Sales Operations: Sales Methodology
Sales Operations deals with sales process, not sales methodology. So you might be wondering why these two terms are mashed together in the title of this post.
But the fact is, if Sales Operations isn’t involved with Sales Methodology, your sales organization is alienating customers. Here’s why.
Goal: Align Sales Methodology and Sales Process
The truth is, sales methodology delivers a general outline of a very specific component of the sales process.
Sales Methodology refers to the series of interactions between sales professional and customer. The focus of sales methodology is to create a general framework leading the customer toward the purchase or non-purchase decision, so that sales reps know what to say, and how to say it, at all times.
More importantly, each sales methodology has a fundamental philosophy of the sale. This actually has significant implications for the sales operations team, because that philosophy must align with the sales process or risk alienating customers.
When your methodology doesn’t match your process, it’s like you are saying one thing and then doing another, and customers will think your company lacks integrity.
Sales Operations needs to be at the table when discussing methodology, and understand how to support that methodology with an efficient, effective sales process.
Odds are, your business has accumulated practices and philosophies from a number of methodologies over the years, so there is no cut-and-dry solution here, but top performers often take the pulse of methodologies at least a few times each year to make sure the process fits.
Sales Process Supports Methodology in 6 Areas
Fortunately, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand how sales process needs to support methodology. For example, N.E.A.T. Selling is used by many B2Bs, either in part or in full, because the “A” is for Access: access to the decision-maker.
Access is critical for sales professionals to understand, but it is equally important for sales operations to support. These 6 areas are where sales process should look to support methodology.
- Data — Do we have a way to document and easily access a customer’s status regarding this question, or phase of the purchase decision?
- Process — Does our process designate an appropriate interaction where this component should be delivered?
- Training — Do we train new employees to execute this component?
- Technology — Does our CRM include this step/component?
- People — Are personnel using this component in the real world, or has it become obsolete?
- Tracking Results — Do we have a way to measure the success of this component?
On CRM and Methodology
If there is one thing you need to retain from this article, it is this: your CRM will align or not align with specific methodologies out-of-the-box. Most CRMs can be customized to meet your needs, but most companies do not consider methodology when purchasing CRM, and then implementation can be like fitting a square peg into a round hole.
For this reason, companies like Salesforce, Inc. host a multitude of applications that are designed to support methodologies. Alternately, bpm’online provides convenient customization features, so that the sales organization can construct its own processes to support whatever methodology it currently employs.
No matter what CRM you choose or have chosen, make sure technology aligns with methodology, and is capable of adapting as your team learns how to land more customers.