The jungle of B2B selling methodologies


Every sales organization is tuned to meet quota in order to provide revenue growth for the organization. In situations where the goals are not met the selling methodology question arises.

  • Is our selling methodology right for our customer base?
  • Would we exceed quota using another selling methodology?
  • Would sales efficiency increase switching selling methodology?
Without judging if these are the right questions lets focus in this blog on the selling methodologies which are out their. A simple internet search provides a list of 20+ selling/sales methodologies. To get an idea of the different methodologies a short summary of a number of methodologies are listed below. In our next blogs on selling methodologies we will dig a bit deeper in the selling methodologies jungle and ask ourselves:
  • Is one methodology better than the other?
  • What impact do these methodologies have on a company organization?
Challenger Selling A challenger is defined by the ability to do three things — teach, tailor, and take control — and to do all of this through the use of constructive tension. These are the pillars of what we call the challenger selling Model. If you teach without tailoring, you come off as irrelevant. If you tailor but don’t teach, you risk sounding like every other supplier. If you take control but offer no value, you risk being simply annoying. HBR Blog Network: Selling is not about relationships
Championship Selling Championship selling is a method and a mind set to win! An entire framework for re-igniting sales in an organization, championship selling can help you take stock of an individual’s, or an entire team’s, capability to make the challenging sale. And offers real solutions and steps to success. When your objective is to get better as a team, give every player a copy of championship celling. You’ll find yourself thinking–hey this is pretty impressive–and then you’ll look anew at your lineup and see them totally capable of results! Optimé: Championship Selling
Conceptual Selling Every interaction with a customer is too important to leave to chance. Conceptual selling customer-focused interactions helps salespeople better prepare for their time with customers. The result is purposeful meetings and Win-Win outcomes. Every interaction with customers must be conducted to either move an opportunity forward or improve the relationship. Anytime a salesperson meets with a customer there are two processes happening simultaneously: --- salespeople with focus on the selling process. --- customers with focus on the buying process. Both these processes must be recognize and understood. Solving this misalignment between these two processes is an outcome of conceptual selling customer-focused interactions.There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all solutions or value propositions for customers. Miller-Heiman: Conceptual Selling
Customer Centered Selling This is the approach used by Xerox. It uses an eight stage selling process, as indicated below. The dual titles indicate what the customer/sales person is doing at each stage. 1. Satisfaction - Research 2. Acknowledgement - Analysis 3. Decision - Confirmation 4. Criteria - Requirement 5. Measurement - Specification 6. Investigation - Solution 7. Selection - Close 8. Reconsideration - Maintenance. Michael T. Bosworth, John R. Holland: Customer Centered Selling
Differentiation Selling Customers no longer believe in solutions and are looking instead for a supplier. They take actively control over their purchase processes. Your biggest competitor then becomes the status quo or ‘no change’. For this reason, I abandoned the technique of selling solutions, and I continued searching for ways to nevertheless distinguish myself and close deals. Even more: I have discovered how I can sell solutions and services again. I escaped the commodity trap. René Knecht: Differentiation Selling
Dimensional Selling Dimensional selling aims to develop their existing sales skills and equip them with highly developed and effective communication strategies that help them to influence their customers. It inculcates an innate ability for your salespeople to recognise the different customer behavioural types encountered in their roles and the intrinsic motivational factors that influence the behaviour they observe. In summary, your salespeople will be able to recognize the distinctive customer behavioral types that they encounter and build sales strategies to manage and influence these people and so be better able to write more business and exceed targets. Doran Scott Williams: Dimensional Selling
Evolutionary Selling Evolutionary selling picks up where all other sales methodologies leave off. By hypothesizing that customers (people) are driven by factors far beyond business impact, product or the salesperson, evolutionary selling ties how people buy to human evolution. --- What are the reasons why people make buying decisions? --- How does evolutionary science tie into the sales process? --- What motivates customers to sometimes pick a solution that seems unexplainable? ---How can salespeople utilize this new approach in their daily sales life? Adam Petrovsky: Evolutionary Selling
High Performance Selling Because B2B is both more complicated and more competitive today, it is necessary to follow an approach to selling that increases the probability that more sales opportunities will result in wins. Since client behavior has change, sales professionals need to adapt to this change in order to succeed. High performance selling is based on three organizing principles: --- Combining sales process, deal strategy, and excellent dialogue skills. --- Tools embedded in their work stream to support the adoption of sales process and strategy. --- Defining lead indicators, or verifiable outcomes that correspond to the customer buying behavior. The high performance selling solution consists of five key components, each of which can be implemented separately or as a comprehensive, holistic performance improvement solution. Richardson: High Performance Selling
Insightful Selling Selling is no longer about product superiority and relationship building. It's about your insight and ability to create customer value. Insightful Selling
Intuitive Selling To sell intuitively, sales professionals must make the transition from information conveyer to trusted business advisor. An intuitive sales methodology does not emphasize computer data and information, but human-generated insight and wisdom based on that data and information. This intuition underpins everything that the salesperson does, including account planning, making sales calls, developing opportunities, and cultivating entire territories. Thomas Wood-Young: Intuitive Selling
Power Selling Equips salespeople with a consultative and solution centric process. Power selling provides field tools that equips salespeople: --- with talk tracks and prospecting skills to set engage with “C” level buyers. --- with conducting pre-call investigations to make high-impact on initial sales calls. --- to discover, report and collaborate with prospects to set the stage and pace for the sale. --- to propose solutions and close the sale. Sales & Marketing Solutions International: Power Selling
Six sigma selling Six sigma has a manufacturing background and it transformed hundreds of large companies. With Six Sigma, decisions are based on on measurement and analysis of activities and results, then improve the activities to improve the results. The rigorous approach comprises fives steps (DMAIC): --- Define the problem (defect) and the process in a precise way. --- Measure the activities and the results. --- Analyze data for variations in the results and the activities that produced them, looking for cause-and-effect relationships --- Improve the process by forming a theory of how to change the activities to improve the results. --- Control the process to achieve future gains by making the change permanent. Sales Performance Consultants: Six Sigma Selling
SNAP Selling SNAP selling is filled with fresh sales strategies for selling to today's crazy-busy prospects. Your prospects will often make a SNAP decision that literally determines your fate, and if you don't pass their test they will delete you into oblivion. Jill Konrath: SNAP Selling
Social Selling Social media is the most influential segment of the business world today, so we have set out to show companies and individuals how social media can help them improve their business. Through social selling university, organizations of all industries and sizes learn to develop powerful social media campaigns and strategies. Social Selling University: Social Selling
Socratic Selling Socratic selling updates and applies universally proven dialogue techniques to effectively maximize sales productivity. Salespeople learn to ask the right questions of customers and leverage the answers to sell with power. Salespeople apply new ways to plan high-potential sales calls, initiate dialogue, uncover needs, handle objections, remove barriers, and close the sale by solidifying customer relationships. Communispond: Socratic Selling
Solution Selling Solution selling is a sales methodology. Rather than just promoting an existing product, the salesperson focuses on the customer's pain(s) and addresses the issue with his or her offerings (product and services). The resolution of the pain is what constitutes a true "solution". A limitation of this approach is that not all customers buy to address a "pain", not every need is a problem needing a solution. (Wiki definition) Solution Selling Blog
SPIN Selling Why do closing techniques work in small sales but fail in larger ones? How can salespeople dramatically increase their sales volume from major accounts? Developed from 12 years of research into 35,000 sales calls. SPIN--Situation: Problem, Implication, Need-payoff. You may find the techniques controversial; they often go against the grain of conventional sales training. Neil Rackham: SPIN Selling
Strategic Selling Helps organizations develop comprehensive strategies to win highly complex sales opportunities. Sales teams will use the popular Blue Sheet to develop action plans to successfully sell solutions that require approval from multiple decision makers in the customer's organization. It gives organizations a common process and language for pursuing sales opportunities and criteria for allocating resources to determine when to walk away from resource-intensive deals with a low probability of success.Organizations will have the tools to help salespeople focus time and energy on those opportunities most likely to become profitable, long-term customers. Miller-Heiman: Strategic Selling
Trust-based Selling “Sales” and “Trust” rarely inhabit the same sentence. Customers fear being “sold”–they suspect sellers have only their own interests at heart. Salespeople themselves know this dilemma. On the one hand, we want to do right by our customers. Yet we want to get the sale. It feels conflicting. Is this a built-in conflict? Are we doomed to “caveat emptor?” Or can sellers serve buyers’ interests and their own as well? Trust-Based Selling is a paradox, but not an oxymoron. People demonstrably prefer to buy what they must buy anyway from those they trust. And they trust sellers who put the buyer’s interests first. Hence the paradox: to get the sale, stop making that your objective. Sellers actually have to care about the customer. Not for sustainable advantage, or as a poker chip in a competitive game, but as an end in itself–not a means to an end. You can’t fake trust. The trick is—you actually have to care. The solution is simple to state, hard to live. McGraw-Hill: Trust-Based Selling
Visionary Selling Shows how to sell effectively to top decision makers by going beyond the hard sell of a specific product to aligning with the broader vision of top management. As a result of reengineering and the trend towards new "horizontal" management structures, top executives are more accessible and more responsive to outside sources of information and ideas. By discovering customers' vision and formulating innovative ideas to enhance their businesses, salespeople can "cross the boundary" of sales to perform as business allies in a collaboration to fulfill the vision of their customers. Barbara Geraghty: Visionary Selling

