Sales Methodology vs. Sales Process: Understanding the Differences and Why Your Business Needs Both

October 1, 2023
Karthikeyan Krishnamurthy
Lazy Sales Reps is a myth

Ever felt like you're navigating a maze when diving into the world of sales? Trust me, you're not the only one. With a whirlwind of terms and strategies, it's easy to get lost. But today, we're about to crack the code on two game-changers: sales methodology and sales process. Think of them as your trusty compass and map, ensuring you're not just wandering aimlessly but marching towards that treasure - successful sales.

Now, here's the kicker: a sales methodology is actually a subset of the sales process. It's like having a roadmap (the process) and then choosing the mode of transport and route (the methodology). And trust me, understanding this distinction is going to be your secret weapon in the sales arena.

With this foundation set, let's delve deeper, breaking down these terms to their core essence and revealing their significance in the sales journey. Onward!

Defining sales methodology and sales process

The sales process ensures consistency and structure, while the sales methodology offers flexibility and strategy. One provides the path, and the other dictates how you navigate that path. Now, let’s understand them in a bit more detail.

Sales process: The pathway to sales success

A sales process is the structured, repeatable series of steps a salesperson follows to convert a prospect into a customer. It's the backbone of any sales strategy, ensuring every team member knows the steps, from the initial contact to the final handshake. While the process lays out the steps, it's the methodology that refines how each step is approached and executed.

Key components of a sales process

Key components of a sales process
  • Prospecting: The initial stage where potential customers are identified. This involves researching potential leads and determining the best ways to approach them.
  • Preparation: Before making contact, a salesperson gathers all necessary information about the prospect. This ensures they are well-equipped to address the prospect's needs and pain points.
  • Approach: This is the first point of contact with the potential customer. It could be a cold call, an email, or a face-to-face meeting. The approach sets the tone for the entire sales process.
  • Qualifying: At this stage, the salesperson determines if the prospect has the potential to become a customer. This involves evaluating the prospect's needs, budget, and purchase authority.
  • Needs Analysis: A deep dive into understanding the specific needs, challenges, and requirements of the prospect. This ensures that the solution presented aligns with their expectations.
  • Solution Presentation: Here, the salesperson presents a tailored solution that addresses the prospect's needs. This is where the value proposition of the product or service is highlighted.
  • Handling Objections: Prospects might have concerns or objections about the product, service, or terms. This step involves addressing those objections and clarifying any doubts.
  • Closing: The culmination of the sales process. Terms are negotiated, agreements are made, and the deal is finalized.
  • Post-Sale Service / Follow-up: The relationship doesn't end once the sale is made. This step involves following up with the customer, ensuring they are satisfied with the product or service, and addressing any post-sale queries or concerns.

Sales methodology: The strategy behind the steps

A sales methodology is the approach or philosophy that guides how a salesperson navigates the sales process. It provides the tactics, strategies, and principles to engage effectively with prospects, addressing their specific needs and challenges. While the sales process outlines the sequence of steps, the sales methodology focuses on the "how" – the techniques and mindset employed at each step.

Some Popular Sales Methodologies are:


  • Outbound Prospecting: Involves reaching out to potential customers who haven't shown interest in your product or service. Methods include cold calling, email marketing, or social media outreach.
  • Inbound Prospecting: Attracts potential customers through content marketing, SEO, or paid advertising.
  • Referral Prospecting: Leverages existing customers to get referrals to other potential customers.


  • Customer Research: Focuses on understanding potential customers' needs, challenges, and pain points through surveys, interviews, or website analytics.
  • Selling Proposal: A structured document highlighting the benefits of your product or service tailored to address the potential customer's problems.


  • Personalized Approach: Tailors the sales pitch to the specific needs of each potential customer.
  • Consultative Approach: Helps potential customers understand their problems and how your solution can address them.
  • Value-based Approach: Emphasizes the value your product or service offers rather than just the features.


  • BANT: A framework that stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline.
  • MEDDIC: Stands for Money, Economic Buyer, Decision-Maker, Customer, Impetus, and Decision Criteria.
  • SPIN Selling: Focuses on Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-payoff, especially useful in understanding the potential customer's problems, pain points, and needs.

