The time has arrived to modify your sales processes with the help of the advancements in the sales and buyer industry unless you want risks to become irrelevant.
There have been lots of changes seen in the consumer behavior and they can lose sleep due to their problems, not the products manufactured by you. There are lots of new engagement mediums emerged in the market. Ignoring one will result in relinquishing possible market share to the competitors.
There are smart methods of selling services and ideas offered by the Disruptive technologies. You should consider outmoded and inadequate sales stacks for bringing growth instead of driving them.
Can you really afford to remain on the sidelines if the ideal practices shifts?
The major professionals working at the hyper-growth organizations are busty to hack their sales methods. Are you one of them?
What is a sales process?
A sales process can be defined as the number of steps that included different activities and consist of one or more sales methods whose main motive is to find customers and connects with them. Furthermore, these activities should attract the customers for making a purchase and then develop a template for meeting sales goals and replicating the required level of performance.
If we talk in a practical manner, your sales methods work as a model through which all the members of the sales team can get in figuring out prospects, eliminating customer problems, boosting client loyalty, closing deals, and performing up-sells.
An incredible sales methods can be aligned brilliantly with the purchasing journey of your ideal buyers. The most useful sales methods show out all the stages of the journey from the point of view of the customers.
An effective sales process should be:
- Clearly defined
A sales method that doesn’t have even one of them will be a disadvantage in the present world of competitive digital economy.
Seven steps you require to reinforce in the sales processes
Check out the seven essential stages of the sales process that are mentioned below:
- Requirements assessment
- Sales presentation/ pitch
- Objection handling
- Follow up
It can be extremely complicated to formulate a sales process for your company. The first challenge usually consists the job that identifies the particular steps of your sales operations. However, the amount of sales process steps depends on the type of sector. It varies in the companies that even operate in the same location.
In order to attain success with adequate clarity and flexibility, you can begin with the seven-stage sales method that is utilized by lots of business companies:
1. Preparation & Research
Staying well-versed regarding your product, your sector, your potential customers and the unique value offered by your brand can’t be overstated. Have in-depth research about your competitors, major problems that are experienced by your buyer personas and the several product features & advantages that can address these issues in a direct or indirect manner.
Go through the knowledge base of your company for understanding the different customer engagement scenarios and how the pain points can be solved, complaints can be handled, deals can be closed and repeat business can be generated.
Figuring out customers is one thing, whereas engaging the right out of them is different.
You can discover prospects from lots of sources that include your CRM database, online search, social media, and industry events.
Your team has to set a perfect customer profile on the basis of a number of factors and then check out prospects according to this benchmark. This will allow your team to hand out a limited amount of resources on high-value and qualified leads.
It is pretty important that prospecting should always on instinct throughout your sales company for ensuring a useful customer pipeline.
3. Requirements Assessment
Meeting a prospect in a person or calling a correspondent through digital tools for the first time is an ideal chance to go in-depth into their circumstances and check out their real requirements.
The sales professionals are allowed to craft tailored solutions for hiking the chances of closing a deal at this stage. Some of the greatest skills that can be deployed at this stage are active listening, trust-building, empathy, note-taking and following up.
4. Pitch/ Presentation
In this stage, the unique value experienced by your customers will be articulated by your team if they adopt your solution or buy your product.
It can be performed by connecting the real requirements and wants as per the features and advantages offered by your product.
In this stage, there is a very critical role played by preparation and product knowledge, but still, the consumer-centricity should act as your default mode. You have to stay relevant by connecting the product and the prospect.
5. Objection handling
When it comes to sales industry, the most common things that lack in a salesperson are reluctant, complaints, objections, and outright rejections. Along with that, there is a need for an ability to deal with the grits.
In order to manage the objections in an effective way, you should practice empathy and process the situation on a regular basis as per the customer’s point of view.
Now, this is the period where a sale is actually made with all your work that gets reflected in the top-line revenue of your company.
There is an involvement of sending a proposal or quote satisfying the tailored situation you are providing on the basis of your business workflow or model.
It can also consist of further negotiations regarding particular terms in the agreements like sales/ subscription/ membership along with a range of signed approvals from main decision makers in your prospect company.
However, there are chances that you may become unsuccessful while closing a deal. If it’s the case, then you require to execute a follow-up plan, schedule the lead or ask for a referral for re-engagement in the future.
7. Follow-ups, repeat business & referrals
Paying customers are just like the incredible candidates due to the prospects for other services by you.
Repeat business can be up-sell and generated by you more easily by maintaining excellent relationships with the customers.
Customers need to be nurtured by remaining aware regarding new services, applying for a superior rewards program and getting feedback about how they can be served in a better way.
In addition, you should never afraid to ask for referrals that are earned by you till now.
What is the difference between sales process vs sales methodology?
