Spiced Framework

Last modified on:

June 3, 2024

Spiced Framework

The SPICED Framework is a sales methodology for sales teams to drive recurring revenue, primarily for software-as-a-service companies.

In this article, I will explain:

  • What is the SPICED framework?
  • Benefits of the SPICED framework

What is the SPICED framework?

SPICED is an ordered, five-step sales framework that stands for Situation, Pain, Impact, Critical Event, Decision.

The SPICED methodology guides each process of the sales cycle in a logical, progressive manner, leading the prospect to action based on a consultative, step-by-step flow of questioning.

This flow is well defined by the SPICED framework and covers the entire sales cycle as follows:

Situation: Asking qualifying questions in a conversational manner to get an overview of the prospect's business, industry, and market conditions, as well as what solutions they rely on at present. 

In other words: who they are, what they do, how they do it, and how well they're doing. All this helps to set the stage and equip you with ideas for more relevant probing questions to follow. 

Pain: Now that you have their background and some shared context, you can lead the discussion toward pain points. Are their operations being limited by budget constraints or perhaps customers are giving poor reviews due to buggy third-party integrated solutions? 

Probe until a major pain point comes up that matches with your solution/s. Bonus if you already have an idea of their pain via research, but you want them to say it out loud, or agree there's a problem.

Impact: With basic rapport established and a pain point in sight, you can now ask deeper questions about how that pain impacts their business's bottom line. More churn? Higher overheads? Decreased exposure to various markets? Less profits overall? And so on. 

The prospect's responses here will form the basis for what kind of benefits they will get from your product, and the neat thing is that they are doing the mental work in uncovering this for you.


Critical Event: The secret sauce of the SPICED approach, this step asks the prospect to imagine what would happen if their pain goes unsolved by a certain date or upcoming event. Maybe it's their very job or business on the line, and they need to hit certain KPIs soon to avoid major repercussions. 

Any critical event mentioned sets up a sense of urgency and pushes the prospect toward the final decision.

Decision: As you can see, each step builds on the previous step, forming a natural progression from discovery to this final close in a loosely consultative style of engagement. 

The overarching theme leading to this point is less of “here's what we've got for you right now” and more, “imagine what you can't afford not to have going forward”. Framed this way, the decision tends to make itself.

Benefits of the SPICED framework

The main benefit of the SPICED framework is that it focuses your sales cycle around a proven selling approach for effective closing, while doing so in a way that shows you are actually interested in the prospect's company itself.

Compared to other sales frameworks like BANT/MEDDIC, the SPICED framework puts less focus on the prospect's immediate budget and more focus on their actual priorities, both right now and in the future (where budgets might change but certain business priorities do not). 

Of course, these frameworks don't have to be mutually exclusive, since elements of either can be blended together depending on the nature of your solutions and growth strategy.

For SaaS and subscription products, SPICED makes it overall less likely that the customer will churn as your company is the one who knows them best. And, the longer they stay on board, the more you get to know them, which compounds this effect. 

You should save all your SPICED discovery info for later in your CRM and, if they're a good lead, your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and B2B Buyer Personas templates to help refine and align customer success and marketing with field research. 

This initial discovery info can be re-used in identifying upselling and cross-selling opportunities, as customer success can apply the same steps in SPICED to gain further business without always directly involving the sales team.

Marketing Case Study

How we generated 500K monthly visitors 15K monthly trials and $40K of new MRR.

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Sales Case Study

How we hired 30 sales reps and ramped them to $500K annual quotas.

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Spiced Framework

Ian Frameworks

Sales and marketing executive at a venture backed, product-led, B2B SaaS company.