10 Sales Methodologies for Top-Performing Teams


The best sales teams in the world are those who have a methodology and sales process that is set in stone, but flexible enough to grow and adapt with them over time. There is no shortage of sales methodologies out there and they all claim to have the best features and resources. But which ones are the best?

One of the critical steps leading to success in sales is the creation of, and adherence to, a set of comprehensive guidelines. In any industry that sells products or services, employees need to have a guiding set of principles to define how they should perform within the capacity of their sales role. The good news is that there is no shortage of options for these methodologies today. It seems like every time one goes out of style, another two or three show up. 

While all sales methodologies have their own elements and pros and cons to consider, some are more effective than others. If you want to create a top-performing sales team, here are 10 methodologies that you should consider. And if this overwhelms you, think about outsourcing your sales outreach team.

1. SPIN Selling

SPIN selling has been around since 1988 when Neil Rackham released his book entitled SPIN Selling. SPIN stands for: 

  • Situation
  • Problem
  • Implication
  • Need payoff

This method uses questions in each category above to get to know buyer challenges and build better relationships. There are specific types of questions used in each area, and there are four steps in the process: opening, investigating, demonstrating capability, and obtaining commitment. 

2. N.E.A.T. Selling™

The N.E.A.T. Selling™ system was developed by the Harris Consulting Group and Sales Hacker. It focuses on identifying needs at a deeper level for prospects, determining and conveying the economic impact, making sure there is access to authority, and having a timeline that is based on both the sales team’s goals and the customers’ needs. 

This is a customer-centric sales system that focuses on making sure customers see the high value of their choice in working with a particular company and that their needs are addressed at every level to deliver the best possible solutions. 

3. Conceptual Selling

Stephen Heiman and Robert Miller created this methodology, which is focused on leading with questions, not a pitch, to uncover the decision process of the prospect and see what their current concept of the product or service is. This will then allow salespeople to essentially turn the question and answer process into a sales “pitch” and makes sure that the prospect sees how they can benefit from the product or service offered. 

4. SNAP Selling

With SNAP Selling, the goal is to get salespeople on the same level as your prospects. It has four basic principles and again, is an acronym: 

  • Keep it simple
  • Be invaluable
  • Always align
  • Raise priorities

The sales method also focuses on three decisions in the sales process: allowing access, moving away from the status quo, and changing resources. 

5. Challenger Sale

This sales methodology states that every salesperson falls into one of five categories: hard workers, relationship builders, reactive problem solvers, lone wolves, and challengers. It also identified that challengers are the most effective salespeople, and shows what elements make them successful: teach, tailor, take. Teach prospects about ideas, bigger business problems, etc. Then, tailor the communications to the prospect and take control of the sale for maximum results. 

6. The Sandler System

The Sandler Selling System focuses on building trust and using questions to identify challenges and customer needs. The goal is to focus on helping people overcome obstacles and find the solutions that will work most effectively. In this process, it flips the script so that buyers are convincing the seller to sell, to a certain degree. 


This is a qualification process as much as a sales method, focused on the factors that impact the client’s needs and how they make buying decisions. Sales teams must ask themselves and their prospects questions based on the six elements of the acronym:

  • Metrics
  • Economic buyer
  • Decision criteria
  • Decision process
  • Identify pain
  • Champion 

Addressing these questions will ensure that the customer and salesperson alike understand the customer journey and how their product or service can assist their needs and alleviate pain points. 

8. Solution Selling

Solution selling focuses on the solutions that are provided by a product or service rather than the product or service itself. The concept is simple: buyers are more informed and reps don’t necessarily have to provide all the information. Therefore, they use this method to meet buyers where they are. Solution selling acknowledges that buyers have likely already researched your company and know what they need. They simply need your sales team for reassurance and to connect the dots. 

9. Inbound Selling

Inbound selling is another approach that lets your team meet leads where they are. It focuses on things like conversions, page views, and even social media interactions. This allows companies to use the flywheel model instead of the traditional sales funnel. During the awareness, consideration, and decision stages, sales reps will have four actions to complete:

  • Identification of active buyers
  • Connection with prospects where they are
  • Exploration to build rapport and learn more about clients 
  • Delivery of a personalized sales presentation based on the prospects' needs 

10. Target Account Selling

Finally, we have target account selling. This method is simply based on the concept that picking the right prospects in the first place is the most integral part of the process. This means that you have to pay careful attention during the qualification process and when creating buyer personas. This one relies on automation tools a lot, which can help busy companies that need something more streamlined. The focus is to deliver quality over quantity, with a bigger focus on the beginning of the process to lead to better relationships and higher close rates. 

While you’re selling, who’s fielding the calls?

You’re going to be busy implementing that new sales methodology or exploring the options to find the best one. Who’s going to be there to field the leads that come in along the way? When you partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, we can provide a 24/7 answering service so you never miss a lead. Plus, we can also assist with outreach campaigns, as well as lead intake and appointment scheduling, so you can focus on your sales. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai. 


Business Education
Sales Tips
Written by Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing Manager with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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