The ability to sell the value of your various advanced service offerings is vital to successfully monetising your (new) advanced services.
As you offer more advanced services, you will also have a broader portfolio of alternatives for your customers, allowing them to choose the best option in each development phase of their operations.
This leads to two essential requirements for your advanced service sales practice:
- Using the suitable sales methodology for the best conversion rate without discounting.
- Upselling and cross-selling during your customers' journey, driving the customer lifetime value.
The problem – your customers need help in their buying journeys instead of sales promoting your products and services
Although your (potential) customers have easier access to more information about alternative solutions and services than before, they still need support in their buying journeys – indeed, several buying journeys in a row.
Today, we still see two significant gaps between what salespeople tend to focus on and what (potential) customers need:
- Research has shown that buyers expect salespeople to provide new insights and perspectives that help them make the right decisions. However, most salespeople still focus on maintaining relationships and providing information about their products and services.
- (Potential) customers need to develop their capabilities, organisation, and awareness as they start using your advanced services. We must offer them intermediate alternatives and guide them towards a more advanced solution.
The solution: develop your advanced service sales practices
Sales as an insightful and trusted advisor
For sales to be an insightful and trusted advisor, we need to apply a suitable sales methodology and have in-depth knowledge about our customers' situation and their businesses.
Choosing the right sales methodology
It can be overwhelming to know about all the different sales methodologies, let alone choose the right one. Just to name a few:
- Value selling.
- Solution selling.
- SPIN selling.
- Challenger selling.
- Consultative selling.
- SNAP selling.
- BANT selling.
- And many more.
There is a lot of overlap between these methodologies. They all have in common that they focus on:
- Customers' problems.
- Selling to decision-making units.
- Qualifying potential customers on urgency and budget.
However, to really have a customer-centric sales methodology, we should:
- Understand where our (potential) customers are in their buying journey when sales connect with them.
- Choose the best fundamental sales methodology for the customer.
In essence, there are three different fundamental sales methodologies to choose from:
Enabling your sales teams with situational knowledge
All advanced sales methodologies assume salespeople have insightful conversations and gain deep insights into the exact situation of their customers. This requires more than a good process and good sales skills.
It also requires deep knowledge of the different types of customers, like:
- Typical challenges and pain points.
- Common mistakes causing these pain points.
- The pain chain (how your direct customer's pain points relate to their stakeholders' pain points, up to their CEO).
- How customers typically try to solve their pain points and why that is not good enough.
- What value customers can achieve with your offerings.
- What questions to ask to get a good conversation and to reveal the insights.
Without this situational knowledge, your salespeople will see their sales conversations stagnate because they cannot respond to the answers they get and cannot ask the right follow-up questions.
Expand the customer lifetime value through continuous upselling and cross-selling
New customers may not be ready for your most advanced service or solution. Probably:
- It requires too much adjustment in their organisation or process.
- They will only see the value after their first experience with less advanced services.
That's why we need an ongoing process to guide our customers through their journey. This requires good:
- Onboarding, so they rapidly start using the service and reap the benefits.
- Customer success management to ensure they get the total value and also see the value they realise.
- Account management to explore the next step opportunities.
- Upselling and cross-selling capabilities to expand the service business with your customers to a larger portion of their business and more advanced and valuable services.
Read more about the advanced service sales model here
How will you sell the value this year?
I know: all good theory, but:
- How to bring this into practice and make it work?
- How do other service businesses organise their service sales?
- What works, and what does not work?
Exchange experiences and insights with your like-minded peers
The upcoming Service Transformation Summit on How to Monetise Advanced Services is ideal for discussing this with your peers.
You will get:
- 4 high-quality presentations from your peers.
- Extensive and in-depth discussions.
- Post-summit report from the presentations and discussion.