Product Selling vs Solution Selling w/Scott Crosley

? ?. Read on to learn how the prospect theory can help you move from product and solution selling to value selling. RELATED: Creating Value for Customers – 5 Strategies for Value Selling. In this article: How the Shift from Product and Solution Selling to Value Selling Began. How to Start Selling Value. How to Visualize the Value of What You’re Selling. Changing the Conversation to Deliver Value in Selling.

False Choices: Transactional Versus Solution Selling Approaches

Partners in Excellence

Often, I get into conversations about the sales approach a company deploys. There are questions of, “should we be transactional, product, solutions, consultative focused?” ” Others have a biased view based on what they perceive as the complexity and impact of their offerings, “We want to be a high value add partner and want a solutions based approach to selling.” For example, in the early 90’s, I was EVP of sales for a company.


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In Solution Selling Even a Caveman Can Calculate a Return on Investment”

Increase Sales

A posting over at LinkedIn Group asked if the members were witnessing a lack of return on investment (ROI) in solution selling. solution-selling. As a trained instructional designer, I can attest to much of the sales training and even some sales coaching fails to deliver a positive return on investment for a variety of reasons. This failure has also been transferred to many who are engaged in solution selling.

Sales Skill-Sets vs Sales Tool-Sets

Smart Selling Tools

So it’s not surprising that each time I talk with my friends on the sales training front, they tell me that the path to increasing sales is to improve selling skills. Of course, my retort is that you won’t increase sales if you don’t have the right tools to compete more efficiently and effectively. They would ask, “What good is a prospect research tool if reps don’t know how to get a decision maker to engage?”

Tools 99

The Evolution of Sales Tools and the Efficiency Paradox

Smart Selling Tools

The reason I’m using this absurdly outdated example is to make a point about the drivers behind the evolution of tools and the importance of investing in new tools. Tools (technology and processes) evolve over time primarily from an onward and inevitably pressing need for operational effectiveness and gaining efficiencies. The biggest advancement in the development of sales tools was the telephone. In many ways it is an efficiency boon to sales reps.

Tools 101

30 Seconds Matter: How Sales Tools Deliver Revenue Growth

Smart Selling Tools

Tweet In this month’s issue of Top Sales Associates Magazine , I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by Linda Richardson. You may recognize her name as the Founder and Chairwoman of Richardson , the global sales performance company. Linda built her company into an international power-house having trained over two million sales professionals to date. Linda wanted to get my thoughts on sales tools and the role they play in today’s sales organizations.

Tools 105

Why I’m Launching The Sales Productivity University

Smart Selling Tools

At Smart Selling Tools , our goal is to make it easy to find tools that will improve sales productivity. Plain and simple – except we know that for most sales leaders and business owners it’s in fact, very complex. Even if you are interested (which, come on, you know you are), there are so many sales tools – including more than a hundred CRM systems – that it’s enough to drive a smart person crazy.

Course 108

Why Your Focus on Quota is Killing Revenue Growth

Smart Selling Tools

We rely on quotas as a method for measuring sales rep performance. The real magic to driving radical revenue growth resides in understanding sales productivity and how our reps spend their limited sales capacity. It tells you what they should be selling. It doesn’t tell you whether they’re selling as much as they could be. These are sales productivity issues. Salespeople have 215 selling days or 1720 hours a year to sell.

Quota 106

Sales Energy Audits: How to Increase Revenue by Shifting Your Sales-Energy Use

Smart Selling Tools

Sales Energy Audits: How to Increase Revenue by Shifting Your Sales-Energy Use. In this case, I’m referring to its use of Sales Energy. Each salesperson has a limited amount of sales energy (or sales capacity) to use throughout the year. Tallying up the sales capacity for your team or entire organization will give you your over-all sales capacity. As a rule-of-thumb, we estimate there are 215 selling days totaling 1720 hours per rep.

Energy 108

The Sales Leader Pledge: Will You Take the Oath?

Smart Selling Tools

You can network across a growing array of social and business platforms and talk to your fellow sales leaders. It is all too clear that there are specific, fundamental elements of sales leadership that seem forever unresolved, no matter which ‘linkage’ attracts the greatest number of ‘followers’. . No matter the current trends or technologies, what size company you work for, or the types of products you sell, they are simple issues to understand but very difficult to solve.

