Sales methodology provides the framework for how different steps in your sales process are carried out in the pursuit of sales development, customer success, and revenue growth. There are countless sales methodologies, and many are very similar or built around the same concept.
In Spin Selling, way back in 1980, Neil Rackham looked at the differences between highly successful salespeople and those who were underperforming. He showed that the successful sales reps asked higher quality questions and built a methodology around this evidence.
Rackham showed that sales isn’t just about aggressively pitching, but also about asking insightful questions. He showed the importance of creating momentum by demonstrating that the salesperson is knowledgeable and understands the customer’s needs. Buyers today are skeptical, and by the time they meet with a salesperson, they’ve done a lot of their own research (in fact, a prospect has completed most of the sales process BEFORE they take that first meeting). They may even know more about the category than the salesperson, so the initial step in a sales process is to gain trust. That should be built into every sales methodology.
Challenger Selling, Consultative Selling, Solution Selling and RAIN Selling are all popular methodologies. They are a few of the top 10 methodologies Charles Edge recommends on the Selling Power blog, a highly credible resource.
Whether you create your own methodology or choose one of these, you need to include the foundational elements of insightful questions and building momentum through trust.
One of the questions the Chief Outsiders team asks is, “Where do you think Chief Outsiders can offer the most value to you?” A question like this comes after a long dialogue with the client about their business and about yours, and you ask the question to find out what’s resonating with them. You can then take your direction from the client’s answer.
Even though you want to ask good questions, prospects should never feel like they are being interrogated. Instead, structure and sequence your questions in a logical and coherent way that makes a customer feel like they’re engaged in a customer-centric dialogue. By listening and fostering trust, you can put forward your company’s most appropriate offering.
Interested in learning more about Sales Methodologies and how to apply them in your organization? Like other fractional “Executives as a Service,” the Chief Outsiders fractional CSOs are battle-tested and experienced executives that can work alongside you to help set objectives, develop and hone strategies, and ensure efficient deployment of plans that move the needle for growth and sales. Contact us to learn more.