Do buyers use sales methodologies to hone their craft? I have often wondered this point and it drove me to this investigation.
I have researched 20 leading books and sales methodologies from 1985 forward and an index search shows an average of 3% of pages mentioning “value”.
That same 3% talk of its importance and not much more. The reason - I believe - that the books, methods and their deployment are largely about sales governance. A sterile way to consider whether sales people’s actions are being effected and counted.
I even unearthed a piece of research from 1975 that discussed the challenges to sales people and their managers — also about governance.
What Value a Sales Methodology?
Many people talk and write about “provocative selling” and it prompted me to look for success measures so I investigated a well-known sales methodology from the B2B world and a sample of their marquee customers (as determined by their endorsements on the company web site). My findings are summarised in the chart below:
- Red line: methodology owner.
- All other lines, companies that publicly announce their use of the methodology.
Business versus Strategic Assets
There is a fast-track to determining your business value and where you and your capability might sit in the buyers mind and that is to assess whether you are part of a business asset or strategic asset for your prospect as defined here:
- Business Assets solve a functional need eg CRM and sales methodology. Any company can access these assets but they are business necessities and largely commodities.
- Strategic Assets help deliver customer service, are difficult for a competitor to replicate and increases customer satisfaction.
You work out how to be a strategic asset and supplier of same and you are embedded for the long hall…with or without a sales methodology.