Sales Lead Management Association Honors

Smart Selling Tools

The Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA) is an online resource for answering these questions and more. It was founded 4 years ago by James Oberhausen, Susan Campanale and Mark Friedman who had a vision for serving the sales lead management community with valuable information and resources. Earlier this year, they named the “ 20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management.”. Trish’s company helps inside sales organizations make the big decisions.

Marketing, Sales, and the Power of the OOCH

Smart Selling Tools

The subjects of both books are decidedly applicable to the field of Sales and Marketing. No one understands this better than a Sales Professional. Consider asking a prospect to buy your product, in this example, an expense reporting tool. Either buy an expense reporting tool, or keep doing things the way you are today, manually. You’re not asking the buyer for a decision on your expense reporting solution. You goal is not to sell some one something.

Sales Team Gamification and the Virtual #SalesSummit

Smart Selling Tools

The event was deemed the world’s largest virtual sales trade show with a record setting, 15,000 registered participants. Inside Sales” Brooks , and Mark Organ. Our topic was social selling and whether, and to what degree, salespeople should participate in social networking activities. SPIFs (Sales Performance Incentive Funds) are commonly used to incentivize salespeople to sell more of a particular product in a given period of time.

Content-Marketing Doesn’t Go Far Enough to Drive Sales

Smart Selling Tools

Marketers prove their allegiance to the new ruler because of its power as a market-awareness and lead generation tool. Content marketing, as the practice is called, is a semi-automated mechanism that gives organizations the ability to extend their sales-reach—to keep in touch (i.e. The principle involves automating the ‘task’ of staying in touch (and relevant) with prospects that aren’t yet ‘sales-ready.’ It is not selling however. You need salespeople to sell.

Six Mobile Apps for Igniting Sales

Smart Selling Tools

mobile tools can ignite productivity, shorten sales cycles, and provide. It costs a small fortune to print sales materials and it’s a hassle to lug them around town. Shuffling through catalogs and stuffing brochures into cars is a fast track to insanity—especially when you find you’re missing the one sales material you need at that precise moment! Esignatures can make it fast and easy for prospects to sign and for you to accelerate sales cycles as a result.

Sales 3.0: The End of The Road for The Autonomous Sales Rep

Smart Selling Tools

One enticing benefit of the sales profession is the freedom and independence it offers. I can’t tell you how many times in my sales career I heard, “just keep hitting your numbers and no one will bug you.” The personality traits that make for a successful sales rep also play into and reinforce the need and desire for autonomy. Companies seek sales reps that can think and act on their own, epitomizing self-motivation and self-reliance.

Social Selling – This Could Take a While

Sales 2.0

A few things happened to me this week that remind me how long It can take for new sales techniques to be adopted – and become a habit with sales people. I was discussing a situation with one of my sales consultant friends where they are seeing a sales force where solution selling is still only a skill of the minority. This sales force is largely made up of “product presenters” that don’t ask about the prospect’s business. and Social Selling.

52 Sales Management Tips – the Sales Manager’s Success Guide

Smart Selling Tools

I recently read 52 Sales Management Tips – The Sales Manager’s Success Guide by Steven Rosen. Written for sales managers and small business owners, this is a guide every sales leader will benefit from. It’s packed with excellent tips and ideas to help you take your sales force to the next level. Steven is a friend of mine and I know him to be a sales guru in the truest sense of the word.

Social Selling and Big Data at the Upcoming Sales & Marketing 2.0 Conference #S20C

Smart Selling Tools

Social Selling and Big Data at the Upcoming Sales & Marketing 2.0 Next week, Sales Dot Two Inc., will host the Sales & Marketing 2.0 The focus is purported to be on the benefits of big data for B2B sales organizations with an emphasis on social technologies. A close examination of the agenda indeed reveals that the two day event will be packed with presentations and discussions about many elements of the big-data/social-selling eco-system.

2013 will NOT be better than 2012! Unless you do this…

Smart Selling Tools

Sell more? There are lots of sales tools to help you. There are lots of sales tools! Join me on December 13 th , for a live webinar hosted by Social Selling University. We’ll each be recommending 6 sales tools for B2B sellers. That’s a lot of ‘tools’ to cover in 60 minutes so you can expect this webinar to be informative, fast-paced, and full of energy. There are tools for you to: Find prospects from within your social circles.

