It’s a jungle out there! And no one understands that more than salespeople who are in a very competitive business. They must constantly be on the lookout for competitors with “better mousetraps,” lower prices, more influential contacts with inside tracks to buyers, and so it goes.
However, we maintain that a sales rep’s most competitive advantage is in none of these aspects of sealing a deal. Instead, we believe in the foundational tenet of solution selling training…that if you truly understand what your customer needs most, your solution, persuasively presented in terms of value, should win every time. This is the path though the bamboo jungle to sales success.
Part of understanding what matters most to your customers is identifying who really makes the buying decision and how specifically the buying decision will be made. That means defining the customer decision-making factors that carry the most weight and calculating the value of your solution compared to other alternatives. While there is some commonality across industries and clients, the most effective solution sellers know that the parameters change with each client and buyer. But if you can figure out not only what they need and why, but how they will evaluate and decide to buy it, you will boost your chances of sales success many fold.
Here are two key solution selling questions to consider:
1. What exactly does your client want to achieve from a business standpoint? Why?
To successfully answer this question, your salesforce must be able to clearly identify and articulate the right combination of your target client’s strategy, top 3-5 priorities, greatest challenges, biggest opportunities, recent changes, desired outcomes, specific benefits of solving the problem or fulfilling an opportunity, how success will be measured, what caused the problem or need to come about, what has stopped it from being resolved before now, how the problem manifests itself in their business, how important it is compared with other things on their plate, who and what else is affected, who truly cares about solving the problem, and the value of solving the problem.
2. What is the buyer’s decision making process?
To successfully answer this question, your sales reps must be able to understand the sequence of steps that lead to a final decision, who is involved in each step, what each person can decide or influence, what criteria they will use and what information they need to make an informed decision.
Effective sales leaders provide a clear roadmap to help their salesforce ask the right questions to determine if they can provide their target clients with the exact solution to meet their needs. They know that the key to sales success is to go one step beyond crafting the best solution. You need to also understand how the customer will make the buying decision and what matters most to them.
A Meaningful Company Mission Matters
LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.
We partnered with LSA to pilot a customized behavioral interviewing program to help ensure that we continue to hire the best and brightest as we continue to rapidly scale. LSA’s ability to understand our business and our unique culture combined with their desire to ensure that the best practices framework truly fits our performance environment and is highly adopted by our people is a real blessing. Most other firms want to just ‘give you training.’ Not LSA, they are focused on helping me hit our hiring forecasts and attract A players.
Director of Global Recruiting
Each program is preceded by an assessment of the participants. The course is then designed to fit the specific parameters and needs of the group. The highly interactive delivery is provided by recognized experts in their fields. On the spot coaching is provided during the program and each participant receives individual follow-up after the course. Courses can be delivered in-person or virtually. Given the nature of Cisco’s business and the way we operate, these remote workshops are a must for anyone who joins our company. Their work is eye opening. Great content and fantastic delivery.
Frank J. Kuypers
Business Development Manager
LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.
Vice President Human Resources
Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.
Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance
LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.
Director, Software Engineering, EPG
LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.
Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources
In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.
I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.
Director, Business Planning & Analysis
LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.
Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology
PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.
Vice President of Human Resources
The Managing Virtual Teams program was extremely valuable. Your consultant/ facilitator’s fundamental knowledge of Synopsys as a company provided an incredible base to build upon while tackling the complications of managing and working with globally distributed teams. My team walked away walked away with highly useful practices and tools. It was an excellent use of our time.
Vice President, Information Technology
Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.
Senior Project Manager
I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.
Chief People Officer
We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.
Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President
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