Five Key Steps To Solution Selling

My company sells products and services to large health systems. Every day, our account representatives work to attract the attention of procurement and supply chain directors. Because of the way our prospecting system works, it's possible the prospect could be contacted by more than one rep from our organization. Thus, we sometimes we find ourselves competing internally for both the same prospect's business.

This is the unintended outcome, not an integrated solution, and it's a common challenge within B2B sales no matter which vertical industry you call on.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share these five key reminders to help you better align your messaging to provide a high-value, integrated-solution sales approach, from Steve Gruber, co-founder of Venture Accelerator Partners.

1. Consider The Customer's Pain Points. Understand what is causing pain for your prospects' business. The better you understand this, the better you can service their needs. A customer may call in with an issue such as, "I can't access my wireless router." A simple answer could be "Reset your router." However, the same challenge could be the result of a larger business problem. Perhaps the customer's wi-fi network isn't producing a signal which can lead to a considerable amount of lost productivity. It is through probing questions and inquiring as to the extent of the problem that you can gain a better grasp of your customers' needs.

2. Engage, Then Inform. When first contacting your prospect, ensure your message immediately targets the business pains the prospect is facing. You want to try to capture that person's eye (or ear) right away whether you are contacting them by email or phone. The goal is to grab their attention and encourage your prospect to read and/or hear more about what you offer.

3. Focus On Solutions, Not Products. The sale of a product or service ultimately results from solving a problem. For example, you don't buy a bottle of Vitamin Water because you like the color. You purchase it to quench your thirst. The drink solves the problem of being thirsty.

4. Highlight Your Differences. Just because your solution can solve a business challenge, doesn't mean you have the only solution on the market. You need to be able to position yourself against your competitors and convince the prospect that your solution is the best one. And remember, if you don't have a direct competitor, there are always indirect competitors. Be sure to highlight how you can help alleviate their pain points, and what differentiates your products or services. Be specific. Don't make statements such as, "We have the best customer service." It doesn't mean much and is overused. Instead, add some quantitative measures into your pitch.

5. Sell The True Value. When building your value proposition, focus your attention on hitting core items that show a business value. A solid value proposition needs to be underpinned on one or more of these four fundamental business drivers: Drive revenues reduce expenses; create an efficiency and mitigate a risk.

When building your story, quantitatively include metrics that would resonate with the customer and are hitting on one or more of the four key areas above.

Source: Since founding Venture Accelerator Partners in 2006, Steve Gruber has assisted firms in generating millions of dollars in revenue, driving millions of website pageviews and booking hundreds of meetings. With more than 20 years of sales leadership, business development, direct sales and marketing experience, he has dramatically increased sales at growing companies in industries from business software and IT to telecoms, cleantech and industrial.

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