Every sales professional has one aim: more sales.
Without sales, growth stagnates—which won’t bode well for your organization’s bottom line. And while securing deals is no easy feat, finding a sales framework that can be rinsed and repeated to ensure scalable, predictable, and measurable growth is entirely different.
To be at the top of your selling game, you need a scalable sales process—a proven sales methodology that best represents your product, values, goals, and market.
But how do you choose the best selling method for you?
This Salesman.org guide will examine eight successful sales philosophies to help you find your perfect fit and skyrocket your win rate.
#1 SPIN Selling
Neil Rackham popularized the SPIN selling philosophy in his 1988 book, making it one of the oldest sales methodologies still in practice today. And despite the decades passed, SPIN is just as relevant (and reliable) today in the B2B world.
SPIN is an acronym of the four elements your sales questions should revolve around: Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-payoff. Each of these four elements will help you uncover prospect pain points and challenges, making it easier for you to establish a solid rapport with them.
The SPIN Selling model involves asking:
- Situation questions centered around understanding a prospect’s current situation
- Problem questions to get to the heart of the prospect’s problem
- Implication questions that probe the prospect to think about the consequences of not solving the problem
- Need-payoff questions that encourage the prospect to consider how their situation would change after solving the problem
#2 Customer-Centric Selling
No shocker here—Customer-centric selling puts the customer’s convenience, challenges, and goals at the forefront. It’s based on the titular book written by Michael T. Bosworth, John R. Holland, and Frank Visgatis.
This sales process focuses on the customer experience and using it to distinguish your brand from the competition. It encourages you to have meaningful conversations with prospects to understand their needs and pain points and then offer appropriate solutions.
Instead of making presentations, you’ll hold relevant conversations about how your solution can be modified to match the client’s requirements when selling to the prospect.
The customer-centric selling sales philosophy involves:
- Targeting critical decision-makers
- Asking questions to understand their situation
- Aligning their needs with relevant solutions
- Pitching your solution
#3 Target Account Selling
The target account selling philosophy focuses on selling to a select few targeted accounts per sales rep instead of targeting a large number of accounts with less focus.
You’ll select a specific number of clients who match your ideal customer profile following this sales philosophy. You get to know their portfolios in more detail, allowing you to build and nurture a stronger relationship with the prospect.
Target account selling can be a good fit for sellers who work with large enterprise sales accounts with longer sales cycles and specific total addressable markets. However, the selling method isn’t the right fit for broad markets, small-ticket items, or clients with transactional sales cycles.
The target account selling philosophy involves understanding:
- What is happening in this account? (Account Intelligence)
- What is happening in this market? (Market Intelligence)
- Who are your competitors, and what are they doing? (Competitive Intelligence)
- What information can you find out through research? (Primary Research)
- What is your final selling strategy based on the investigation? (Go-to-market outreach)
#4 N.E.A.T. Selling
N.E.A.T. selling is primarily a qualification process developed by The Harris Consulting Group and Sales Hacker. It’s the more flexible and adaptable alternative to the traditional BANT, AI, and ANUM processes when qualifying buyers against your products and services.
N.E.A.T. stands for:
- Needs: What are your buyers core needs?
- Economic Impact: What is the financial impact of those needs?
- Access to Authority: Who can give you access to your targeted organization’s key decision-makers?
- Timeline: What is the general timeline for making a decision? Is there a compelling deadline or event that could urge a decision?
The sales philosophy is intended to be a flexible guide to help you ask the right qualifying questions as they naturally evolve in the conversations.
The N.E.A.T. business methodology involves:
- Figuring out your prospect’s needs or challenges
- Explaining how your product can help
- Finding the right decision-makers
- Offering a definitive timeline
Yes, more acronyms!
The MEDDIC sales philosophy was the brainchild of Dick Dunkel and Jack Napoli when they were at the PTC business back in the 1990s. They developed this sales framework for complex enterprise-level B2B deals to help them qualify customers by finding the answers to six critical questions.