Sales methodology can be defined as a part of the sales process about the framework, general tactic, and philosophy for guiding a sales person on how to approach every step within the process.
There are lots of confusion between the term sales process and sales methodology, especially among the people who aren’t sales professionals.
It looks synonymous, but the two technical terms defined to the two different things in the sales industry.
On the basis of your market, operational model, corporate identity, or product verticals, you should implement a single methodology for governing your whole sales process or applying several methodologies throughout the particular sales process steps.
The 14 Most Popular Sales Methodologies
- The Challenger Sale
- Value Selling
- Command of the Sale
- The Sandler Selling Method
- Conceptual Selling
- Consultative Selling
- Customer-Centric Selling
- Target Account Selling
- Inbound Selling
- SPIN Selling
- Neat Selling
- Solution Selling
- SNAP Selling
1. The Challenger Sale
This methodology originated in the year 2011 when sales professionals were categorized into five different classes in a book launched by Matthew Dixon:
- Hard workers
- Lone wolves
- Reactive problem solvers
- Relationship builders
According to the book, the most successful group in the B2B enterprise market is the challenger-type sellers. In order to become a challenger, the customers need to be aware of the seller about the challenges and opportunities that can change the game in their respective industries, then provide tailored and effective services. There is some “teach-tailor-take” technique used by the challengers for closing a deal.
2. Command of the Sale
GrowthPlay used this methodology as a service and it was conceptualized. The main technique utilized is customizing the sales enablement tools and activities on the basis of solutions that is already available in the place while targeting the main qualification and value messaging parts.
3. Conceptual Selling
Created by the Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman, sales are reframed as a method where a buyer is persuaded by a seller for purchasing a concept instead of product in this method. The goal of the seller can be achieved with the help of active listening, empathy, and asking questions for discovering a conception of a particular buyer of the desired state or an acceptable solution. This idea can be related to the seller with the majority of the salient aspects or advantages of the solution/ product.
4. Consultative Selling
This methodology was started in solution selling, leveraging the expertise of a veteran salespeople, reputation & knowledge of the industry. The customers have to make a purchase under this dynamic as the seller is trusted by them and the purported advantages are expected so that results can be realized.
5. Customer-centric selling
As stated by the word explicitly, this method target goal, challenges, and convenience of the customer. The main goal here is becoming trusted and warm advisors to the customer.
There is a need to modify the sales methods and activities for matching the schedule, goals, and situation of the client.
The reps have generated relevant conversations regarding modification of the solution for matching the requirements of the clients in a better way, instead of just creating presentations.
6. Inbound selling
This is basically the latest method that has nurtured with the internet’s development. The marketing tactics need to mesh with the objectives and methods of sales in inbound selling.
Therefore, the inbound sellers have to attract the customers by setting up the messaging chances instead of pushing the sales-y scripts so that the clients can engage the brand or product of the seller in an active or contextual manner.
Due to the fact that buyers have nowadays become more informed and powerful about the purchasing decisions, the inbound sellers utilized the analytics and data for hyper-personalize their messaging for pulling the clients around the desired action.
Please note: Outbound selling works in a completely different way as it encapsulates the majority of the traditional selling tactics where a sales engagement is initiated and guided by a prospective client. The engagement can be in the form of a warm or cold call, an email outreach over a chat session or social media.
The full-form of MEDDIC is:
- Economic Buyer
- Decision Criteria
- Decision Process
- Identify Pain
There is a need for a highly disciplined, tightly controlled, and tech-driven approach to the sales process in this methodology.
Quantitative standards are set by the MEDDIC by using metrics and other relevant data for lead qualification and demands the search and nourishing a champion in the specific organization who will be the advocate for the brand or solution of the seller.
8. N.E.A.T Selling
The full form of N.E.A.T is written below:
- Economic effect
- Authority access
The Harris Consulting Group and Sales Hacker are the created by this methodology. It demands following things from the sellers:
- Identification of the main requirements by having an in-depth research into the challenges of the customers.
- Articulating the economic advantage or the value of the services in the terms of ROI
- Engaging contacts who can make an impact on the decision makers when it is impossible to have direct engagement.
- Setting a comprehensive timeline within which a decision should be made by a buyer.
9. SNAP Selling
Jim Konrath is the creator of this methodology who launched it in 2012. The full-form of SNAP is:
As stated in the acronym, the main aim of this method is to make the sales process faster with the assumption about the potential buyers to be distracted and busy.
10. Solution Selling
The product-centric approach is avoided in the solution selling and instead target on the advantages effect and relevance of a tailored service.
The solution sellers go in-depth into the unique situations of the customers for identifying their troubling points correctly and establishing a set of criteria that characterized an accurate resolution. Solution Selling has been launched in the late 1980s and since then modified multiple times so that its technology can be adapted as per the changes in the business environment and buyer maturity.
