Do you know 60% of Buyers don’t rely on B2B Sales Reps? 

Why?

Well, according to most of the buyers, some sales reps don’t listen and others are self-centric as well as manipulative. 

Woah! That’s quite a negative impression. Isn’t it?

Well, think about your approach while selling over the phone. Do you call and try to discover your prospect’s challenges and goals? Or straight away get to your product and waste your breath on bragging? 

Yes, you have targets that need to be fulfilled by the end of the month. But even your prospects have business goals that they want to achieve. 

Why would a stranger spend their few minutes listening to the functionalities of a product? S/he could rather use those precious few minutes in something more productive. 

People are interested in their business, revenue, goals, growth, and problems. Why would they think about a product until and unless it solves their problem or has something great to offer?

Try shifting your focus from your product to the prospect’s problems. People look for solutions to their problems and opportunities to grow. If you manage to provide that, you might get into your prospects’ good books and stick in their minds for long. Therefore, it is essential to focus on solution selling rather than just emphasizing the product’s features. 

“You have to understand customer needs before they understand your technologies” – Steven Haines 

But wait; what is solution selling?

Solution selling is an effective sales methodology that has been in the sales world for quite a long time. This sales methodology emphasizes that sales reps should discover the customer’s pain points and then provide a solution to address them.

Solution sales approach was introduced in late 1970 by Michael Bosworth.

Back then, most of the sellers used to follow the product-based sales approach, where they focused on showing their prospects everything their product could do. They spent their time going over feature lists and price options.

Solution selling, on the contrary, had a radically different approach for making a sale. The sales reps who adopted this sales methodology focused on helping the prospects overcome the business hurdles by presenting their product as a solution.

But does this few decades-old sales methodology fits in the modern sales environment? 

Oh! It surely does.

Due to the rising competition and pressure, most of the sales reps tend to overlook the buyers’ needs. They are just focused on finding maximum buyers for “their” product to fulfill “their” monthly and quarterly targets. 

Solution selling puts an end to the self-centered selling and directs the sales reps’ attention towards the customers.

Benefits of solution selling 

Solution selling is one of the best sales methodologies for selling to smart buyers who have access to a plethora of information flowing on the internet. 

The modern buyers are very cautious; they ponder over many factors before spending their precious money.

They explore many options before coming to any conclusion. So, buyers would prefer a solution that would help then in getting out of the current problem that’s obstructing their progress. 

If you don’t take care of your customer, your competitor will – Bob Hooey 

That’s why it is essential to steer the wheel of your sales towards solution selling for gaining the upper hand on the competitors. 

Until you understand your customers – deeply and genuinely. You cannot truly serve them – Rasheed Ogunlaru 

Below are the benefits of solution selling. 

1. You build deeper engagement 

In solution-based selling, the limelight is on the prospect. You don’t pitch the product and end it, but you develop a deeper engagement.

There is an on-going conversation where the needs and suggestions are exchanged. Such engaging conversations help in building a good rapport with the prospects that play a vital role in influencing the buying decision. 

How you sell matters. What your process is matters. But how your customers feel when they engage with your matters more. – Tiffani Bova 

2. You become a trusted advisor 

Prospects rarely find sales reps who guide them. When you lead the prospects in the right direction, a trust is established. Prospects can comfortably share their concerns.

You become a trusted advisor when you genuinely show interest in helping the prospect and provide a pleasant experience. A good image is created that motivates positive word of mouth. 

“Building a good customer experience doesn’t happen by accident. It happens by design.” – Clare Muscutt

3. You double the chances of reaching your sales goals

Solution selling is the best way of creating a base of loyal customers. If you manage to earn your prospects’ confidence, there are high chances they might purchase your product.

They might even stay loyal to you if you deliver everything you’ve promised during the sales process. Moreover, if you enhance your solution selling skills, you might gain more success in earning customers’ loyalty and get closer to your sales goals.  

loyal customers often spend 67 % more than occasional customers

How to adopt solution selling methodology 

Know what your customers want most and what your company does best, Focus on where those two meet – Kevin Stirtz 

Now that you know what solution selling is and how it is beneficial, let’s see how to use it effectively.  

1. Know the ins and outs of the product and service

Knowledge is power, especially when you are looking forward to implementing the solution selling sales process. 

Only when you know your product in and out you will be able to connect it with the prospect’s problem and offer it as a solution. 

Let’s look at an example: 

Say, for instance, you are working in a pharmacy. Being a Sunday, most of the dispensaries are closed, so the doctors aren’t available. 

A person with urticaria comes to you. As it’s itchy and unbearable, the person wants an immediate solution. It’s late-night, and the hives appeared for the first time, so he is clueless. 

The person is relying on you for product knowledge to give the right solution to his problem. If you don’t know your medicines well, you might worsen the condition of the customer. 

So, no matter what you are selling, it is important to gather complete information about your product to help the prospect who is expecting a solution from you. 

Besides, if you don’t know your product, you might go blank at some point while conversing with the prospect. The inability to answer the prospect’s question about your products can create a wrong impression. 

When you are armed with knowledge, your confidence increases, and you can step on the sales field like a fearless warrior and conquer it. 

