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Sales Process vs. Sales Methodology: The Key Differences

difference between sales process and sales methodology

Posted in Inbound Sales, and Sales Process. 3 min read

Sales may seem like magic, but anyone who has been there knows hard work goes into it.

The art of selling is unique to each business, the goals they are looking to achieve, and the culture they exude in their daily work and client contact.

In the selling world, the terms “sales process” and “sales methodology” get thrown around a lot. You may think they’re interchangeable. If you think so … think again.

In fact, a sales process and sales methodology are quite different. So, what are the differences between your sales process and methodology, and when do you use each?

What is a Sales Process?

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A documented sales process serves as a guideline to help sales reps determine proper next steps to bring prospect through the buyer’s journey to that final sale.

Your sales process might look different than other companies – but that’s ok. A sales process should be unique to your business based on your industry, market, products, and customer base. 

It’s important to establish a sales process before you start searching and finding prospects. With a defined process in place, there won’t be any loose ends. Your sales team will have the right steps in front of them to discover, nurture, and gain new customers. 

What is a Sales Methodology?

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Unlike a sales process, a sales methodology isn't applied to the entire sales cycle; rather, it focuses in one on area of a sales process and builds unique approaches based on a business’s goals, culture, and values. It’s more of a strategy.

A sales methodology is your “how” of selling.

While a sales process should be unique to each business, many businesses can still apply the same sales methodology. A sales methodology reflects who you are as a business, encouraging you to focus on your values and culture in order to drive the right customers and sales. 

When it comes to sales methodologies, there are 10 most popular methodologies companies use: 

  • The Challenger Sale

  • SPIN Selling

  • N.E.A.T. Selling

  • The Sandler System

  • Solution Selling

  • Inbound Selling

  • MEDDIC

  • CustomerCentric Selling

  • Conceptual Selling

  • SNAP Selling

As a proud inbound organization, Bluleadz dedicates its selling efforts to an inbound sales strategy, using the four key stages – Identify, Connect, Explore, and Advise – to find right-fit prospects and nurture them through the buyer’s journey.

To better educate those interested in an inbound selling methodology, we’ve created the Inbound Sales Playbook, which details key stages in each phase of an inbound sales strategy.

How to Use a Sales Process and Methodology Together to Grow Your Business

sales process

Your sales process and sales methodology really do work together.

Without a sales process, your team won’t fully understand the proper path of your sales cycle and what direction to take with prospects who show interest and sales-qualified leads who need a little more time before committing.

And, without a sales methodology integrated into your sales process, your sales process will lack those unique approaches that demonstrate to your prospects who you are as a business and the culture you thrive around.

With a process and methodology in place, your sales reps will have all the right tools to excel in finding and obtaining new clients and customers.

Use your process to guide them in the right direction, and build a methodology that highlights each rep’s strengths but provides the necessary support with their individual weaknesses.

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