This review was last updated
This CRM Review examines New Solution Selling.
In-Depth CRM Review
New Solution Selling
Sales Performance International
4720 Piedmont Row Drive
Charlotte, NC 28210-4454
CRM Category: Sales Management Support – Cloud
Sub-Category: Sales Process Management/Structured Selling Methodology
Seats: Small Enterprise
About the Company:
Sales Performance International (SPI) is a global sales performance improvement firm dedicated to helping the world’s leading corporations elevate their sales relationships and drive measurable, sustainable revenue growth and operational sales performance improvement.
Founded in 1988, SPI has been the leader in helping global companies successfully transition from selling products to marketing and selling high-value solutions. With extensive sales performance expertise, deep industry knowledge, global resources and a proven track record, SPI collaborates with clients to deliver strategic, operational and tactical solutions.
SPI has assisted more than 1,000,000 sales and management professionals in more than 50 countries and 14 languages to achieve higher levels of performance.
About the Product:
Adapting Sales Execution to the New Buyer Paradigm
Over 1 million sales professionals, all over the world, rely on the Solution Selling® sales process and methodologies to differentiate themselves, not only by what they sell, but by how they engage with customers. For more than two decades, Solution Selling® has been the definitive approach for moving from selling products to selling and marketing high value solutions. This has not changed, but what has changed is the profile of today’s buyer. They are now an informed, educated buyer who is comfortable using technology and social media to guide themselves through their buying process. This informed buyer not only expects vendors to add tremendous value but they expect the seller to accommodate a more complex buying environment. As a result, many sellers and their organizations are at a cross-roads. They realize their sales professionals need new processes, methods, skills and tools to compete in the B2B world of “buyer 2.0”. As a result, we bring you Solution Selling® 2.0.
Although the term “solution selling” is used broadly and sometimes incorrectly by many in our industry, Sales Performance International is the sole source and developer of the authentic intellectual property with the registered Solution Selling® trademark. Because of this, we are best suited to answer “What is Solution Selling® 2.0?” and “How is it going to help me effectively market and sell high-value solutions?”.
Solution Selling® 2.0 components include:
- Acute understanding of the evolved buyer
- Emergence of three distinct sales roles
- The Micro-marketer
- The Situational Expert
- The Risk Manager
- A set of buyer-aligned sales processes
- A framework for enabling technologies
More on the Components of Solution Selling® 2.0
Hopefully we have begun to make the case for the importance of understanding the evolving buyer.
As a result of the changing buyer, there are a new set of skills and competencies required of today’s sales professional.
- Micro-Marketer – Often today, the seller is being held out of the early stages of the buying process. To get back to the front of the buying process and be effective, today’s seller must be able to effectively use social media and use enabling technology. They need to be versed in demonstrating thought-leadership in order to build relationships and credibility. They need to be skilled in the ability to consultatively “plant seeds” to influence thinking and future requirements. In this new role, they need to be able to provide value without overtly selling.
- Situational Expert – Regardless of the type of influence the seller may have on the buyer, they need to be agile in quickly aligning to an interested prospect. Today’s seller must be able to adeptly recognize where the buyer is in their buying process, identify the buyer’s perspective and how they arrived at it, ascertain what social outlets and influences have shaped the prospect’s perspective. They need to be equipped to apply “situational fluency” in all situations to quickly provide value during each exchange. This role requires the seller to confidently lead, educate and challenge their buyers perspectives.
- Risk Manager – Today’s seller must be able to ascertain the level of risk the buying organization is experiencing in their decision-making process. They need to be equipped to use online tools to position proof, value and other resources to mitigate buyer risk. They need to be able to subtly position the risk associated with other alternatives. They also need to be able to manage complex evaluations with an intent to reach “win-win” outcomes that satisfy all parties.
Today, sales process is as important as ever. However, the sales process must be reflective of today’s buyer and the new sales roles, skills and tools. Also, we think it is a mistake to assume one size fits all. Its highly likely that with each sales model there should be a supporting, and somewhat unique sales process. E.g. transaction model, shorter sales cycle and a longer, more complex sales process.
And within each sales process there should be some framework for assessing and integrating the most effective technologies in the context of the sales processes. These technologies should include a combination of key software as a service offerings, social media tools and other key online resources.
Recent independent research has demonstrated that companies that invest in Solution Selling® realize measurable, year-over-year sales performance improvement, including:
- Higher individual quota attainment
- Higher team quota attainment
- Increase in average deal size
- Improved time to productivity
Solution Selling®’s successful track record for reliable performance improvement began over two decades ago, with the initial release of the original sales execution training program. Since then, through ongoing development and updates, the range and depth of Solution Selling® sales process, supporting methodologies and tools has expanded significantly to a broad library of best practices – one that now spans the full range of essential sales planning, execution, management, and marketing disciplines of which Solution Selling® 2.0 is an integral part.
Rich’s View of New Solution Selling:
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