People will ask, why do I need sales methodology? We have processes, we have experienced people, we have CRM software? They are important questions especially because although selling has always been a mix of art and science, science (or at least data) is now playing a much bigger role. As B2B selling is an increasingly complex environment, sales, (business development and account or relationship management) must adapt and become increasingly sophisticated to cope with that. So, here’s a summary of the key answers to some of those questions…
We have processes already
- A methodology is an approach to “doing something” with a defined set of rules, methods, tests, activities, deliverables, and processes which typically serves to solve a specific problem…. A process is simply a well-defined set of steps and decisions points for executing a specific task.
- Research shows that more structured and dynamic methodologies have a direct correlation with levels of relationship achieved and also in terms of results delivered.
We already have experienced account / relationship managers?
- Methodology enables everyone to be “on the same page”. To have a common language and a common approach. That drives significantly improved communication and collaboration, especially in remote and dispersed teams. Without a common methodology everyone is doing their own thing and there is little alignment and cohesion. In complex environments individuals, even skilled individuals, “doing their own thing” is rarely enough to be successful. It’s a team sport and requires teams and groups to work together well.
- Methodology also gives managers the clarity, visibility and data to understand exactly what’s happening which enables better decision making and more accurate coaching of their teams.
Doesn’t having CRM mean we already have a process?
- Methodologies define the critically important WHAT you want people to be doing to deliver the best results. They define consistent and robust business process. CRM systems automate those processes and allow for greater interrogation of the data to provide insights that inform action.
- Clear and consistent methodologies (business development and relationship management) protect any investment you make in CRM. Without clarity of what you want people doing, what’s the right process and how does that help them achieve objectives, CRM often looks to business development / RM and Account managers like a mess of fields and functionality that is essentially an admin burden that has no value to them. This is why so many CRM implementations fail. Embedding familiar methodologies into the CRM makes it more user friendly and meaningful for business development and account managers and encourages adoption of the whole system.