Problem vs Product Focused Selling: The Key to Successful Outreach

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Problem or Product Focused Selling: A Refined Approach to Business Prospecting

In the maze of Monday morning chores, we commonly discover a glaring discrepancy. On one hand, we grumble at the deluge of poor quality business outreach piling up in our inbox. Yet, ironically, we turn around and project the same low-quality prospecting approaches onto our communication targets.

Overcoming the Flawed Focus of Prospecting Messages

The crux of the issue lies in the fundamental focus of prospecting messages being inherently product-oriented. The typical outbound messages usually bear a striking semblance to the following statements:

“Known for our superior product/service…”
“Our product capabilities will interest you…”
“See the results our world-class product can deliver…”

Indeed, sometimes, the product pitches are elegantly disguised under a problem:

“Is lead/demand generation a challenge? Experience our product’s solution…”
“Need a pipeline boost? Discover how our product can help…”

Sadly, each of these messages speaks volumes about the sender, their product, and their company rather than focusing on the recipient’s priorities and company.

However, unless the prospect is late in their buying process, product/solution-oriented prospecting messages are likely to make little impact. Until they are concerned about it, they simply don’t care about it. The question then becomes: What if we shifted our outreach strategies to a problem-centric focus?

The Drawbacks of Existing Customer Focused Approaches

Some might argue, “We already talk about the problems our products solve.” Yet, the key issue remains that customers must first grasp the issue at hand before they can contemplate the solution. They require answers to questions like:

What exactly is the problem?
How are we affected?
How can we tell if we have the problem?
Who in the organization is impacted by the problem?
What happens if we ignore it?
What questions should we be asking ourselves?
Who should we involve in understanding the problem and charting a path forward?
How do we form a consensus and maintain it?
What support will we need to understand and measure the problem’s impact?
What does it take to solve the problem?
How soon will we see results? What are the risks?
Are we right in prioritizing these issues over others?

Until they understand and internalize these facets, any discussion about solutions will probably fall on deaf ears. If they are unfamiliar with it, customers could struggle with identifying and defining the problem. Moreover, focusing on our products before they are ready can hamper their understanding and add to their confusion.

The Benefits of Shifting to Problem-led Selling

Data indicates that problem-led selling yields fascinating results. It cultivates customer interest and engagement due to the focus on their needs, enhances trust by providing insight into their problem, significantly boosts win rates, and dramatically reduces “no decision made” scenarios.

Contrary to what we might assume, our time and cost to achieve results is much lower when aligning with customers in problem-focused selling, especially for complex B2B buying. However, this necessitates equipping our sellers with the right tools to engage in problem-focused selling.

Embracing a Problem-centric Approach

Implementing a problem-centred approach calls for a few key changes. These include understanding our customers’ operations, delineating the problems our products address, engaging our customers by emphasizing on the impact and extent of the problem and not the solution, and offering content and experiences that help customers comprehend their issues.

Choosing the Best Approach: Problem or Product Focused Selling?

The most suitable approach boils down to a simple answer: “It depends.”

Product-focused selling is most effective for customers well-versed in the problems and products. They seek the most efficient purchasing process and prefer transactional buying, which can even be fully automated. Using problem-focused selling in these situations may slow them down and frustrate them.

On the other hand, problem-focused selling becomes a powerful ally in complex B2B change initiatives for customers inexperienced in handling certain complex problems and requiring help in understanding and solving them. Applying product-focused selling in these cases isn’t helpful and, in fact, can delay, frustrate, and alienate them.

So, whether it’s problem or product-focused selling depends on how the customers perceive the issues. Ensure your choices align with their perspectives.

Commission Tracking Made Easy With Flow’s Commission Tracking Software

In tandem with these shifting sales strategies, the use of solid commission tracking like Flow’s Commission Tracking Software can revolutionize your process. Its functionality affords sales teams transparency, accountability, and ease in tracking their deal progressions and commission structures. Whether you follow a product or problem-centric selling approach, Flow’s software allows teams to accurately track commission inflows and ensure fair compensation.

Adjust your team, drive efficiency, and quicken your sales process with Flow’s Commission Tracking Software. Make educated business choices by combining your refined sales approach with point-by-point sales and commission information. By integrating problem or product-focused offering methods with strong commission tracking, businesses stand to drive sales development and accomplish their vital destinations. Keep in mind, that the travel to sales brilliance starts with a well-defined approach and the proper tools and apparatuses.

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