Sales methods: “Process”
There are several types of sales methods. Some concern a particular aspect of the sale, others on the contrary will structure your entire approach from commercial prospecting to the conversion of the prospect into a customer.
We will start with the latter. It will allow you to have a vision and a global follow-up on your sales cycle especially when it includes several sales calls in the case of B to B.
The SPANCO sales technique: To effectively follow the sales process
The Spanco sales method is a technique developed by Xerox. It describes all the phases through which a prospect goes before becoming a customer.
SPANCO is actually an acronym for: Suspect, Prospect, Analysis, Negotiation, Conclusion and Order ongoing.
The goal of this method is to position each prospect on the stage that corresponds to him based on his current sales. Of course, each step has a goal that needs your sales efforts to move the potential customer to the next step.
This technique has the advantage of being relatively universal, it is easy to set up and can be used by everyone. It is very useful for managing your pipe and having an overview of your current sales process.
To learn more read our article: Mastering your sales process with SPANCO .
The MEDDIC method: To keep control of complex sales
It is this method. We really love it. B to B sales have become enormously complex during these recent years. The sales processes are longer, they involve a large number of interlocutors and your competitors are never very far away.
The longer your sales processes and the more complex (and expensive) your solutions, the more relevant this sales technique is.
With us, we like to say that it helps you qualify your prospects and at the same time it qualifies YOU for your prospects.
MEDDIC is an acronym:
- M for Metrics (or indicator)
- E for Economic Buyer
- D for Decision Criteria
- D for Decision Process
- I for Identify Pain (Problems and brakes identified)
- C for Champion (Prescriber)
You need to be able to get clear answers to each of these aspects if you want to have effective sales techniques and increase your chances of converting.
To fully understand and use the MEDDIC method read now: our article on the subject
The SPIN SALES technique: Understanding the different stages of the sale
The SPIN Sales is part of the art of spin selling proposed by Neil Rackham. This technique is based on two aspects, a division into 4 phases of your sales and the use of 4 types of questions to deepen your understanding of the customer's needs.
The Four phases of spin sales are:
- The opening phase
- The investigation phase
- The demonstration phase
- The engagement phase
The goal behind spin sales is to offer your potential customer an action every step of the way. These actions, if they are carried out, constitute advances allowing the prospect to progress to the next stage of the sales funnel. The more simple actions you offer, the more chance the prospect has of seizing them and thus gradually reaching the objective: The sale!
Read our article on Spin Selling to learn more about Spin Sales .
Sales techniques to qualify an opportunity
Now that you have no more secrets in mastering the target account selling, let's move on to tested sales techniques that will allow you to qualify your sales call. In a sales call or sales meeting, your objective is to get your prospect to speak in order to really understand his challenges, his maturity and ensure the relevance of your solutions.
Remember that if you have two ears and one mouth, it is to listen twice as much as to speak. (yes I know it's me who said that…).
SPIN SELLING: for relevant questions
I told you about the SPIN Sales above, so here is the second dimension of spin selling, the SPIN Questions. The objective of spin selling is to allow you as a sales rep, to ask the right questions to fully understand the needs and challenges of your potential client. The enhanced efficacy of spin selling is owing to the fact that it prepares prospects for your pitch by utilizing the appropriate questions..
For that, spin selling is formidable!
SPIN is the acronym of the 4 types of questions highlighted by Neil Rackham:
- The “situation” questions
- The “problem” questions
- The “implication” questions
- “Need-payoff” questions (Result)
By using SPIN SELLING, you will gain the trust of your prospect and prepare them to receive your arguments. Without even having had to sell anything, it's beautiful isn't it?
To find out more, check out our article now: Converting your prospects into customers with SPIN Selling .
ACTIVE LISTENING and the BEBEDC method: better qualifying the needs of your prospect
We often talk to you about active listening and it is true that this is the theoretical basis of a good sales interview. On the other hand, what is active listening? What do I need to hear to reach my goal? That is often less clear, isn't it?
To practice active listening without getting lost, there is a rather well-crafted technique that comes to us from Uptoo: the BEBEDC method. It is very simple. You need to talk to your prospect and ask them questions until you get this information:
- His Need
- Its challenges
- Its Budget
- The deadline of his project
- The decision-makers for this project
- Solicited competitors
The whole art of active listening and BEBEDC rests of course on your sales skills to obtain information indirectly. You don't say to a prospect in 2020: “What's your budget?” but rather “During your last site redesign, did you have any idea of the investment that had been made by your team?”.
