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Why are sales tied to solutions? How is that working for you?

Submitted by on Friday, 16 July 2010

The buying decision journey involves more than finding a solution: buyers have private stuff they must complete and decide on with colleagues before they get the buy-in to make a purchase. We’ve sat and waited while they’ve done this.

That has been the downfall in the sales model. Until now, and as a result of our inability to have influence over the private meetings, the in-fighting, the beloved old vendor who shows up, and although we are very actively involved in relationship building and discussing outcomes and needs with execs, we’ve been relegated, basically, to sitting and waiting until the prospect comes back and buys, accepting a success/close rate of plus or minus 7%.

But even that is not happening now: over 50% of us aren’t meeting our quotas.

THE WEB IS CO-OPTING OUR JOBS

But as one door closes, another opens. Now that so much of the sales model is being co-opted by the internet, it’s time to enhance the job of a seller to actually come to the rescue with a new skill set to help buyers navigate through their decision journey — the part that they’ve done privately and soooo slowly, and that is very problematic for them now. And that part is the piece the internet cannot help them with.

As we move from a consultative sale to a ‘social sale,’ we are still intent on selling a solution. Because we’ve always used relationship building, becoming a trusted advisor, understanding problems, being professional consultants, etc. we somehow believe that these are THE SKILLS  necessary to make a sale. So we are attempting to turn the net, with all of its new capability, into providing the same skills we’ve used until now to close our 7% . But we can close a lot more even now. And not compete with the net.

Imagine if we change the goal. Imagine if we let the web do its thing and take over some of our historic sales functions, and change our job to be decision facilitators who can help buyers navigate through their behind-the-scenes decision issues that need to occur before they get the requisite buy-in for a purchase. No, not the decision issues around their need or solution, but their issues around buy-in, and company politics, and department heads who don’t want to work together. Sales skills won’t manage these issues.

Are we ready to make a change? Are we willing to add some new skills? Given the capability of the net, what is our job if we don’t? Let’s think about this.

QUESTIONS TO START THINKING DIFFERENTLY

Do you realize that choosing a vendor and solution is the last thing that a buyer does – and you’re not involved in the first thing they do, or the second, or the third?

Is there a reason you are attempting to use the same skills to close sales as you’ve always done, but attempt to fit them into a new/different format – i.e.build relationships, uncover need, discuss solution and trying to make your sites or metrics do this?

What would you need to consider differently to actually add some new skills and outcomes, to offer an additional service that buyers can’t get on the net – and actually need help with?

Do you realize that by focusing on discovering a need and selling a solution – and these days, focusing on who is clicking and when – you’re omitting a very important service you could be offering prospects?

Do you realize that your jobs as solutions providers are getting close to irrelevant?

No, I’m not talking sales here. But your sales skills aren’t working so well now, are they?

Why not add a new skill and become a vital part of the buyers Buying Decision Team. Why not consider using Buying Facilitation™ when your prospects show up with all of their researched data? Just because they know about your solution doesn’t mean their tech team doesn’t want to take over, or their new business partner doesn’t want to supply the solution. Just because they call you doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy.

Would you rather sell? Or help someone buy. Your choice. If you decide to do some decision facilitation, you just might meet your quotas and get far, far greater than a 7% close.

sd

To learn more about Buying Facilitation™ have a look at my new learning Modules. And get a copy of Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it.

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