Conceptual Selling® methodology is used for planning and executing customer interactions.
This methodology ensures that businesses follow a customer-centric behavior and align sales activities with customers’ decision-making process.
Conceptual Selling® was founded on one basic fact.
Customers don’t buy a product or a service – they buy the concept that the solution is based on.
Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman have urged salespeople not to lead with a sales pitch.
They must seek to understand how much the prospect understands their product and uncover the potholes in their decision process.
As a business owner or manager, train your sales team, ask smart questions that fall under these five categories.
Types of questions fall under five categories
- Confirmation questions that help reaffirm the information collected by your sales team.
- New information questions that help in clarifying the prospect’s concept of your product or service and explore what they’d like to achieve after making a purchase.
- Attitude questions that seek to understand your prospects on a personal level and help in discovering their connection to their business.
- Commitment questions help sales reps inquire about the investment in their business.
- Basic issue questions help your sales reps in raising any potential problems they are having in their business.
Conceptual Selling® methodology emphasizes listening.
The methodology provides business owners and managers with a process for planning and executing effective customer interactions.
With Conceptual Selling® managers and sales team members can entirely focus on customers’ buying process and the reasons behind the actions that customers take.
This sales methodology helps sales professionals
- Align the selling process with their customer’s decision-making process
- Create differentiation by focusing on strengths
- Find your competitive position
- Discover the level of commitment your customers have
- Learn how probable the sale is
- What buying criteria customers have
- What buying motivations customer representatives have
Business owners can find the competitive advantage of their product, service or solution.
And they can decide the plan of action based on the findings. Every sales cycle has critical points-of-impact.
The way your sales reps are projecting your solution in the market to the prospects; influences the outcome of a deal.
This cycle starts after your sales reps make the first sales call.
Conceptual Selling® technique helps with these pain points:
- Weak sales forecasting accuracy
- Zero measurable goals
- Assessment of meetings
- Progress assessment without setting KPI’s
- Lack of knowledge of products or services
- Differentiation from the customer point of view
- Not paying attention to what prospects say
What benefits can be derived from Conceptual Selling®?
Let’s take a look at the benefits businesses can derive from Conceptual Selling®.
1. Increases closing ratio
Knowing the core problem your prospect is facing, helps you understand how much he needs your solution.
Knowing your prospect’s problem allows you to close with more confidence. This increases your sales closing ratio.
2. Shortens sales cycle
In a typical sales cycle, your marketing team hands you a bunch of leads based on their actions on your website or social media pages.
Your sales team gets an equally divided list and after that, they start their sales approach.
The main motive is to get them inside your sales pipeline and help them become a customer.
Sometimes, you lose your prospects while taking them through the stages.
There are various reasons.
- Maybe the price was too high
- You were not offering what they wanted
- They are not ready to make the purchase yet, and they will let you know
Endless possibilities for losing a prospect.
Conceptual Selling® enhances your sales cycle’s productivity by supporting the prospects in their decision-making process.
3. Builds lasting customer relationship
Actively listening to the prospects helps sales professionals take the consultative approach.
A prospect loves to feel that he is not a number on your list.
Instead, he is an actual human being with real pain points that needs immediate help.
Such an approach allows your prospects to trust your business and in turn, move smoothly along the sales funnel.
Conceptual Selling® allows your sales reps to turn the prospects into customers and even brand promoters.
4. Improves average deal size
Brand promoters are healthy for your business. Positive word-of-mouth helps you push more prospects into the sales funnel.
Which means you are getting more deals into the sales pipeline.
5. Builds a productive sales organization
Having a well-sorted sales funnel helps in getting better deals in your pipeline.
The flow of entering prospects into your sales funnel allows you to work with better productivity.
Let’s simplify this.
Your sales reps know that their role is to consult and find out if the prospect fits the “buyer persona.”
Yes, they will ask the questions, but they will also listen to the prospect.
Less talking, more listening.
This way, your sales team will be giving more time to the right prospects, make their buying process smooth, and close more sales in less time.
Conceptual Selling® methodology enables salespeople to:
- Identify and align the selling process with the customers buying process
- Recognize real decision-makers and provide the solution to them
- Ensure the sales opportunity continues to move forward
- Ensure productive use of the salesperson’s and the customer’s time
- Find a valid business reason for every customer interaction
- Be client-focused and results-oriented
- Shorten sales cycles
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Rollback for a decade and you will understand salespeople mainly learned how to talk the prospect into making a purchase, not to listen and understand how they fit your solution.
The Conceptual Selling® methodology places considerable emphasis on listening.
Sales was about how well sales reps could pitch and how well they could close!
In Conceptual Selling®, the salesperson learns to begin their sales pitch by listening to the prospect.
After listening to the prospect’s problems he introduces your product or service as a solution.
2. Reasons to Buy
Why is ‘listening’ such a critical component of Conceptual Selling®?
Simple. The prospect’s concept of the issues their company is facing helps with the reason to make a purchase.
There are hundreds of solutions out there. Why should the prospect buy from you?
The answer is by understanding how much the prospect needs your product.
3. Asking Questions
Your salesperson will not obtain the statement mentioned above until he gets the information from the prospect himself.
And he, of course, can’t do the same without asking the right questions.
Conceptual Selling® is designed around asking intelligent questions to your prospects.
We use the word intelligent because you would not want to waste the prospects time with you on unnecessary questions.
The questions fall into three stages
1. Getting information
Ask a question and understand what issues the prospect is facing in the business.
2. Giving information
Share how, based on their conversation, your solution fits.
3. Getting a commitment
Ask the prospect if he is ready to make the purchase.
All transactions must be win-win for both the prospect and the salesperson; if the salesperson feels this is not the case, they should walk away from the deal.
Instead of dealing specifically with selling a product, it deals with the prospect’s concept of a product or service and relating it to the prospect’s issues.
To succeed in sales, every interaction with customers must be treated as an opportunity of creating a lasting relationship.
We are sure your sales process will help prospects in solving the problem they face in their business using this methodology.
In the modern business scenario, practical sales training puts the customer at the center.
Customers examine more information than before. This leads to information overload and difficulty in sales planning.
As a seller, you must plan these valuable interactions in an effective manner.
Doing so will not just maximize your customer interaction time; it will also improve the opportunity of closing the deals much faster.
The add-on opportunity for uncovering potential opportunities is another motivating factor.
Conceptual Selling® is a selling methodology developed by Miller Heiman.
Club it with the best CRM software out there.
Your CRM solution must mirror your sales process.
The answers to your prospects’ questions and the questions your sales professionals have regarding prospects intention to make a purchase get stored and managed at the same places, every time.
Have an efficient CRM solution
We hope this article helped you understand the concept of Conceptual Selling® sales methodology.
To successfully apply the methodology in your sales process, merge it with a highly efficient CRM solution.
This merger will help in efficient sales management and allow upper-level management to:
- Identify where to allocate best resources
- Ensure the sales process moves forward with customer interaction
- Professionalize the sales team
- Identify and enable consistent best-practice behaviors
- Improve communication between sales team members and the management
A sales intelligence tool like Salesmate CRM for small business helps your sales process stages.
It maps out the stages in a precise manner.
Create a playbook where:
- you store and track the Conceptual Selling® questions to be asked in each stage
- the answers that need to be obtained
- the buyer and seller actions
The metrics mentioned above will help in smoothly moving your prospects to the next stage.
Salesmate CRM provides these features to small and mid-size businesses:
- visually appealing reports
- intuitive forecasting tools
- easy to use functionality
Go on and try out Salesmate today and experience the art of managing your sales!
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