Tools 100

Do This One Thing Now: If You Want to Double Revenue in 2014

Smart Selling Tools

What if today you were given notice that your sales quota will double in 2014. It would be insane to think your team can sell twice as much next year as you do this year, with the same number of reps, same products, and same markets. Heck, it’s hard to imagine increasing sales by as little as 10% without implementing some sort of change. You can select and provision for sales tools that will make it possible for reps to sell more.

The Secret Path to Successful Sales Calls

Smart Selling Tools

Tweet Sales calls are conversational journeys. If you are to achieve your sales objective, you’ll need to guide each and every conversational journey with precision. How do you lead each conversation so the prospect will want to continue the sales journey with you? You will need to devise a conversation map – a multi-dimensional, mental info-graphic you’ll use during a sales call. Trigger statements – and your responses – are the Milestones of a sales call.

Lead Progression: The first element of the Sales Cycle Triad

Smart Selling Tools

I recently wrote about the 3 fundamentals of sales that, if ignored, will keep your business from growing at a sustainable level, especially in terms of revenue. Lead progression, the first element of the Sales Cycle Triad includes identifying, assessing, assigning, responding, selling, tracking, and nurturing leads. The lead progression process is no longer (if it ever was) as simple as, “Marketing generates leads and Sales contacts them.”

Social Selling is Personalized Selling: Why it’s No Longer an Option

Smart Selling Tools

What’s all the hubbub about “social selling?” After all, selling has never been anything if not ‘social.’ Much as it is one of the best tools for the task, social selling isn’t just about using LinkedIn effectively. Social selling should be thought of, in my humble opinion, as a means to discover, engage, and interact with potential prospects. Social selling is no longer an option. The key is to do it intelligently and use smart tools.

Demand-Gen Report Interview on Need for New Sales Enablement Tools

The ROI Guy

A Demand-Gen Report interview with Thomas Pisello, The ROI Guy, Chairman & Founder of diagnostic / ROI sales tool provider Alinean Inc. Can you speak to how the changing buyer has increased the need for sophisticated sales enablement solutions? Buyers are in control, with almost 70% indicating they don’t think sales is adding enough value-add to their engagements (Forrester 2011). Customers bought "solutions."

4 Reasons Dumbing it Down is the Smartest Way to Sell

Smart Selling Tools

That post, along with the one you’re reading now, is aimed at complex sales. The characteristics of a complex sale are typically wider and deeper business challenges that require longer sales-cycles and result in larger average deal sizes. Complex sales are to be contrasted with transactional sales where decisions are made in minutes or days rather than in months or longer. They don’t care to know everything you know about your solutions.

Buyer 107

The “Other” 5 Pledges to Radically Increase Revenue

Smart Selling Tools

In February, I posted the first of a 2-part Sales Leaders’ pledge. It’s not sales goals or quotas I’m referring to (although a CSO study revealed that 37% of reps did not hit their plan last year — so we are falling short on those as well.) Repeat after me… CRM is not a productivity tool I recognize that we may be one of the 50% of organizations with a failing CRM system. Author, Nancy Nardin is the foremost expert in sales productivity tools.

Increasing Revenue: The ONE Measurement That Matters Most

Smart Selling Tools

Sellers have only 8 hours a day, 215 (selling) days a year. ” Salespeople have to actually ‘sell’ At its basic level, selling is nothing more than performing the right combination of tasks to convert the prospect’s interest into a bona fide opportunity and to win the business. Salespeople do other things besides sell. The only way to know whether reps could be selling more is to fully understand how their time is being used.

Closing Opportunities: The One Factor You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Smart Selling Tools

Prospects lose focus (on your products or solutions and the value they bring). Here are 3 tricks and tips for improving efficiency when it comes to creating opportunities: Use tools: Tools like Social Selling and Marketing Automation (to name just two) can increase the likelihood of contacting the right people at the right time—when they have the highest propensity to buy. If your solution isn’t applicable to companies under a certain size, don’t call them!

The Achilles Heel of CRM Adoption (and 2 Ways to Overcome it)

Smart Selling Tools

The first revenue-numbing fact is that 65% of a sales rep’s time is spent NOT doing what they are ultimately paid for—selling [1]. According to studies, the ratio of time spent on non-selling tasks to time spent on selling tasks is 65/35. The second equally disturbing data point is that 74% of sales organizations have poor CRM adoption [2]. These two rather vexing figures clearly demonstrate that all is far from perfect in today’s world of Sales 2.0.

