Solution Selling training can be utilised to overcome the greatest challenge faced by enterprise salespeople, that of reduced budgets. Salespeople can use the Solution Selling methodology to leverage their own resources to win more business. In addition to winning more business, salespeople can regain dwindling margins.
In recent times, management at all levels and in all industries are under pressure to do more with less. Current budget spending is being cut to a minimum to make organisations more streamline and competitive. Managers are being forced to be more creative with their resources and to extract more value from vendors. To understand the scale of this phenomenon, read The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Professor Klaus Schwab of the WEForum.
On the face of it, reduced budgets spell bad news for salespeople because it puts downward pressure on prices. Margins also suffer from reduced spending, converting what were once lucrative deals to bread and butter transactions.
But that’s only one side of the story. Salespeople who undertake solution selling training see it differently. Let’s go back to the core problem faced by managers, the reduction of resources available to them.
Salespeople who understand Solution Selling in the truest sense of the meaning, consider reduced budgets as a God send. They realise that a manager starved of resources is a prospect screaming to partner with a willing vendor. Solution sellers see themselves as business partners as opposed to salespeople. Partners who can leverage the resources at their disposal to help their prospect achieve their business objectives.
Solution Selling training is a lot more than learning how to solve problems. The methodology stretches beyond the problem to be solved to the business driver behind the problem. Beyond the business driver, solution sellers are mindful of the hopes and aspirations of the managers responsible for the business. The deeper the salesperson goes, the more solid the relationship gets and bread and butter transactions become lucrative once again.
How is the turnaround possible? Because it is current budget that is feeling the brunt of the squeeze. If the business is healthy and profitable and the solution being proposed is compelling enough, capital budget will be found. As a result, revenues and margins can be maintained, although they may be presented differently. For instance, the cost of products may be reduced but the cost of services may be increased. A notable exception to this trend of course is the shift to Software as a Service (SaaS).
So how do we engage with buyers as partners? After all, they see us as vendors to be squeezed. How do we get them to see us differently? Solution selling training encourages salespeople to behave like partners, not like self serving salespeople. Successful partners are more concerned about the success of the partnership than they are about their own success. Think about it in personal relationship terms, if a spouse is selfless and does all they can to help their partner succeed, the relationship will flourish.
However, it must be noted that partnerships work both ways. Both parties must be committed to the other’s success or it simply won’t work. If the prospect is not concerned about the vendor’s welfare, the relationship is doomed to failure and the vendor is better off without that business.
Assuming a partnership is possible, you should start by fully understanding your prospect’s objectives, both business and personal. You can then examine how you can work with them to help them achieve those objectives. What can you offer them to help them on their way? What resources can you provide that will benefit them greatly without costing you?
Research has shown that prospects find intangibles valuable. Things like education, collaboration, listening and understanding their needs. Helping them avoid pitfalls and connecting personally with them.
Sharing resources is the upfront investment expected of solution sellers. If you are willing to invest your knowledge, experience and know-how, you are well positioned to establishing partnerships. Your return on investment will be profitable and repeat business from long term customers.
Use solution selling training to achieve your own goals by helping your prospects achieve theirs.