5 comments on “The jungle of B2B selling methodologies
  1. On August 6, 2013 at 9:43 PM Choosing one of many b2b selling methodologies that fits your needs commented:

    [...] did you find interesting selling methodologies for you and your organization reading the first B2B selling methodologies [...]

  2. On August 6, 2013 at 9:46 PM 7 ways to meet or exceed sales quota for a b2b selling professional commented:

    [...] There are over 20 selling methodologies that can easily be found through a Google search. Your business may have adapted or customized a methodology based on your product/solution, or your target market segment. Embrace a methodology that suits you, and your opportunity base. Choose from one of these top methodologies. [...]

  3. On October 24, 2013 at 6:49 AM Getting Started with the B2B Selling Process commented:

    [...] and that you have something to offer. Once you get these two elements working well, the rest of the B2B selling process will begin to fall into place.  Marketing and lead generation can be done in many ways, [...]

  4. On October 30, 2013 at 7:01 AM B2B Selling - Do you have a formal process? commented:

    [...] organically with a different method for each potential client, you are going to find that having a formal B2B selling process fits popular online sales management tools. Using these tools, you know exactly what stage of the [...]

  5. On May 30, 2015 at 8:48 AM B2B Selling Automation | Indented Quotes and Images – beautiful commented:

    […] organically with a different method for each potential client, you are going to find that having a formal B2B selling process fits popular online sales management tools. Using these tools, you know exactly what stage of the […]


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