Top 14 Sales Methodologies for Your Selling Systems

You’re probably going to have a ton of tools and systems in your sales arsenal, but how are they all organized? Are they organized at all? If you’re not structured and organized in your sales efforts, there’s a good chance you’re missing out on a lot of sales opportunities. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the sales tools and systems you have to choose from, and you probably don’t have time to manage every one of them.

Just like a car, selling a product or a service requires a lot of work. There’s a sales process that has to be followed to effectively attract new customers. So, you need to understand your buyer and create a plan for getting his attention.

For marketers, salespeople, and anyone who needs to sell, the question of “how” is just as important as “what.” How do you sell? By how do you do it? The answer to these questions is important to anyone who wants to grow their business and reach their sales goals. In this post, I’ll cover the top 14 sales methodologies and show you how each one can help you take your business to the next level.

Having a defined set of rules and beliefs that your sales representatives may follow is one of the most important factors for sales success. Staff need structure and rules – as in “sales technique” – to follow no matter what area they operate in, so they know how to approach the sale and can work together to deliver consistent messages to the prospect.

This necessitates the use of a sales technique.

Contents Table of Contents

What is the definition of a sales methodology?

A sales technique is a collection of guidelines for selling goods or services to consumers. It’s a sales philosophy that’s typically founded on a specific understanding of customer psychology. It specifies how you should approach prospects as well as what you should say to them. It outlines how your salesperson should approach the customer and close the transaction. If everything is going smoothly, all of your representatives should be contacting customers in the same manner and with the same message.

There is no such thing as a correct or improper technique. Your ideal approach will be determined by your market and company.

If you have a complicated mix-and-match product line, your representatives may, for example, serve as consultants, assisting the customer in finding the best customized solution. If you have a limited number of standardized, low-cost goods, on the other hand, you may want your representatives to be transactional, assisting customers in choosing between two or three options they’ve already narrowed down.

What Is the Difference Between a Sales Process and a Sales Methodology?

You’ll need a sales technique as well as a sales process, and the two should complement one other.

A sales process is a list of all the steps involved in making a transaction. A sales process typically has seven phases, from prospecting through closing and follow-up. The strategy you use for each step of the process is referred to as a methodology.

You may wish to stick with the same approach throughout the sales process. Alternatively, you may wish to utilize various methods at different phases of the sales cycle.

The Top 14 Best-Selling Models

There are a variety of sales techniques, and we’ve compiled a list of the finest ones in this area. The majority of the most well-known are trademarked and were developed by sales consultants and trainers who sought to establish their own distinct style. SPIN MARKETING, Sale of the Challenger, SNAP Purchasing, Selling Concepts, Selling in Consultation, and many more selling methods are among them.

Unfortunately, many of the examples of sales approaches you’ve heard are really goods being marketed to you.

It doesn’t mean they aren’t helpful; it simply means you should be cautious about believing everything you hear about a certain sales strategy.

The following are the most common sales models:

  1. The Challenger Sale
  2. The Sale’s Command
  3. Conceptual Selling
  4. Selling in Consultation
  5. Customer-Centered Selling is a method of selling that focuses on the customer.
  6. Inbound selling is the process of attracting customers to you.
  9. SNAP Selling
  10. Selling a solution
  11. SPIN Selling
  12. Selling to a Specific Account
  13. Sandler’s Selling Technique
  14. Selling at a Discount

Following that, we’ll briefly go through some of the most common sales models before showing you how to choose the best one for your company.

1. The Sale of the Challenger

challenger sales methodology


The Challenger Sale technique began in 2011, when Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson published a book that divided salespeople into five categories:

  • Builders of relationships
  • Workers who put in long hours
  • Wolves on their own
  • Problem solvers who are quick to react
  • Challengers

Challenger-type sellers, according to the book, are the most successful, particularly in the B2B business sector. This sales strategy is based on Gartner research, which claims that client behavior has shifted as a result of the vast quantity of information available online. Prospects now spend much more time studying goods and speaking with peers, and are 57% of the way through the purchasing process when they contact a salesperson.

According to the book:

“The capacity to accomplish three things defines a challenger: educate, customize, and take control.”

The sales model is based on the concept of a knowledgeable salesperson who pushes and challenges a client. Rather than utilizing relationship-building methods to gain acceptance of the customer’s world view, it suggests that you draw the customer into yours by providing them with knowledge about the environment they operate in that they didn’t know and should know. Then, by customizing your messages to your prospect, you can take command of the conversation.

