The New Solution Selling: The Revolutionary Sales Process That is Changing the Way People Sell
Excerpted with permission from "The New Solution Selling: The Revolutionary Sales Process That is Changing the Way People Sell," by Keith M. Eades, Copyright 2004. Published by McGraw-Hill, November, 2003, ISBN 0071435395. For more information about this book and other titles, please visit McGraw-Hill Professional.
Chapter 1: Looking for Solutions
What is Solution Selling?
It's a sales process. (I'll develop this more fully throughout this book.) It's the most widely used sales process focused on executable selling in the world today. By executable, I mean selling activities that involve direct contact with the customer. For many individuals and their companies, Solution Selling is their total end-to-end sales process. For others with more complex sales situations, it's the executable portion of their selling process. Solution Selling not only helps with what to do, but it specifically focuses on how to do it.
Solution Selling's sales process consists of the following components: a philosophy, a map, a methodology, a sales management system, and a sales architecture. Solution Selling does not become another thing to do (on the list of mounting chores). It becomes the thing to do for salespeople, marketers, and managers.
It's a Philosophy
The customer is the focal point. Helping customers solve their business problems and achieve positive, measurable results is the basis of all actions. The steps within the Solution Selling sales process are aligned with how buyers buy.
It's a Map
Solution Selling provides a map of how to get from where you are to where you want to be. Solution Selling provides an end-to-end series of next steps to follow. End-to-end means from the beginning of a sale right through to winning it. This includes precall planning, creating interest, diagnosing the problem, vision processing, controlling the sale, closing, and postsale tracking. It includes the ability to identify, analyze, report on, manage, and coach individual opportunities using the process. It also provides the ability to predict sales performance success or failure.
It's a Methodology
Solution Selling is a system of methods that includes tools, job aids, techniques, and procedures that help salespeople and sales teams navigate the selling steps that close more sales faster. It results in higher levels of customer satisfaction and increased sales productivity.
It's a Sales Management System
Solution Selling provides sales and executive management with a process to analyze pipelines, qualify opportunities, and coach skills, thus increasing productivity and predictability. It results in a high-performance sales culture.
It's a Sales Architecture
Solution Selling provides a complete sales architecture and framework, helping companies interface better with their customers and with the members of their own organization. This architecture is flexible, scalable, and modular. If you want to change a particular module or add a new capability, you don't have to abandon your original investments in other sales methodologies. Solution Selling is designed for change and adaptability.
We're often asked what type and size of companies use Solution Selling. Today, Solution Selling is operating in companies in almost every industry. It is used in small start-up companies and in some of the world's largest and best-run sales organizations. For example, IBM, Microsoft, EDS, Pitney Bowes, and SAS have used or are currently using Solution Selling to transform their companies and create high-performance sales cultures.
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