Consultative Selling and Sales Men

Selling any product in today’s highly competitive world is a real challenge for salesmen. Salesmanship and the approach to selling have undergone tremendous changes beyond recognition. Selling in current environment is highly sophisticated and technical too. Whether a Corporate Company, service Organization or a single user is buying a product or service, the sales process calls for complete engagement by the sales personnel. The buyers of today have a lot more expectations from the product as well as the Organization that they are buying from and their process of vendor evaluation too is different. The customers have a lot of expectations from the product that you are offering and along with it, they also consider other attributes related to your Company reputation, value systems and service commitment etc. Along with these expectations, there are additional expectations in terms of the quality of engagement from the sales person.

In many industries, selling process has undergone tremendous changes. Customers expect the sales persons as well as the product or solution development team of the vendor organization to engage with the customer right from early stages.

The quality of engagement, the development of solution that is ideally suited and customized for the customer’s needs as well as the Organization’s responsiveness and expertise in building the solution and the offer is considered and appropriate weight age given to this factor in the qualification stage. In fact in some of the cases, Organizations engage Companies like IBM, Dell as well as other software development companies in the early stages to define the requirement and draw up specifications of the requirements and design the solution.

In keeping with the changes, the marketing and sales approach has changed from product selling to solution selling. Accordingly sales persons have moved on from selling product to engaging with the customer and consulting with customer to identify their needs and offer solutions that help the customer meet with their business expectations.

In the field of software and technology as well as in logistics and supply chain fields, the concept of consultative selling and solution selling has become the norm today. Organizations call for software experts or shortlisted vendors to collaborate with them in defining the need and come up with the appropriate technology solution that can help the customer Organization take the next leap forward in its business.

In the field of supply chain and logistics, it has become an accepted practice for large MNC Customer organizations to partner with global logistics players to define problem and design solution in partnership. It is quite common now to find a DHL, Panalpina, Ceva or Fedex making investments in and managing in plant logistics or distribution centers side by side customer’s plant in the same complex or as a standalone facility or setting up supply chain solutions for complete plant management etc.

Looking at the above selling situations, you can now understand that there is a huge expectation on the part of the sales men who are in the profession of selling. They have got to have, besides professional skills, technical capabilities, unique individual strength to engage customer as well as the parent Organizational teams at various levels, control and manage the consultative selling process and direct the outcome to its logical solution. For those aspiring to become business managers or marketing and sales managers, it helps to know and build those necessary skills to be able to step into the role of consultative/solution sales managers of tomorrow.


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