Sales Methodology as the Force Multiplier

Taking Salespeople Where They Need to Go

By David Yesford(傅大卫)

Over several years, the organization had invested significantly on sales enablement staff and technologies to drive performance and productivity. The sales leader introduced a new sales process with improved CRM functionality and integration, sales process training, and worked to improve coordination between Marketing and Sales—but was frustrated by mixed results.

This sales leader’s experience is hardly unique. CSO Insight’s most recent Sales Enablement Study showed that less than a third of organizations said their sales enablement expectations were exceeded or fully met. More than 60 percent said sales enablement met few or some of their expectations.1

The question becomes: Why do so many sales enablement efforts fail to deliver?

The answer: While they put processes, technologies, and tools in place, they overlook the sales methodology that can take them where they want to go.

Less than one third of organizations said their sales enablement expectations were exceeded or fully met.

Sales Process Versus Sales Methodology

Most salespeople consciously (or unconsciously) follow a sales process to facilitate the buy/sell process. While the degree of formality and number of sales process steps varies, most (if not all) B2B sales organizations have clearly delineated sales process stages and associated activities. The sales process specifies the what, or the road map, of moving a deal from prospecting to the close, and, ideally, to repeat business.

On the other hand, sales methodology is the how of selling. An effective sales methodology paves the way for salespeople to:

  • Establish strong, productive working relationships with customers
  • Discover what matters to customers and why
  • Provide solutions for the customer’s top priorities

And, a sales methodology is even more than that. It reflects who the selling organization is as a business—and who the salesperson is as a business partner.

An effective sales methodology addresses both the skill set and mindset to execute each step of the sales process well. They are interdependent.

Let’s use two lenses to explore sales methodology from the salesperson’s point of view: intention and capability.

Sales methodology is the how of selling.

The Power of Mindset

While people go into sales for different reasons, many see it as a lucrative career with the opportunity for recognition and prestige: “I made President’s Club . . . again!”

While this is justifiably exciting to salespeople, do customers really care about President’s Club?

No! They care about their own business pressures, strategies, and initiatives. A DemandGen study found that nearly two-thirds of customers said that sales teams that demonstrated a strong knowledge of their company and needs was one of their most important selection criteria. Furthermore, a full 62% said that selected vendors provided content that made it easier to build a business case for the purchase.2

The implications for salespeople are obvious. A laser-like focus on what matters most to the customer while offering unique insights about the customer’s industry, business issues, and the selling organization’s experience in addressing similar challenges demonstrates the salesperson’s values and positive intent—their focus on helping the customer succeed. Salespeople with this mindset believe they win only when they help advance the customer’s business so that the customer wins.

That’s where sales methodology comes in. Sales methodology inspires salespeople to truly differentiate both who they are as salespeople and how they work with customers to deliver unique value.

79% of business buyers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to interact with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor.

David Yesford(傅大卫)

作为Wilson Learning 全球资深副总裁、亚太地区董事总经理,傅大卫有着30多年在全球范围内发展和实施人力绩效解决方案的经验。 傅大卫先生总能以其宝贵经验、策略方向和全球视角为客户和团队带来价值。多年来,他在Wilson Learning的核心领域——销售、领导力、e-learning和策略咨询业务上扮演着重要的角色。

傅大卫先生是多部书籍的合著者,其中包括《双赢销售》(Win-Win Selling),《灵活多变的销售人员》(Versatile Selling),《社交风格手册》(Social Styles Handbook),《销售培训2》(Traning Book 2)等。并在美国、欧洲、拉丁美洲、亚太地区的商业出版物中发表了多篇文章。他经常被邀请在国际性会议上做有关销售、领导力、员工和客户参与度提升、品牌和战略实施的演讲。