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  • AutorenbildMarc Breetzke, M.A., M.A.

Sales Trend: from Selling Products to Solution Selling - an Unresolved Issue

Aktualisiert: vor 6 Tagen

The trend of moving from a product-centric sales approach to solution-based selling has been making waves for years. Yet, despite its established presence in sales rhetoric, this shift continues to stir up considerable confusion among sales professionals. Many simply substitute the word "product" with "solution" without fully grasping the underlying implications of what truly constitutes a solution.

The Core of Solution Selling

Solution selling isn't merely a linguistic switch from selling products to selling solutions; it’s a fundamental change in approach. At its heart, solution selling requires a deep understanding of the customer's challenges and problems. A solution, by definition, addresses a specific issue or fulfills a particular need.

"There is no solution without a (potential) problem."

Without identifying and understanding these needs, calling something a solution is misleading and, effectively, just a buzzword.

The Problem with Avoiding Problems

One major stumbling block in the adoption of true solution selling is the reluctance of salespeople to engage in discussions about challenges and problems. Many salespeople prefer to avoid these uncomfortable conversations. Instead, they continue to emphasize the features of their "solutions" without connecting these features to real customer issues. This approach not only undermines the concept of solutions but also hampers the establishment of trust and understanding between the salesperson and the customer. In other words, it prolongs all the sins in sales we've been trying to avoid for years.

The Shift That Matters

For companies and sales professionals aiming to genuinely adopt solution selling, the key lies in changing the conversation. It’s not about pushing a product disguised as a solution; it’s about engaging with the customer, asking the right questions, and truly listening to the answers. Sales teams need to be trained and encouraged to dive deep into the customer's world, identify pain points, and articulate how their offerings can address these specific challenges.

Training for Transformation

Adapting to true solution selling involves more than just vocabulary changes; it requires a shift in mindset and a commitment to ongoing training and development. Sales teams must be equipped not only with product knowledge but also with the skills to consultatively sell by focusing on problem-solving and value creation.

As the trend of solution selling continues to evolve, it is crucial for sales professionals to understand that without a problem, there is no need for a solution. The transition from product selling to solution selling isn’t just about changing terminology; it’s about transforming how salespeople think about and interact with their customers.

To truly excel in solution selling, sales teams must learn to embrace the complexity of customer problems and become adept at translating their offerings into real-world solutions.

Have you experienced this confusion in your sales team? Are some of your salespeople hesitant to address issues and problems or challenges?


About the Author

Marc Breetzke, M.A., M.A., founder of MB INSPIRATIONS, is leading expert on strategic thinking, communication, and leadership. Since 2013, Marc assists companies, organisations, and individuals worldwide to achieve their objectives, increase their performance, and realize their untapped potential. Marc has helped thousands of people in consulting and training projects.


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