How Sales Philosophy & Sales Methodology Play a Key Role
I’m a firm believer in the need for a single sales philosophy and sales methodology in any company. A sales philosophy is the overarching value system that supports the need for a methodology. Whereas the sales methodology outlines the actual tactics and execution used in selling — Whether you are running a lead generation/SDR team, inside sales team, a group of field reps or a combination of all three, you must embrace a single sales philosophy and sales methodology. It sounds a bit like religion, when you get to the bottom of it. At the core of every religion is the belief system, the tenets upon which the religion is based. In the same way, a sales philosophy is your commitment to a higher-level process, a better way, a path to sales opportunity enlightenment. It is built on top of your core values and culture. While execution of the belief system through a specific sales methodology is different, everyone is still aiming for the same results: company growth and success.
Sales Philosophy vs Sales Methodology
A sales philosophy is used to illustrate how you treat people. That includes your sales teams, customers, vendors, partners and your prospects. It includes your key values such as Honesty, Integrity, and Striving for Perfection, etc. Here are a few examples of sales philosophies:
- The Customer is Always Right
- Coffee is for Closers
- Buy Low, Sell High
A sales methodology is a specific set of guidelines and strategies used to carry out the sales philosophy as the sales team communicates with the prospects. It helps give balance to the process and reduces noise in a meaningful way that encourages the opportunity to proceed to close. Examples of sales methodologies include:
- Solution Selling
- Spin Selling
- Sandler Sales
Why Are Your Sales Reps Failing? No Philosophy or Methodology!
Just about every sales manager — including myself — has fallen into this trap: hiring new sales reps for their personality, competitiveness, and successful track record. They are bounced through some sort of product training, sit in on a few sales calls, told to follow what the top sales reps do, and then asked to hit the ground running. Have you ever listened to that rep’s first sales call? If you’re like me, it’s painful to hear, that fumbling and stumbling conversation. And why did we hire this person again? Because they have the “It Factor”! Not surprisingly, sales reps fail because:
- Proper expectations are never written down or discussed
- The sales onboarding process is little more than HR paperwork plus a simple features and benefits training session, typically in lecture format
- Customer stories are shared by the old guard via word of mouth
- There is no balance of perspectives, context, pains, and results. Those are lost amongst the feel-good anecdotes of “the win.” Therefore these stories are not properly connected to other customers other than the logo salad of customers you find on your website or pitch deck
- No measurement pre- and post-training means the sales rep is never sure whether he or she is ready to face prospects. It also means your sales organization cannot properly track the right sales metrics and KPIs in your sales pipeline
- In short, there is no single sales methodology in place to guide the sales rep through the deal cycle
But all this can be avoided by developing and implementing a sales philosophy and corresponding sales methodology. And the best part, is that this is not a major overhaul of anything. It’s just some simple coaching that needs to occur.
Want to learn how quickly you can improve your sales with a sales methodology? Contact us.
Want to know more about why you should have a single sales methodology? Read our next post:
3 Reasons to Embrace a Single Sales Methodology.