Today we’re looking at insight led selling, and how sales training has evolved to meet this new B2B sales approach. As a new sales methodology, insight led selling has only emerged in recent years but it is already having a profound impact on the B2B sales landscape.
Insight-led selling evolved from the “solution selling” technique. Solution selling emerged in the 1980s, and was based on the idea of training salespeople to provide direct solutions for customer problems. B2B salespeople would use the existing, recognised problems within each business as a ‘hook’ to make a sale - solving the client’s problem with their product. Sales training tended to revolve around recognising business problems and offering solutions, hence the name “solution selling”.
However, many experts now recognise that solution selling is becoming less effective in the age of digital marketing. Thanks to the internet and mobile technology, buyers now have a huge wealth of knowledge at their fingertips. They don’t depend on salespeople to offer them guidance, they can simply look up the necessary information for themselves. Businesses with well defined problems are capable of finding their own solutions.
In light of this change, insight led selling has emerged as a powerful new sales technique. It’s worth understanding these insight led strategies so you can optimise your B2B sales training and coaching.
What is insight led selling?
Insight led selling is a new approach to sales in the age of digital marketing. It requires a complete revamp of the sales training and sales coaching process.
Sales training should no longer focus on choosing a customer with a problem, and attempting to sell a solution. Customers with clearly defined problems already know what they need, and will simply engage a bidding war between whoever can offer the best price.
The most skilled salespeople are now targeting very carefully selected customers. They pursue businesses who are in a state of flux or transition - whether it's due to a leadership turnover, dissatisfaction with the current system, or a recent change of ownership. Businesses in this state tend to be more open to persuasion on various courses of action, and thus more likely to agree to seller propositions. In other words, they’re not sure what they need yet, so a talented salesperson may be able to convince them.
And this is where insight selling techniques come in. Sales training in this model teaches salespeople to influence prospective businesses in a brilliant way. Their goal is to reframe the beliefs of their target customer or prospect, by offering unique and challenging insights into the current business model.
By presenting powerful insights and portraying these to a customer in a way they haven’t seen before, well trained salespeople can change their prospect’s beliefs. These insights need to be new, unexpected, useful and persuasive - while also achieving successful results for the buyer. It doesn’t sound easy, and it shouldn’t be. Persuasive insight led selling is a much more complex model than older, solutions based techniques. Sales training needs to be more intensive, and sales teams need to be equipped with the very best technology, resources and support.
In the next Qotient blog we’ll give you some tips on optimising your sales training for insight led selling. These include the effective use of cutting edge research and data, implementing quality control, working as a team with inclusive sales coaching, and always presenting insights in the right context.
For more information on insight led selling, sales training and digital marketing, download Qotient’s latest whitepaper here.