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Systems thinking and sales

Submitted by on Tuesday, 12 June 2007

We all (including ‘buyers’) live within systems that are self-sustaining.
When an Identified Problem occurs that might require a resolution (and buyers seek resolutions to business problems, NOT a new product purchase!), the entire system that created it and maintains it must be included in the solution or disruption will ensue. That is the length of the sales cycle. Sales has treated the Identified Problem as if it were Pain, or a Need.


‘Sales’ treats an Identified Problem as if it were an isolated event. My model, Buying Facilitation, delays the entire product placement end of the ‘sales’ ritual, and instead gives sellers the tools to support the buyer’s systems-based decision making and uses a unique questioning format to help them discern the types of decisions necessary for change to happen that includes all systems elements.
It’s the difference between: What is happening with X? (information-pull question based on decision already made) and How would you know when it was appropriate for you and your decision team to include Y into your consideration? What has stopped you from doing that until now? and How would you recognize when there was a problem with that activity to ensure that you could change direction as necessary?
These types of facilitative questions work with the entire system, rather than just trying to do needs analysis and product placement. It is indeed a new sales model.