The New Solution Selling | Keith M. Eades

Summary of: The New Solution Selling: The Revolutionary Sales Process That is Changing the Way People Sell
By: Keith M. Eades

Introduction

Welcome to the world of ‘The New Solution Selling,’ a revolutionary sales approach that empowers you to focus on customers’ problems rather than your own products. This book summary offers insights into Keith M. Eades’ expert advice, helping you identify the different types of salespeople and buyers, and how they interact. Discover the underlying principles of solution selling and learn how to diagnose pain points in prospects. Dive into a step-by-step sales process that aligns with the buying process and creates a predictable, efficient system to hit your targets. Are you ready to unleash your inner eagle and transform the way you sell?

The Art of Solution Selling

Solution selling is a philosophy that prioritizes understanding customers’ problems over pushing products. It involves following a defined process that can be repeated to achieve predictable results. Only 20% of salespeople, dubbed “eagles,” excel at engaging customers by asking the right questions. The majority, dubbed “journeypeople,” rely on canned presentations and telling instead of asking. Solution selling is an effective approach, but it requires identifying the right customers. Only 20% of buyers, known as innovators and early adopters, will be receptive to new solutions. The remaining 80% are pragmatic, conservative, and late adopters. For most sales calls that involve journeypeople, who struggle with customer engagement, the customers are tough. To succeed, companies must promote teamwork and cohesion among salespeople to succeed, similar to the way players on a sports team must work together to win championships.

Principles of Solution Selling

Solution selling involves diagnosing a prospect’s pain before offering a solution. Pain can be known or unknown, but it must be felt for change to happen. A prospect’s pain can affect the entire organization, so it is essential to get to them before they start looking for a remedy. The buying decision is made up of three distinct phases which require a salesperson to do their research to ensure they meet a prospect’s needs. Each salesperson should ask themselves crucial questions about a prospect’s knowledge, decision-making power, agreement on the solution’s value, and the ability to control the buyer’s decision process.

Mastering the Art of Sales

The key to successful sales lies in implementing a standardized and consistent sales process that aligns with the prospect’s buying process. Salespeople should focus on understanding the buyer’s needs before offering any solution. The process should have clear objectives that can be measured, and managers should provide the necessary tools and support. It is also important to track the success rate of the sales process continually. By implementing a clear and repeatable system, salespersons can become experts in their field and maximize their selling potential.

Solution Selling Strategies

Solution selling is not just about making sales calls. It goes beyond that to include extensive research and planning. The process begins with identifying your target company and preparing a data sheet for analysis. This fact sheet should contain information about the company and its products, market position, financial status, leadership team, and its main problems. Based on this information, a message tailored to the prospects’ concerns should be crafted. Before making sales calls, pain points from the problem should be identified, and its effects on their organization should be analyzed. This way, a clear understanding of the prospect’s situation is achieved, giving the salesperson an upper hand. Solution selling strategies require more than knowing one’s products but having an in-depth knowledge of the prospects and their problems.

Prospecting for Success

A successful prospecting approach involves asking prospects about their interests and tapping into your network. The most effective prospecting fields are current customers, referrals, associations, and social occasions. Prospecting at seminars and trade shows can also be valuable if done effectively.

Prospecting for new business is essential for any successful sales strategy. However, simply asking a prospect if they’re interested in your product is unlikely to result in a fruitful conversation. Instead, engage the prospect by asking them about their interests and craft questions that will make them want to talk. This approach requires thorough pre-call preparation to equip you with a good company profile and a diagram of pain flow.

In descending order of effectiveness, the most powerful prospecting fields are current customers, referrals, associations, and social occasions. Current customers already know you and your product, so be sure to ask them about any other problems you can help solve. Referrals can also be a valuable source of new prospects, so ask your customers to recommend and introduce you. Joining a trade group or attending social occasions can also provide access to new prospects and valuable information.

Prospecting at seminars and trade shows can be an effective way to promote your solution and gather intelligence about prospects in your industry. However, it’s important to differentiate yourself from your competition with a display that highlights your solutions, rather than just your product. Keeping control of the buying process while letting the buyer buy without pressure may seem mutually exclusive, but it’s essential for building successful long-term relationships with clients.

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