Selling to Modern Buyers: Collaborative and Multifaceted Selling

Timothy T. Sullivan, our Corporate Vice President of Business Development has got a chance to share his knowledge and advice with the IRC Book Club on their recent podcast about ‘The Collaborative Sale’ – Solution Selling in a Buyer Driven World’ – a book written by Tim and Keith Eades.

In this episode, they discussed and exchanged thoughts about modern Solution Selling® and why it is important for salespeople to do multifaceted selling in this day and age.

Watch the entire interview here:


Finally answered: Is Solution Selling® defunct?

Doubts have arisen whether the long-established Solution Selling® is still relevant. Modern buyers are well-informed and more demanding, which has made the sales process more complex and longer. On top of that, buyers are trying to mitigate risk in purchase decisions by increasing the number of people involved in evaluations, facilitated by increased use of collaborative technology.

How people buy has changed significantly over the last few years. Nonetheless, Solution Selling® is more relevant than ever, because of several factors. First, the fundamental psychology of buyers – how they evaluate the product during the purchase cycle – remains the same. Second, the core of Solution Selling® has always been based on aligning with buyers on their journey, understanding their problems, and creating real value for sales success.

“It’s really a question of not so much whether or not you do Solution Selling® but how it is that you execute it.” – Tim said.

As for Sales Performance International, the owner of the recognized Solution Selling® brand, we have updated the methodology to keep pace with changes in buyer behavior. This version is called “The Collaborative Sale”.

Multifaceted selling and optimal customer experience

Tim pointed out that the number of sales reps are declining, overall. There are indeed fewer sellers now than before but they are much better skilled. Modern sellers are trained to be business consultants, to be experts of their products and to understand their buyers’ industries as well as their challenges thoroughly. To be an effective and good seller now, sellers are required to be multifaceted.

Having said that, expecting individual salespeople to master all aspects of selling may be too overwhelming and quite expensive for one business to afford. Another way of doing multifaceted selling is to create a dynamic business system, inspired by Silicon Valley’s blitzscaling, which breaks the sales process into more specialized components to maximize use of selling resources in a more efficient and economical way. The handoffs between these component parts are mapped out to optimize the value of each customer engagement, to make it more impactful and produce faster results. In this way, sales resources can provide an optimal customer experience.

“Defining an optimal way to use your sales resources to provide a good customer experience is becoming more critical to the selling process today” – Tim Sullivan.

What else to expect from the podcast: how to motivate modern sellers and what is the common sales language to use (PPVVCC).

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