Selling Solutions is an Art

Solution selling has become critical as markets evolve, and an important factor for success will be a highly trained, exceptionally skilled “selling solutions” sales team. While traditional selling involves a “pitch” of products or services with the goal of achieving a commitment to purchase, the consultative (or selling solutions) methodology is based on the seller’s ability to assist the customer in identifying issues, or even opportunities they haven’t yet recognized, resulting in solutions that weren’t necessarily anticipated. It’s the art of selling what they didn’t know they needed.

This sales process is quite evolved from the traditional version, in that it requires a deep understanding of the customer’s environment, wants and goals. Solution selling connects to the customer’s objectives and turns the seller’s products and services into solutions. For example, a consultative sales approach would be a great process for marketing complete Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, and not just stand-alone components. This is a trillion-dollar market without a market leader, and if sales teams can understand customer pain points, could create staggering opportunities to build the seller’s business value. So what has been standing in the way of selling solutions?

For one thing, consultative selling is almost an art form, and extremely difficult to do properly. Effective selling is really about selling oneself – conducting a successful consultative sales process requires masterful technique while being able to seamlessly interact with a person – or people. There’s not really a course that teaches that. In fact, this is such a challenging skill set that it has been recommended that a would-be consultative seller engages in Deliberate Practice – an extremely in-depth approach which requires a commitment to practicing in a safe environment, with precise coaching and feedback. Building a sales team of this caliber involves a culture of time investment and strategic coaching.

Another drawback is that consultative selling frequently lies outside of corporate strategy and doesn’t receive the priority it needs to thrive. Many corporate sales strategies focus on what and where they are selling, over how they are selling it. The “how” is an equally important element of any sales platform and can create a truly competitive advantage if utilized. Once your customers are encouraged to approach their issues differently or re-frame potential opportunities, your value to them will increase exponentially. Now you look more like a partner.

Finally, it turns out that many management practices simply don’t support consultative selling. If the management team is operating from a reactive standpoint as opposed to a proactive one, its approach is always going to be playing catch-up to a degree. Early stages consultation allows sellers to get in at ground level and really work with their buyers to find solutions and create opportunities. And consultative selling is a long game – it doesn’t do well in a system of pressure and deadlines. That type of process runs counter to the principles that consultative salespeople need to embrace.

Here’s where a well-established business process outsourcing (BPO) company like award-winning Anexa can help brands to build their futures. If your focus needs to be on building a sales team that can excel at consultative selling, we can take over as many – or as few – of your processes as necessary, leaving you with the time, focus and resources to lead your company where it needs to go. Certain activities like back-office services, marketing and database management can become repetitive in nature, draining your resources and derailing your objectives. We’ve got a team for that. Information technology? We’ve got a team for that – all our IT is developed in-house, allowing for full customization. Customer experience? Award-winning Anexa has built a reputation as a leader in the competitive customer service market, with exceptionally skilled, bilingual (English and Spanish) agents who are trained in the most current CX trends and can authentically represent your brand.

For more information on how to create a dynamic BPO partnership, reach out to Anexa.