Sales process v. sales methodology

If you’re in sales, I’m sure by now you’ve heard the terms “sales process” and “sales methodologies.” Knowing the difference between the two is important.

Sales Process

A sales process is a designed set of steps that you go through to generate revenue. You walk a prospect through your process. It is important to have a process because you can only improve your sales statistics when you follow a process and you identify where there’s weaknesses in it. A typically a high level simple process is prospect > pre-call plan> schedule an appointment > identify needs > ask for the order. In its simplest form, that’s a sales process. The complexity of your sales process can vary by business. What is important about a sales process is that you follow it. Consistently using the exact same process allows you to go back and look at a repeatable set of actions and identify what is going well and what ares need improvement. You can’t have effective self-analysis if one week you use one sales process, and the next week you have a different sales process, and the third week you winged it for your four different appointments. When you wing it, you rob yourself of the opportunity for self-improvement.

Sales Methodology

A sales methodology is bit more complex. A sales methodology is a format that someone has created. It is a belief, it is a philosophy, it is the principles on how we’re going to identify ways to get our prospects to purchase our product or services. Some sale methodology examples include the challenger sales method, solution selling, spin selling, Sandler sales methodology or consultative selling. All of these methodologies have different approaches and different philosophies on how you get a customer to say yes. If I’m using the challenger methodology, it is my job to teach a prospect how my product will benefit or serve them. If I’m a consultative sales methodology, I’m going to gain a prospect’s trust over a period of time with the goal that the prospect will then do business with me. If I’m a solution based sales rep, I’m going to identify a problem and I’m going to present a solution to you. Though there are multiple methodologies, in my opinion, one isn’t better than the other. A true sales professional, a true sales expert will be a master at multiple sales methodologies because there is a time and place when each one is appropriate.

So I challenge you. If you’re a sales professional and you’re really skilled in a certain sales methodology, and I only listed a few, learn about another one. As you learn about more sales methodologies, your skillset as a sales professional grows exponentially. There’s no such thing as knowing too much about your craft. Your craft as a professional sales person is sales. You definitely want to know multiple sales methodologies to deepen your understanding of this craft. Fun fact, I have no affiliation to even any of them. But I also know a lot about all of them because I’ve studied them for the past 20 years. I highly recommend you find ways to improve yourself and learn different sales methodologies. If you need help identifying or setting a sales process, you can reach out to me and I’m happy to help you do that.

 

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