Ken Krogue, President and Founder of InsideSales.com has shared some great advice on how to tackle sales methodologies. He says “Take a long, hard look at your lead generation methodologies. It’s really all about the leads. Do your best to always move from less assertive methodologies to those that are more assertive and more effective. That’s where the results are.”
What is a sales methodology?
Sales methodology is the “skill set of selling.” This means that a sales methodology includes tactics, learned behaviors and strategies used by a sales team to execute and fulfill the sales process in a professional and conversational manner.
A sales methodology is often confused with the sales process, but it’s not the same thing. Sales process is the path you provide to help facilitate your customers’ movement forward through the buying cycle. Sales methodologies, on the other hand, are the tools and equipment required to help you in the path of completing your sales process.
Characteristics of a sales methodology
This question came up at one of the recent Sales for Startups events organized by Lucep. It was answered by one of the panelists – former Facebook Client Manager Philip Tnee, who is now Sales Manager at SEO and SEM company Purpleclick Media. In addition to Facebook, Philip has also worked with huge companies such as Lazada and Groupon, and is also the cofounder of three startups.
Zal Dastur, Lucep: How important is it for a company to have a sales methodology, like, right from the beginning?
Philip Tnee, Purpleclick Media: Right..umm.. Of course.. Being right on this, extremely important, right? But I think, what’s more important is possibly a flexibility within the methodology, because as you go, you really learn as you go, and… touching on some of the questions that were brought up earlier – For instance, early clients vs later clients, you know, your sales methodology is different – total upside down. And with early clients, you’re really hiring people that have relationships, and out of that you are structuring a lot of unique kind of credit terms for your early clients, because you really need them. And down the line, you then hiring maybe more for expertise, more for specific niches, or industries or whatever.
Then when it comes to “How they sell” I don’t ever believe there’s a single way to it, but there are universal kind of attributes that have to be, you know, ironed in. And one of the main things I think about this is, it’s just productivity. And that’s it.
And that’s why we love your app so much because it keeps people buzzing and chiming along and doing what they need to, right. And with that, then comes the administration, and all these things come together because pipeline flows upwards, and then you know how to plan and project better and so on and so forth.
So one thing that that I’ve kept constant in terms of the methodology is – Is this something that’s required, right? And that doesn’t change, I mean you could be, I tell my sales guys, you could be at home, even in your underwear cold calling or whatever. If that makes you feel more comfortable and that gets you more appointments, then by all means please.
But, you are accountable to your numbers, you are accountable to the reporting that you have for me, and you know, in a sense you’re also responsible for the quality of work that shows up with the client. And that doesn’t change, but how you do it is entirely up to you. because I’ll know by the end of the month if you are doing good work or not.
Every single month, or even every single week, when we catch up, I’ll be able to see, just from the output that you have…I mean even if you, I’ll tell them really honestly, even if you’re like plowed, and four of them – fake appointments. I’ve seen so many sales people before, it’ll be really easy to verify and tell, and it happens a lot – all these things. So, I think when you give that bit of trust, but it starts in the hiring phase – When you hire correctly, and then you give that bit of trust, it nurtures its own kind of methodology and culture and that spawns something out of itself.