In a climate where novice consumers are bombarded with high-quality information from the internet and want a representative to explain why they should purchase, the challenger sales model works well.

2. Control of the Purchase

command sales method

Force Management came up with this marketing strategy and now offers it as a service. The idea behind this methodology is that you should customize your company’s sales enablement tools and activities based on existing solutions.

According to this selling technique, success is based on a complete knowledge of your own goods as well as the customer’s company. It states that a representative should be aware of the following:

  • What the client wishes to accomplish (their positive business outcomes)
  • How does the client want to add value to their company? (their required capabilities)
  • How will the rep’s company provide that?
  • Why do they do it better than the competition?

The salesperson should also be familiar with the metrics that a client may use to evaluate success, as well as all of the proof that their company can offer better.

Then they’ll be able to explain why their product is worth paying more for.

Force Management’s definition of Command of the Message is “being audible ready to define your solutions to customers’ problems in a way that differentiates you from your competitors and allows you to charge a premium for your products & services.”

3. Selling Concepts

conceptual sales method

The idea of Conceptual Selling and The New Conceptual Selling, developed by Stephen Heiman and Robert Miller, is described in two books: Conceptual Selling and The New Conceptual Selling.

This approach reframes sales as a process in which a seller persuades a customer to buy an idea rather than a thing. It emphasizes listening to and comprehending the client’s fundamental requirements.

The seller’s aim is to discover the buyer’s desired end-state by asking questions and actively listening. After that, the vendor may connect their solution to the ultimate objective.

It recommends asking five different kinds of questions:

  • Confirmation questions to ensure that you comprehend what you’ve already learned.
  • To clarify the prospect’s understanding of the product or service, ask new information inquiries.
  • Attitude inquiries are designed to get a better understanding of a candidate on a personal level.
  • Commitment inquiries elicit a prospect’s level of commitment to the project they’re working on.
  • Questions to ask to have a better understanding of the situation.

Conceptual selling is based on the concept that a sale should be a win-win situation for both the customer and the salesperson, and that companies should avoid transactions that do not provide a high level of satisfaction.

For companies that depend significantly on reputation for customer satisfaction and anticipate to generate many repeat purchases in a very limited, specialized market where referrals and word-of-mouth may be important channels, conceptual selling is likely to be a more successful framework.

4. Sales Consultation

consultative sales methodology

This approach, which has its origins in solution selling and leverages a senior salesperson’s experience, industry knowledge, and reputation, was popularized in a book by veteran seller Mack Hanan. Customers make a purchase in this scenario because they “trust” the vendor and anticipate the promised advantages and outcomes to be achieved. It emphasizes on asking questions to understand the client and their requirements, similar to conceptual selling.

There are six phases to it:

  • Prepare: Make sure you have all of the information you need about the customer and their company, as well as your own goods.
  • Connect: Establish a solid connection with the customer and create an excellent first impression.
  • Recognize: Get to know the customer and their requirements.
  • Recommend: Make a clear suggestion for the best option.
  • Make a firm promise to the customer about what you will perform.
  • Act: Make sure you follow up and keep your promises.

This idea, like conceptual selling, works best in sectors where high levels of recurring business and word of mouth imply a strong need for customer confidence.

5. Selling that is focused on the customer

customer centric sales methods

The name says it all: this approach is centered on the customer’s problems, objectives, and convenience. It’s based on John Holland’s, Michael Bosworth’s, and Frank Visgatis’s book.

The goal is for the salesman to develop into a warm and trusted adviser to the customer.

Sales procedures and activities are tailored to the client’s schedule, goals, and circumstances.

Reps conduct meaningful discussions about how the product may be changed to better meet the client’s needs rather than giving presentations.

Conceptual and consultative selling are related sales models. It proposes a shift away from the hard pitch and toward a model in which the salesperson will walk away if the client’s requirements aren’t fulfilled.

6. Sales that come to you

inbound sales methods

Inbound marketing is built on the notion that getting consumers to come to you is considerably simpler than using conventional “outbound” methods like cold calling and email outreach. Marketing strategies are closely integrated with sales procedures and objectives in inbound selling.

Inbound sellers attract consumers by setting up messaging possibilities where customers may actively or contextually interact with the seller’s brand or product, rather than simply delivering sales-y scripts to their prospects.

Inbound sellers utilize data and analytics to hyper-personalize their message to drive consumers towards the desired action since buyers are now more empowered and educated when it comes to buying choices.

