Everyone tells you to be more consultative in selling. There are countless books, training programs, and articles teaching you how to do it.
On the other hand, everyone always talks about having a sales playbook. Options range from simple DIY templates to enterprise-level software solutions.
At first glance, these seem like opposing priorities. How can you be consultative if you’re following scripted plays? We’ve discovered that a sales playbook actually allows you to be more consultative!
Here are 3 ways you can use a sales playbook to drive consultative selling.
1. Identify hard lines and gray areas.
If you script absolutely everything, you could replace your sales team with robots. Alternately, if you go too far in consulting and customizing, you’ll end up unable to effectively deliver what you sold.
Instead, work toward a happy medium. Use your sales playbook to identify your clear policies and procedures. These can include price lists, required information, customization guides, and CRM processes. Within those lines, though, encourage your team to use a consultative sales approach.
I like to think of this as a ski slalom – there are gates each opportunity will need to pass through on its way to a win. Between each gate, though, there’s room for flexibility. Stretching the metaphor even further, there is a designated boundary that you can’t exceed.
2. Document best-practice approaches.
Just because your team is consultative doesn’t mean each opportunity is completely unique. Take the time to identify a series of best-practice approaches to allow your sales team to efficiently identify the best solutions for your clients.
One great way to do this is to document the common problems you solve for your clients. Align these to your solutions, and if a client indicates they are suffering from one of those problems, it’s easy to know which solution to recommend.
3. Clearly articulate value.
A key to consultative selling – actually, a key to selling in general – is to articulate value. If your prospects can understand the value of your solution, they will choose to buy. That’s much easier than trying to sell them!
Your sales playbook is a great place to document your value. Create case studies and success stories with measurably demonstrated value. As your sales team is diagnosing prospect’s problems and recommending your solutions, they will be able to tell stories about how those solutions have solved problems for other clients. Remember – features tell, but stories sell.