Businesses these days are using a variety of strategies when selling their products or services to potential customers. Solution selling is one of the many methods that concentrate on meeting a customer's needs. While solution selling isn’t widely used as it should be, it does offer some companies and industries a viable sales approach.
According to research by Hubspot, only 3% of customers trust a sales representative. These statistics show that your sales representative only has one try to get their customers interested in what they are selling. If they rely on a generic pitch that shows prospects you care more about earning money than helping them find a solution to their issues, it will hurt your sales rep's chance of closing deals in the future.
That is why your team should consider using the solution selling process. By providing the prospect with an answer to the problem, you will gain new customers and leave them satisfied. However, solution selling isn’t a method that works for every sales team. It works best when the sales reps can sell solutions along with insights that encourage the customers to make a purchase. For the sales team that can understand and use this strategy appropriately, there are tons of benefits.
Solution selling is a sales methodology that has been a part of the sales world for a few decades. This sales approach highlights that sales representatives need to discover a customer’s pain points and then provide a solution to address them. The solution selling strategy was introduced by Micheal Bosworth in the late 1970s.
During that era, most of the sellers were relying on a product-based sales approach, where they concentrated on showing off everything the product was capable of doing to the prospects. They spent a generous amount of time going over every feature list and price option. Solution selling has an entirely different approach when it comes to selling. The sales reps who started to use this methodology focused on assisting prospects to overcome their business problems by presenting their products as a solution.
Of course, you may be wondering if this decades-old sales methodology is still useful in a modern sales environment?
It most definitely can still help numerous businesses. Since competition and pressure continue to rise each passing year, most sales teams tend to overlook the prospects' needs. Unfortunately, most sales teams tend to concentrate on getting the most buyers for their products or services, so they can fulfill their monthly targets. Solution selling is a great way to disabuse this notion and have your sales rep's attention directed towards assisting customers.
Solution selling is an excellent sales methodology for selling to intelligent buyers who know how to use the massive amount of information flowing through the internet. Modern customers are overly cautious about their purchases. They take their time to consider the many factors before making a final decision to spend their precious funds. They search for the options they have before concluding. Hence, customers would prefer a solution that would assist them in getting out of a current issue that is hampering their progress.
That is why you should consider introducing solution selling to your sales team and gain a better foothold over your competitors. Here are several benefits to consider:
For solution selling, the focus is on the prospect. Your sales reps are not pitching the product and ending it but instead are developing a deeper level of engagement. This is a consistent conversation where the needs and suggestions are exchanged. These engaging conversations help form an excellent relationship with the prospect that holds a crucial role in influencing their overall purchase decision.
It’s rare for a customer to stumble upon a sales rep that guides them. When your sales reps steer their prospects in their best direction, trust is established between both parties. If the prospects trust the sales rep they are speaking to, they will be far more comfortable to open up about their concerns. The sales reps have established themselves as a trusted advisor who genuinely cares about helping the prospect, and offers an enjoyable experience. An excellent reputation is secured and can lead to a positive word of mouth to spread around.
Solution selling is one of the best ways to develop a loyal customer base. If your sales team is successful at earning the prospect's confidence, there is a better chance they may buy your products. That loyalty may even increase if your sales reps can continue delivering everything that was promised to them during the sales process. Furthermore, if you boost your solution selling skills, you may garner far more success in acquiring customer loyalty and reaching those sales goals quicker.
While solution selling is one of the most straightforward methodologies, there are still some factors your sales reps need to know if they wish to use solution selling to its full potential. Best of all, you won't need to do any serious overhaul when adopting the solution selling process. You can easily adjust your sales pitch to focus less on what your products can do and more on how it solves the problem.
Here’s what you need to do to get started.
If your sales reps do not have in-depth knowledge of every product or service your organization offers, the sales rep is going to make false promises. Additionally, it becomes harder for them to know which product or service is suitable to solve the prospects' problems. Having your sales reps prepared requires you to develop an in-depth knowledge base.
Your sales team must receive the information they need to sell better. For Instance, creating and distributing material that outlines product features to help your sales reps build up their knowledge on the things they are selling. When you set up your online knowledge base, make sure it's comprehensive enough for your sales reps to find everything they need to know from reading about it.
Make sure that your sales team is aware of what they are selling to the customer. If you neglect this part, you will be missing out on one of the foundations of implementing solution selling competently.
Once the sales reps are done learning how your product operates, they need to start researching their prospects before reaching out to them. Have them search through their websites, social media profiles, and review sites. These are some of the best places to gather information on your prospects and find out what problems they are dealing with. However, they need to gain insight into their competitors and find the gaps they left behind.
When your sales reps have managed to find some negative mentions of them on any reviewing site, see how you can use that to help them out. It can also be during the meeting process since the sales rep can bring up that negative review during the conversation.
Your sales reps need to also search through past customers and see if they had any common issues that are similar to the prospect. Doing so offers your sales rep the opportunity to bring it up and demonstrate how they managed to help them find a solution. Showing the prospect that you’ve done your homework and understand their situation improves the chances of closing a deal.
Asking your prospect questions plays a critical role in solution selling. That means that your reps will need to brush up on their question skills if you want to ensure this is successful. Asking relevant questions allows you to discover what the prospects' concerns are about and what they need. Questions are the ideal solution to uncovering the problems your prospects are dealing with. Once the prospect manages to become comfortable enough, probe around a bit to find out their challenges and concerns with the help of questions. Try to understand how the buyer's industry works.
Here is the part where the actual difference between the conventional sales process and the solution selling process becomes apparent. For this part, you need to provide the prospect with tangible reasons why their company needs your product or service. Furthermore, stress out how the organization benefits. They need to make the prospect understand by connected the dots between their issues and your solution using selling points such as these:
An excellent way to pull this off is by preparing an example or case study of a past client to demonstrate how your solution has helped previous customers with their issues. If the case study reflects the problem they are facing, they are more likely to buy your product.
One of the many reasons why solution selling is successful is due to its revolving around a selling point. Your sales reps must be using a selling point that appeals to the prospect and demonstrates the value of your product.
To pull this off, have your sales reps tie in how your product is the best solution to the pain points they have already mentioned. Again, sales reps need to use any previous deals they have closed and see if they can draw parallels from current customers to the prospect they are attempting to close. That is where solution selling shines. Instead of concentrating on showing off the features, they need to show how the solution can solve their problem. Highlight the benefits the prospect gains by using your solution.
Listen to anything else they have to say and counter their objections with the benefits you have previously shown them to move to reach the next step. Depending on their reaction, use that to decide whether the situation requires a direct sales close or a softer and informal close. Remember to keep bringing up why your customers need your product.
Solution selling is still viable in today’s business environment. If you are looking for something different, then solution selling may help you out in closing better deals. If you need extra assistance, consider checking out our extension at Intro.so. It helps your sales team close deals more efficiently when they call their prospects through Zoom.