Choosing a Sales Methodology
There are many sales methodologies out there, of which our core opportunity management methodology, Creating Client Value (CCV), is one. How can you make sure you choose (or already have) the best approach for your business?
Seller or Buyer-centric?
The first thing to consider is whether the methodology is primarily seller-centric or buyer-centric. The best methodologies are buyer-centric and focus on how the salesperson can add value to the buyer’s thinking and decision process. Seller-centric approaches, on the other hand, tend to focus primarily on specific 'sales techniques' doing things to the customer to get them to buy. This turns out to be a much less effective approach.
This is not to say that a buyer-centric methodology ignores sales skills such as influencing. Far from it, but these skills are developed within an objective framework used as part of a well-considered process.
A couple of recent additions to the sales methodology stable have highlighted the importance of insight in the sales process. Salespeople need to create new value for their customers and clients. This idea is at the very heart of CCV and Neil Rackham's original thinking behind it: salespeople need to create value by getting customers to see their needs and potential solutions in a new way. Of course, this alone is not enough; CCV also has unique strengths in handling competitive situations, risk alleviation and managing different buyer roles and stakeholders in the decision process.
Hard or Soft?
Some methodologies are too 'hard' – focused on the analytical and theoretical aspects of sales without providing the soft skills to implement them. Equally, some are too 'soft' – preoccupied with the human skills but lacking a robust framework in which they can be used.
You should aim to find a 'Goldilocks' methodology – not too hard, not too soft.
The same exact sales approach will not work for key account managers, small business teams and telesales… but you want them to share a philosophy and language. The best methodologies have variants that are specifically tailored for a range of different roles.
The Independent View
There are a number of industry experts, including ESR and TrainingIndustry.com, who can give you strong input around which methodologies are best for a given industry type.
Beyond the Methodology
There are several strong methodologies in the marketplace, and each has its merits. We believe that CCV is the more rounded, powerful and complete methodology, and clients and industry analysts consistently rate it as one of the very best in the world.
However, success does not just lie in the methodology, but in how well you implement it and get people to continue applying it over time. Imparta's Capability Building® System has been developed and refined over the last decade to meet precisely the challenge of turning theory into practice, and making it stick. Click here for more information.