Inbound sales methods concentrate on determining the buyer’s path to purchasing a product and recommending a sales procedure based on that path. Customers that choose to be actively involved by visiting the business’s website, asking for more information through a chatbot, or following the brand on Twitter are prioritized in the inbound sales strategy. Reps will then contact these people with customized communications.


meddic sales methodology

The MEDDIC sales process is defined by a highly disciplined, technology-driven, and tightly regulated approach. It was created in the 1990s by Parametric Technology Corporation’s sales development team, and it stresses utilizing extensive measuring methods to determine if it’s profitable to bring a customer inside your sales funnel.

It’s an acronym for:

  • Metrics: Figure out what the prospect wants to get out of your company in terms of numbers.
  • Economic Buyer: Determine who the decision maker is in the business you’re working with, which isn’t always the same person the sales agent will see.
  • Understand the variables that the prospect will consider when making a choice, as well as how those criteria are weighted.
  • Understand the decision-making process, including who will make the choice, what sign-offs are needed, and what timeframes are involved.
  • Identify Customer Pain: What is the customer’s issue that your solution can solve? What happens if they do not purchase a solution?
  • Find a champion – someone at the business you want to work for who is invested in your success. The champion will most likely be the person who is most impacted by the company’s problems and who will most benefit from what you have to give.

MEDDIC is a sales technique that is most helpful for qualifying offers and determining where sales representatives should focus their efforts. Rather to concentrating only on how to make the sale, it focuses on where sales are most likely to occur, making it a particularly effective approach for businesses with many potential targets and a need to concentrate resources on the greatest prospects.


neat selling method

NEAT selling is as much a technique for qualifying leads and determining where salespeople should spend their time as it is an approach for closing sales.

The acronym NEAT stands for:

  • What is the most important item that the prospect requires? What is the source of their discomfort?
  • Economic Effect: What is the financial impact of the prospect’s suffering? What will they gain if a solution is discovered?
  • Who has the power to make a decision, and how does the salesperson get in touch with that person?
  • Timeline: What is the realistic time frame for closing the deal? When does the customer need to start using the product?

This technique, created by the Harris Consulting Group and Sales Hacker Inc., was created to flip the BANT (budget, access/authority, need, time) on its head. The BANT structure is a tool that helps representatives figure out what the client’s position is and, as a result, what they need to do to complete the transaction; however, it does not assist reps figure out what the customer needs.

NEAT selling encourages the salesperson to qualify how much they can assist the prospect rather than qualifying consumers based on the salesperson’s requirements (buy qualifications).

9. SNAP Sales

snap selling method

SNAP, which was first published in a book by Jill Konrath in 2012, is based on the concept that consumers have limited time to make a choice and are frequently already overloaded with information before they contact a representative. So the approach is founded on the notion that a salesperson can assist a client by keeping things simple and delivering the most important information. This technique, as its name suggests, attempts to speed up the sales process by assuming that potential customers would be busy and preoccupied.

The four principles are as follows:

  • Simple: Complications will fall flat when dealing with a busy individual, so just provide the most necessary facts.
  • iNvaluable: Establish yourself as a buyer’s go-to expert.
  • Aligned: Make sure you’re on the same page with your client and what they need.
  • Prioritize: Keep the most critical choices in front of their minds.

The SNAP technique is intended for a frazzled, preoccupied client base that requires something that can be communicated simply and depended upon to function successfully.

10. Selling a solution

solution selling methodology

Instead than focusing on the features and advantages of a product, solution selling focuses on the benefits, impact, and relevance of a customized solution.

Solution-sellers delve into their clients’ specific circumstances to discover their pain spots and create a set of agreed-upon criteria for what constitutes a satisfactory fix. Solution selling, which was first introduced in the late 1980s, has developed through time to adapt its methods to changes in buyer maturity and the corporate climate.

Many of the same principles apply to solution selling as they do to conceptual or consultative selling. It stresses understanding the customer’s pain spots, asking questions to learn about their underlying requirements, having a thorough knowledge of their company and needs, and providing a solution to their issues rather than simply a product.

Empathy, identification with the client, and a focus on the buyer’s requirements are all important aspects of solution selling. It’s likely to include creating a highly tailored, sophisticated product that addresses several of the customer’s primary requirements.


spin selling methodology

SPIN is an earlier model created by Neil Rackham in 1988. It is founded on the concept that consumers purchase goods to address specific issues, and the sales representative must identify the problem.

