Solution Selling Is No Longer Effective

In the past solution selling was the most effective way to engage buyers. Often buyers would have pre-determined organizational pain points, but had no idea what they needed to amend these problems. Thus salespeople would ask buyers a series of questions that would uncover their organization’s core pain points. Salespeople could then match these pain points to a product or service and deliver a solution (Gray, 2012).  

However, due to our digitally growing world the B2B sales landscape is changing. Buyers have taken to completing thorough researching before engaging with salespeople, thus approximately 60% of the buying process is completed independently (Corporate Executive Board, 2014). Buyers nowadays expect to quickly engage with salespeople, as a result solution selling is no longer the solution for sales teams to effectively sell to today’s buyers. Salespeople need to start selling with insights.

 

Insight Led Selling

The most innovative organizations have trained their sales team to target buyers in a state of flux. Buyers in this state tend to be unsure of what they need, thus are likely to be more open to persuasion and agree with a salesperson’s value propositions. Insight led selling is no easy task it requires salespeople to sell in a very specific way, salespeople need to reframe a buyer’s beliefs on his or her own current business practices.

 

Enter Insight Led Selling Techniques

Uncover Unrecognized Needs

Completing independent research results in buyers self-diagnosing their current pain points and prescribing a solution based on the information accessible at their fingertips. Therefore in order to effectively engage buyers, salespeople need to uncover any gaps in a buyer’s current business practices before buyers know they exist (Bergen, 2013).    

 

Challenge a Buyer’s Beliefs

Uncovering a buyer’s unrecognized needs enables salespeople to challenge a buyer’s beliefs with unique and powerful insights. Insights need to be presented to buyers in a way they have not seen before. Bruce Rasmussen of Carpe Diem talks about how salespeople need to disrupt a buyer’s status quo, forcing buyers to rethink their entire research phase and current business practices.

Therefore salespeople can facilitate a discover process for buyers, in which buyers start to realise the full extent of the consequences their current practices can have on their organization. This enables salespeople to coach a buyer through the buying process, providing prospects with a solution that will solve their pain points and ultimately take their business to the next level.   

 

Remove Any Roadblocks On Their Buying Journey

Roadblocks can essentially make or break a sale, the most common roadblock faced by buyers are the objections from other stakeholders (Bergen, 2013). Thus it is vital for salespeople to remove any roadblocks buyer’s face. Some key techniques include “ reducing risk, and highlighting the consequences of deciding to do nothing” (Apollo, 2010). This enables salespeople to create a sense of urgency in a buyer’s mind, where they start to realise a solution is needed as soon as possible. Thus salespeople can effectively accelerate the sale by coaching buyer’s to the next stage in the buying process.

Knowing insight led selling techniques is one thing. But in order for salespeople to effectively sell with insights, salespeople need to be equipped the best insight based sales technology.

Insight Based Sales Technology

Insight based sales technology arms salespeople with the insights and information they need to challenge a buyer’s beliefs and influence their buying process. Salespeople can conduct business on the go, whenever and wherever a buyer requires. With access to insights and supporting sales collateral via a digital device, salespeople are never left unprepared for a sales meeting. Thus salespeople can create a positive impact on buyers, providing and engaging and valuable experience. Salespeople can shape a buyer’s “vision of a more productive future and guide them with insight through the sales process” (Accent, n.d.).  

According to Forrester (as cited by Accent, n.d.) for every eight sales meetings that take place only one sales meeting actually creates real value for a buyer. With insight based sales technology in place salespeople can create real value for buyers. With sales collateral at their fingertips salespeople can personalize every sales meeting to each buyer’s situation, demonstrating in-depth product and industry knowledge and powerful market insights. Thus salespeople will deliver a beneficial solution relevant to each buyer’s specific organizational needs.     

 

Summary

Salespeople armed with insight based sales technology can effectively challenge a buyer’s beliefs and influence their buying process with disruptive insights. Ultimately shaping a buyer’s beliefs towards a valuable solution, creating a productive future and taking their organization to the next level. If you want to stay relevant in today’s evolving B2B sales landscape and effectively meet the needs of hyper-educated buyers, it’s time to enable your salespeople with the best sales technology and train your salespeople to sell with powerful insights.

If you would like to know more on insight led selling and how you can achieve an excellent insight-led sales process, check out our Insight Action Report today!

Sources:

Accent. (n.d.). Solution Selling Does’t Work, But There’s a Better Way. Retrieved from https://accent-technologies.com/blog/2013/09/05/traditional-solution-selling-is-no-longer-the-solution-that-sells/

Apollo, B,. (2010).  B2B Sales: Eliminating the barriers to the buying decision journey… Retrieved from http://www.inflexion-point.com/Blog/bid/31299/B2B-Sales-Eliminating-the-barriers-to-the-buying-decision-journey

Bergen, M,. (2013). Challenger Sale: Why Solution Selling is dead and how customer engagement can help brands sell more. Retrieved from https://www.visioncritical.com/b2b-insight-selling/

Buyer Journey stages and concept Copyright © 2016 Bruce Ian Rasmussen, www.carpe-diem.com.au

Corporate Executive Board. (2014). The Two Qualities Your Content Marketing Needs. Retrieved from https://www.cebglobal.com/blogs/the-two-qualities-your-content-marketing-needs/?business_line=marketing-communications

Gray, T,. (2012). Insight Selling Replaces Solution Sales. Retrieved from http://www.tom-gray.com/2012/07/25/insight-selling-replaces-solution-sales/