11. SPIN Selling
SPIN stands for the different kinds of questions that are asked by the sellers to their prospects:
Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-Payoff
Sellers are helped by the following questions:
- The real situations of the customers should be assessed.
- Isolating the main problems that required to be eliminated.
- Citing the aftermath situations if the problems don’t get solved.
- Guiding the buyers into reframing the picture having the problem
12. Target Account Selling
The sellers have to divide the big deals into smaller ones that can be easily manageable and effectively minimize the effect of politics in the process under this methodology. Furthermore, this type of selling can be automated with the help of Salesforce CRM that can be extremely beneficial for many companies.
13. The Sandler Selling System
The role of the sellers is modified into trusted advisors in the Sandler selling system where they invested themselves in the same way as customers for the success of purchased or proposed solution. The relationship building, deal closing, and lead qualification are emphasized by this methodology. It comes with an effective analysis of the customer’s circumstances along with a deep assessment about their requirements so that the further engagement should be preceded by the sellers when the problem isn’t exactly matched by the solution. Also, the transactional duties will also be upended in a perfect circumstance with the customers looking to induce sellers to sell.
14. Value Selling Framework
The main target of this methodology is on the lead value assessment and lead qualification that allow sellers to close deals at a faster rate and having engagement with the deals that can make a healthy amount of impact on their portfolio. Sales professionals are encouraged by the value selling for asking the accurate questions, demonstrating the flexibility to imply a mutually beneficial service and articulating the product’s value to the business of the customer.
Optimizing your sales process: ideal practices, tips & tricks
As written above, the ideal sales processes are processed by the following characteristics:
When compared to the past, the buyers nowadays have better empowerment, more informed and have wider options. Sales processes are aligned with the smart businesses with this reality.
2. Clearly defined
In order to be effective, every stage and component in your sales process should be crystal clear to understand for all the stakeholders.
Every member of your sales staff should be capable enough to replicate each step in the process and other related work without any type of ambiguity.
A predictable pattern should be followed by the flow and expected outcomes in your sales process.
Your approach is systematized by a sales method while fulfilling particular goals, such as getting process efficiencies, driving revenue growth, etc.
In order to allow the members to find out and measure success on the basis of metrics, the relevant activities and other elements should be quantifiable in your sales process.
A sales method should have adequate flexibility for accommodating the modifying business climates, tech integrations or changes in your sales operations. In addition, a high level of portability should be allowed so that other companies or teams can utilize it readily.
Charting your sales process plan
Arranging your sales method and the sales methodologies are as important as a well-designed sales process plan.
No matter, you are using a mobile application or an old-fashioned pen, begin by writing down the stages and touch points of the customer in your workflow, like lead generation and qualification and connecting them with the main steps in the sales procedure.
Note down relevant metrics, like transaction volume, duration, amount of new leads developed, etc. Fulfill all the steps of sales process related to the activities, including follow-up emails, cold calling, etc. until every stage have been completed.
Always remember that a sales process plan evolves over a period of time and that’s why you should change your plan for remaining on top of shifting business realities.
Developing, automating and unleashing your sales stack
If you don’t upgrade the sales platform created by your team about 10 years ago, then even the perfectly designed sales process can fail.
Every year, technology advances on lots of fonts, such as machine learning, cloud, artificial intelligence, rich media streaming, the internet of things, etc. They are modifying the sales world at a very faster rate due to which even some of the ideal practices are modifying after a certain period of time.
As consistently demonstrated by the industry leaders, the technology enablers will expand the effect of your sales methodologies and process that can be delivered.
However, selecting the type of solutions for integration in your sales stack can be truly time-consuming and challenging.
Along with CRMs, there is a range of tools through which staff performance can be optimized and critical business intelligence can be offered, insightful data analytics can be generated and better communication environments with the clients. Check out a guided brief on a great variety of sales tools you may look to include in your stack.
Metrics: Weighing in on sales process success
You should keep in mind that every sales process is equal. It is the reason you require conducting a sales process audit every now and then. It can be done by analyzing your performance metrics on a periodic basis and undergoing A/B testing campaigns for comparing several outcomes.
For instance, whether a new methodology can work better for a particular activity in your pipeline or not as compared to the one that you are presently adopting. Always keep in mind that metrics are your companions and stay in good graces for a greater future.
Hacking your present sales process
The behavior of the consumer and market realities are shifting at a faster rate and that’s why the requirement for modification has become imperative. The time has gone when the sales professionals only depend on the outdated approaches without any other choice but embracing next-generation technologies and thinking.
We can’t exempt the sales process. Your sales members will perform low and their output will surely be disappointing if there is a lack of a reliable template for the following. However, it will fragment in an ultimate way. The only path to blockbuster is by modifying your sales process and reinforce your work with the adequate tools, strategies, and knowledge. So, you should improve the level by refining, optimizing, and building your sales process over a certain period of time.
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