What is the Best Sales Methodology for the Modern Sales Professional?

By: Joshua MacFall on August 31, 2022

As a modern sales leader you have probably heard of many sales methodologies. But which one is right for you? Knowing how to use the right sales model will help sales managers determine how to hire the right kind of sales reps and in turn, empower sales organizations to approach prospective buyer's with a significant impact.

So how do you pick the best sales methodology for your sales teams?

First ask yourself, what kind of sales manager or sales leader are you?

  • Do you care more about customer centric relationship building or low touch inbound sales?
  • Does your sales success depend on multiple decision makers, economic impact, buyer maturity, or customer centric sales messaging?
  • Does your sales organization sell complex solutions that require you to identify pain in order to create a custom solution?

Whether your sales models need to include tailored solutions, an inbound sales methodology, or a consultative sales process you must first consider a myriad of sales methods.

In this article we will explore the most popular sales methodologies to help you narrow down the ones that fit your sales processes.

12 sales methodologies all sales professionals should know about

  1. SPIN Selling
  2. MEDDIC
  3. The Challenger Sale
  4. Solution Selling
  5. The Sandler Selling System
  6. Inbound Selling
  7. Target Account Selling
  8. Command of the Sale
  9. GAP Selling
  10. N.E.A.T. Selling
  11. Conceptual Selling
  12. SNAP Selling

1. The SPIN Selling Methodology

SPIN stands for

  • Situation
  • Problem
  • Implication
  • Need-payoff

The SPIN selling methodology was developed in the late 1980s by Neil Rackham and is based on the idea that successful salespeople focus on identifying and addressing the needs of their prospects, rather than simply trying to sell them a product or service. 

This is certainly one of the most used sales methodologies today and has been used successfully by salespeople in a wide range of industries. One notable example comes from the software industry. In the early 2000s, a software company called Intelliseek was struggling to sell its products to corporate customers. The company's salespeople were using traditional sales techniques, such as product demonstrations and price comparisons, but they were not having much success. Intelliseek's president, Gary Heil, decided to try the SPIN methodology. Heils hired a sales trainer to teach his sales team how to use SPIN properly. The results were dramatic: in just six months, Intelliseek's revenue increased by 400%. 

While this sales model is an effective way for salespeople to increase their success rate it is important to note that SPIN is not a magic bullet: it is simply a tool that can be used to help improve the quality of Sales conversations. When used properly, SPIN can help salespeople to better understand the needs of their prospects and identify opportunities to provide value.

When a sales rep should use SPIN Selling

  • When selling higher priced items or services
  • When you need to build trust with your prospect

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2. The MEDDIC Qualification Methodology

MEDDIC is a sales qualification methodology that was developed in 1996 by Dick Dunkel. It is based on the idea of qualifying prospects using the criteria of Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, and Identify the Champion.

MEDDIC is a sales qualification system that can be used to assess whether a sales opportunity is worth pursuing.

By following the steps in MEDDIC, a sales rep can determine whether an opportunity is likely to result in a sale.

  • Market refers to the size of the potential market for the product or service.
  • Economic buyer refers to the person who will make the final decision to purchase.
  • Decision criteria refer to the factors that the buyer will consider when making a purchase decision.
  • Decision process refers to the steps that the buyer will take in order to make a purchase decision.
  • Identification of champions refers to identifying individuals who champion the product or service within the organization.
  • Commitment refers to getting commitment from the buyer for a future purchase.

MEDDIC provides a framework for sales reps to assess opportunities and determine whether they are worth pursuing.

When to use MEDDIC

  • When selling to larger organizations
  • When you need to qualify prospects

3. The Challenger Sale

The Challenger Sale is a sales methodology that was developed in the 2000s by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon. It is based on the idea of being a challenger in the sales process. This means that salespeople should take a more assertive approach in the sales process and challenge their prospects. This sales methodology is best used when selling to larger organizations.

A Sales rep using the Challenger Sales Methodology can take a unique approach to the sales process, backed by research and data. The Challenger Sales model is designed to help sellers move past traditional methods that often result in stale relationships and little opportunity for growth.

Challenger sales representatives focus on 4 key steps:

  1. Challenger the customer's current state
  2. Teach the customer
  3. Dimension the customer's potential
  4. Take control of the sale

This method puts the seller in a position of thought leadership, helping them to better understand their customers' needs and how they can be met. In turn, this Challenger Sale representative is able to have more successful conversations, build stronger relationships, and ultimately close more deals. This is not one of those sales methods for the rep who likes to take shortcuts due to the nature of customer centric selling practices.

