"Choosing the right sales methodology" with John Dougan

John Smibert

John Dougan

Choosing a sales methodology.  Interview by John Smibert

I was delighted to talk with John Dougan on this subject.

In this 3 minute video John provides us with a great insight into how a selling organisation should choose a sales methodology that is right for them.

One novel suggestion he makes is to ask your customers to help you choose it - if you are a sales leader you are likely to find John's insight interesting.

John Dougan is the 'intrepid sales detective', a writer and blogger on sales effectiveness

Want more? See more of the 'TALKING SALES' series here


John S: Welcome back! I'm delighted to have with me John Dougan. John is the 'intrepid sales detective', a writer and blogger on sales effectiveness. Welcome, John!

John D: Thank you, John!

John S: John, I've read a lot of your writings recently where you talk about sales methodology and the importance of it. Could you tell me a little bit more about that?

John D: Yeah, of course. Sales methodology, John, is predominantly focused on sales effectiveness. Now, within that there are a variety of different things that you have to consider. Often it's mistaken for sales process - process of course being the actual steps that you take. Methodology is much more geared around the structure, the strategy...

John S: The how.

John D: Exactly that, and there's a direct result the actual performance that your sales staff go through and measure the sales objectives that they set by bringing back through that.

John S: Okay.  It's interesting that you compared it to 'process', because process is important to me.

John D: Of course.

John S: Because you need to be able to manage your progress through a sale, and for every step of the sale there's a gate that you need to get through and you say "I've now completed that step, we move to the next step."

John D: Yep.

John S: But the how is a methodology, how do you actually do the work within that step of the sale. Right?

John D: Definitely. If you consider a process for what it is - it is the idea of automation of being able to use CRM as a tool to forecast effectively and as a tool to plan effectively. Methodology is actually geared a lot more around the buyer, and we know that buyer behaviour is changing - that's another topic we can discuss. But ultimately, looking at adoption that your sales staff have, customization. I think if there was one overarching point that I could make - to measure what sort of sales methodology you should choose for your organisation, you should have a conversation with your customer. Say "How and why did I buy, and what were the steps that I took to get you to the point that you took me as the trusted advisor, and ultimately as the salesperson."

John S: And for that reason the methodology each organisation implement as their sales methodology is likely to be different to other organisations, they need to have their own methodology. Is that true?

John D: A hundred percent. Every buyer buys differently every time, that we know, therefore we have to have the agility to be able to sell to that. Now, there are many sales methodologies out there based on good qualitative and quantitative research. My advice would be to approach one of the organisations that do that, and ultimately have a conversation around how you better enhance your salespeople to add real value to their customers.

John S: Great advice, John! I look forward to our next discussion, maybe we can take that further.


See the full 'TALKING SALES' series here



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