A sales process could be defined as a series of systematic, measurable steps marking out the path and the interactions with prospects throughout the sales cycle. An efficient sales process is the key to success for a sales team.
When a sales process is heavily used by the team, it can be improved by including various concepts and steps in it to satisfy the requirements of the business environment. A CRM tool can automate a set of calculations and functions while supporting not only the sales process, but especially the work of the sales team. Most CRM tools provide, or initially offer, one or more sales processes.
A sales methodology is a more strategic exercise that provides guidance, a message, a strategy and activities that can ultimately be used in any sales process.
Different methodologies have been used by sales organizations over time: Relationship Selling, published in 1936, ADAPT Method, Xerox System, Professional Selling Skills (PSS), Strategic Selling, SPIN Selling, Solution Selling (2000), Challenger Sales (2011), and SNAP Selling (2012).
The latest methods can be put to use immediately in most organizations, but it would still be worthwhile to explore those various methodologies to find out which one would best fit your company or, at least, to confirm that your operational processes are consistent with industry best practices.
For example, besides tools and functions, the Challenger Sales method gives managers and reps the benefit of a common language, strategy and goals. A CRM tool supporting a sales process—steps and activities—based on the Challenger Sales method enables and encourages a proactive customer approach because it can be used to capture and exploit customers’ data.
The CRM solution has very considerable potential for standardizing methods and processes. “Real time” access to data coming from sales activities provides a major competitive edge and makes it easier to transition from a product-centric to a customer-centric vision.
This article is an abstract from the