When to Use the Challenger Sales Methodology

  • When selling to larger organizations
  • When you need to qualified prospects
  • When you need to take a more assertive approach in the sales process

4. Solution Selling

Solution Selling is a sales methodology that was developed in the 1975 by Frank Watts and later evolved into SPIN, like you read earlier in this article. It is based on the idea of finding and solving your prospect's pain points. This is one of many sales methodology is best used when selling complex products or services.

Solution Selling is a methodology that a sales rep can use to take a prospective customer through the steps of the sales process.

This Solution Selling Process involves 8 distinct steps:

  1. Establishing Rapport
  2. Solution Identification
  3. Solution Demonstration
  4. Solution Benefits
  5. Solution Handling of Objections
  6. Solution Presentation
  7. Solution Pricing
  8. Solution Close

Each of these steps is essential in order to take the customer from interested prospect to paying client. The Solution Selling Methodology is most effective when used with potential customers who have a high need for the product or service being sold and who are ready to make a purchase decision.

When to use Solution Selling

  • When selling complex products or services
  • When you need to identify pain and offer the perfect solution

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5. The Sandler Selling System

The Sandler Selling System is a sales methodology that was developed in the 1970s by David Sandler. It is based on the idea of building relationships with your prospects and creating long term relationships. This sales methodology is best used when a sales organization is targeting small and medium businesses.

The Sandler Sales Methodology is a relationship-based selling system that focuses on 4 key areas:

  1. Prospecting
  2. Qualifying
  3. Presenting
  4. Closing

By focusing on these four key areas, sales reps using this sales model are able to build customer centric messaging for their prospects and create long term relationships.

In order to successfully use this sales model, relationship building is a sales team's top priority and everything must be done with a customer centric selling approach. So the typical sales hacker probably will not do well in the lead qualification step. And even before that, they may not conduct the lead value assessment correctly. No shortcuts when it comes to the customer centric attitude.

Recently, the SPIN Selling company decided to implement this sales model in order to improve their sales process. They found that they were able to improve their sales process by increasing the number of closed deals.

In addition, sales managers found that using this system helped them to better understand their prospects' needs and allowed them to create longer lasting relationships with their clients.

This selling system is one of the sales methodologies most effective when used with potential customers who are interested in what you have to offer and who are ready to make a purchase decision.

When to use The Sandler System

  • When you need to build relationships with prospects
  • When selling complex products or services.

By following the steps in this sales methodology, sales reps can increase their chances of closing deals and achieving their sales goals.


inbound-selling-women-working-marketing-automoation

6. Inbound Selling

Inbound Selling was developed in the 2000s by Hubspot and reduces the burden on sales teams by adding automation to the top of the sales funnel. It is based on the idea of aligning your sales process with your buyer's journey improves the qualification process and shortens the sales cycle. This means that salespeople should focus on being helpful and providing value to their prospects.

The Inbound Selling methodology has 5 steps:

  1. Attract
  2. Connect
  3. Explore
  4. Advise
  5. Close

By following these steps, inbound sales reps are able to align their sales process with the buyer's journey. This allows them to focus on being helpful and providing value to their prospects.

Inbound selling is most effective when used with potential customers who are in the early stages of the buying cycle.

When to use Inbound Selling

  • When selling lower priced items at scale
  • When selling complex products or services
  • When you need to align your sales process with your buyer's journey
  • When you need to focus on being helpful and providing value to your prospects

7. Target Account Selling

Target Account Selling is a sales methodology that was developed in the 1990s by Anthony Parinello. It is based on the idea of selling to specific target accounts that you believe are the ideal customer. This is one of the best sales methodologies for the rep who's naturally inclined towards customer centric selling methods.

It's suggested to use a qualification framework like MEDDIC or BLANT along with this method. This way you can always be focussed on the right customer at the right time.

The Target Account Selling methodology has 3 steps:

  1. Identify
  2. Pursue
  3. Win

By following these steps, sales pros are able to identify and pursue the right prospects. This allows them to focus on selling to specific target accounts.

When used correctly, Target Account Selling can help sales reps close more deals and increase their commission earnings.

When to use Target Account Selling

  • When selling complex products or services
  • When you need to focus on selling to specific target accounts
  • When selling to larger organizations
  • When you need to identify and pursue the right prospects

Target Account Selling is most effective when used with potential customers who are ready to make a purchase decision.


8. Command of the Sale

Command of the Sale is a sales methodology that was developed in the 1990s by Rob Jolles. It is based on the idea of taking control of the sales process. This means that salespeople should focus on being in charge and leading the conversation.

