Glenn Guilfoyle, Founder & Principal of The Next Level, writes…

Spin Selling. Solution Selling. Conceptual Selling. New Conceptual Selling. Professional Selling Skills. The list goes on and on. The Sales sections of bookstores are loaded with them.

Since the mid 1980s, professional selling started to garner enough respect to be studied and written about. The Huthwaite group were possibly the early pioneers, and they studied and captured data to analyse a large number of sales interactions across a wide range of industries and sectors. Their work spawned “Spin Selling”, authored by Neil Rackham.

At a similar time, Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman were also presenting selling methodologies with a more robust structure and defensible support.  Many, many others followed.  Sales was now being considered a process – repeatable, definable and measurable; just like many other corporate functions.

These days there are so many to choose from that it can become quite daunting to sift through to determine which is best for your organisation.  Some are better for B2C, others B2B. Some are better for more transactional sales, some better for more complex sales.  Some are better for more commodity oriented products, some are better for more complex, technical services.

The list of comparative scenarios is probably as long as the list of methodology choices.  It is, however, worth the effort. We continually see that organisations that have made the selection, brought it in-house, tailored it if necessary, drilled all sales people and created the expectations, and scoreboards to drive consistency in implementation, nearly always outperform their peers (all other elements of the sales and marketing mix being roughly equal).

And you know what, in our humble opinion, most of them are very good.  So long as the decision makers avoid the wave of selling methodologies before the advent of these more scientific approaches, which were characterised by books focussing on closing techniques and overt seller orientation (rather than buyer centric), then the selection often comes down to cultural preference within your organisation.

That said, we would suggest that you run a little checklist against the methodologies you are evaluating to assist in making the best choice.  QODRANTS is a mnemonic that we have seen used to great effect in this sense. Click here to access the QODRANTS mnemonic and extra information about it.

For more insights like this, check out The Next Level’s proven sales process.