Two Solution Selling Skills You Need for a Competitive Edge
Two Solution Selling Skills Matter Most
Sometimes the old ways are the best. But not in selling complex solutions to target clients. New solution selling skills are required to win.
Many of the solution selling skills that were deemed critical for success at one time have been shoved aside by new and different consultative selling skills. Buyers no longer rely upon sales reps for a simple listing of the basic features and benefits of services; that information is readily available to customers on the internet. Salespeople need to up their game and change in order to compete effectively.
Instead of listening to an old-fashioned “pitch,” buyers need to hear from salespeople who are well versed in solution selling training. In other words, buyers want to learn something new and relevant every time they interact with sellers; and they want help in solving their immediate and most pressing problems. Customers want to work with a sales rep who knows their business and is willing to put in the time and effort to build a relationship based on trust, business acumen and good faith.
Sales reps need to:
Shift their Customer Conversations from “Tell” to “Ask, Listen and Solve”
The best sales folks know how to ferret out their customer’s real needs. They don’t rely on what the customer says but use their preparation, experience, wits and expertise to question, listen, and uncover the root of the issue. Then they use their creativity to come up with a compelling solution that is specific, timely and relevant.
Sales reps who just spew forth what they learned their services can do will soon be swallowed up by more sophisticated competition. But those who have learned to communicate how their solutions will meaningfully solve a customer’s particular problem in a way that makes sense for their unique strategy, culture and budget will win every time.
Skirt Price Competition by Selling Value
Too many deals are lost when the customer focuses too much on cost. The best sales folks know how to articulate the value of their solution as opposed to the price of the solution. They are able to assess the customer’s priorities and address them persuasively. Is the customer more concerned about timing, quality, reliability, reputation, convenience, or implementation?
It is up to you to find out what is most important to the customer’s business. And you need to know what matters most to each stakeholder in the decision making process. Do your homework, spend the time to do the research, and be ready to show how you and your company can deliver enough measurable and important value that the price becomes secondary.
What Do You Need to Transform This Group?
All well and good. Let’s say, however, that you have a sales team that was successful with old school selling. You believe they have the will and ability to change.
WIFM: First they need to understand what’s in it for them. Chances are that many have been watching their numbers go down and are open to learning and trying new skills.
GAPS: Next you need to assess for specific skill gaps and plan a targeted sales development program that will fill those gaps.
SALES COACHING: Then you need to build an effective sales performance coaching system that will keep sales reps accountable for trying the new behaviors and that will support and guide their efforts as they practice.
TRAINING MEASUREMENT: Lastly you need to measure skill adoption and the impact on revenue and margin.
The Bottom Line
A team that has successfully adopted solution selling skills and follows a consistent and effective sales coaching process will experience an enormous performance boost.
To learn more about how to boost solution selling skills, download 30 Effective Sales Questions More Important than Budget