Religion is one of the three things that should not be discussed on sales calls. Since this isn't a sales call I will cross that line today and while doing so, hopefully, not offend anyone.
Very few people know this about me but I am one of the rare people that have had more than one religion in life. Like most, I was born into one religion and unlike most, converted to a completely different religion when I was around 45 years old. Both religions are alternate paths to God but I also know several people who are atheists - they simply don't believe. In the end, the difference between believers and non believers comes down to faith. And belive it or not, that brings us to selling!
This October, our sales development firm celebrates its 26th Anniversary and next month our assessment company celebrates its 21nd Anniversary. One of the things that I have always shared with salespeople is that once they are following a sales process and using a sales methodology, all they need is faith that when they open their mouth, the right words will always emerge. Yes, faith - in their ability.
As for sales processes, like religion, they are simply alternate paths to the sale. But unlike religion, most companies and salespeople do not have a formal, structured, customized, optimized sales process. Most - 91% - don't follow a sales process at all! It's seat of the pants selling. The statistics show that the belief in sales methodology is equally pathetic.
Most religions take you to the same place, but some have less structure, rules, rituals and traditions and are more or less relevant to 21st century life. Most sales processes take you to the same place, but similary, some can have more or less of those ingredients. Either way, the different sales processes give you something to believe in - to follow - faith - that if you do what you are supposed to do, a certain outcome awaits.
Sales methodology is the approach you use within your sales process in much the same way that prayer is the approach you take within your religion. Of course, there are also many non believers when it comes to methodology.
Whether you have or are a salesperson yourself, if you don't have BOTH an effective sales process that you follow - religiously - and a sales methodology that you practice - faithfully - you must - convert!
If you aren't familiar with Baseline Selling, you'll find that both the process and the methodology contained within are easy to relate to, memorable, intuitive and easily applicable. You can order the book here and download it to your Kindle here.