Davison's outlines the significant advancement of how buyer's changing needs have driven changing sales techniques over the past 30 years, advancing from Product Selling, to Solution Selling, and now to a new required technique of understanding and driving customer outcomes:
- Product Selling: The sales organization sold products based on "feeds and speeds". Technology solutions were new and exciting, and sales lived on the cutting edge of technology. Customers bought "products."
- Solution Selling: Rather than buying products, customers looked for solutions - usually a functional combination of hardware and software to solve a technical problem. Acronyms such as ERP and CRM were common, and the services industry exploded. Customers bought "solutions."
- Value Selling: The financial pressures of the recent (and continuing?) recession changed customers. They now align business investments with technology costs. Customers want "outcomes."
According to Davison, "The problem is that tech vendors are going to market the same way that we did 20+ years ago. In today's market, vendors must understand the customer - not in the abstract - but understand current problems and desired outcomes."
We concur with Forrester's Davison that Frugalnomics changes everything. All B2B solution providers must recognize that the sales and marketing landscape has fundamentally changed, and that customers are looking for partners to help them proactively uncover opportunities that many are unaware they have, quantify and drive bottom-line impacts, and deliver more value than competitors offerings.
The original Forrester blog post can be found at: http://blogs.forrester.com/dean_davison/10-09-17-tech_vendors_are_disconnected_customers_new_reality?cm_mmc=RSS-_-TI-_-1780-_-blog_