while we look for common steps across the organization, we recognize timing and some of the activities will be different depending on the complexity of the clients’ business or a division.
We customize our methodology to capture what is common and define what is unique. And because we know that “one-size does not fit all” our approach ensures that the sales methodology is 100% relevant to each selling role and reflects differences in global go-to-market strategies. For more information on building an effective sales process download the eBook: Using Verifiable Outcomes in the Sales Process.
Establishing a Customer Focus Throughout the Sales Organization
The second component of our sales methodology is where Richardson provides a significant advantage.
We understand that it takes more than strategy and tactics to build relationships with customers and win business. So we enable the sales methodology at each stage by providing the skills that even experienced salespeople can use to have a more productive and deeper level of dialogue with their customers.
These dialogue skills provide a path to transition from a product-centric discussion to a more “business value” discussion where the customer shares their business objectives and challenges and the salesperson relates solutions to those challenges.
Equipping the Team with the Right Tools
The third component of our selling methodology is the practical tools that support sales professionals throughout the process to qualify, pursue and win business, and maintain and expand relationships. These tools include:
- Account Plans
- Opportunity Plans
- Value Maps
- Relationship Maps
- Call Planners
- Close Plans
Our tools are powerful, simple to use, collaborative and can be fully integrated into CRM so that they are accessible in the everyday workstream of the sales professional – which is critical to driving adoption of the sales methodology.
Driving Results with Verifiable Outcomes
The fourth component of our sales methodology is the verifiable outcomes. These are road signs that indicate the customer is engaged and buying in and the opportunity is truly qualified to move to the next stage. These verifiable outcomes are where managers need to be spending their time coaching. They are considered leading indicators of performance.