Here’s a sales process example I remember from when we were looking at CRM software solutions. This sales rep, Bob, found me on LinkedIn and initiated contact. He then emailed me, saying he had a lead generation solution connecting the social media platforms to Salesforce.
Well, since we were talking about lead generation, I was more than mildly curious and agreed to meeting him.
Reviewing Bob’s Sales Process
After the preliminaries, Bob moved his sales process forward, asking probing questions about our working environment and some of our sales practices. In fact, he focused mainly on how we generated leads and how we integrated LinkedIn and Facebook into our CRM software.
After his diagnosis, Bob pulled two sheets from his portfolio and placed them on the table. Then he said, “Let’s look at these two solutions. The will help your team in their lead generation and prospecting activities.”
Now, looking at that thick, product folder, I could see he had a lot of other stuff packed in there. And I have to say, I was curious about some of the other products he was carrying around.
However, Bob was a professional. He stuck to the two sheets that were on the table. He systematically outlined the two products on the table as solutions to the issues that we reviewed in our discussion. And he highlighted various features against the challenges that we discussed.
Now, here’s what he didn’t do.
Bob didn’t systematically cycle through everything he had in his portfolio, hoping something would stick, a process we affectionately call the “spray and pray” method.
He didn’t deviate from the solution he was proposing.
He didn’t keep his portfolio visible. Nor did he put all his product brochures on the table where they would distract from our conversation.
Bob stuck to the solution. He focused on the issues we had discussed earlier and revealed how these two products, when coupled with our environment and systems, would solve our challenges.
When Presenting Your Solution, Keep it Focused On Solving Your Prospect’s Problem
I remember Bob and the way he presented his solution as someone who gave me enough information to solve our most pressing problem. He wasn’t someone who showed up for a fishing expedition. That is, he didn’t offer a suite of really cool products that could get lost in a sea of other really cool products.
Take your time and profile your prospect’s environment. Understand their challenges and identify their desired outcome. In doing so, you won’t have to throw everything at them in the hopes of finding something that sticks. You don’t have to spread out your whole product portfolio like an “all you can eat” product smorgasbord.
Understand this. Your prospect has a problem that is staring them squarely in the face every day. That’s a daily reminder that you have a solution for them, if you position it that way.
In our training programs, one of our operating principles is to keep the conversation focused on your prospect’s challenges. Stay away from anything about your products, or your portfolio of products, that will distract them from the challenge they are trying to solve. They need a solution, not confusion.
So, when you are presenting your solution, remember this rule for prescribing solutions:
Give your buyer enough information, and no more, about your solution and how it will benefit them, to convince them that they are justified in buying.
Anything else is a distraction and slows down your sales process. Good Selling!