Sales Methodologies and Tools to Use

No business has ever been successful without everyone moving in the same direction, in the same way, and following the same plan.

Successful companies use specific strategies to achieve goals. Each strategy doesn’t have to be used identically, but sales methodologies usually work best if a company executes an interchangeable and essentially identical plan. Your business can use overlapping sales methodologies to create training tools and data-informed marketing decisions. 

For some businesses, this means focusing on value. Statistics show that 96% of businesses have greater success if they focus on value above all else. Another 40% of sales businesses have found they benefit from using a “challenger” sales methodology, which involves a business encouraging a prospect to completely alter their view of what their own business can accomplish. Given that the average business views 13 pieces of content before making a decision, more and more businesses have found that incorporating sales methodologies that involve inbound marketing can be highly beneficial.

In other words, your sales methodology is about more than just data and training. It’s about increasing your bottom line. You must adopt and execute strategies and techniques to synchronize your team around sales efforts. 

What is a sales methodology?

A sales methodology is your business’s systematic approach to managing your sales operation. The term is all-encompassing and refers to all aspects of your sales efforts, including:

  • Prospecting leads and identifying new sources of income
  • Nurturing leads through your sales pipeline
  • Enhancing customer relations, building rapport with key individuals within the company, and ensuring your team tracks all necessary information 
  • Engaging in appropriate follow-up and billing practices
  • Managing internal processes, such as data sharing and tracking, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and sales training

Sales methods and techniques vary from business to business. However, all sales methodologies should have guiding principles:

  • Sales methodologies must focus on account growth, expanding the pool of potential customers, reducing revenue leakage, and finding white space to increase revenue per customer.
  • Sales methodologies must concentrate on managing appropriate prep work and identifying revenue intelligence to close deals, widen your pipeline, capture leads, and convert those leads into sales.
  • Every business must have financial clarity. You can only achieve this insight by integrating your sales forecasting methodology with your sales methods and techniques. 

What are the types of sales methodologies and techniques? 

Your business can use various systems and types of sales methodologies. One of your primary challenges is determining which sales methods and techniques work best for your company and sales forecasting methodology.  

  • MEDDIPICC: This sales system is a multi-step process that uses metrics to create a sense of urgency with customers. From there, it uses data to engage buyers and guide the questions your sales team should ask to create a sales opportunity. 
  • B.A.N.T.: Bant stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing. It demands research to determine a prospect’s budget and identify the decision maker. From there, communication and data can determine the customer’s needs and ensure the right timing to make a sale.
  • Challenger: Challenger operates on three Ts: Teach customers something new, tailor the insights you share to address specific customer needs, and take control of conversations, thus allowing you to influence end decisions. 
  • Shipley: Shipley is a multi-step process that divides sales into teams that conduct various steps in your sales process. These steps include research, competitor analysis, relationship building, and proposal writing. Like most methodologies, Shipley demands a mixture of data and customer interaction.
  • Government contractors: Selling to public entities requires a regulatory-intensive approach. You must meet paperwork requirements and ensure you have the data to back up all costs and expenditures. Different levels of government (federal, state, local) have specific demands. 
  • Sandler selling system: This methodology emphasizes collaboration and conversation building. It’s less aggressive, as sales professionals attempt to learn more about a client, build trust, and overcome obstacles. 

What are the steps of the sales approach? 

Sales and forecasting methodologies require unique sales approaches, and each process may differ according to the industry. For example, a membership organization’s sales methods and techniques almost certainly won’t work for a manufacturing business. However, many sales approaches can be used in various business models. These steps include:

  1. Identify prospects: Prospecting refers to the top of the sales funnel and how you initially find qualified leads.
  2. Research: Analyze a business’s needs, identify the contact person, and determine suitable products or services to determine how likely a prospect is to convert from lead to sale. 
  3. Pitch: This is it—the moment you’re waiting for. Once you have identified a qualified lead, you develop a personalized sales presentation and convince a customer to consider your product or service. 
  4. Overcoming objections: Every lead likely has concerns about your product. Your job is to identify probable objections ahead of time. Prior experience and data can help develop the best tactics to overcome potential issues.
  5. Close: This involves overcoming last-second objections, making final modifications to any deals, getting paperwork signed, and delivering your products.
  6. Relationship development: Relationships require maintenance. Be sure to nurture your leads and clients, evaluate product satisfaction, and identify future sales opportunities. 

You won’t always complete these steps in order. Typically, you’ll tailor the sales process according to the prospect’s needs. You should also customize each step to your business’s methodology. Managing this approach requires the appropriate technological tools and platforms to enable implementation of your specific sales method. 

How can you implement a sales methodology?

Implementing a sales methodology can be a challenge for any business. However, a multi-step process can help you determine the best sales methodology for your business.

Understand your buyer

Using the right tools can help you understand your buyer’s needs, pain points, and budget. In addition, the correct data enables you to choose the best sales methods and techniques for each buyer. Insight gleaned from salespeople can be critical, but only if your sales team inputs data into CRM software for data collection or analysis. 

Map the process

Every sales opportunity requires a customized approach. Mapping your sales process means creating a physical or digital document showing the steps a lead takes as they move from prospect to sale. A good process map will set defined stages and explain what happens at every stage. You can then compare this map to rates of success or failure. 

Mapping the process can help you better understand what sales methodology best fits your business. It can also give you a better grasp of what specific sections of your sales process falter.

Determine the right types of sales methodologies for your business

By understanding your buyer, mapping your sales process, and understanding your sales funnel, you can identify weaknesses in your sales process and work to make specific improvements. You can also determine the sales methodology your business needs to implement. 

Choosing the best sales strategies is impossible if you don’t have the right tools. In particular, you need access to the correct technology that can demonstrate the effectiveness of your sales efforts. Here’s what you need:

  • Technology that’s easy to use, integrates with your existing CRM, and gives you up-to-the-minute information.
  • A program that can be flexible and customized to meet a wide range of sales methodologies, even if you sometimes use more than one technique to close a deal.
  • A technological platform that de-silos data ensures that all team members operate from the same data source. Data should act as a single source of truth and bring business departments together, not separate them. 
  • AI-informed insights. Artificial intelligence can make connections and provide insight to improve sales methods and techniques when used appropriately. 

Effective deployment of any sales methodology requires the right tools to save time, utilize automation, be 100% accurate, and provide additional insights. Appropriate technology is also critical for accurate sales forecasting and finding the best types of sales methodology.

Partner with Next Quarter

With Next Quarter, you can customize your business to meet a wide array of sales methodologies, add specific questions to ask your customers and create new metrics weighted by your customized sales process. You can also input specific sections for different sales methodologies and sort by opportunity. All of this allows you to create sales templates linked to specific, customizable opportunity scores. The data inform your sales forecasting and enhances your ability to provide accurate information and forecasts.

You can also use AI sales forecasting to enhance the usefulness of your sales forecasting methodology. The tools provided by Next Quarter enable you to correlate your win rate on opportunities with sales methodology scores, ensuring that you’re using the best sales methods and altering your sales strategies for the future.

Next Quarter can increase the accuracy of your sales forecasts by up to 97%. We can ensure complete transparency and the chance to identify new sales opportunities with any business. 

Ready to learn more about how Next Quarter can help your business grow? Contact us today to book a demo, and let us help your business grow.