Sales methodology vs. sales process

In this article we discuss the key differences and the roles they both play in a sales team.

Shark Finesse
August 9, 2022

What is a sales methodology?

Sales methodology can be described as a framework or set of principles that guides sales reps to close a sale. The framework or principles take goals and turn them into specific actions and steps to help guide sales reps through the sales process. Without a sales methodology the sales team won’t work in sync with each other and may not know how to respond to different sales scenarios that could arise. It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, sales methodology is important as employees need to make sure they understand and follow a set of principles to help them to thrive in their job role. There are several different sales methodologies including SPIN selling which is best used at the discovery stage of the sales process, challenger selling that aims to teach the prospect to take control of the conversation, SNAP selling which aims to make the sales process short and simple and many more.

Some of the main benefits of using a sales methodology include helping to create a clear path for sellers to follow which helps increase profits and also helps to reduce on-boarding training time. Another benefit is that the framework will increase both the quantity and quality of leads as well as increase the efficiency of the sales team.

What is a sales process?

A sales process is described as a set of repeatable steps that a sales person takes to guide a prospect to closing a sale. A typical sales process consists of 5-7 steps and these steps may include (but are not restricted to): prospecting, preparation, approach, presentation, handling objections, closing, follow-up. Sales processes will differ from company to company as one specific sales process will not cover every step of every potential lead and will need adapting to suit individual circumstances. The sales process in a company covers every step of the potential customer’s sales journey, from the initial contact through to making a sale.

Whatever product or service you sell, having a sales process will benefit your company in many ways. One benefit of a sales process is that it helps to encourage a more cohesive sales team that is consistent with every sale, which enables every customer to be treated in the same way. Another benefit is that a sales process helps your company to get better data as you are able to easily measure the process's performance with KPIs. Using a sales process helps you to identify your key strengths and weaknesses and gives you the chance to test out new ideas.

How are they different?

The difference between sales methodology and sales process is sometimes difficult to understand as they both contribute to making a sale, however there is a key difference. Sales methodology is a broad philosophy or set of practices that inform how a sales process is built compared to a sales process that is a series of actionable steps. A sales process is different and is a unique set of steps for every company that will depends on their products, services and sales team. This is different to sales methodology which is a universal philosophy that all companies follow to guide them in creating their own sales process. The key to a company making sales is to use both sales methodology and sales process together. Sales methodology is very important to refer to when creating your company’s sales process to help your sales team get leads and produce sales.

At Shark Finesse, we have solutions to help all sales teams be successful. For more information get in touch with our team today.

What we do

At Shark Finesse we have developed an enterprise-grade cloud application to help businesses standardise and simplify their value engagements across the entire customer journey.

Shark, a business value engagement platform used by 1000’s of customer-facing teams globally (e.g. pre-sales, sales, value teams, and customer success) is easy to use, intuitive and usable directly with the customer to negotiate the likely business returns from investing in a solution.

By adopting the Shark approach you will fundamentally transform conversations with new and existing customers, close more business, and differentiate from the competition.