How to sell solutions

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I have in this presentation summarized how to best sell solutions - please feel free to contact me to discuss this in more detail.

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How to sell solutions

  1. 1. How to Sell Solutions According to AIIM, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Sirius Decisions research Atle Skjekkeland Chief Operating Officer AIIM askjekkeland@aiim.org www.aiim.org AIIM – The Global Community of Information Professionals
  2. 2. www.aiim.org/training The Need for Education Source: Sirius Decisions
  3. 3. www.aiim.org/training Change The Way You Sell “A recent Corporate Executive Board study of more than 1,400 B2B customers found that those customers completed, on average, nearly 60% of a typical purchasing decision—researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements, benchmarking pricing, and so on— before even having a conversation with a supplier” Implications? You need to create relationships with an organization before the customer requirements are set. Source: http://hbr.org/2012/07/the-end-of-solution-sales/ar/1 3
  4. 4. www.aiim.org/training Change Your Marketing (1)  The Buyer’s Journey is what counts – Understanding buying roles and stages critical 1. Educate - Change the game by engaging new customers at the beginning of the buying cycle 2. Take Control - Nurture the leads with educational webinars, whitepapers, etc. 3. Tailor - Document how your solution meets the customers requirements with solution briefs, vendor comparisons, etc.  The technology has changed – In-bound marketing, nurturing, multi-touch.  Exploding options for content delivery – Videos, podcasts, blogs, Twitter.  Thought leadership counts – It’s more than selling. Source: Sirius Decisions
  5. 5. www.aiim.org/training Change Your Marketing (2) Old Approach New Approach Prospects get their information from you Prospects get most of their information before they even talk to you Focus groups Analytics One-to-many One-to-one Trade shows Niched conferences Presentations describe YOU Presentations that educate THEM Single use analyst white papers Multi-use content assets Product leadership Thought leadership Mass e-mail Segmented and automated drip Print or print-like delivery Videos, podcasts, blogs, ebooks
  6. 6. www.aiim.org/training Provide New & Unique Insights (1)  Provocation-Based Selling:  Compels project investments outside an existing budget  Challenges the prevailing point of view  Addresses unacknowledged angst  Targets strategic problems  Begins with the business case and then provides technical proof  Starts an executive-level dialogue  Uses an insightful hypothesis to provoke a response  Is proactive in leading, and forcing issues out Source: http://hbr.org/2009/03/in-a-downturn-provoke-your-customers/ar/1 6
  7. 7. www.aiim.org/training Provide New & Unique Insights (2) What are the two biggest factors that would make you amenable to a discussion with a sales representative from a non-incumbent at any time in the cycle? (Max TWO) 7
  8. 8. www.aiim.org/training Tailor Your Approach  Identifying the actual decision makers.  Identify purchase initiator, gatekeepers, influencers, deciders, purchaser and the user.  Determining how buyers view their selfinterest.  All buyers act selfishly, but they sometimes miscalculate.  Identify financial, product or service, social or political, and personal benefits  Gathering and applying psychological intelligence.  Make sure that sales calls are highly productive and informative  Listen to the sales force  Reward rigorous fact gathering, analysis, and execution Source: http://hbr.org/2006/07/major-sales-who-really-does-the-buying/ar/6
  9. 9. www.aiim.org/training Leverage Social Media  “According to a recent study by InsideView, over 90% of CEO’s said they NEVER respond to cold emails or calls.”  “Replacing the decline in cold calling is the warmth of social engagement. Buyers are far more responsive to social media messages around relevant topics initiated by the sales person or the buyer.”  “Selling through social channels is the closest thing to being a fly on the wall in your customer’s, prospect’s and competitor’s world.” Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/markfidelman/2012/11/05/t
  10. 10. www.aiim.org/training Become a Challenger According to a global study of sales rep productivity among 6,000 reps across nearly 100 companies by the Sales Executive Council: 1. Every sales professional falls into one of five distinct profiles.  Relationship Builders  Hard Workers  Lone Wolves  Reactive Problem Solvers  Challengers 2. Challengers dramatically outperform the other profiles, particularly Relationship Builders. 10 Source: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/09/selling_is_not_about_relatio.html
  11. 11. www.aiim.org/training Drive B2B Customer Loyalty Customers value the Challenger approach according to research; The biggest driver of B2B customer loyalty is a supplier’s ability to deliver new insights. Source: Corporate Executive Board
  12. 12. www.aiim.org/training Reduce Uncertainty / Increase Value In the most general and fundamental sense, what the professional service organization really has to offer to corporate clients is the reduction or minimization of uncertainty. Clients look at the following 3 uncertainties when buying professional services: 1. Identifying uncertainty 2. Confronting concrete problems 3. Identifying true professionals Source: http://hbr.org/1966/03/how-to-buysell-professional-services/ar/1 12
  13. 13. www.aiim.org/training The New Role of Sales Professionals Source: Sirius Decision / AIIM
  14. 14. www.aiim.org/training Improve Sales Effectiveness  Challenge  Solution  Identifying more opportunities for selling solutions and services in different verticals  Get ahead of the RFP by engaging customers early in the buying cycle  Get sales reps and channel partners to become more pro-active, not just wait for leads  Close more business by better demonstrating the importance of taking action  Get new staff and channel partners quickly up and running to produce results  89% of AIIM trained solution and service providers claim the training made their staff more effective at identifying and engaging prospects  78% found AIIM training to be very or extremely effective at showing how their solution matches the customer requirements  89% say that AIIM training improved their staff ability to demonstrate the importance of taking action
  15. 15. www.aiim.org/training AIIM Training Courses – available as online or in-person training classes

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