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The Benefits Of Solution Selling

What is your selling style? Do you lead with what your product can do for the prospect? Or do you first find out what personal or business problems your prospect is dealing with? Here is why you want to adapt your selling style to solution selling.

What is Selling?

Done right, selling helps customers determine their needs, creates a sense of desire for products or services, and solves buyers' most pressing pain points.

Before getting into the different types of selling styles, it’s helpful to note that selling is simply defined as the process of exchanging goods or services for money. Essentially, you're providing something others need or find value in.

A few selling styles:

  • Transactional selling is a simple, short-term sales strategy that focuses on making quick sales.
  • High-Pressure selling involves the seller using psychological pressure on the buyer by appealing to his fear, pride, or greed to close the deal quickly.
  • Solution selling leads with a problem and uses various tactics to paint a picture of how the buyer's life will be better once they solve that problem.

Why Solution Selling is Best

Solution selling is a type of sales and selling methodology. Solution selling is when a salesperson or sales team uses a sales process that is problem-led rather than product-led. This approach then determines if and how a change in a product or service could bring specific improvements that are desired by the prospect.

According to a SiriusDecisions in-depth study of the selling process, "71% of sales leaders say their salespeople fail to connect their solutions to clients' business needs."

Solution selling isn't a strategy that will suit every sales team. It works most effectively when the salespeople can sell insights that encourage the customer to make a purchase. Solution selling is one of the best ways salespeople can sell with empathy. It also takes critical thought and a firm grasp of a prospect's general circumstances.

To be effective, a solution sales strategy must:

  • Focus on building genuine connections with buyers.
  • Create innovative solutions and unique value propositions.
  • Paint a clear picture of the total business value of the solution – not just the product, but the service and experience.
  • Align around the solution – not just the sales team, but the entire organization.

Perks of Solution Selling

One great thing about solution selling is that it uses a customized approach to selling. Often, salespeople try to fit the prospect to the product instead of ensuring the product is the best solution for the prospect.

Solution selling is all about understanding the prospect's needs and pain points and determining which features within your products or services will benefit them most.

As such, customers don't feel like they're just being sold features, but instead are getting answers to their personal or business issues.

How to Sell the Solution

Here is the three-step process for how to sell the solution:

Determine Issues or Pain Points

Figuring out the prospect’s most common pain points might be the most important part of the solution selling process. Some of the common pain points fall into these categories: positioning, productivity, financial, people, and strategy. With this information, you can effectively target your prospect's solutions.

Develop your Questions

Once you know your prospect's most pressing issues, you can craft questions that will open your ideal customer's eyes to problems they may not have noticed yet. These questions are designed to probe into the relevant aspects of your prospect's business. You're looking for specific facts and figures that will help you build a case for your solution.

Practice Value Selling

Value-based selling is an approach that focuses on benefitting the customer throughout the sales process. Focus on taking a consultative approach to provide value to the customer so the sales decision is made based on the value the product or service can provide. This includes how it helps the individual stakeholders and the customer’s company. Throughout the sales process be intentional about the value you bring to each touchpoint and meeting. Use your expertise as a value add in addition to what your product or service provides

In the End

The core principles of solution selling are built on fitting your product or service to your prospect's pain points. First, consider how your product or service can help your prospect specifically, and then craft them a custom solution or strategy.

About Gary Braun

Gary is a founder and co-owner of Pivotal Advisors. He has worked for 20+ years as a salesperson and sales leader. Gary has been a guest speaker for many groups such as Vistage, Allied Executives, CEO Roundtable, Sales Management Association, and more. If you want to find out more about Gary check out his profile here.
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