The Sharks took an early lead with a try from Mark Cueto but Montpellier's forwards soon took control in wet conditions and tries from Francois Trinh-Duc, Timoci Nagusa and Julien Tomas secured victory for the hosts.
Sale got off to the ideal start with Danny Cipriani - handed the fly-half shirt following his game-changing burst against Cardiff last weekend - chipping into the corner for Cueto to touch down in the third minute.
But as the half wore on Montpellier's forwards began to exert their power up front and a series of errors in the wet conditions from Sale cost them possession and field position.
Martin Bustos Moyano landed four penalties to give the hosts a 12-8 half-time lead with Rob Miller kicking one for Sale.
Miller landed a further penalty after the break but Montpellier's superior power up front was decisive as their pack decimated a Sale scrum, leaving Trinh-Duc to stroll over to score in the 49th minute.
Minutes later Nagusa had the pace to finish off a breakaway try before the hosts scored their third try when Trinh-Duc's deft chip and collect set up a try for scrum-half Tomas.
Bustos Moyana landed both conversions to end with an 18-point haul while substitute Richie Vernon grabbed a consolation try for the Sharks.
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.