Back in the 80s, a new sales methodology was developed called “Solution Selling.” Basically, sales reps were given pre-baked solutions that they could recommend to their customers – one-size fits all, so to speak.
It worked back then, because the customer might not have even known that he had a problem. It was up to the sales person to enlighten them about the issue, explain the urgency and provide answers to the solution.
But today, sales people are not the only ones who have all the knowledge and answers. Businesses are now doing their own research beforehand and pretty much know what they need before a salesperson even walks through the door. Because of this, you must be prepared.
With a methodology that I call solution selling on steroids, sales people are now moving into more of a consultant role with the customer. We are putting an extreme emphasis on the customer’s actual business problems and then creating the perfect environment that creates the business outcomes desired.
1. What’s in It for Me?
Typically, what the customer considers valuable to their business is never just a product. They want to know “What’s in it for me?” So, it’s up to you to guide them through the fast-changing and complex marketplace. Therefore, it is critical to identify what your customer needs and then delivering exactly the outcomes required. Examples include growing revenue, creating a more exciting internal culture, providing a better experience to buyers, revising a reputation or simply improving efficiencies. Your solution must meet your customer’s desired outcomes, because your customer’s future business performance depends on it.
2. Going Beyond Their Comfort Zone
When you become a technical problem solver, you also become your customer’s confidant and trusted collaborator. Instead of using fluffy rhetoric and lofty jargon, you need to completely understand their challenges, operating practices, objectives and competitive environment. Only then can you take them out of their comfort zone and present creative out-of-the box solutions that deliver value to their specific business environment. The goal is to provide cutting-edge solutions that generate the greatest business value and operational results. Examples include smart spaces and predictive maintenance.
3. What Is the Meaning of Success?
It’s important to show your customers how to rethink their metrics of success and help them examine the value that their new solutions are generating. For example, quality may no longer be measured in error rates; but, instead, it may be measured on how well they are meeting their end-customers’ expectations. Or the solution could accelerate their time to market or increase their engagement – all of which will result in better incomes and higher revenue. It all boils down to you consulting with your customer on their needs and then showing them how the solution can contribute to their overall success.
4. Be a Trusted Collaborator and Advisor
To be truly and wholly effective and differentiated in the eyes of today’s buyers, sales professionals need to create value in the buying experience itself – which is not achieved through the one-size-fits-all approach. You must look beyond the sales pitch and understand that buyers are savvy, over-worked, under pressure, hate risk, and more demanding than ever. But, they still need your guidance to make the best business and personal decisions about the solutions needed for their companies.
So, to truly embody solution selling on steroids, you must clearly demonstrate your value as a trusted collaborator and advisor that understands their business priorities from start to finish… and beyond.
Arrow Is Your Solutions Partner
Here at Arrow, we are working hard to bring together all parts of our “sensor to sunset” solution strategy to help end-users achieve the business outcomes they desire. As a result, we have created pre-built, market-validated solution plays that will save you time and headaches. These solutions are 80% complete and allow for easy finishing and customization for unique business outcomes.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be glad to walk you through our solution plays, as well as show you how business problems can be solved with IoT and technology components. I look forward to hearing from you!
IoT Development Specialist
Last modified: May 2, 2019