Application: Sales Strategy, NPD/NSD
This is an attempt to sell a customized package of products and services rather than a pre-defined product. It aims to capture additional revenue from associated services or, perhaps more importantly, by understanding the real needs of buyers. Suppliers frequently edge competitors out of their customers’ installations by offering packages that work across all technologies. As a result, the word “solutions” is common parlance in many industries and conferences. A “solution”, a customized offer, should be an attractive, high margin experience for which the buyer is pleased to pay more than the individual components. It should be a firm’s equivalent of a Saville Row suit or custom car; something expensive, sexy, and enjoyable. Self-evidently it should be more expensive than any pre-packaged offers available in the market and, glitteringly expensive though it is, it should tempt customers to buy.
History, Context, Development, and Criticism
“Solutions marketing and selling” evolved from the need to approach customers, particularly business customers, at the moment when their requirements are ill defined; to “move up the value chain” (see organizational buying behaviour). It first appeared as a concept in the computer industry during the 1980s. For example, in his 1986 book about his career at IBM, the retiring global ...