Insight Selling Question: Insight Into What?
I have talked to, coached and mentored sellers of all types, levels of experience and industries. Over the course of my career I have found that regardless of these distinctions, those responsible for selling have many of the same questions around improving performance, success rates, etc. In the last couple years, however, a new question is being asked.
Today’s sellers are being told time and again that their role has evolved: “To be successful now, your job is to bring insight to our customers!” While this is true, with that mandate comes a new question:
Question: Insight into what?
In our discussions, we have heard two schools of thought. One mindset is that sales teams should be prepared with insight into your vertical. The other is that sales should be experts in your customers' vertical.
Option 1: Your Vertical
If you’re selling Supply Chain Management solutions into the Medical Device market, you should be able to share compelling insights about innovation, opportunities and advances in Supply Chain Management.
Option 2: Customer's Vertical
If you’re selling Supply Chain Management solutions into the Medical Device market, you should be able to share compelling insights about the Medical Device Market.
If you vote for option 2, we would like to respectfully disagree. Let’s look at it this way: If you’re selling into the aerospace vertical, should you be able to tell Boeing about trends in Aerospace? We think not. We read a blog about a salesperson bringing “insight” into an aerospace company, she was reading bullets off a slide and when questioned by several engineers in the audience she was stumped and couldn't go beyond the talking points. It is unrealistic to ask salespeople to be experts in your customer's business.
Answer: Own Your Domain Expertise
Customers ultimately want your expertise in YOUR vertical. If you’re selling supply chain solutions, sales should be prepared to bring insight into what trends are emerging in supply chain that if not attended to, can impact the customer. First and foremost, regardless of what you are selling, your team better be bringing bleeding edge expertise into latest trends and best practices in their field.
Of course, these trends and best practices must be connected to the customer's business and as sellers, we need to show how, if addressed, these insights can be an opportunity, and if left unaddressed, a threat to their business.
At 5600blue, we train sellers to take it one step further and make sure they are making a connection to specific customer strategies, initiatives to execute their strategies and operational improvements needed to enable those initiatives. We have found to do this successfully, sellers require both preparation and practice.
Interested in learning how to prepare your team to share the right insights with your customers? Give us a call to schedule a diagnostic with one of our consultants or learn more at www.5600blue.com.