He began his career in IT industry at Xerox Computer Services as application support. Later Mike founded and grew one of the most successful virtual businesses in the B2BB2B B2B is an acronym for Business-to-Business, a model for selling, relationship-building, or engagement. arena.
In January 2013, he founded Mike Bosworth Leadership in which he provides keynote speeches, workshops and executive coaching.
Solution SellingSolution Selling Solution Selling is a sales approach commonly adopted in a B2B environment where the salesperson probes the customer’s problem(s) and develops/proposes a solution using the seller company’s products or services.…and the Pipeliner CRM Foundation
For generations, we knew what we were supposed to be selling: products. This meant cars, houses, office space, vacuum cleaners, furniture, what have you. It was a pretty simple proposition.
But then high-tech came along. There were all kinds of hardware—computers, monitors, peripherals, cabling, routing. And it didn’t run without software: operating systems, applications, databases, interfaces and more. Nor could it be delivered without a fair amount of service: installation, tech support. A salesperson trying to sell all these products and services at once to a business that needed them could drown the prospect in dataData Data is a set of quantitative and qualitative facts that can be used as reference or inputs for computations, analyses, descriptions, predictions, reasoning and planning. and leave them totally confused.
Fortunately, very early on in the high-tech revolution, a couple of bright individuals came up with the idea of solution selling. You didn’t try and endlessly list out a bunch of products and services—you sold the whole thing as a solutionSolution Solution is a combination of ideas, strategies, processes, technologies and services that effectively helps an organization achieve its goals or hurdle its challenges. to a company’s problems. This made it possible to tailor a list of products and services to a company’s exact needs.
Solution Selling caught on with other industries as well, and was finally put into cohesive form by sales executive and trainer Michael Bosworth, in his 1994 book Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets.
In 2003 an updated version of Solution Selling methodology was put into book form by Keith Eades, in the book The New Solution Selling: The Revolutionary Sales Process That is Changing the Way People Sell.
Solution Selling Elements
Solution selling paved the way for the consultative sales model, in use in many industries today. Solution selling consists of these rough steps as a sales process:
- Isolating prospect issues
- Offering a potential solution or solutions
- Demonstrating conclusive proof and ROI of the solution
- Closing the sale and delivery/installation/implementation
- Following up to ensure customer successCustomer Success Customer Success is a proactive mindset, function, department or strategy commonly adopted by B2B companies to optimize business with customers, reduce churn rate, drive profits and increase the predictability of recurring revenue. and future business
Solution Selling concerns itself with the these factors, which hadn’t taken a regular role is selling previously:
- An informed customerCustomer Customer is an individual or an organization that purchases a product or signs up for a service offered by a business. working with solution providers who have earned their trust
- A seller that is an expert in their offerings, the market and the buyerBuyer A buyer is an individual or organizational entity that purchases a product or subscribes to a service.
- Identification of precise buyer need to be addressed by productProduct Product refers to anything (an idea, item, service, process or information) that meets a need or a desire and is offered to a market, usually but not always at a price. or service—different for every buyer
- Buyer education to help raise awareness both of the issues and the solutions
- Service addressing precise buyer issues up to and far beyond the close of the sale.
The Solution Behind Solution Selling: Pipeliner CRM
Solution selling requires an efficient CRM, through which can be visibly and easily tracked prospect issues, proposed solutions (including exactly which products and services), thoughts on solutions from different decision-makers, and tasks and activities all the way along the line.
Pipeliner CRM provides:
- An instantly customizable visual view of a company’s sales processSales Process Sales Process is a series of strategic steps or a set of activities aimed at driving sales growth through the alignment of personnel, market insight, methodologies, relevant business units, and technology., showing which deals stand in which stages.
- Visual records of all actions taken with every customer, and every contact
- Records of all communication, instantly accessible
- Sales documents 1 click away
And many other features designed to greatly facilitate methods such as Solution Selling.
Find out how Pipeliner CRM can totally empower your Solution Selling efforts. Try our free trial.