How to Use the SPICED Methodology? [Sample Scripts Included]

min read
April 13, 2024

Every salesperson has a humbling rejection story. Mine involves a complex B2B proposal, months of planning, a seemingly flawless presentation, and then… radio silence. Emails bounced, calls went unanswered, and finally, a rejection without explanation (We all know the pain).

Weeks later, I ran into an old colleague who knew someone on the inside. Turns out, a decision-maker I missed, torpedoed the deal with concerns about complexity. My solution, finely tuned for everyone else, hit a wall I didn't even know existed. 

But hey, every misstep's a lesson, and this one led me to discover a powerful framework that could have saved the day: SPICED.

What Is the SPICED Selling Methodology?

SPICED is a sales methodology created by “Winning by Design,” a sales consulting and services company. SPICED stands for Situation, Pain, Impact, Critical Event, and Decision — it is a framework designed to understand: 

  • a prospect’s current circumstance, 
  • the challenges that brought them to you, 
  • the impact your business may have on them
  • deadline to achieve that impact, and
  • procedure or committee involved in the decision-making process

SPICED Sales Framework: Step-by-Step Breakdown

Let’s see what each letter in the SPICED acronym means in detail.

1. Situation (Understanding Your Prospect's Landscape)

  • Goal: Gather comprehensive information about your prospect's company and its current situation.
  • Action Steps: Don't solely rely on their website and LinkedIn. Focus areas:
    • Strategic Moves: Track recent announcements, press releases, and event participation to understand their focus and goals.
    • Fresh Developments: Analyze news, blogs, and social media for product launches, partnerships, or leadership changes.
    • Potential Hurdles: Identify potential challenges by looking at industry trends, customer feedback, and competitor strategies. Consider what gaps your prospect might be trying to fill.
  • Challenge:  Information overload! Prioritize the most relevant insights and weave them into your conversations naturally.
  • Example Script: "I noticed your recent announcement regarding expansion into [mention new market].  Considering industry trends in [mention relevant industry trend], how does this expansion align with your overall growth strategy?"

2. Pain (Uncovering Your Prospect's Struggles)

  • Goal: Identify the specific challenges hindering your prospect's success.
  • Action Steps:
    • Active listening: Pay close attention to their concerns during conversations.
    • Open-ended questions: Ask questions that go beyond "yes" or "no" answers, like "What are your biggest frustrations with [current process]?"
    • Situational probing: Use information from the Situation step to ask targeted questions, like "Given your expansion plans, how is [current pain point] impacting your resource allocation?"
  • Challenge: Prospects might downplay their problems. Ask follow-up questions to get to the root cause of their pain.
  • Example Script: "During our conversation about scaling your team, you mentioned challenges with onboarding new hires. Can you elaborate on the specific bottlenecks you're experiencing?"

3. Impact (Demonstrating the Value You Deliver)

  • Goal: Show how your solution directly addresses their pain points and creates positive outcomes.
  • Action Steps:
    • Quantify the impact: Translate the resolution of their pain into concrete benefits. Use metrics, case studies, or industry benchmarks.
    • Focus on outcomes, not features: Explain how your solution helps them achieve their desired results, not just the functionalities it offers.
  • Challenge: Avoid generic claims. Tailor your impact statement to their specific situation and pain.
  • Example Script: "By streamlining your onboarding process with our platform, we've helped similar companies reduce time-to-productivity by 20%. This translates to faster project execution and time to value."

4. Critical Event (Identifying the Urgency for Change)

  • Goal: Uncover the deadline or event that drives their need for a solution. Here’s a graph depicting how critical events carry over time.

Graph showing how critical event carries over time
  • Action Steps:
    • Ask urgency-driven questions: "When do you expect these onboarding delays to become a critical business issue?" or "Is there a specific deadline for achieving your expansion goals?"
    • Listen for urgency cues: Pay attention to phrases like "as soon as possible" or "we need a solution in place by [date]."
  • Challenge: Don't push for a forced deadline. Focus on understanding their genuine sense of urgency.
  • Example Script: ""You mentioned wanting to improve team collaboration on client projects.  Is there a specific upcoming project launch with tight deadlines that could benefit from a more streamlined communication and workflow process?"