Solution Presentation:

  • Problem-Solution Fit: Demonstrates how your product or service can address the potential customer's problems.
  • Value Proposition: Clearly articulates the unique value your product or service offers.
  • Benefits-driven Selling: Prioritizes the benefits of your product or service over its features.

Handling Objections:

  • Anticipation: Involves foreseeing potential objections and preparing responses.
  • Empathy: Understands and addresses the potential customer's concerns.
  • Rebuttal: Directly addresses the potential customer's objections.
  • Trial Close: A technique to gauge if the potential customer is nearing a purchase decision.


  • Trial close: This involves asking the potential customer a question that will help you determine if they are ready to buy.
  • Assumptive Close: Assumes the potential customer is ready to buy and seeks confirmation.
  • Negotiation: Engages with the potential customer to finalize price, terms, or other conditions.

Post-Sale Service / Follow-up:

  • Account-Based Selling: Focuses on nurturing and expanding relationships with existing accounts, ensuring customer satisfaction, and laying the groundwork for future business.
  • Customer satisfaction survey: This is a way to get feedback from potential customers on their experience with your sales process.

Sales Methodology vs. Sales Process: The key differences

Sales methodologies and processes are two terms often used interchangeably, but they represent distinct concepts in the sales world. Let's delve deeper into their differences, drawing insights from the provided content.

Sales Methodology vs Sales Process

Purpose and goals: 

  • Sales Process: Think of it as your GPS while driving. It's there to guide you from point A to B, ensuring you never lose your way. The primary goal of the sales process is to provide clarity and direction, ensuring every salesperson can navigate the journey from prospecting to closing with confidence.

  • Sales Methodology: Now, this is the style of your driving. Do you prefer the scenic route or the highway? Salespeople use the approach or strategy to navigate the sales process. It's all about understanding the buyer, building relationships, and using specific tactics to close deals.

Implementation and execution:

  • Sales Process: This is where the rubber meets the road. While the purpose provides the direction, implementation is all about action. It's about taking those steps outlined in the process and executing them in real-world scenarios. It ensures that every interaction, every pitch, and every negotiation follows a tried-and-true path that has been proven to work.

  • Sales Methodology: This is where individual flair comes in. While organizations might adopt a particular methodology, salespeople often add their personal touch, tailoring their approach based on the prospect, product, or situation.

At Luru, we help sales teams adhere to sales processes without any friction. Be it the process of qualifying or solution presentation; sales reps can seamlessly adopt methodologies from where they work. On a video meeting, make it easy for reps to adopt the methods by making playbooks available inside meeting windows. Your process includes sending notes to customers after a solution presentation meeting? Just send an automated alert on Slack or Teams by nudging rep to send the mail right away!

Flexibility and adaptability: 

  • Sales Process: It's typically rigid. The steps are defined, and while there might be some wiggle room, the core remains consistent.
  • Sales Methodology: Here's where adaptability shines. Salespeople might lean towards different methodologies or even blend a couple based on the situation. It's like jazz; there's a base tune, but improvisation is the key.


  • Sales Process: Training for the sales process is direct and standardized. Regular sessions, digital tools, and coaching ensure everyone's aligned with the structured steps.
  • Sales Methodology: Training for sales methodology requires a deeper dive. It's not just about knowing the steps but the philosophy behind them. Salespeople need to grasp the principles, internalize them, and apply them effectively in their interactions.

Evaluation and improvement: 

  • Sales Process: Metrics! Conversion rates, time taken for each stage, overall sales figures - these numbers help managers evaluate and tweak the process for better results.
  • Sales Methodology: Feedback from sales reps, understanding on-ground challenges, and aligning the methodology with the buyer's journey is crucial for evaluation. The beauty of a sales methodology lies in its measurability. For instance, if your process dictates making a call when a lead signs up, the methodology might specify that this call should be made within 15 minutes. By measuring how many calls are made within this timeframe, businesses can gauge the adoption and effectiveness of this methodology. Similarly, during the qualifying process, if the chosen methodology is BANT or MEDDIC, one can measure how many reps are adopting this method. Such insights allow revenue operations (revops) teams to continuously refine their approach continuously, ensuring higher adoption rates and better sales outcomes.

