Solution Selling…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 was 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 data 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 solution 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 success and future business

Solution Selling concerns itself with the these factors, which hadn't taken a regular role is selling previously:

  • An informed customer working with solution providers who have earned their trust
  • A seller that is an expert in their offerings, the market and the buyer
  • Identification of precise buyer need to be addressed by product 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 process, 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. Download our free trial.

About Michael Bosworth

Michael Bosworth

Mike Bosworth is well known trainer, speaker, and the author of best selling sales books.

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 B2B arena.

In January 2013, he founded Mike Bosworth Leadership in which he provides keynote speeches, workshops and executive coaching. Read More >

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