Monday, February 23, 2009
ProSultative Selling LinkedIn Group
I am co-managing a new LinkedIn group detailing Mike Pilcher's new book ProSulative Selling. This is an excellent opportunity for B2B Sales and Marketing professionals to collaborate around new trends, best practices and business strategy.
Here is a glimpse into some recent discussions:
Solving vs Explaining
To what degree can explaining your product or service undermine a high-level consultative selling approach? Does the 'How' take the bloom off the 'What'? And what positioning rules of thumb can be applied to avoid this problem?
Answer from Mike Pilcher:
I think you can achieve both. Consultative selling requires the application of those aspects of your product that solve a customer's problem and defocusing those features that are not solving the problem. Understanding to whom they are important, articulating the technical aspects in business terms is the consultative nature. You are typically selling at multiple levels in any sales process, the greater the complexity and typically the higher the value, the more requirement to break elements of your product down and identify who in the customer values which features.
As far as how to position against them. Use technical white papers that fully describe the architecture, features and technical benefits of your solution. Aggregate these into Product Marketing pieces which focus on problems people understand and articulate them in ways the customer understands. The final element is the sales team collating these in the most focused and highest value, targeted fashion. Great question.
Answer # 2 from Mike Pilcher (I love how thought leaders never stop thinking!)
Been thinking on this some more, it was a great question. A move away from consultative selling and demand creation results in a move to demand identification. Sales' role in this process is to take a qualified lead and move it rapidly through the sales process. Marketing's is to create enough information, and distribute that information over a wide net. Marketing is trying to leave a trail of breadcrumbs that based upon the medium for acquiring information of the prospect they are sufficiently interested to pick up that piece of information. What makes this more than scatter and pray is marketing carefully crafting messaging and offers that draw the prospect toward a point where they are an informed and qualified prospect.
Join the LinkedIn Group ProSultative Selling
Pilcher has over 20 years of business and enterprise sales experience. Before joining Marketbright, he served as vice president of worldwide sales at HyperRoll, general manager of worldwide financial services at TradeBeam, and executive vice president of worldwide sales at Velosant, which was acquired by Harbor Payments.
Prior to Velosant, Pilcher served as vice president of sales at Epiphany, acquired by Infor, and senior vice president of worldwide sales at Tenfold Technology, acquired by Versata. Prior to Tenfold, he was the divisional manager for U.K. financial services at Sybase, and before that ran the Oracle U.K. insurance team.