Methodology? Sales Process? Are they the same, or how are they different?
A Sales Process is the steps and stages of working through engagement with a prospect to turn them into a customer (or qualify them out so as to not waste time), a Sales Methodology has the tactics to effectively and efficiently move through that Process.
George Brontén wrote a great piece on Methodology versus Process, it’s absolutely worth reading.
As George opines, Process and Methodology are intimately related, co-dependent for success and ultimately blended together. A great (and timely) example comes from AppDynamics. Founder Jyoti Bansal writes about The Science of Enterprise Software Sales. While Jyoti’s #4 is titled “The Sales Process”, AppDynamics actually had an effective blend of Methodology and Process. Case in point, Jyoti talks about “justifying the technology/business case for your solution” and describes the rigorous application of “Business Value Assessments” to do so. BVA’s are part of a Methodology, a tactic, to drive through the Process.
My personal opinion? For “complex B2B sales” a BVA should be a stage in your Sales Process in addition to being a tactic in your Methodology. Why? If buyers do not spend money without business value, why would sellers not articulate their value??? It doesn’t have to be ultra-complicated and expensive like AppDynamics. We have customers doing that and more. We also have customers with an ASP of $12K. See Next Generation ROITM for more.
I would dare say the BVA tactic is one of the most important elements of an effective Methodology that makes the Sales Process work. There are lots of proof points, the multiple AppDynamics received is a great one.
Unfortunately, B2B buyers say they get this support from sellers a small fraction of the time.
If you want your Methodology to work, for your Sales Process to be successful, make sure you
have a world-class capability to produce Business Value Assessments, and that BVAs are an
integral part of your Methodology/Process. It’ll be the best ROI you’ll ever achieve.