Impact on sales performance:

  • Sales Process: Ensures that every step is noticed and that there's a systematic approach to selling. It's the foundation upon which sales performance is built.
  • Sales Methodology: Directly influences how a salesperson interacts with a prospect. The right methodology can boost conversions, build stronger relationships, and enhance sales performance.

Table: Sales Methodology vs. Sales Process

Table Comparison: Sales Process vs Sales Methodology
Dimensions of Comparison Sales Process Sales Methodology
Definition A series of systematic and repeatable steps guiding from prospect to customer. The approach or strategy used to navigate and execute each step of the sales process.
Purpose and Goals Provides a clear, structured path for consistency and efficiency. Focuses on understanding the buyer, building relationships, and using tactics to close deals.
Implementation Standardized across an organization, acting as the backbone of sales. Allows for individual flair, with salespeople often tailoring their approach based on the situation.
Flexibility Typically rigid with defined steps. Highly adaptable, allowing for improvisation based on real-time feedback and changing circumstances.
Training Direct: "Here's the process, follow it." Regular sessions ensure alignment. Deeper dive: Salespeople internalize principles and apply them in real-world situations.
Evaluation Metrics-driven: Conversion rates, time per stage, overall sales figures. More qualitative: Feedback from reps, understanding challenges, aligning with the buyer's journey. Can also be quantitatively measured for success and alignment.
Impact on Sales Ensures systematic approach to selling, forming the foundation of sales. Directly influences interactions with prospects, potentially boosting conversions and relationships.

How sales methodology and sales process complement each other

Imagine you're assembling a puzzle. The sales process is like the puzzle's edges, providing the framework and boundaries. It ensures you have a clear starting point and a structure to work within. On the other hand, the sales methodology is like the intricate pieces in the middle. It fills the picture, giving it depth, color, and life.

Sales Methodology and Sales Process

Here's a deeper dive into their harmonious relationship:

  1. Structure meets strategy: While the sales process provides a clear path, the sales methodology offers the tactics to navigate that path effectively. One gives you the map, the other the best routes to take.
  2. Consistency meets customization: The sales process ensures every salesperson is on the same page, following a consistent approach. The sales methodology allows them to tailor their interactions based on each prospect's unique needs and challenges.
  3. Macro meets micro: The sales process looks at the bigger picture, ensuring every lead is moved systematically toward a sale. The sales methodology dives into the details, focusing on individual interactions and touchpoints.
  4. Foundation meets flexibility: The sales process lays the groundwork, ensuring a systematic approach. The sales methodology brings flexibility, allowing salespeople to pivot and adapt based on real-time feedback.
  5. Quantitative Meets Qualitative: The sales process is often metrics-driven, focusing on numbers and conversion rates. The sales methodology, being more qualitative, emphasizes the quality of interactions, relationships, and the overall buyer experience.

Unlocking Business Potential: The Power of Sales Methodology & Process

Understanding the synergy between sales methodology and sales process is crucial to mastering the art of sales. When these two elements harmoniously intertwine, businesses can unlock unparalleled potential, driving sales performance to new heights.

The Synergy of Methodology and Process: A Catalyst for Sales Excellence

Sales methodologies provide the philosophical approach, the "how" of selling, guiding salespeople in their interactions with potential buyers. On the other hand, the sales process offers a structured roadmap, the "what" that needs to be done at each stage of the buyer's journey.

Businesses create a powerful synergy when they integrate a robust sales methodology within a well-defined sales process. This combination ensures that sales teams follow a consistent path and approach each step with a strategic mindset tailored to the buyer's unique needs and challenges. Remember, the methodology is a subset of the process. So, when a methodology succeeds, it's a clear indicator of the process's success as well.