The acronym SPIN stands for four different kinds of inquiries that salespeople should ask their prospects:

  • Position: What is the prospect’s current situation in relation to your solution? Do you have a working knowledge of the buyer’s existing process and resources?
  • Problem: How does that circumstance create a pain point, specifically? What is the source of the problem?
  • What are the ramifications of that problem? What will happen to the prospect if the issue isn’t resolved? What kind of agony will they have to endure in the future?
  • When the issue is addressed, what happens to the need-payoff? What would it entail? At this point, the prospect should ideally be able to see the value that the product provides for themselves.

These questions assist sellers in assessing their customers’ actual circumstances, isolating the main issues that need to be addressed, and laying out the consequences of not addressing the issues.

Given how little time sales representatives have to study clients’ issues before meeting face to face, there are concerns over whether SPIN selling is still a viable technique.

12. Account-Based Selling

target account selling method

Target account selling focuses on finding the appropriate prospects to sell to in the first place, rather than how the transaction is completed after the rep establishes contact with those accounts. The procedure necessitates a significant increase in the amount of time spent investigating the accounts that must be targeted.

Target account selling may often be entirely automated, since it is all about finding the appropriate accounts. This is done by utilizing a CRM to identify accounts that have certain features and characteristics. Once these common triggers — the factors that make individuals more inclined to purchase – are discovered, a systematic, repeatable procedure can be used to convert these leads into sales.

The Sandler Selling System is number thirteen.

sandler selling system

In the field of B2B sales, Sandler Training was established in 1967 and is virtually a household brand. In line with many of the other approaches mentioned, this methodology reframes the position of salespeople as trusted advisers who are as involved as consumers in the success of a suggested or bought solution. Relationship development, lead qualifying, and sale closure are all important aspects of the Sandler Selling System.

The Sandler System is divided into seven steps:

  1. Create a connection and establish a rapport.
  2. Define roles and responsibilities.
  3. Recognize the prospect’s requirements and pain areas.
  4. Determine whether or not the prospect has the financial means to resolve their issue.
  5. Find out how the buyer makes decisions.
  6. Make a case for your product as a solution.
  7. Complete the transaction.

14. Framework for Value Selling

value selling framework

This approach focuses on lead qualifying and lead value evaluation, allowing sellers to complete transactions more quickly and engage with those leads who are likely to have a major effect on their portfolio.

Worth Selling encourages salespeople to ask the appropriate questions, explain the product’s value to the customer’s company, and be flexible while putting together a mutually beneficial solution. At every step of the process, it’s all about ensuring that you’re providing value to the consumer.

How to Select the Appropriate Sales Methodology

Your sales process should be tailored to your product, client, and market. Any mismatch will make both the salesperson and the client uncomfortable.

For example, if you offer a $100,000-per-year product, it may make sense to invest 6 months in consultative sales to close the deal. If your product costs $10 per month, you wouldn’t want to do the same.

On the other side, you can’t expect to win a $1 million contract with just $5 in sales support! This implies that there are many B2B sales techniques.

Despite the many fancy titles for sales methods mentioned above, B2B sales is controlled by just five approaches:

1. DIY Self Service: A whole end-to-end web experience in which customers educate themselves before making a purchase. Atlassian, for example, made headlines when it grew to a massive scale employing a low-touch sales strategy.

2. Transactional selling: Assisting consumers in purchasing the solution they have chosen, typically after doing internet research. These consumers are often in a rush and eager to purchase.

3. Solution selling: Customers already know what they’re up against and expect salespeople to help them solve their problems with goods and services. Customers purchase within days or weeks.

4. Consultative selling: The client is unsure about the issue. To identify the best solution, sales must diagnose the customer’s condition. It may take anything from 6 to 18 months for a product to sell.

5. Provocative selling: Sales professionals can predict which customers will have a problem before they do. They elicit a response from a senior customer. This B2B sales technique, which is often used for new products, takes anywhere from 3 to 9 months.

sales models

Figure 1 illustrates the several selling procedures that control B2B sales.

It’s worth noting that none of them are branded or trademarked. They’re just explanations of how vendors and buyers sell and purchase. That is why this framework is so helpful! It cuts through the bullshit and gets to the heart of the matter: what is the best method to sell?

We’ll concentrate on Transactional, Solution, Consultative, and Provocative selling in this blueprint.

Selling on a Transactional Basis

Transactional selling is a reactive technique of selling. Customers know exactly what they want and are comparing lead times. They may be willing to give up a particular characteristic in order to save money.

