Sales Methodology with Scott Reynolds
Updated: Jun 10
Methodology vs Process A sales methodology is an approach to how you and your teams sell. Think of a methodology as a big picture strategy rather than the granular actions of your sales process. The methodology informs the language and approach everyone uses when talking about your sales opportunities and helps to drive a commonality through the way your team work. Methodology is ‘how you do it’ rather than ‘what you do'. Rolling out a sales process to your teams can help ensure they follow the same steps but it doesn't tell them how to carry out those steps. That's where a methodology comes into play. Why Use Methodology? Your team will have a variety in skill and experience levels and if you give everyone a list of tasks to perform they’ll all go about it in their own unique way. Whilst some level of creativity and personality can help to build rapport with clients, having ten people run their sales opportunities in ten different ways can be a headache for managers. It also makes it difficult for your teams to work collaboratively or hand over deals from one person to another. Methodology brings frameworks, toolkits and techniques helping your teams to consistently execute their sales and follow your company’s best practice. Qualification Sales people know they need to qualify their prospects and gain access to the power person who can sign on the dotted line. However, the way the qualification is done is open for interpretation. Your methodology helps your reps ask the right questions and carry out the right actions in order to uncover the information needed to progress the opportunity. Sales reps want to focus their time on the deals with the highest chance of winning. To continuing pursuing deals you have little or no chance of winning is one of the biggest detractors to hitting quota. In the heat of the moment, it's easy to get wrapped up in a huge deal and waste time and effort without recognising the obvious warning signs that you’ll never win the business. Using a methodology teaches your reps to capture and present the information in a way which makes it easy to spot warning signs and make objective decisions if clients are a good or bad fit. You may be having conversations with a stakeholder and they are making all the right noises but, if you have failed to spot this person is not a decision maker, the time you have invested could be for nothing.
Implementing The Pareto or 80/20 principle is a well know phenomenon in sales. 20% of the sales team are responsible for generating 80% of the revenue. The quandary sales leaders and managers face is how to get teams working as well as their top performers? Although you are always likely to have differences in performance, the simplest way to narrow the gap is through shared best practice and consistency. When implementing a methodology you should involve your top performers and allow them to help shape your company’s best practice going forward. The tips and tricks used by top performers can be shared, communicated and monitored in your pipeline going forward.
Coaching A key component to high performance in sales teams is manager coaching and deal reviews. These activities can help spot potential issues early in the sales cycle and allow corrective action to be taken to get things back on track.
Common Language Without the use of a common language and framework it can be extremely difficult for managers to effectively perform deal reviews. For example, with a team of five people all running and tracking their deals in different ways, it's hard for the manager to understand what they are seeing and make decisions on whether or not the deal is on track.
Data The common language and framework of a methodology ensures teams are capturing the same data points across all of their deals. This allows managers to spot trends and understand data they are seeing much more easily. The data can also feed into reporting and analytics dashboards. Data can be rolled up across teams and show trends in the business, enabling the best practices to constantly evolve and improve.