What’s the most successful form of sales in today’s world?
The world of business is complex and the definition of what makes a great salesperson or top-performing sales business model differs from one source to the next.
Due to the landscape of sales varying, there are great lessons to be gained when it comes to observing other models and then refining your own. However, before we dig deeper into the different methods of selling, it is important that we get a clearer understanding of what selling means.
If we look at the most basic definition, we will see that selling refers to a transaction whereby there is an exchange of money for either services or goods. A sales process, therefore, reflects the act of persuading a buyer to make a purchase. This could be achieved through a series of considered, planned and personalised communication tactics, that all influence and impact the final purchasing decision.
The most successful sales business model is one that constantly evaluates and understands the different tactics used to build a sales process.
Throughout this blog, we will explore the following transaction selling and solution selling as well as examine the role of relationships when it comes to sales.
Transaction selling and solution selling
The transaction selling process is often used within B2C situations and online sales business models. It involves a transaction of goods or services in exchange for money. It often lacks any human interaction and enables quick, self-service solutions that operate on a low-cost offering. Businesses that use transaction selling can be supported by marketing that influences and impacts a buyer’s decision. Solution selling on the other hand provides solutions to problems or obstacles a customer faces. However, a report published by McKinsey states that the average “B2B solutions provider” doesn’t necessarily close more sales than transaction selling-based business models.
To be effective, both business models must focus on building genuine relationships and connections with their buyers. They should create innovative solutions by seeking to have unique value propositions. They must think beyond just the problem and solution they provide but perfect and harness the overall experience and service. Service and experience are critical when it comes to delivering a successful sales strategy.
The role of humans
When it comes to service, it is hard to ignore the role of humans, despite the growth of Ai. It is often said that great salespeople carry a ‘Je ne sais quoi’ about them and this reflects that they have a great personality and are natural storytellers. They take the time to listen to their customers and make genuine and thoughtful recommendations.
When it comes to examining successful sales business models, it is imperative to recognise that we are living in a ‘relationship era’ and that people crave long-term relationships (State of Sales report). Back in 2013, Daniel H. Pink published a book called ‘To Sell is Human’, and describes how successful selling is very much connected to understanding what it means to be human. We are, after all, selling to humans. However, not only are we living in a ‘relationship era’, we also live in the age of information parity.
Two decades ago, the status quo of markets was entirely different. Salespeople knew about the services and products they were selling before their customers. Now, customers are on a level playing field and have just as much savviness, knowledge, and understanding as salespeople. The dialogue between salespeople and customers has thus changed and successful business models acknowledge this and create relationships and conversations that are two-sided and equally toned.
Whilst sales strategies and business models can differ, the most successful form of sales in today’s world is deeply connected to what it means to be human.