tony.shepherd@christiandopplerconsulting.com +44 7592 542603
Sales methodology christian doppler consulting website Salzburg sales team management 8 ways

A lot of factors come into play in the creation and sustainability of a successful business. Your idea, your business plan, your strategy, your team, your location, your contacts, your salesmanship, and the relationships that you build, all play a part in making your business successful.

All these things have a level of importance in guiding what you do and how you do it. There is one thing above all else that will increase your chances of success.

One of the most important factors in the success of any business is – SALES. This is the lifeblood of your business and the thing that can define your business and lift it to a whole new level.

It may seem like an obvious notion. However being able to deliver sustainable revenue for your business with passion will really help you to make progress in real terms.

People start businesses for a variety of reasons, but often it breaks down to two main instigating elements:

  1. Either they start a business to be able to do what they love in life.
  2. Or they start a business to make money. 

From these two motivational stand-points. The people who start a business doing what they love, have the greatest chance of succeeding in building a sustainable and long-lasting business. Why is that?

Let’s look at the 5 important elements of sales methodology that help build a successful business.

Research has revealed that the five fundamental stages of a sale are:

  1. Awareness of Needs
  2. Assessment of Alternatives
  3. Alleviation of Risk
  4. The Decision
  5. Achievement of Results

Once a business incorporates these five factors into its sales methodology & management training programs, their sales managers found it much easier to measure, manage and coach their salespeople.

It turns out that having clear definitions for your sales methodology matters a lot!

Awareness of Needs

A sales methodology that improves individual interactions between seller and buyer enables salespeople to gain a deep understanding of what is driving the clients need. During this planning stage, salespeople ask these types of questions:

  • What has changed?
    • Is it the business strategy or tactical or financial or technological?
  • Who or what department is experiencing the most Pain?
  • What would a value proposal need focus on?

Assessment of Alternatives

The buyer has decided to act and is now evaluating your product or solution against competing alternatives. During this element, the seller helps the buyer to identify and rank their decision criteria in order of importance. Then identifying how their offer is perceived against the alternatives.

At this stage, strategies are used to position the offering in the best possible way against these criteria.

  • What are the top 5 factors the solution must deliver for you?
  • How would you rank our solution against those factors?
  • How would you rank competitor A, or B?
  • What are the must haves?

Alleviation of Risk

The buyer has now started narrowing their choice of preferred solutions. But begins to start considering personal and business risks that may be involved.  This element helps sales people successfully navigate, with the seller, the potential risk. The seller needs to become comfortable with discussing risks as well as alleviating them to move through this phase.

It is essential that salespeople engage the buyer during this stage offer support and pose questions such as:

  • What would be the impact of doing nothing?
  • What are the key risks?
  • Are they Strategic, Tactical, Political or Individual?
  • Provide examples of where your company has addressed similar risks.

The Decision

Although a decision flows much more naturally when all the principles of this methodology are applied. There still is a need to finalise contractual agreements. Also, it is at this stage that Procurement will most often begin to exert pricing pressure, if not before.

The methodology provides support on Commercial Acumen and Negotiating Value.

Achievement of Results

The decision has been made and the solution is being implemented. The salesperson’s role will vary depending on how the business handles implementation. At a minimum, they should be preparing for a successful implementation, helping to anticipate issues, and looking for additional opportunities.

Some specific outcomes to consider striving to create during this phase could include:

  • Increasing customer satisfaction by making sure that value promised is actually delivered.
  • Reducing the costs of acquiring further business through increased confidence of the client
  • Identifying new opportunities by being visible during implementation and actively managing referrals

At this point, the cycle kicks off again.

If you have no formal sales methodology or processes in place, you’re probably in trouble. When you have the wrong sales processes in place, it is both troubling and frustrating. But if you have the right formal sales methodology in place, you’re in position to become a sales management leader. You can confidently measure, manage, and coach your salespeople to higher performance. Often through more consistent execution of their most important activities.

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