Leveraging Both for Business Success: Practical Tips

Sales success with process adherence
  • Stay Updated: As the sales landscape evolves, so should your sales methodology and process. Regularly review and refine them to align with changing customer behaviors and market dynamics.
  • Empower with Technology: Utilize CRM tools like Zendesk Sell to streamline tasks, automate the qualification process, and ensure consistent communication with prospects.
  • Prioritize Training: Ensure your sales team is well-versed in the chosen sales methodology and the process. Regular training sessions help reinforce best practices and address any gaps.
  • Customer-Centricity is Key: Always place the customer at the heart of your sales process. Understand their pain points, expectations, and buying motivations. Tailor your approach to provide genuine value and build trust.
  • Measure, Analyze, Improve: Use key sales metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of your sales process and methodology. Understand where you excel and identify areas that need refinement.

Automating sales processes with adopted methodologies - powered by Luru

In today's competitive sales landscape, seamlessly integrating sales methodologies within daily work apps is more crucial than ever.Understanding that the methodology is a subset of the process is paramount. By measuring the success of our methodologies, we not only gauge their effectiveness but also the success of our overarching sales process. Luru offers a suite of tools that not only automate but also standardize these processes, ensuring consistency and efficiency across the board.

  • Automate Sales Processes: Luru's no-code Workflow Builder allows for the swift setup and deployment of intricate sales processes. Be it Salesforce, Slack, or Zoom, Luru ensures that your sales methodologies are uniformly applied, eliminating discrepancies.
  • Boost CRM Adoption: Say goodbye to browser clutter. With Luru's Commands, you can fetch and update CRM records directly from Slack. Moreover, Meeting Workflows prompt reps to log CRM notes immediately after a meeting, ensuring data is always up-to-date.
  • Collaborate Efficiently: Luru's Deal Rooms are designed to foster collaboration by auto-creating channels for significant deals. With stakeholders auto-invited, everyone stays informed. Plus, with streamlined sales approval processes on platforms like Slack and Teams, decision-making is faster than ever.
  • Monitor Your Pipeline in Real-time: Stay ahead with Luru's Pipeline Health Alerts. Get instant insights on stuck deals, missing CRM fields, or deals that have been moved out, ensuring you're always in the loop.
  • Ensure Process Repeatability: Luru takes the guesswork out of sales meetings. With tailored meeting templates based on specific deal stages and filters, every interaction is aligned with the right sales methodology, promoting consistency throughout.
Monitor Your Pipeline in Real-time

By leveraging Luru's automation tools, businesses can ensure a harmonious blend of sales methodologies and processes. It's not just about making a sale; it's about forging lasting relationships, truly understanding customer needs, and delivering unmatched value.

For businesses eyeing growth and success: Embrace the transformative power of tools like Luru. Integrate, refine, and witness a marked improvement in your sales performance in this ever-evolving marketplace.


1. What is a sales methodology and why is it important?

A sales methodology is the strategy or approach guiding the sales process. It's the "how" in selling. Its importance lies in offering a structured approach, ensuring salespeople effectively address each prospect's unique needs, leading to better sales outcomes.

2. Can you provide some examples of popular sales methodologies?

  • Challenger Sales Methodology: Pushes customers to see a different perspective.
  • BANT: Focuses on a prospect's Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline.
  • MEDDIC: Emphasizes influencing the decision-making process.
  • Sandler Sales Methodology: Positions the buyer and seller as equals.
  • Consultative Selling: Prioritizes building trust and authority with the customer.

3. What is a sales process, and how does it differ from a sales methodology?

A sales process outlines the systematic steps from initial contact to closing a deal. The sales methodology is the approach taken within those steps. Essentially, the process is the "what," and the methodology is the "how."

4. What are the typical steps involved in a sales process?

Typically, the sales process includes:

  • Prospecting: Identifying potential customers.
  • Preparation: Researching and understanding the prospect's background.
  • Approach: Initiating the first contact.
  • Qualifying: Determining if the lead is viable.
  • Needs Analysis: Understanding the customer's requirements.
  • Solution Presentation: Offering a tailored solution.
  • Handling Objections: Addressing any concerns or reservations.
  • Closing: Sealing the deal.
  • Post-Sale Service: Ensuring satisfaction and building a lasting relationship post-purchase.

5. How can understanding the difference between sales methodology and sales process improve my sales performance?

Grasping the distinction ensures a harmonious integration of both, leading to a consistent, strategic approach to sales. This can enhance sales performance, foster better customer relationships, and boost revenue.

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