It’s old news that buyers have a lot more information about everything than in decades past. Primarily through the Internet—but also through increased availability of research and use of consultants—buyers know more about your offerings, market, and competitors, and their issues and problems, industry, and options for action, than ever before.
Also fairly well established is that today’s buyers are harder to reach, buying cycles are longer, and more decision makers are involved in every sale. Buyers are also more skeptical. Although the great recession is largely in the rearview mirror, the psychological scars will remain for years to come.
Yes, buying has changed a lot, yet from the 1970s until recently, not much changed in the world of sales methodologies. The prevailing thinking in recent decades has been sellers could study and learn traditional solution or consultative selling approaches, apply them well, and produce excellent results consistently.
Given the changes in buying, the commoditization of many products and services, and the radical intensification of competition in many industries, it’s no surprise that solution sales concepts aren’t working as they once did. We at RAIN Group are not the only ones seeing this trend either. Articles in the mainstream business press, including the Harvard Business Review,1 routinely raise the specter of the death of solutions sales.
In any case, it’s ...