The DriveSales™ | Top 4 most effective and efficient critical steps to become a master in solution selling!
Back in 1975, Frank Watts, who was an employee at Wang Laboratories at that time, developed a new approach to selling, which would become to be known as solution selling. This new sales technique had a radically different selling process than the most popular sales methodology of the time — product selling.
Solution selling has an amazingly simple premise: A salesperson has to diagnose their prospect’s pain point or need, and accordingly recommend the right set of products and/or services to resolve the situation. The prospect might not even know if a problem exists, how urgent or important it is, and how to resolve it. This is where the salesperson comes into the picture as an important resource that can help a prospect to understand as well as react proactively.
Solution Selling is a sales approach that came along to replace the old ‘Product Selling’ practices by focusing on selling a ‘solution’ instead of the ‘product’.
Solution Selling V/s Product Selling
Product selling is a sales methodology that merely focuses on persuading a potential buyer that the product or service being sold is a unique and better version of similar products or services being offered by competitors in the market. Salespeople using the product selling method of sales generally spend much of their time with prospects on feature lists and pricing options without adding any significant value.
Solution selling requires an alternative way of selling. Salespeople utilizing this approach don’t concentrate only on the capabilities and features of a product. Instead, they pinpoint the real-world problem the prospect is currently facing and weave a solution around the pain point as to how their product or service will solve it in the best possible manner.
Four Steps of Solution Selling
Following these four steps can supercharge sales teams by focusing on a solution selling strategy.
1) Deep Product Knowledge
It is almost impossible for sales reps to figure out the ideal solution for prospective clients’ pain points (s) without in-depth knowledge about the products or services offered. The best solution selling reps not only possess knowledge relating to their company’s offerings, but they also have a deep understanding of the competition. This allows them to simplify the sales process for the customer and leverage their market knowledge.
2) Preparing a detailed plan
Before approaching a potential customer, it is a mandatory exercise to gather all critical information relating to the prospect’s company and industry. The seller needs to have a clear understanding of the prospects’ needs, potential problems plaguing the industry as a whole, and the benefits to prove the efficacy of their company’s products or services to solve these issues being faced by the prospect.
3) Building a rapport and asking the right questions
When meeting with a prospect for the first time, it is critical to ask the right questions to uncover any pain points they might be trying to solve. It is also critical to build a rapport with the prospect as highlighted in the article “5 Things you must do in a first sales meeting or conversation” as prospects are generally hesitant to reveal their internal organizational information without which the problem or pain points can never be identified, let alone resolving them. Solution selling pros have a list of pre-defined questions to diagnose the needs of the prospect in addition to a list of answers to the most common objections raised by prospects.
4) Suggesting a solution
Once a prospect shares the problem they’re trying to solve or the sales reps help them figure out the root cause of the problem, the sales reps can then propose a solution in the form of their products or services that best meets the needs of the potential customer. The emphasis here should revolve around the premise of how the solution can benefit the prospect by solving their problem or pain point instead of the features of the product or service.
Despite being developed more than 4 decades ago, solution selling has still not lost its relevance and has evolved with time. It has stood the test of time as the sales reps still need to know everything about their product or service, they still need to understand their prospect’s needs, so they don’t blindly make a sale by pitching the wrong product. They still need to present their solution in a tailored way that meets the needs of the prospective customer.
Now, as an effective SALESPERSON! We can do three things from here.
1. Not ignoring the opportunity and blaming the situation for revenue loss.
2. Taking necessary notes and revisiting your sales strategy with a growth mindset.
3. Reach out to The DriveSales™ in case you need any specialized help.
To conclude, what you believe also provides some idea of your development as a consultative salesperson. For more, please be connected to team The DriveSales™ as these are the foundations for our culture and ways of working!