For decades salespeople have been successful with solution selling. That’s what we have grown up with. Until today, I think most salespeople are currently solution sellers. You, your colleagues, and your competitor sales reps too. It is a familiar sales approach used in all sales channels, from Telesales Executives to Strategic Account Managers. But everything comes to an end and the rules of evolution are also applicable to selling. To remain relevant and inspirational to buyers (and survive and thrive again as salespeople) our sales approach needs to change. Selling from the Buyer’s Perspective is what customers require us to do. Our sales-minds need a shift from me-focused to other-focused. We need a change from discovering customer dissatisfaction, to a business conversation where the customer discovers something about themselves. Let’s sum-up the main differences, because you can only move on from Solution Selling if you have a clear view of what Selling from the Buyer’s Perspective really is.
|Solution Selling||Selling from the Buyer’s Perspective||Check|
|Sales Person’s Mindset||Focus on my success||Focus on the customer’s success|
|Discovery Process||Linear, following a sales process||Non-linear adapted to the buyer’s process|
|Discovery Objective||Discover dissatisfaction, pain-points and defined needs||Let the customer discover something about themselves like risks of their status quo|
|Sales Person’s Information||Features of product and services that fit customer needs||Insightful information, relevant to the customer’s business challenges|
|Acumen||Sales Acumen. Sales conversations||Business Acumen. Business conversations|
|Value Focus||Differentiator value||Game-changing, strategic value|
|People||Finding the decision-maker||Facilitating discussions with several stakeholders|
|End goal||Closing the deal||Creating consensus, that a change makes sense for the business, because of clear strategic advantages|
According to Gartner, potential suppliers need to make it easier for customers to buy, digitally and in-person. At the moment that is not the case. While customers are after certain information, solution sellers keep asking too many questions only for their own benefit. 77% of buyers agree that purchasing is very complex. 81% think that their organization is paralyzed by uncertainty. And this is one of the main reasons they fall back into their status quo. They prefer a fix over a change. We need to help buyers make sense of their very complex world. Even confronting them with the risks we see, for them of not changing.
So for us salespeople, the one million-dollar-question is, how can we make buyers want to talk to us again? Exactly, through Selling from The Buyer’s perspective. At the next opportunity with one of your dream prospects, ask yourself, can you tick all the new selling skills boxes (in the above table)? Only then, you have moved on from Solution Selling.
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