- Metrics: What is the economic impact of the solution?
- Economic Buyer: Who controls the appropriate budget? Who has the profit and responsibility for the deal?
- Decision Criteria: What formal evaluation criteria does the customers organization use when picking a vendor?
- Decision Process: What is the buying process like at your prospect’s organization?
- Identify Pain: What are your prospect’s main targets and objectives right now?
- Champion: Who is the best person on your team to sell to the opportunity?
MEDDIC is one of the more disciplined, tech-driven, and tightly controlled sales philosophies. It involves:
- Focusing on where sales are more likely to occur rather than focusing purely on how to make the sale.
- Establishing quantitative standards through metrics and other relevant data
- Searching and nurturing a “champion” in the business to advocate for your product or service
P.S: You can also adopt the more advanced version of MEDDIC: MEDDPICC (Metrics, Decision criteria, Decision process, Paper process, Identify pain, Champion, Competition). We have explained the process in more detail here.
#6 The Sandler System
If convincing your prospect feels like ice skating uphill, you should try the Sandler philosophy.
The Sandler methodology challenges the traditional norm of the seller convincing and pursuing prospects. Instead, it states that both parties—the prospect and seller—must be equally invested in a deal.
The first step in the Sandler system is to uncover the customers needs and then customize your sales pitch based on these needs.
Instead of behaving like a typical sales rep, you’ll become your prospect’s trusted advisor. You’ll focus on adding value.
Additionally, you’ll also ask questions to identify any challenges in the qualification process. There’s a lot of emphasis on relationship building, lead qualification, and deal closing.
The obvious benefit is that you can forego continued engagement if your product or service doesn’t match your prospect’s problem. You can determine this through accurate analysis of customer requirements and an in-depth needs assessment.
The Sandler system involves the following:
- Building rapport and establishing roles and expectations
- Knowing your prospect’s needs and pain points
- Understanding if the prospect has the budget to fix their problem
- Finding out the prospect’s decision-making process before proposing your product as a solution
- Closing the deal
#7 The Challenger Sales Methodology
This sales philosophy focuses on one of the five personalities: the Challenger.
As a Challenger salesperson, you have a unique view of the world. You’re ready to put in the necessary work to understand your prospect’s business and needs, and you love a good debate.
More than 40% of high sales performers use a Challenger-style persona. But even if you’re one of the other four sales personalities (the Hard Worker, the Lone Wolf, the Problem-Solver, the Relationship Builder), you can always learn to become a Challenger.
Now the question arises what makes Challengers so successful at selling?
Challengers follow a “teach-tailor-take control” process, which includes:
- Teaching your prospects more about significant business problems, new ideas, and astute observations
- Tailoring your communication according to your prospect
- Taking control of the sale by not being afraid to push back on the customer. Your focus should be on achieving your end goals instead of being “liked” by others
#8 Solution Selling
Solution selling is a popular sales philosophy created by Michael Bosworth in 1988 that does away with a product-centric approach and instead focuses on the benefits, impact, value, and relevance of a tailored solution.
The premise here is simple: salespeople should sell benefits, not features.
This sales model encourages you to focus on your product or service’s unique benefits to each prospect. But before that, you have to ask the right questions to understand the main problem your prospect is facing and develop an effective solution.
Here’s what a typical sales funnel that follows a solution selling roadmap would look like:
- Prospect: Identify potential clients who your product would add value to
- Qualify: Evaluate whether the decision-making process fits your sales cycle
- Discovery: Find out your prospects specific needs
- Add Value: Set up meetings with key decision-makers, where you position yourself as their “champion “
- Present: Share a customize solution that emphasizes ROI
- Close: Close on a mutually beneficial agreement
Salesman.org’s Selling Made Simple Academy™ has a simple philosophy: Make selling simple. We break the selling process down into 33 pieces and give you a simple step-by-step framework to reach success in each piece.
Want to find the sales philosophy that works for you and helps skyrocket your win rate? Get started here.