CRM 104

Keep Opportunities from Stalling With this One Magic Question

Smart Selling Tools

One of the most frustrating problems for any sales rep is when a prospect’s interest switches from hot to cold. Enthusiasm begins its descent almost the moment you end your sales conversation. Yours involve longer sales cycles and multiple interactions over a period of time. Author, Nancy Nardin is the foremost expert in sales productivity tools. Follow Nancy on Twitter @sellingtools or subscribe to her Tool Talk blog.

How to Get Prospects to Remember The Golden Nugget

Smart Selling Tools

Meeting after sales meeting, you’re able to spark the prospect’s imagination and excitement and your opportunity momentum takes off. Now that it’s time for them to articulate why your solution seems so perfect, they can’t put their mental finger on it. If they cannot articulate – much less remember – the main sales proposition then they cannot sell themselves, or their colleagues, on why action must be taken.

Is Customer-Centric Selling Dead?

Smart Selling Tools

Customer-centric selling is based on the principle that reps must play a critical role in helping prospects discover and quantify their problems. This process naturally dovetails with assisting them in identifying the most appropriate solutions, and often from a rather complex array of choices. As my friend Jim Banks of Shadetree Technology likes to say, “Conversations are the ball-bearings that move deals through the sales process.”

Are Your Reps Guilty of This Costly Mistake?

Smart Selling Tools

A rep from one of the world’s largest technology companies that sells enterprise (i.e. large corporate) solutions rang me up yesterday. I have no use for high-end enterprise solutions. One of the simple rules of selling is this: “don’t call prospects that will never by your product.” Small companies are not suitable fit for large solutions and will therefore never buy them. tools and technology) to do that.

It’s Not What You Say, It’s What the Prospect Experiences

Smart Selling Tools

Experiential selling is the application of experiential learning to the sales profession. This certainly explains why even when you have laid out decisive arguments for why a prospect would benefit from your solution, they don’t buy in the end. So how do you create the emotional engagement so vital in a B2B sales environment? Use experiential selling to create Aha! How can you use experiential selling to create aha moments? ROI Tools.

How Fast Growing Companies can Fuel Your Revenue

Smart Selling Tools

Craig Elias , the creator of Trigger Event Selling ™ says that when companies experience a ‘Trigger Event’ and now want to change they are up to ten times more likely to buy than they were before. By now, you’ve probably heard of iSell from OneSource which is a great tool for finding contacts, and conducting prospect research. Of course you won’t want to simply add all 5,000 accounts into your sales database and set about contacting each one.

5 New Rules for Selling to Prospects Late in the Buying Cycle

Smart Selling Tools

It is not uncommon today for decision makers to avoid talking with a salesperson early in the sales cycle thinking, somewhat erroneously, that they are able to diagnose their own needs and to then seek and find the best solutions through their own investigation. It is not until prospects decide that they know enough – about what they want,and what questions to ask – that they become willing participants in a sales conversation.

7 Methodical Approaches to Increasing Revenue Velocity

Smart Selling Tools

In sales, we battle two voices. And while timing has always been important in sales (think monthly and quarterly objectives) the most important thing is to beat the revenue objective before the final buzzer goes off. As business owners or sales leaders, we have always been mindful of time and its relationship to attaining objectives. People:Staffing decisions, sales skill development, training, territory assignments, coaching, 2.

Prospecting Attention Deficit Disorder: How to Avoid the Shiny Object Syndrome

Smart Selling Tools

It’s not that you can actually execute hundreds of tasks in a day’s agenda, but if sales is your passion and profession, you are undeniably an expert at managing the precise allocation of time and resources across that number of tasks. And you competently juggle your frenetic schedule, apportioning just the right amount of time for office work, prospecting, sales calls, follow-up, travel, and communication. Protect your valuable selling time.

A Sad Farewell

Smart Selling Tools

The Internet and social media have changed the world of business and sales forever. For me personally, LinkedIn, Focus, Twitter, Blogs, email, online-meetings, and yes, the ubiquitous and indispensible phone, are the tools I have used to build not only a thriving company, but an incredible and vibrant network of friends. Ken built VanillaSoft into a wildly successful company offering a powerful InsideSales CRM Lead management solution. Tweet A sad farewell.