Find the right tree in the jungle of selling methodologies

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And did you find interesting selling methodologies for you and your organization reading the first B2B selling methodologies blog? If you did it would be great if you could share why you have chosen the methodologies you did. If you didn’t make up your mind lets work together to put some structure into this methodologies jungle. What are the key needs in sales?

  1. A product or capabilities that we can sell.
  2. Sales people that understand the value proposition and the customers' business. With the right communication skills the sales person will be able to understand the real customer need and link this to a value proposition.
  3. B2B business is not a sales person's one-man show. Technical and business organizations also play a crucial supporting role to get the job done.
If we stop here, it is clear that selling methodologies will not help the sales people to give the sales person a better product overnight. All the B2B selling methodologies talk about: soft skills, processes and toolboxes. Communication skills A large number of the selling methodologies can be categorized as communication skills. These methodologies provide a toolbox to the sales person on how to ask questions, to whom to get the most valuable answer at a particular moment in the sales process. It sounds simple but I have seen experienced B2B sales people using the wrong question method in customer discussions. Due to this they do not capture all information the customer was willing to give. When talking about communication skills especially in relation to sales the talking part always gets a lot of attention. I’m a strong believer that listening is even more important and the way a customer defines his answer embeds information he wants to provide but also links to crucial information he does not want to give at the moment. The list of selling methodologies contains very good methodologies to address sales communication skills including the listening part. Customer need / value proposition B2B selling is complex, and often the customer needs are not clearly articulated and depend on to whom you talk. Several B2B selling methodologies focus on this topic and provide a framework for collecting and weighting customer need. Which of the frameworks is best suited for this is difficult to define and depends on the targeted market segment. The most important is that these frameworks give a reference especially when customer need is changing during the selling process. The outcome is great material to defining the value proposition and positioning the value proposition. Some of the selling methodologies combine customer need and value proposition definition. Sales processes Many salespeople see only this part as ‘the’ selling methodology and many of them don’t like it. The truth is we need some structure in B2B selling since it is very complex. A B2B sell spans across multiple organizations at the customer and supplier. Putting some structure in place gives the sales and other organizations defined points to reflect on an opportunity before, for example, making a capital investment or allocating additional resources. A sales person should embrace a sales process since the reflection points are a great opportunity to align the sales team to his opportunity. It will also indicate if an opportunity is not worthwhile for the company and this way precious sales time can be focused on other opportunities. The topic B2B selling methodologies is broad. Start looking for methodologies in the three different areas mentioned above. Addressing these three areas will not give a better product / solution to sell overnight, but will help understand your customers' needs better which will result in a better value proposition. The sales process will provide feedback to the company on customer needs. This managed feedback loop will, over time, result in better product, improve core company capabilities, and eventually improve revenue.  

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