4 Sales Methodology Mistakes that Drag Adoption Down

There is an impressive assortment of sales methodologies available. In fact, I highlighted ten in this previous blog post.

Everyone has their own personal favourite sales methodology and I’m no different. I happen to particularly like MEDDIC for its combination of simplicity and strategic thinking.

by Tim Knight, CMO, CloudApps


M – METRICS – The metric driven, quantifiable economic impact of the solution.

E – ECONOMIC BUYER – The person who has the power to spend.

D – DECISION CRITERIA – The formal criteria used to make the purchasing decision.

D – DECISION PROCESS – The process used to purchase a vendor’s offering

I – IDENTIFY PAIN – The pain (or business need) driving the desire to purchase

C – CHAMPION – The key player who has the power and influence to drive the opportunity for you

Sales methodologies, such as this one, have been around for many years and have been implemented by thousands of companies.


Why Bother with a Sales Methodology?

As organisations begin to grow, they quickly realise the need to implement a sales model that is both scalable and common across the company. This is often also driven by a desire to develop a common language that can be used when reviewing and executing on deals.

One additional benefit to be gained from implementing a sales methodology is the team mentality they tend to foster. It forces the organisation to develop a ‘sales team’ versus ‘individual sales rep’ mentality. We win or lose together as a team!

The greater level of structure and rigour that these sales methodologies bring also helps drive confidence in deal health. This, in turn, means that precious supporting resources, such as pre-sales engineers, can be deployed to the strongest deals thus avoiding wasted cycles.


sales methodology


What are the Common Pitfalls when Using these Sales Methodologies?

In many cases, companies spend a great deal of money training the sales organisation.

The lost opportunity cost of taking the entire sales and sales management functions out of action for the duration of the training should also not be overlooked.

Imagine the frustration when these companies later discover that the methodology has not been adopted as widely as intended.

There are several reasons why this happens. Let’s take a look at the 4 most common.


1. It’s just too complicated:

Many of these sales methodologies require the sales rep to fill out overly complex deal sheets, adding to their daily ‘admin’ grind. As we all know, most successful sales folks do not like to spend time on ‘admin’ tasks. Getting them to fill out the CRM system with just the most basic of information is a challenge. So, attempting to extend the complexity further usually only leads to an even bigger dip in adoption. Methodologies that are simpler for the rep to use are the ones that retain wider adoption. This represents one of the biggest reasons I am a fan of MEDDIC.


2. Adoption is not being driven from the top down:

Sales management needs to be diligent in integrating the methodologies into their daily or weekly cadence with the sales team. Much like the adoption of a CRM system (or the adherence to a sales process) the use of sales methodologies has to be driven top-down. Only when it becomes part of the everyday sales culture will the sales function naturally embrace it. Sales management should run every deal review against their methodology. They should also insist that the data captured is complete and up-to-date for each deal. The mentality should be; ‘if it’s not in the system, it doesn’t exist’. And if it doesn’t exist, you can’t be paid commission on it.


3. It’s not supported by the technology:

Make sure that your chosen sales methodology has very strong integration with your chosen CRM system. If you do not, the sales team will, over time, simply stop using it. The methodologies that do have good integration where the data can easily be captured tend to have a much higher long-term adoption. If you are using Salesforce.com CRM for example, make sure the app is native and the data is stored with the CRM system.


4. There’s no emphasis on engagement:

Tools like SuMo have helped a number of our customers to reinforce the implementation of their chosen sales methodology over an extended period of time. The real-time coaching nudges delivered by SuMo bring the relevant part of the methodology to life at the appropriate point in the sales lifecycle. This serves to truly increase the adoption of the methodology. Tapping into the competitive spirit of the sales team through carefully targeted competitions serves to drive ongoing engagement with the methodology. This approach keeps the whole team focused on navigating the sales process and deploying the right elements of the sales methodology at the right time. The result is a cleaner, healthier pipeline of deals.

When deployed carefully, sales methodologies are a great asset to an organisation that delivers significant benefit. When the implementation is ill-thought-out, the result is usually a hefty training bill with little or no lasting benefit insight.


Dive a little deeper…

Try our ultimate guide to the 70 ‘leading sales KPIs’ that you should be tracking.



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