What I wish everyone knew about Top 5 Sales Methodology!

Sales is the only fuel for organization growth, the biggest challenge for growing business is structuring a scalable sales model which is based on measurable sales performance.

Most of the business starts with the core team who are passionate about the product or service offered and address the customer needs.

Then comes a day when you need to scale and add more sellers in the team, you start by training them the way the core team is selling, but the fact is you were actually not selling but living your passion which cannot be trained.

Now is the time to evaluate sales methodology which is measurable and best suitable for your product or service, target audience, and the customer challenge or business need you are addressing.

Let’s look at the top 5 Sales Methodology and decide which is the most suitable for your business.

1. Target Account Selling / Account Based Selling

The most popular Sales Methodology that has worked for many organizations in the last three decades with over million sellers trained to convert smaller customers or smaller groups in the larger organization into larger and more perpetual customers.

This methodology breaks larger and complex deals, down into multiple smaller deals, blocking the competition in the account. This requires strategic planning for the account and great sales execution throughout the sales life cycle reducing the importance of politics in the account.

Target Account Selling is also popular because it automates the entire sales process using various sales automation tools such as Salesforce, Siebel by Oracle, Sales Hub by HubSpot.

Check out Google Trends for Account based marketing.

2. The Challenger Sale

Another very popular Sales Methodology is “The Challenger Sale” this classify sellers into five Profiles: Lone Wolves, Hard Workers, Relationship Builders, Problem Solvers, and Challengers. The Challengers are the most successful in the complex selling business environment.

You can learn more about “The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation” from the book by the same name written by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson. This book was published in 2011 and has been gaining popularity since then especially with technology companies for complex sales or companies with a large sales team.

In this methodology, you approach customers with exclusive insights about how they can make or save money. You adapt your sales communication to the customer’s precise needs and objectives. Rather than agreeing to the customer’s every request or opposition, you are assertive, pushing back when needed and take control of the sale.

3. SPIN Selling 

Three Decades ago, in 1988 when Neil Rackham wrote the book SPIN Selling, no one knew it would still be in use.

SPIN (Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-payoff) Selling focus on high value and complex sales, most of the B2B Technology companies use this methodology to progress customer needs from Implied to Explicit.

SPIN Selling is built on the fact that buyers should do most of the talking, and sellers should ask the right questions. The conversation between the seller and the buyer is orchestrated in four categories of questions.

  1. Situation questions: to collect facts, data, and background. Successful calls have Situation questions.
  2. Problem questions: to discover challenges, shortcomings, and difficulties. The objective is to uncover implied needs. Successful sellers ask more Problem questions than Situation questions.
  3. Implication questions: to get the buyer to express the consequences of the problem. The successful seller asks multiple Implication questions which make the buyer thinking about various implications or consequences for no action.
  4. Need-Payoff questions: focus on the solution. The successful seller asks how their solution might improve buyer business

4. Customer Centric Selling

Customer Centric Selling advocates turning your sales team into collaborative consultants who then become trusted advisors to customers.

This methodology focuses on the Customer and solving his problem or addressing his need. Four keys successful Customer Centric Selling are:   

  1. What Customer Wants: Customer doesn’t care what you want, they care about what they want and their problems.
  2. What Customer Needs: Collaborate with customers to uncover their needs by asking the right questions.
  3. Speaking Customer’s Language: Customers don’t understand your organization jargon or the industry lingo, they get confused.
  4. Addressing Customer’s Fear: Speak to the Customers underlining concerns or fears and how your Product or Solution will make those fears disappear.

5. Solution Selling  

Mike Bosworth introduced Solution Selling in 1988 and began licensing affiliates. His methodology continued to evolve through the years and later he sold the IP in 1999 to one of his affiliates, Keith M. Eades.

Now the term “solution selling” is quite generic however the core brand of solution selling has unique characteristics.

Followers of “solution-selling” typically use a consultative sales approach across the sales process or sales life cycle. The approach includes Prospecting, Identifying customer needs, Developing probable solution, Establishing value, Understanding decision-makers, Negotiating a win-win solution and ensuring customer success.

The solution selling methodology has been adopted by many organizations for B2B Solution centric sales including aspects of “consultative selling”, “value selling”, as well as “competitive selling”.


These methodologies can help in your business growth, with require training, competence, and skill for your sales team.

Which methodology is best depends on various factors, your product or services, target market, competitive landscape and the core skills of your sales team.

I personally use a combination of all and tailor my approach based on the customer I am addressing.

Neelesh Kumar Rastogi

14 Responses

  1. Neelesh, I liked your writing style. Will love to know more about The Challenger Sales methodology, can you do a detailed one on it.

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