Selling solutions goes beyond simply selling products or services. Transactional selling is a simple, short-term sales strategy that focuses on making quick sales. In this type of sales model, neither the buyer nor the seller have much interest in developing a long-term relationship. While transactional selling sometimes has a bad reputation in today's era of relational selling, it's still a relevant approach, when used in the right context.
Examples include situations where the buyer wants quick, self-service options, or the organization sells low-cost generic products and makes a profit by selling large quantities as quickly as possible. Transactional sales are more common in B2C situations: think e-commerce, brands, or ticket sales for movies or concerts. However, there are certain scenarios where it works for B2B companies: think of SaaS subscriptions that suit individuals or small teams. While the “sales” part of transactional selling consists mainly of intervention without intervention, focusing on the customer is, well, fundamental to success.
In this case, sales and marketing teams can work together to create a comprehensive self-service knowledge base, product demonstrations, articles, guides, and other content. Selling solutions moves away from the transactional approach and instead focuses on selling results over products and functions. At first glance, consultative selling and solution selling seem to be the same strategy. However, despite some similarities, there is one important distinction.
Selling solutions avoids talking about features and benefits, and chooses to focus conversations solely on presenting a solution to the buyer's problem. Consultative selling goes one step further and incorporates the sale of solutions into a broader strategy that serves buyers capable of identifying possible solutions to their problems on their own. Like consultative selling, provocation-based sales aim to discover needs and pain points through market research, data analysis, and interactions with buyers. Both types focus on guiding customers to the right solution, however, provocative sales add a bit of antagonism to the mix.
In recent years, we have seen a resurgence in provocation-based sales, with the increase in Challenger sales. And now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, provocative sales could be an effective way to create urgency in the face of uncertainty. Second, provocative selling requires some very advanced social skills. Sellers must be able to “read the room” and have a clear idea of when the provocation will drive action or simply irritate and frustrate the buyer.
Collaborative selling is similar to consultative selling in that it focuses on developing relationships and understanding the needs, challenges, and objectives of buyers, but this approach takes things to the next level and places the customer at the center of their own narrative. Meanwhile, 44% of buyers say they struggle with multiple suppliers providing apparently credible, fact-based information that is often contradictory. The goal of collaborative selling is to lay the foundation for lasting relationships that are more like strategic alliances than traditional one-time transactions. Drastic changes in the buying process (75% of B2B buyers are significantly influenced by social networks and 84% of senior executives use them to support purchasing decisions) and the “one-sided nature” of the dialogue between the seller and the buyer in the traditional sales process led to the development of new strategies for seeking and building relationships with customers, in particular, social selling.
Social selling is an effective practice of using branded social media channels to connect with potential customers, develop that connection and build LONG-TERM relationships with potential customers. Although there is a clear progression from transactional to collaborative selling, the reality is that each of these types of sales can be used effectively with the modern buyer, as long as the focus remains on offering value to the consumer. One of the reasons potential customers are so suspicious of salespeople is because they anticipate an aggressive attitude and pressure to buy a customer. Setting a clear agenda and not engaging with the customer beyond a fixed goal is a mistake; it won't win you sales and it definitely won't make you gain followers.
The most effective sales techniques involve active listening, allowing for a dialogue with the customer that is not just a one-sided conversation. Listening to their concerns, questions and concerns will help you respond to them better and will also help the potential customer trust you more. People who trust you are much more likely to make a purchase with you. Relying on cold calls is an ineffective sales technique; they irritate potential customers and are often evaluated anyway.
Switching to a warm vocation is a much better and more efficient way to manage sales. Warm calls involve calling potential customers who have been chosen for their potential to be receptive to your sales pitch. This includes “warming up” potential customers through things such as social media outreach and prior customer research. Warm calls lead to much higher success rates, as they eliminate the dispersed focus on sales, which is often just a waste of time.
People like practical reasons why they should invest in a product or service, and they're more likely to hear a sales pitch if you offer an effective solution. This sales technique works best with the active listening technique; it's important to listen to the customer to get an idea of how the product could benefit them and then adapt the proposal to that person or company. The feeling that the sales pitch has been personalized will make the customer feel more comfortable trusting and listening to the seller, because they will feel that they are learning about a solution that will work for them, not just for you. Who wouldn't use an arsenal of effective sales techniques? If you really want to improve the way you sell, look no further: this collection backed by research on the best B2B sales techniques.
One thing that is clear from our research with B2B DecisionLabs is that the right answer is often the most counterintuitive. When you choose to follow best practices, you may use the most popular method, but not necessarily the approach that works best. Science, on the other hand, is objective and timeless. It is fully focused on buyers and their behavior.
Although these sales techniques seem unknown and contradictory, each of them has been examined by behavioral research studies and has proven to be the best approach when selling to B2B decision makers. Studies show that at least 40 percent of pending transactions are lost because of “no decision” and not because of competition. This is due to something called status quo bias: your potential customer's natural aversion to doing something different from what they're doing today. Research conducted by B2B DecisionLabs found that a provocative message that begins with the introduction of an unconsidered need increases its persuasive impact by 10 percent.
Instead, help your potential customers see what's stopping them from achieving their business goals. Most B2B marketers admit that the overlap is 70 percent or more. In competitive categories, it's feasible for many companies to do the job with similar capabilities and prices. And if your buyers don't see enough difference between you and other options, they're more likely to compete in parallel based on price.
Therefore, position your buyer as the hero of their own story using phrases like “you”. According to research by B2B DecisionLabs, changing the pronoun “we” to “you” in your proposal can add urgency and make your potential customer feel more personally responsible for solving the problem. One way to reformulate buyers' perception of your value is to introduce unconsidered needs (do you remember them?). This approach creates price uncertainty by altering the perceived value of your solution.
In other words, you increase your value in the minds of your buyers by bringing to light information and opportunities that they didn't know were important to them. Even at the executive level, people make subconscious emotional decisions before the rational and analytical part of the brain is responsible for justifying the decision. In fact, a research study by B2B DecisionLabs found that executive decision makers are as carried away by emotionally-charged factors as anyone else. Despite this widespread belief, research from B2B DecisionLabs shows that conversations about customer retention and expansion require completely different messages and skills.
In fact, using a provocative and challenging message when you try to renew or expand your business with your customers will increase the likelihood that they will compare prices by 10 to 16 percent. Tim Riesterer, director of strategy at Corporate Visions, is dedicated to helping companies improve their conversations with potential and potential customers to get more business. A visionary researcher, thought leader, keynote speaker and professional with more than 20 years of experience in marketing and sales management, Riesterer is the co-author of four books, including Customer Message Management, Conversations that Win the Complex Sale, The Three Value Conversations and The Expansion Sale. Using a third-party e-commerce platform is a great method for selling products if you don't have a significant initial budget.
How to answer that question depends on the type of sale that serves as the basis for the strategies, methodologies and messages used to convince buyers to make a deal. The last sales method connects with many of the other strategies, but it's worth mentioning on its own. Once you've chosen one (or all) of the above methods to make your product accessible to buyers, you'll see a small increase in sales. A professionally designed website allows you to sell your product through some of the additional methods we'll talk about below, but it also allows you to manage your own online store.
A physical store is a dream come true for many sellers, and if you can find a great location, a physical storefront can serve as a sales method in and of itself. Having a well-designed and optimized website with regular content distribution represents the backbone of all other methods of selling a product. . .