It looks like we’re all trying to be insight sellers now – or are we?
In his book Duct Tape Selling John Jantsch says that you should help define the problems your prospects don’t know they have. He suggests we should assume some of the issues a prospect might have and we should know more about the prospect’s business than they do. However, I feel this may be stretching credibility too far.
Insight selling correctly emphasises the importance of measuring performance. However, there don’t appear to be many statistics measuring the difference between companies now using insight selling, compared to whatever method those companies previously used.
Linda Richardson in her book Changing the Sales Conversation, says that client insight refers to the data gathered about clients to predict their future needs. She goes on to say that when you share this insight, you can challenge a client’s thinking and make them aware of the risks & problems they may have missed or undervalued.
Only large companies can really afford to employ full time personnel to mine data to this degree. Alternatively they can afford to outsource this function. However, most SMEs would be stretched to manage this. Beyond checking out a B2B prospect on their website, Google, LinkedIn and Companies House, most SMEs would have to settle for well-trained salespeople with imagination – at best.
I know solution selling is being replaced by insight selling in many larger companies. Indeed according to McKinsey, 80% of salespeople have discarded solution selling owing to its complex questioning cycle. However, it’s tempting to imagine the next incarnation of the sales process being called clairvoyance selling.
How valid is insight selling for every company with face to face sales professionals?