Rethinking Solution Selling

With all due respect to Michael Bosworth, author of Solution Selling, it’s time to rethink “solution selling.” Both the selling world and customer interactions have changed and require adjustments to common selling motions.

Besides, after all the books and training over 15 years, try to find one VP of Sales or Account Executive who can tell you what the 9-Block Vision Processing Model is or even what exactly are “the 9 Boxes.” While brilliant in theory and profound for a past generation, the practical application is often lost in the reality of today’s dynamic sales arena. There’s also a new generation selling in a different era.

While my sales, management and consulting career grew up with Rackham and Bosworth over the past 30 years, today I’m seeing 4 challenges facing salespeople relative to selling methodologies:

1. Shorter Conversations – customer conversations are often brief and on the phone. Reps need to be agile and skilled in the managing of short selling conversations.
2. Blended Conversations – lead generation improvements require clear distinctions between call introduction, qualification and discovery. Reps need clarity of process and conversation flow.
3. Convoluted Questioning – sales call questioning process fundamentals have been lost, forgotten or confused. Reps need talk tracks grounded in simplified questioning fundamentals.
4. Mistargeted Discovery – discovery conversations are often given short-shrift, prolonging or derailing sale cycles. Reps need clear discovery plays or templates that are simple, planned, manageable and trackable.

Do you need a revamping of your “solution selling” methodology?