Clients do not appreciate the role salespeople play in transaction selling, and want to have salespeople removed from the process entirely. Buyers may want to see salespeople replaced by web-based discussions and text/chat, which provide them with immediate and brief responses.

sales approach examples

Figure 2: Transactional Selling, in which the customer is responsible for the majority of the education.

When should transactional selling be used? It works well in high-volume, high-velocity inbound sales that are low-cost. The average contract value (ACV) is often less than $1,000, the sales cycle is under 30 days, and each AE sells more than 20 deals each month.

Selling a solution

The selling of a solution is a reactive process. A client knows the issue and has a solid notion of what kind of remedy they want. They aren’t really price shopping (which would be transactional), but they are searching for particular characteristics for which they are prepared to pay a premium. By the time they contact you, they may have reduced it down to two or three suppliers.

solution selling sales approach

Figure 3 shows the solution. Inbound Leads are often followed by sales.

When is it appropriate to utilize Solution Selling? It’s best for inbound sales with a medium volume and high velocity. When your ACV is about $5,000, your sales cycle is 30 days, and each AE closes 5-10 transactions each month, it’s a good match.

Consultative Selling

You spend in educating the customer on what is essential based on what you have observed in the market when you sell consultatively. You assist them in comprehending the true issue and teaching them how to find the best solution.

As a result of your expertise, the customer is more explicit about feature and functionality needs. You may assist them in drafting the RFP/RFQ. This kind of transaction is often accompanied with a Proof Of Concept, lengthening the consultative sale considerably. As we go through the client’s company throughout the consultative sales process, we progressively increase the quality of resources we utilize.

consultative selling systems

Figure 4: Outbound Lead Generation/Development is often followed by Consultative Selling.

When is Consultative Selling the Best Option? When marketing platform-like solutions to a group of decision-makers, this is the phrase to use. It would make sense if you were selling a $20-100k ACV Sales Engagement platform with a 6-18 month sales cycle with each AE closing 1-3 transactions each quarter.

Selling with a Twist

You can’t depend on the consultative approach when you’re offering an innovative solution that challenges the status quo since most customers aren’t aware there’s an issue. You can’t trust an RFP/RFQ that’s intended to find the lowest price/smallest specification. As a result, you must depend on Provocative Selling, which has grown in popularity as a result of a technique known as the Challenger Sale.

proactive sales approach

Provocative Selling (Figure 5) It is only advised that you use it on particular accounts.

When is it OK to utilize it? When offering new solutions that solve a CEO’s top problem, provocative selling is most effective. Consider a new approach to ERP, with a 6- to 9-month sales cycle and just one or two transactions per AE each month, with an average contract value of $250,000.

Final Recommendations for Selecting a Sales Methodology

Too many individuals choose a sales strategy based on what seems to be novel, persuasive, or showy. That is the incorrect approach.

If you choose a sales technique that is too basic for your solution, you will lose sales since your customers will anticipate a bit more assistance throughout their buying experience.

If you choose a technique that is overly complicated, you will raise the cost of acquisition by overspending on lower-value clients. Profits are no longer an option!

It’s difficult to find the right balance between spending too much and not enough time, but you may start by keeping track of your average deal size, sales cycle, and number of transactions per rep each month. You may determine your average cost of gaining a client using that information, and select a technique that preserves your margins while maintaining healthy closure rates.

Check out this other post I published if you want to learn more about sales metrics, particularly those related to SaaS.

The SaaS Metrics Blueprint: How to Define, Measure & Display What Actually Matters

Also available on Medium.

Selling is one of the toughest skills that salespeople have to learn, and there are hundreds of ways to do it. The good news is that there are methods that allow you to focus on your strengths and not on your weaknesses. By studying the top 14 sales methodologies, you can learn what works for you and what does not, and apply them accordingly.. Read more about 10 sales model and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top sales methodologies?

This is a difficult question to answer. There are many different ways that businesses can sell products, and each business has its own unique selling strategy.

How many types of sales process are available?

There are three types of sales processes available. They are as follows: a) The first is a fixed price sale where the product is sold at a set price and no discounting or markdowns are allowed. This type of sale is typically used for products that have been discounted in the past, but will not be discounted again in the future. b) The second type of sale is a limited time offer where there is an initial discount on the product followed by a period

What are sales frameworks?

Sales frameworks are a set of rules for how to calculate the amount of money that is earned from each sale.

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