THINK & SELL – WHAT IF WE STOP SELLING SOLUTIONS?

THINK & SELL returns this week with a new Harvard Business Review article titled ” The End of Solution Sales” from Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon and Nicholas Toman. Brent Adamson is Senior Executive Advisor at CEB. Matthew Dixon is Executive Director at CEB. Nicholas Toman is Director of Research at CEB. The article dates from August 2012, but is quite enlightening on many points. Written almost 4 years ago now, it praises an alternative Seychelles Email List way of selling, based not on selling “solutions” that would solve problems of which the customer is already aware, but on the accompaniment to find these problems.

The authors begin with an eloquent statistic: 60% of the decision-making process is carried out before the first contact with a salesperson. This is all the more true today than in 2012, with the information available on the internet. Hence the effectiveness of content marketing and lead generation ! Selling is no longer just about offering solutions to prospects, since they are already aware of the options available. Rather, according to the authors, we should seek to shed light on the problems encountered by customers, those of which they are not aware: either because they have not yet arisen, or because they do not have the hindsight.

Necessary to see that they are already present!

However, to succeed in changing the paradigm, we must necessarily change the way in which we train and support salespeople. The authors of the article therefore propose 3 strategies: Change the evaluation of prospects; Focus on other types of interlocutors; Coach them on their way to buy. Change the evaluation of prospects for solution selling According to the article and its authors, this new way of selling requires evaluating prospects in a different way. Traditional sales look for 3 qualities in a prospect: a need for change; a clear vision of the needs; established decision-making processes. On the contrary, the authors advocate the establishment of two new criteria: the agility ; an emerging need.

The goal is to find prospects whose emerging need and ease of decision making lead them to seek answers and consider all the available options. Instead of considering whether the prospect can buy , it’s better to know if they can change . It is the concept of “emerging demand” that ties it all together. Change the type of interlocutor for the sale of solutions Traditionally, salespeople in organizations look for someone they trust who will help them do business. They are looking for someone who is accessible, who provides quality information, who appreciates the product or service being sold, who can influence other decision-makers, who is credible, etc. This leads to friendly people, “guides,” as the authors of the article call them.

Only the new type of selling would be better able to work

If salespeople move to more skeptical profiles, who really want to improve the business and its processes. It is not easy to influence this kind of person, especially because they only think about one thing: to make things better. They prefer to give their support to a vision than to a particular brand. Coach prospects for solution sales While it is often difficult for sellers to sell complex products, it is all the more difficult for buyers … to buy them. This is why it is necessary to support prospects in the act of purchase, to “coach them.” It is therefore necessary to anticipate internal political conflicts linked to the discussion and the purchasing process. Don’t expect the customer to help you sell, you have to help them buy! If the article proposes a new way of seeing things, the prescriptions are relatively theoretical.

In 2012, this vision was born because customers were more informed than a few years before. One thing is certain: in 2016, customers are even better informed than in 2012. If we try to bring together all the changes recommended by the authors, we realize that they correspond very well to the vision we have of digital marketing today. A good content marketing strategy makes it possible to target an emerging need, to inform the prospect about the solutions available to him, to reach the interlocutors who ask themselves the right questions and, above all, thanks to a good nurturing strategy. tied up, to support them throughout their purchasing cycle. If you liked the article, do not hesitate to read our articles on Think & Sell ?

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