5. Decision (Understanding the Buying Process)

  • Goal: Gain insight into the decision-making process and key stakeholders involved.
  • Action Steps:
    • Identify decision-makers: Ask questions like "Who will be involved in evaluating potential solutions?" or "Who ultimately signs off on these types of purchases?"
    • Understand the buying process: Learn about their typical timeline, evaluation criteria, and potential approval hurdles.
  • Challenge: Navigating complex buying committees. Be prepared to cater your communication and presentations to different stakeholders.
  • Example Script: "To ensure we deliver a solution that aligns with everyone's needs, can you walk me through the typical process for evaluating new vendors in your company?"
  • Pro tip: Build relationships with internal champions who can be advocates for your solution.

Who Can Use SPICED?

The SPICED Sales Methodology is for any sales team looking to improve their understanding of customer needs and close more deals.  It can be particularly useful for teams that practice solution selling or needs-based selling.

Here's a breakdown of who can benefit from SPICED:

  • Sales reps:  SPICED equips reps with a framework to ask the right questions, uncover prospect challenges, and tailor solutions for maximum impact.
  • Sales managers:  The framework  provides a common language for communication  across teams and helps managers coach reps more effectively.
  • Marketing teams: By understanding the Situation, Pain, and Impact aspects of SPICED, marketing can craft messaging that resonates with target audiences.
  • Customer success teams:  SPICED can aid customer success teams in understanding the original reasons a customer bought the product and ensure they continue to receive that value.

What Makes SPICED Different From Other Sales Methodologies? 

Here’s what makes SPICED unique: 

1. SPICED Promotes Alignment Across GTM

Most sales methodologies are restrictive to one subset of the sales team like BANT for SDRs and MEDDIC for AEs. 

SPICED requires your sales, marketing, and customer success to be on the same page and follow the same process. It also enables revenue teams to be more customer-centric and drive sales by having customers “own” the conversations.

2. SPICED Is Customer-Centric

SPICED is more focused on understanding and achieving the customer's desired impact and maintaining a relationship around that impact.

“I implemented the SPICED framework into my calls, and it's enabled me to understand my clients without sounding 'salesy',” says Alesia Venuto,

Enterprise Customer Success Manager, Asana.

Limitations of the SPICED Framework

While SPICED has its many advantages, not all sales teams can implement and benefit from it. Here are some of its limitations: 

1. Information Dependency 

SPICED relies heavily on accurate and available information about the prospect. Unwillingness to share or lack of self-awareness from the prospect can hinder its effectiveness.

2. Adaptability Changes

While SPICED provides structure, it's crucial to be flexible. Sticking rigidly to the framework without considering the individual nuances of each prospect might lead to missed opportunities.

3. Time and Resource Sensitive

Noel from DarwinBox says, “The SPICED process calls for sales professionals to engage time and effort in completing research, having in-depth conversations, and analyzing data. This could be difficult when working with many prospects or tight deadlines.”

Storylane x SPICED: The Winning Combination

As we saw above, SPICED requires extensive research and an in-depth understanding of your customer and their behavior. Storylane uncovers silent signals, allowing you to ask better questions and tailor your solutions. 

For example, a prospect might explore your Storylane demo and spend extra time on a specific feature. This dwell time reveals a hidden pain point, a concern they might not have mentioned in a call. By addressing this upfront, you demonstrate proactive problem-solving and position yourself as a trusted advisor, ready to tackle their specific concerns with your solution.

See Storylane in action. Start a free trial today!


1. What is the difference between MEDDIC and SPICED?

MEDDIC is primarily process-centric, focusing on the progression of sales through an organization. Whereas SPICED is more customer-centric and uses strategic questions to uncover prospect pain points. 

2. What is the main purpose of the SPICED framework? 

The SPICED framework helps salespeople diagnose a prospect's situation and tailor their approach to address their specific needs and urgency, ultimately increasing sales success.

3. What are some benefits of using SPICED?

SPICED benefits you by:

  • Focusing conversations: You target your approach to their specific needs.
  • Building trust: You show genuine understanding of their situation.
  • Closing more deals: You address their pain points with relevant solutions.
"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."
Supercharge your funnel with Interactive Demos
Book a demo
Revolutionize your sales game with interactive Product demos
Take a tour

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Stay ahead of the sandbox curve with a superior demo environment
Try Storylane
Capture more leads and close more deals with interactive demos Take a tour
"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."

"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."


Stay ahead of the sandbox curve with a superior demo environment
Try Storylane
Stay ahead of the sandbox curve with a superior demo environment
Get the Storylane Advantage
Learn more about how Thrillark Procured over a 60% Increase in
Button Text
Learn more about how Thrillark Procured over a 60% Increase in
Button Text
Capture more leads and close more deals with interactive demos.
Take a tour