There’s no definitive sales methodology.
To find the right one for your business, you need to understand your product, your market and your ideal customer—and that’s just the start. However, there are a few sales methodologies that salespeople favor over the rest.
We’ve asked some experts what their favorite sales methodology is, why, and how they implement it successfully.
Head of Sales at Lyvly.
“I believe that the most successful methodology is SPIN selling.”
“You really get to the heart of the problem, and it eliminates the ‘nice-to-haves’ while getting into the real needs of the client. This allows the seller to operate with genuine care and authenticity, which builds credibility and trust.
“However, over the years, I’ve come to believe that a combination of sales methods not only delivers more consistent results, but also a better customer experience.”
CRO at GatherContent.
“I personally think sales methodologies are like items in your wardrobe.”
“You need to choose the right one for the right occasion and you should be comfortable combining different methodologies to meet your ‘buyer’s needs’.
“Because, ultimately, everything needs to start with the buyer journey and what will lead to the least amount of friction. At the moment, my team uses a cocktail of inbound, consultative and customer-centric methodologies.
“Being dogmatic about your sales methodology will ultimately mean you will compromise on the buyer experience and the requirements for your market position and business model.”
Paul De Barros
Sales Manager at Chargebee.
“For me, it’s the Challenger Sales methodology.”
“Sales methodologies are tough to box in, because the best-performing sales teams adapt what style will work best in their industry, with their target persona and in relation to the competitive landscape.
“What I like about The Challenger Sales methodology framework is the idea of ‘Teach, Tailor and Take Control’. The ‘Teach’ section is a big one.
“At ChargeBee, we try and help clients by showing them new ways to think of their pricing plans and ways to streamline their revenue operations.
“The ‘Take Control’ principle sounds scary at first, but on our team, it really means being a Project Manager and holding both our internal teams and the client-side to the necessary timeline.
“A sales team that isn’t helping keep a client on track or in line with the timeline is really just a lazy sales team, happy with any sign-up they can get. When timelines are constricted, this can be stressful for the client.
“We’ve seen enough successful migrations and subscription management overhaul systems to know that the timeline matters, so we keep a project timeline and constantly refer back to it.”
James Oliver Condon
European Growth Director at VanHack.
“While not technically a methodology, I always prioritize transparency over anything.”
“This means understanding if I have the solution for what a client needs, and being comfortable with letting go if they’re not a fit.
“I’d rather sell something that I know is going to be of value to a buyer and provide a service that will truly work for their business, rather than waste both our time.”
VP Sales at FrontSpin.
“Without question, the mantra of ‘Keep it Simple’ is the root of why SNAP selling is so effective.”
“We tend to get overwhelmed by our offering, buyer needs and the many players that we forget to keep it simple.
“Our job is to become the buyer’s trusted guide, then everything flows from there. Prior to SNAP, I had already incorporated a very similar approach, so the marriage made sense. But the SNAP selling methodology provided a repeatable template that I incorporate into every deal today.”
Director of Sales at BrightEdge.
“My first response would be to use a methodology that will get used consistently.”
“Having a consistent process ensures that everyone in the business is speaking the same language as it relates to deals. I’ve personally used the Sandler method, or variants of it, for most of my career.
“Sandler provides a great structure for establishing control and a mutual agreement around what you are trying to achieve in meetings and the sales cycle overall. It then frames the conversation around buyer needs and sales opportunities to establish a proposed solution, which a customer would agree to justify a purchase.
“Then, it’s up to you to prove you can deliver on that solution. Once you do, you already have an agreement around the criteria for purchase.”
How to find the right sales methodology
As you can see, our panel of experts have mixed opinions about sales methodologies. Some swear by the likes of SPIN, while others believe in a more tailored approach.
But what if you’re looking for a framework you can implement into your business today? Here are three things to consider when evaluating different sales methodologies.
Consider your product or service
The first step is understanding the complexity of your product/service or the familiarity with your buyers. For example, if you’re solving a well-known problem with a unique solution, then you’ll need an approach that focuses on education and leadership.
However, if a buyer comes to you understanding how your solution can bring value, then they already know what their options are. Focus on identifying their biggest challenges and tie your core differentiators to them.
Evaluate your new methodology
It can be difficult to test a new sales approach or methodology on a small scale. But before you roll out a new methodology across your entire sales organization, it’s worth seeing how prospects react to it.
The best sales leaders are practitioners themselves. When evaluating a new methodology, get into the weeds and test it out yourself. Take on five to 10 leads and see how they react to the new buyer journey you’re building them toward.
Don’t react too quickly. If you feel your new methodology isn’t working, look for gaps or weaknesses in your approach and then test again. Consider enlisting the help of one of your sales reps to collect feedback, faster.
Training and adoption
If you’re happy with the results a methodology brings, it’s time to roll it out to the rest of the organization. This means going back to basics and creating fresh, new training.
Again, start with a small segment of your sales team to see how well they adapt to the new process. If the signs are good, you can begin to roll things out. We recommend beginning with one-to-one training before creating new material.
As Adam of GatherContent says, sometimes it’s best to combine different methodologies to deliver the best experience to the buyer. Over time, you may find a more tailored approach converts better.