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moving from an idea and concept into action
what this is all about
1 management knows it bestmanagement knows it best
challenge of solution sellingchallenge of solution selling2
simple steps - hard to dosimple steps - hard to do5
4 be honest to yourselfbe honest to yourself
6 the actual selling...the actual selling...
3 know your audienceknow your audience
Management knows it bestManagement knows it best
management knows it best
managementknowsitbest management knows it best
in many companies that's almost a given.
once successful with a product, solving pressing
problems, and once the market has adapted the
solution, there is always the point in time where
management decides to move up the value chain and
that's typically where it goes bust!
managementknowsitbest why is it important to sell solutions
become less comparable with your competition
Use your solution approach as differentiator
solutions are embedded in strategies – features are not
focus on the value to your client in order to increase
value to you
Change your standing within the client's thinking
managementknowsitbest what will / what has to change
from problem owner to business owner
your value proposition
from features / functions to possibilities
your sales cycles
from now to when it is the right time for your client
From small transactions to larger strategic sales
managementknowsitbest from features to solutions
Turning a technical solution, which got sold by
outstanding features and functions to a very specific
audience, into a solution sale is challenging.
Why is it that challenging?
challenge of solution sellingchallenge of solution selling2222
challengeofsolutionselling the focus for your selling
Easy put, it is no longer about you and your product. It is
about your audiences priorities.
Not only this, it is also about your audience's perception
of the problem, your technology and the business value it
potentially may bring
in your audiences perception
challengeofsolutionselling start with your elevator pitch
Look at your elevator pitch or your standard
presentation. It typically talks about
how great your solution is
how successful your company is
how much better your audience will do if they just
start using your solution - and therefore buy it from
challengeofsolutionselling will you be successful with your pitch
Well, you only will sell something if, by luck, your
audience has to solve a tactical problem just now.
You will not be perceived as a strategic partner nor will
your audience reach out to you for advice or to sync up
with you on initiatives.
challengeofsolutionselling does your elevator pitch sell solutions
rethink the pitch, are you talking mainly about you and
not about your audience?
does your pitch indicates you understand your audience's
challengeofsolutionselling become strategic
Wouldn't it put you in a different position if your pitch
Your understanding of the client's situation
The market your client is in
Creates a vision for your client reflecting market
drivers and his strategies to respond to the market
Get “extra points” if you know what's motivating /
driving your audience
know your audienceknow your audience3333
knowyouraudience know your audience...
...and use this intelligence for a purpose
answer yourself 3 simple questions
what do I know about my audience's expectation and
motivation to take this meeting
why do I have this meeting
what do I expect out of this meeting
be prepared to take a hit if the meeting doesn't go as
visualize upfront what would be the best and the
knowyouraudience know your audience's motivation factors...
What are the career aspirations
What is the personal motivation like
What is your audience interested in
knowyouraudience the worst meeting outcome is...
... when your audience doesn't share insights into their
strategy, actual needs and problems and limit the discussion
to your product's features and functions
that's when youyou missed your audience's points
you reached out to the wrongwrong audience
knowyouraudience the best meeting outcome is...
... when your audience starts envisioningenvisioning a future with their
problems solvedproblems solved because of you
that's when youyou will be successful
be honest to yourselfbe honest to yourself4444
behonesttoyourself be honest to yourself
are you prepared to sell nothing in the first place
is solution selling about your solution
no, it's about the other ones problem and priorities
do you understand the revenue potential
Hint, it is not based on market potential nor price list!
what do you know about the clients business
it is very unlikely he is in your business, also that's
what you like talking most
behonesttoyourself have you done your homework
Client related information
Initiatives client is driving / has announced
You main contacts interests
Professional career related
Personal family / hobbies
simple steps - hard to dosimple steps - hard to do5555
simplesteps–hardtodo simple steps - hard to do
understand the problem through your clients eyes
not with a solution in mind!
think outside of your solution context
obvious things are hiding the real challenges
challenge / confront your contact with questions
he/ she may want to be polite not giving you the full
picture but only the jigsaw piece expected to be of
relevance to you. This decreases the likelihood for a
understand the priority of the problem for your audience
helps you forecasting
simplesteps–hardtodo what drives decisions
how long is he/she dealing with this problem
has the business impact been quantified
who suffers most
who will benefit most from a problem resolution
do they really care
be specific - use numbers
make assumptions to get to real numbers
Assumptions are an easy way to
determine audience is serious if they start discussing the
get to the truth – real numbers
simplesteps–hardtodo what's in for your audience
how does your solution help your audience to achieve
thing longterm, knowing your audience's objectives
even if a short term solution is required to address an
you want to be strategic and not a nice to have fix
Quantify the solution benefits
What does success look like for your audience in
terms of numbers
e.g. savings, reduction in support cases in % ...
map solution benefits to objectives and prioritize them
the actual selling...the actual selling...6666
theactualselling... the actual selling...
...starts way before you talk products and prices.
create a vision in your audience's mind
how it would be like if the problem on their mind
vanished, new capabilities they struggle with become
available or simply give them a competitive
advantage like faster time to market or production.
Make your audience envision how their world would be
like if their most pressing problem don't exist anymore
theactualselling... Learn from Antoine de St.Exupery(from “Le Petite Prince”)
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men
to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders.
Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and
theactualselling... be crisp
ever tried to condense your standard presentation down
to 5 slides, or even 3?
did you succeed?
a big applause if you did! one question so? Are you
sure the same message been delivered than with your
if so, why did you do the extended version in the first
why did you waste someone's time going through
many slides you don't need and are likely to be
irrelevant to your message?
theactualselling... be crisp - homework
take your standard deck and extract the most valuable
content to a client you have in mind so you end up with 5
slides max. the first slide must include client specific
information why you are presenting and why you believe
this is relevant to the client.
do this when you have time to do so
allow up to 4 hours for this task.
It is easy to compile a presentation with 40+ slides in
1 hour - copy paste does the trick -coming up with 3-5
slides only usually takes a couple of hours
theactualselling... tell a story
the easiest thing to do and mastered by most sales people
is to tell a story
the easiest way to loose attention of an audience is to tell
the most difficult way getting an audience's attention is
to tell a story....
...which is relevant to them, will impact, reflect their...which is relevant to them, will impact, reflect their
actual situation and makes them envision a betteractual situation and makes them envision a better
theactualselling... be relevant to become relevant
be realistic what the impact of your solution is to your
don’t talk about your cycling pace if your audience
drives formula 1 cars
talk numbers, numbers, numbers – if they are relevant to
the total project size your audience is dealing with
Make sure you’ve done your homework to quantify
the value of your solution
It is not about cost – it is about savings in OPEX,
time, incidents and increased customer satisfaction
Become the trusted go-to person by walking your talk
and be knowledgeable about your audience’s business