The Command of the Sale methodology has 3 steps:

  1. Engage
  2. Assert
  3. Control

By following these steps, sales reps are able to take control of the sales process. This allows them to focus on being in charge and leading the conversation.

When to use Command of the Sale

Command of the Sale is most effective when used with potential customers who are ready to make a purchase decision.

  • When selling complex products or services
  • When you need to focus on being in charge and leading the conversation
  • When selling high
  • When selling higher priced items or services
  • When you need to take control of the sales process.

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Confident analyst or trader pointing at laptop display while making presentation of sales rate

9. Gap Selling

Gap Selling is a sales methodology that was developed in the 1990s by Keith M. Eades. It is based on the idea of finding and selling to the gap between your prospect's current situation and their desired outcome. This means that salespeople should focus on identifying and solving pain points.

The Gap Selling methodology has 3 steps:

  1. Identify the gap
  2. Sell to the gap
  3. Close the gap

By following these steps, sales reps are able to find and sell to the gap between their prospect's current situation and their desired outcome. This allows them to focus on identifying and solving pain points.

When to use the Gap Sales Method

Gap selling is most effective when used with potential customers who are ready to make a purchase decision.

  • When selling higher priced items or services
  • When selling complex products or services
  • When you need to identify and solve your prospect's pain points.

10. N.E.A.T. Selling

N.E.A.T. Selling is a sales methodology that was developed in the 1990s by Robert Bogue. It is based on the idea of selling in a way that is Natural, Easy, Automatic, and Trustworthy. This means that salespeople should focus on being authentic and building trust with their prospects.

The N.E.A.T. Selling methodology has 4 steps:

  1. Nurture
  2. Engage
  3. Assert
  4. Trust

By following these steps, a sales rep are able to sell in a way that is Natural, Easy, Automatic, and Trustworthy. This allows them to focus on being authentic and building trust with their prospects.

When to use N.E.A.T Selling

  • When potential customers are ready to make a purchase decision
  • When selling lower priced items or services
  • When selling complex products or services
  • When you need to focus on being authentic and building trust with your prospects.

11. Conceptual Selling

Conceptual Selling is a sales methodology that was developed in the 1980s by Robert B. Miller and Stephen E. Heiman. It is based on the idea of selling the concept first and the product second. This means that salespeople should focus on understanding their prospect's needs and challenges and then presenting a solution.

The Conceptual Selling methodology has 3 steps:

  1. Build rapport and establish trust
  2. Discover needs and challenges
  3. Present a solution

By following these steps, sales professionals are able to sell the concept first and the product second. This allows them to focus on understanding their prospect's needs and challenges and then presenting a solution.

When to use Conceptual Selling

  • When potential customers are ready to make a purchase decision
  • When selling higher priced items or services
  • When selling complex products or services
  • When you need to focus on understanding your prospect's needs and challenges and then presenting a solution

12. SNAP Selling

SNAP Selling is a sales methodology that was developed in the 2000s by Jill Konrath. It is based on the idea of selling to busy buyers. This means that salespeople should focus on making it easy for their prospects to buy from them by first understanding their pain points extremely well. This will help to simplify the messaging and speed up the buying process.

The SNAP sales process has 4 steps:

  1. Simplify your message
  2. Narrow your focus
  3. Accelerate the decision process
  4. Partner for success

By following these steps, this allows sales reps to focus on making it easy for their prospects to buy from them because they are providing a mutually beneficial solution in both the offer and the speedy sales cycle.

When to use SNAP Selling

  • When selling lower priced items or services
  • When selling simple products or services
  • When you need to focus on making it easy for your prospects to buy from you

There is no one-size-fits-all sales method. Picking the right sales methodology is a skill that takes time and practice. Today’s successful sellers are those that can quickly adapt to their target market and use the best sales methodologies to meet ALL sales opportunities head on. If you're willing to adapt then you'll lead customers all the way through the buying journey with ease.


There you have it!

Those are the 12 most popular and best sales methodologies for any type of seller.

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Want to dive even deeper into which sales method is best for your personality type?

Take our Seller Type Personality Assessment to find out which of the 12 seller archetypes you are. Each seller personality has unique strengths and understanding how your prospects perceive you will empower you to

  • Pick the right sales methodologies for the right prospective buyers
  • Improve your qualification process through a high impact sales method
  • Use the sales models that shorten the sales cycle for busy prospects
  • Increase your book of loyal customers
  • Keep your pipeline filled despite the economic impact of current events
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