The sales industry is complex. Just as industries like medicine and aviation combine high-tech innovation with low-tech checklists to achieve success, sales professionals need to do the same using a sales methodology.
A methodology provides a framework to the sales process, describing exactly what to do, why to do it and how to connect the sales process to the customer’s path. Checklists, on the other hand, help people focus pause and communicate.
It’s helpful to think of the sales process as an ongoing checklist. For example, the Blue Sheet from Strategic Selling with Perspective brings structure to the sales process, aligning strategies for winning complex deals. The Conceptual Selling with Perspective Green Sheet helps organize and develop a detailed meeting plan to engage customers and build win-win outcomes. Both help sellers ensure critical steps during the sales cycle are not missed.
Checklists have been around for a long time, but new technology has made it increasingly clear that pairing the two allows for a clear and consistent sales process.
Why the Strongest Sales Teams Pair Methodology with Technology
The average sales organization uses 10 tools and plans to add four more in the next year. To really take advantage of a methodology, the strongest sales organizations pair it with technology, using customer-focused data and analytics to deliver actionable steps that guide sellers’ behavior.
Today’s sales technology features tools that use predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to boost sales productivity. When artificial intelligence layers onto a sales methodology, it helps sellers prioritize deals and plan their selling activities more effectively.
Sales analytics platforms such as Scout, pair methodology with analytics in real time to drive seller behavior—showing sellers what specific actions they can take to build stronger customer relationships and advance deals. It also helps sales leaders by identifying what is and isn’t working to improve the accuracy of sales data and forecasting.
The 2019 World-Class Sales Practices Study from CSO Insights, the research division of Miller Heiman Group found that just 31% of organizations use sales analytics to measure and predict sales performance. But when sales leaders use predictive analytics paired with a CRM, they’re more likely to guide sellers to success.
Predictive analytics also allows organizations to replicate processes and reveal patterns to better understand which opportunities will result in closed-won business. Buyers want sellers to understand their business and tailor their messaging to address their specific needs and wants. Checklists—such as the Blue Sheet and Green Sheet—give sellers discipline, accountability and a common language throughout the sales cycle. The more informed and prepared sellers are, the more likely they are to close deals.
The Future of Sales Is Now
Join Dana Hamerschlag, Miller Heiman Group Chief Product Officer, for a live webinar on Wednesday, November 13 to examine how technology like AI intersects with sales processes and methodology. During the webinar you’ll learn:
- How other industries, like medicine and aviation, combine high-tech innovation with low-tech checklists to achieve success
- Questions you should ask to ensure you optimize technology in a way that’s complementary to your sales force
- The importance of ensuring a consistent and repeatable sales process as the foundation for sales strategies