So…

  • Amass complete information about your product
  • Ask questions about the product’s features, costs, benefits and functionalities to the product expert
  • Find out what was the thought behind developing the product
  • Read all the literature (brochures and catalogs) related to the product
  • Know what are your USPs and limitations 
  • Find out what kind of businesses or consumers are using your product
  • Try to understand how satisfied customers have uniquely used the product to improve their business
  • Gather information about your competitors and find out how you are better from them
  • Stay abreast with any new development of the product
  • Find out which other product can complement with the product you are selling 

2. Identify your customer pain points 

When you take your vehicle for servicing, don’t the mechanic analyze your vehicle and tell you the problems the vehicle has. That’s what even you need to do, be the mechanic for your prospects and determine their business pain points. 

“Get closer than ever to your customer. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves” – Steve Jobs 

Before you connect with the prospect, ensure you research and gather as much information you can about them. 

You can go through their website, social media accounts, and review sites where reviews about them are posted. 

Try to find their weak areas.

 Analyze their competitors and find the gaps.

 See where they lack.

If you’ve spotted something negative about them on any reviewing site where you can help, then bring that up while speaking to them over the phone. 

Besides, go through your customer base and find out the common problems that most of them faced. There are chances your potential prospect might also be facing a similar problem. So, you can emphasize those problems. This will demonstrate you’ve done your homework and have an understanding of the prospect situation. 

3. Ask questions

Questioning skills play a vital role in solution selling. Only when you ask relevant questions, you’ll be able to know what the prospects are worried about and what they require. 

Think about this, don’t the hairstylist try to discover the style you are hoping to achieve before applying their expertise. 

The best hairstylist even offers a questionnaire so that you can freely reveal your hair insecurities and concerns. After finding out your problems, they give the best suggestions to ensure you have a big smile once they complete their job. 

Questions are the best way to uncover the prospect’s problems. Once you make the prospect a little comfortable, try to dig deeper into their challenges and concerns with the help of questions. Try to know everything about your buyer’s world. 

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing” – Albert Einstein

Here are some questions that will help in finding out the customer’s business challenges and concerns. 

  • What’s holding you back from reaching your revenue goals?
  • In your opinion, what needs to be improved for changing your current situation? 
  • Could you help me in understanding your business challenges and concerns?
  • Since when have you been experiencing these issues?
  • What have you done in the past to address these problems?
  • Is addressing these problems, a priority for you right now? 

Listen to your prospects attentively when they are answering these questions. You can even record your sales calls to ensure you don’t miss out on any important point. 

Special CRM like Salesmate comes with a built-in virtual phone system. So, you can make calls from within the CRM and record them for future reference.

You can even add notes about the prospect’s problems. So that whenever you work on that specific deal, you’ll know what issues you need to address. 

4. Provide (ample) value

Now that you’ve found out the prospect’s problem, its time to introduce the hero of your story.

What? Confused?

Well, haven’t you watched those movies where the protagonist comes and helps the victim find a way out of the problem? 

Similarly, here you need to show your prospect how your product can help the prospect in overcoming the current issues. In a nutshell, demonstrate the value your solution will provide. 

For instance, if your prospect has monetary concerns so you can explain how your solution can help the prospect in saving their money and increase their profits. 

Instead of focusing on your features, show the prospect how your solution can be their problem solver. Highlight the benefits they will receive by choosing your solution. 

5. Closing the sales 

The major hurdles that you face while closing a deal are the prospects’ objections. The best thing about solution selling methodology is that it makes you aware of the prospect’s problems. You know what’s obstructing the prospects from climbing the stairs of success.

You can use that business pain points smartly to tackle the prospect objections. Show them the consequences of not addressing the problems at present. 

When you make them visualize the consequences, they might change their mind and ponder over your solution. So, give them some time and follow-up after a few days. Find out if they have any other concerns and try to close the deal as soon as possible rather than stretching it for long. 

Who is the solution selling methodology for? 

Solution selling is ideal for companies with highly customized products and lots of options. The best example is a company offering SaaS solutions. 

Solution selling is all about making the customer’s life better with your product. However, a good understanding of the prospect’s pain points is required to offer the best solution.

Solution selling sales process 

Solution selling methodology has captured the attention of several sales reps. The salespeople who use this methodology follow this sales process:

  1. Prospect – Connect with potential buyers that meet your ideal buyer profile. 
  2. Qualify – Find out if they have the budget, authority, and requirement for your product. 
  3. Diagnose – Uncover the potential buyers’ requirements, goals, and challenges. 
  4. Demonstrate value – Be explicit about the value your product offers. 
  5. Present – Present your product as a solution and demonstrate its ROI. 
  6. Negotiate – Address the prospect’s concerns and lead the negotiation in a direction that’s beneficial for both. 
  7. Close – Ask for the sale and seal the deal.

Wrapping up

Solution selling is an effective sales process to close a deal successfully. By implementing this approach, you establish a healthy relationship with the prospect. It helps you in understanding the prospect and their needs for giving the best solution. 

So try to make the most of this effective sales methodology. Explore various techniques and solution selling books.

You can team up the best-selling approach with the best software to get successful results. Salesmate CRM is an all in one sales solution that can be of great help while implementing the ‘solution selling methodology’. 

You can keep track of your deals. Know how far they are from the closure. Record your calls, track your emails, and set up email as well as text sequences to follow-up effectively. It not only helps in managing sales but also in maintaining long term customer relationships.

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Coreen Menezes

An avid writer who likes to explore new fields and research about interesting subjects. She is a versatile content developer who plays with words to express her thoughts. Calm, carefree and creative are the words that describes her the best.

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