Sales Enablement for Selling Integrated Solutions
Your salespeople may be great at selling individual products, but how do you get the team up to speed telling a broader story? Your salespeople need to become more strategic in how they engage customers, but their comfort zone is selling individual products. Selling an integrated solution requires changing who sales people talk to and how they talk to them. This shift is all about the need to understand the customer’s world and how your solutions create business value. Here are some best practices and worst practices we’ve seen for making the shift to integrated solutions:
Common Mistakes Selling Integrated Solutions
Sales teams may ignore your new strategy if senior leadership isn’t reinforcing the change and
mandating a change in approach. Reps need to know your company is committed to the change to tell a larger solution story. A common mistake is not having a plan for how to overcome resistance from salespeople who already have success selling individual products. If you leave this optional, you may never see the full impact of an integrated solution strategy.
Another pitfall is not clarifying the sales engagement strategy. An integrated solutions approach typically changes what salespeople are actually selling and who they are selling to. An integrated solution may require engaging a new or more senior role. Salespeople need guidance on the most effective way to get that sales conversation and land that type of business. In many cases, the biggest hurdle is that salespeople don’t have the confidence to have a more strategic conversation.
Does your integrated solution have a clear “so what” for the customer? Your sales team will want to see and understand what’s in it for the customer to embrace a complete solution or the full platform. Salespeople often don’t understand why the new integrated solution is truly a better path for the customer vs buying the individual products over time. Never assume the sales team will automatically understand the value of the new solution strategy or the broader impact on your customer’s business.
While there may be great marketing material about the integrated solution, salespeople may not have the insight on how to lead this new type of sales conversation. At the most basic level, salespeople need to know what stories to tell, insights to share, and questions to ask. Along with sales coaching, this level of sales messaging guidance will boost sales confidence in how to lead a compelling sales conversation around a broader solution.
A Proven Way to Shift to Integrated Solutions
Create a new message focused on how the integrated solution is valuable in the customer’s world, versus messages focused on the solution itself. The new message needs to be strategic, if not provocative. The customer has to see that buying the individual products won’t solve their broader business challenges. Equip the sales team with information on what to know, what to do, what to say, and what to show for selling in this new way.
Shifting to integrated solutions often requires calling on a new buyer. Define those personas and the recommended engagement strategy for the new audience. Also define the new behaviors you’re expecting from the team - the specific competencies for success (i.e. executive presence, selling with insight, team selling).
Give the sales team a reason to be invested in the integrated solutions. The big wins for salespeople will be increased deal size, being viewed as more of an advisor to customers, and new opportunities to expand the relationship and value to the customer.
For significant sales messaging and process shifts, it’s best to have an experiential training launch. Experiential training can be carried out in large in-person events or through manager-led team meetings. Experiential training includes application, simulation, and role-play. After the launch, consider a “90-day sprint” to challenge the sales team to accomplish milestones or activity goals for quick wins. Celebrate the early wins to build momentum across the sales team. Identify which reps are having success, and package what they are doing well & how they are doing it to provide an example of what good looks like to the entire sales team. Share these best practices as on-demand insights for the sales team - using on-demand training, webinars, or podcasts.
Define the strategic business problem that can only be addressed through an integrated solution.
Gain Sales, Marketing & Product buy-in to the sales engagement strategy + implementation plan
Define personas and associated persona insights based on all of the potential decision influencers for an integrated solutions purchase
Define the selling behaviors required to build pipeline and win integrated solution contracts
Get salespeople involved in creating & validating the content and tools
Launch content through right mix of experiential, virtual & on-demand training
Reinforce best practices of top sales people through sharing early wins
Embrace continuous learning
Focus too much on the marketing or product knowledge and training
Lack of confidence in the sales engagement strategy / Lack of where to go & how to get there
Underestimate the degree of change (buyer personas & audiences) and timeline for change
Lack of role clarity in team selling a complete solution to multiple customer stakeholders
Lack of confidence to execute operationally
Lack of skills to execute
Misaligned leadership on what your solution means and what it can do for clients
What Success Looks Like
Financial tech company Fiserv established a new go-to-market strategy focused on cross-selling the complete portfolio of solutions within a strategic business unit. Salespeople were aligned around discrete product areas and few were able to communicate the broader value proposition in a meaningful way. Here’s three ways Fiserv accelerated sales change and outcomes:
A cross-sell playbook that provided a presentation, talk track, and discovery guidance for leading a strategic conversation with both new and existing customers
Guides for each solution area that helped salespeople understand what to sell, what to say, and how to engage the customer based on Fiserv solutions that may already be in place
Experiential training and virtual coaching and reinforcement to build confidence, celebrate sales success, and drive adoption
Consultation with DSG
Are you shifting to integrated solutions? DSG has 25 years experience working with B2B companies to accelerate sales mastery and adoption of integrated solutions. In a brief web meeting we can:
Share an integrated solution playbook example
Show what goes into the planning document for moving to integrated solutions.
Review requirements and example agendas for experiential, virtual, and on-demand training