Is Your Solution Selling Strategy Working?

A drawing of a soccer game plan to help visualize how to plan for solution selling strategy

Your Solution Selling Strategy Matters
Every sales leader needs to regularly ask if their solution selling strategy is achieving the desired results. Are the investments and sales strategies actually moving their team forward in a way that makes sense? If not, the longer you delay figuring out what needs to change, the deeper you’ll fall into a hole.

Five Warning Signs That Your Solution Selling Strategy Needs Help
Based upon over thousands of solution selling training program participants, here are a few signs that your solution selling strategy needs review and re-work to fire on all cylinders:

  1. Lagging Sales Growth: You are not growing profitable revenue as fast as your plan, your competitors or your industry.
  2. Decreased Effectiveness: Your paths to market are not working as effectively as they once did.
  3. Greater Expectations: You are expected to reach higher sales targets than ever before with the same resources.
  4. Inconsistency: You record huge differences in revenue from one sales rep to another and from one region to another.
  5. Sales Metric Conflicts: Your sales team’s success metrics are in conflict with each other, other departments or with the overall business strategy.

If you are experiencing any of the above solution selling strategy warning signs, it is time to take another look at your value proposition, target client profile and key sales and marketing strategies to acquire, grow and retain clients.

Four Solution Selling Strategy Next Steps
Our organizational alignment research found sales strategy accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing sales teams.  Unfortunately,  we find only 1 in 10 sales organizations consistently follow solution selling best practices.  It is well worth your while to take a close look at your existing sales strategy, sales culture and sales talent to ensure sales alignment and execution.

As a sales leader, make sure that you to get your arms around:

1.  Identifying and Focusing on Strategic and Major Accounts
Know your target client profile and where the revenue potential exists so you can make informed decisions about how to invest and where to deploy your resources. Rank your accounts by performance and potential according to those that have the ability and are likely to buy as opposed to those that are unlikely prospects based upon an agreed-upon definition .

Your sales reps should immerse themselves in the high potentials until they have multiple contacts at various levels, and understand who the buyers are as well as the customer criteria and process for making purchase decisions.

2.  Following a Consistent Solution Selling Methodology
The actual selling process begins with prospecting for targeted opportunities. Your sales pipeline should reflect all of the deals you are chasing and be weighted in a way that provides a clear picture as to where they stand in the buying process.

Then your sales reps should follow an agreed-upon solution selling methodology that works for your .

3.  Building a World-Class Sales Team
Smart sales leaders invest the time and resources necessary to build a team of “A” sales players who fit within the sales culture and who can execute the sales strategy. On average, top sales reps generate five to ten times more revenue than average players. That represents a huge boost to your numbers. When you hire, don’t settle.

Go for the best and do what it takes to keep them engaged and retained.

4.  Investing in Sales Tools and Resources
Give your sales reps the sales tools they need to optimize their time with their customers. They should have systems for customer relationship management, for knowledge sharing among team members and for accessing success stories, customer testimonials and research.

They should also receive targeted solution selling training that focuses on the critical few scenarios that matter most for your sales strategy and target customer profile.

The Bottom Line
Do yourself, your sales team and your company a favor. Spend the time at least four times a year reevaluating how well your solution selling strategy is serving you. The decisions and adjustments you make translate directly to improved sales performance.

To learn more about solution selling strategy, download: How To Tell If Your Sales Strategy Clear Enough to Act?

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Human Resource Manager

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