BEBEDC is also a technique that could be considered as a qualification method. If you are not able to get reliable information on each of these points, there is no point in wasting your time: The deal is lost.
Either your prospect isn't actually ready to buy, or you haven't been able to gain their trust. Either way you lost.
Bonus: If you've watched the video, it's subtle, but the introduction of the video uses a marketing technique that could be likened to a sales technique, The AIDA Method !
BANT: The qualification technique
Finally, let's finish the qualification techniques with the BANT method. It is an extremely simple qualification technique, it consists in obtaining the answers to the following questions:
- Budget: How much is your prospect willing to pay for your service
- Authority: Does he have the authority to make this type of decision?
- Need: What is your prospect's need?
- Temporality: When does he need it?
This method has the merit of being simple but to be honest it is largely outdated. In its implementation, it is quite brutal and today the prospects do not really answer the question of the budget or the authority in a simple and clear way.
It is a good basis for marketing teams, in particular to qualify incoming leads, but in a commercial prospecting process we do not recommend it.
To find out more about how it works, we too have written a short guide: How to qualify your leads with BANT?
Sales methods to convince
Are you a champion in listening, have you qualified your potential client perfectly? Ok it's time to capture the attention of it with a powerful and adapted argument. Luckily we have some techniques in store for you.
SONCAS: the sales method based on psychological profiles
One of the best-known sales techniques in France is of course the SONCAS method . Its principle is relatively simple, during the discovery phase by exchanging with your prospect you must be able to identify his psychological profile.
There are 6 main types of profiles:
- Bonus: Ecology (SONCASE)
Each psychological profile has its own peculiarities and sensitivities. For example, a safety profile will tend to fear new concepts and to check all the details of a product or service to avoid endangering its activity. A new profile will tend to absolutely seek innovations at the risk of being difficult to retain.
Of course, most of the time your prospect will present a mix of at least two profiles. You will have to adapt to his profile to present the right arguments in the right way to convince him . It's also a good way to understand and deal with business objections effectively.
Moreover, contrary to appearances, it is not a question of sins (7 deadly sins). Don't be judgmental about profiles, someone "nice" is not someone better than someone with a "silver" profile. It simply corresponds to psychological profiles that make some arguments more relevant than others to these people.
Discover our full article on the soncas method .
If you like this type of approach you might also appreciate the DISC method which although not limited to sales can be very useful!
CAB and CAP SONCAS sales methods to improve your sales pitch
Sometimes, not always, you actually need to sell your product or service. Or rather present an argument. When this is the case, there is a very useful technique to help you make your sales pitch more impactful: The CAB method.
The CAB method is a variant of the CAP SONCAS method.
You'll never guess it, but, it's an acronym!
- Profit (Proof for the soncas CAP)
By following this structure your arguments will be easy to understand, powerful in their formulation and effective in the ability to persuade your interlocutor.
SIMAC: The sales method to control your appointments
The SIMAC method is also a good technique for directing your sales talks. It describes to you how to present your solution to increase your chances of success.
SIMAC is, in fact, an acronym (oh well, that's it… 🤪):
- S for Situation: Understand the prospect's context, needs and issues
- I for Idea: Present an idea to the prospect that would solve his problem
- M for Mechanism: Explain how to concretely implement the proposed idea using a detailed action plan.
- A for Advantage: Describe the advantages of deploying this solution in the context of your prospect.
- C for Conclusion: Obtain feedback from the prospect and validate its relevance
It is very useful and effective because it allows you to properly project your interlocutor in the use of your solution (advantages) but also in the steps necessary for the implementation of this one (Mechanism).
It is a technique very suitable for complex software and services.
BATNA: The technique of commercial negotiation
The negotiation is often fears step by the seller but by the prospects. But this is an important step, it must imperatively be mastered to ensure that the collaboration will be mutually beneficial.
And a negotiation is getting ready!
The best technique for success is the BATNA or MESORE method in French. It is all about creating the “best alternative” if you disagree with your prospect. The idea is not to start losing by planning to let go of the ground but rather to draw up the limits of what is acceptable by cold analysis of the situation.
Indeed without this work upstream when we improvise the negotiation we react with our emotions. And let's not lie to ourselves, we salespeople want to sell our product or service at least as much as our customer wants to buy it.
To learn more about the BATNA / MESORE trading technique see our article on the subject .
There you have it, with these 9 sales techniques, nothing can stop you!
Through this article we wanted to make you understand that selling cannot be improvised and that there are many methods available to help you. On the other hand, no secret: to sell is first of all to listen.
Let your prospects guide you, listen to them and everything will become easier!