Lots has been written, some tediously so, about Sales Process and Sales Methodology. It will make your eyes glaze over. So in this article, I want to clarify what each of these are (in my opinion) and also share a third, more important area of growth for sales driven companies: Sales Philosophy.
Just for clarity, here are my definitions:
It’s the sequence of events that characterize how a customer makes his/her way through from Awareness to Comprehension to Conviction to Action. It is usually discussed in a step-by-step way.
An example: 1) Entry Point, which is how a sales person begins discussion with a prospect. 2) Needs Assessment, where the sales person asks a series of questions about the customer’s state or circumstance. 3) Education, where the sales person educates the customer as to how similar companies are solving their problem. 4) Alternatives, where the sales person brings a set of alternatives on how he/she might solve the presenting problem. 5) Decision, where the customer makes a decision on moving forward.
Obviously, these will vary a lot depending upon your structure, culture and goals.
This is more of an over-arching template, usually branded like Rackham’s SpinSelling, Konrath’s SNAP Selling or Miller-Heiman’s Conceptual Selling. It’s typically the “skill set” portion of selling. How to ask questions, how to position your product in the eyes of the customer, how to frame the value. “How To” is the meme of methodology.
A totally missed and misunderstood element. This deals with the mentality of the seller. How one thinks about one’s self, one’s value, one’s expertise, one’s process, one’s customers, one’s follow up, one’s role in the sales process…etc,
My belief, after 26 years of training teams and coaching people is that a sound philosophy trumps process and methodology every time.
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