Studies show that more than 64% of today’s salespeople, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs have had little to no formal sales training or coaching, given that selling skill is the #1 skill required for any business owner or salesperson to thrive in business or in their careers.
As a result, they use sales methods that have come about more by ‘trial and error’ or simply by doing their sales calls and presentations that could be canned & typical cookie-cutter solutions.
And therefore, it’s highly likely that their sales calls turn out to be ineffective, leading to hardly any or no conversions but also likely to lose out on their new customer opportunity.
Every business needs a sales methodology that helps in the process of converting potential prospects into paying clients easily, more often and of the optimal sale value.
A sales methodology can be defined as a general framework of principles and practices on how sellers approach each stage of the customer acquisition process or the sales process.
A sales process or a selling system – is a set of repeatable steps that you use in your selling process to convert potential prospects into paying clients.
Any sales process consists of a step-by-step approach in a certain sequence that leads to a sales close and the after-sales.
Broadly speaking, the sales process would include the following sequence – prospecting, preparation, approach, needs assessment, presentation, handling objections, closing, and follow-up.
Depending on the industry you are in and the commercial value of your product or service as well as the decision-making process that goes into making the purchase decision of your product or service, you need to choose or adopt a selling system for your business/organisation that helps in smoothly transitioning the potential prospect through every stage of the sales process.
Choosing the right sales methodology and the right sales process is very critical for the following reasons:
– to minimise/optimise sales cycle time or time taken to acquire a customer
– to optimise the sales costs in acquiring a customer
– to improve hiring and training of sales and support teams
– to clarify the entire selling process
– to plan marketing initiatives
– to plan for headcount
If the chosen sales method or process is not the right fit for your situation or if it’s not in line with your actual requirement, your sales results may be ineffective, or your sales close or conversion rates may be very low, resulting in a cash flow roller coaster.
Sometimes, the cost of customer acquisition would be very high or your profit margins could take a beating.
And therefore, when you notice such issues as discussed above, then it’s time to review your sales methodologies?
Also, given that we’re in a rapidly changing environment or marketplace, we recommend that every business today evaluate the relevance of its sales methods and processes, at least once every two years, if not every year, to stay relevant and thrive.
The sales process that works in one stage of your company’s growth may actually harm it at another stage.
Your sales methodology and processes should match your product, your customer, and your target market, in order to achieve the required breakthroughs.
While several branded and trademarked sales methodologies, may have worked in the past, there’s every possibility that your target market and target audience may have changed their sourcing patterns or may need more social proof or maybe expecting a different experience to make a purchase decision.
Most often, business owners/entrepreneurs choose a sales method that seems new and convincing in your situation, which may not be the best way of doing it.
For a starter, it may be a good idea to check the various sales methods your competition have adopted and study their success at it.
It may also be a good idea to check out the sales methods that businesses of similar products are adopting in other regions and assess the effectiveness of those sales methods and it’s relevance to your business.
If you choose a sales methodology that is too simple for your solution, you may land up losing deals as your customer could be expecting a little more help or handholding through their shopping process.
If you choose a sales methodology that’s too complex, you could potentially increase your cost of acquisition, by spending too much on lower-value customers.
And therefore it only makes sense to find something that’s relatively quick to learn and easy to scale, depending on the average deal size, sales cycle, and the number of deals to be closed per salesperson per month or any other relevant metric.
One more way to choose the right sales methodology may be to calculate your average cost of acquiring a customer while protecting your profit margins and at the same time maintaining healthy sales close rates.
Many a time, in today’s context, you may have to reverse your previous sales methods, even if they were once successful, to protect either of the above.
Top salespeople in any organisation can be a good source of information on what works and what does not, in the market place.
However, that alone is not enough in choosing an appropriate sales methodology.
It’s about knowing which sales process to apply to a given situation really matters and not about mastering any particular sales methodology.
Most potential customers are apprehensive of the sales ability of the salesperson, as they appear to be salesy, sleazy or looking to sell at any cost.
And in addition, with the internet, buyers are further along the sales process when they engage the salespeople and generally reasonably well-informed about whatever that they’re looking for.
By leveraging technology and a data-driven approach, using a hybrid sales methodology — that’s a blend of online and offline sales methods could be the way forward, to surpass your best sales performance of the past.
At NexGen Consultants, we help you to design the right sales approach and methodology including sales scripts, sales presentations and all else to exponentially grow your sales..
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