Marketing Generics Application Note:

Consultative Selling

We live in a world where significantly more B2B customers are increasingly looking for full service provisions, or solutions.  Whilst this is particularly prevalent in high-tech industries, it’s happening in across the board as business customers in diverse industries and applications want less and less to buy disparate and separate components and then have the responsibility for bolting all the bits together and making them work.  Increasingly buyers are looking for quick, turnkey and total solutions; outsourcing and managed solutions are some of the visible indicators of this trend.  This poses huge challenges for the vendor organisations, because it means they can no longer sell discrete components or modules, but have to build, sell, support and maintain entire solutions.  And this in turn completely changes the game for the sales force.  Salesmen, who knew their products and how to sell them, suddenly, find themselves operating in a new and altogether more challenging environment, and can find they lack the language, the tools, the knowledge and the skills to sell complete solutions.  Life in these situations has changed from transactional selling to consultative selling, and so the salesman must learn similarly evolve and adapt, or die.  This Application Note looks at implications for the sales force in a consultative selling world.

Keywords: Transactional selling, solution selling, consultative selling, 6 Stage Model, DMU