Solution Selling in 6 Steps

Simply put, Solution Selling is solution-oriented selling. We at Exactpi are happy to take you through all the ins and outs regarding Solution Selling to get a jump start on this.

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Solution Selling in 6 stappen

Solution Selling in 6 steps
What is it and how can you use it effectively?

Your customer’s buying process is very important. Solution selling, where you keep aligning everything you do with the customer, helps with that. It is therefore about helping the customer solve issues and achieve measurable results. Simply put, Solution selling is “solution-oriented selling.” We at Exactpi would like to take you through all the ins and outs regarding Solution Selling. This so you can effectively use this sales technique in your sales approach.

The process of Solution Selling is different when you compare it to the traditional sales process. But what is the big difference? The traditional sales process actually focuses on the sales process. In Solution Selling, your client’s buying process is central and you adjust your sales process accordingly. This means that you as a sales professional do not try to sell your product or service, but that you focus on a problem with your customer and adjust your sales process accordingly. In short: what pain point does your solution solve?

This actually sounds pretty logical right? But what steps should you take when you want to get started with Solution Selling? We take you along.

Step 1: Good preparation

Traditional sales professionals only talk about the great features of the product or service they offer. Instead, when you apply Solution Selling, you talk about the problems it can solve. Therefore, the first step you take in Solution Selling is: defining what problem your product or service solves for the customer. In short, what pain point are you solving specifically? It is important to focus as much as possible on the unconscious pain of your prospect; that is where the greatest opportunity lies. It is great when you succeed in being the first to come up with both the problem and the solution. This is the best way to ensure that your solution is actually chosen. You then provide a blueprint of your solution so that competitors will have a hard time emulating it.

Step 2: Identify all stakeholders

In Solution Selling, you focus on the customer’s buying process. But to do that, you must first map it out properly. How does your customer buy? Who is your DMU? And what other stakeholders are involved in the buying process? More importantly, how does the pain you defined in step 1 play a role at all levels and stakeholders of the organization? The important thing to realize is that your prospect’s pain point shifts. In the beginning, the sense of risk will be low for your prospect, but the further he/she gets in the buying process, the higher the sense of risk becomes. Once you are clear on what type of prospect you are focusing on with your solution, start looking for prospects with the same challenges. This so you can increase your success rate.

Step 3: Create support

The important thing is that when you get in touch with your prospect, you stay completely away from your product. That’s the traditional way of selling. Instead, you start by outlining the problem. You make the prospect see why they should buy your product or service and also how that in turn helps them further in achieving their goals. Important in this is to realize that the problem affects multiple departments within the organization. This automatically widens support.

Step 4: Gather evidence

The important thing is that you can reinforce your conviction. Make sure you can back up your solution with clear facts. For example, find out what your Return of Investment is or how much the operational costs decrease. But you can also think of a nice reference from an existing customer. You can use this in the conversation with your prospect.

Step 5: Close the deal

From traditional selling, it is important to actually close a deal. There are all kinds of closing techniques you can use to get a deal. In Solution Selling, you also close, but you don’t do it with closing techniques. In fact, it is a logical continuation of the steps that have already been taken. It is still important to ”ask for the job”. Only it can only be done once and only at the right time.

Step 6: After sales

Getting the order may seem like your main goal as a sales professional, but of course that is not the case for your buyer. His/her buying process is not over until the product/service is used. When the buyer sees that the promised ROI has actually been achieved. In Solution Selling, that tracking is an important part of the sales process. The advantage is that with this information you have a new reference case, which you can of course use to convince your next prospect again!

We trust that these steps have given you as a sales professional enough input to get started with Solution Selling. We are very curious to see whether you succeed in putting this into practice. Do you still need help or would you like to spar? Our business managers are happy to help. Feel welcome to ask a question.

Want to know more about Solution Selling?

  • Dijk, M. (2017). Solution Selling.
  • Sales Performance International. (2014). Wat is solution selling 2.0? Sales Performance International.
  • Zaleco.nl

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