It seems the world is migrating to an “As A Service” model. Every day one hears a new (sometimes not so new) XaaS approach. The model, at least as a subscription payment approach, is not new. We’ve had various subscription, rent, lease capabilities for at least decades, if not centuries. The application of this model to different areas is interesting.
Then there’s the SaaS selling model, not applied strictly to Software (cloud or otherwise), that seems to be all the rage. This is typically a high volume/high velocity approach to selling, focused primarily on transactionalizing and optimizing our selling approach, despite what might be most helpful to the buyer.
Also, there are more and more organizations offering selling as a service, basically outsourcing the sales execution function to organizations dedicated to selling. But again, there’s not a lot of innovation in this approach, the concept of agents and manufacturer’s reps has been around for at least decades, if not centuries.
But I’d like to leverage the concept in a different way, suggesting that, well executed, Selling IS a service.
That is, done well, selling creates tremendous value for our customers and for our own companies (beside the revenue generation aspect of it).
Let’s focus on the customers. Too often, too many organizations and sales people construct their value propositions in terms of the value realized from the implementation of a certain solution. “Our solution will create this ROI, eliminate these problems, reduce expense, increase revenue……”
This is important, but it is probably not distinguishing or differentiating. Presumably, any number of competitive offerings the customer may consider will produce roughly similar business results.
Increasingly the greatest value created, the greatest differentiation is created long before the solution is purchase and implemented.
We know, through research by groups like Gartner, CSO Insights, Sirius Decisions, and others that sales people create huge value in the buying process.
These customers have identified a problem, established a need to buy and started their buying journey. But the majority of them fail to complete that journey (in complex B2B buying). Their failure has little to do with solution selection, but more to do with managing and driving change within their organizations.
Sales creates tremendous value in helping customers navigate this process, helping them achieve what they set out to do.
Selling practiced this way Is A Service! It’s a service that creates value for the customer and we should be very selective in who we provide that service to. That is, there are customers who don’t want or value this, we are wasting our time with them, they don’t value what we, as sales professionals, can provide.
Think of this from an internal point of view. If sales people work this way, they are getting more people who want to buy, but can’t navigate their buying process, to buy! In some sense, this is incremental to our own internal expectations. So sales represents a huge service internally.
The bigger opportunity, however, is the service we provide to customers that need to change, that are missing opportunities, that can grow and improve, but don’t know! They don’t realize they are missing out. They are consumed by the turbulence around them, just trying to make it through the day. Selling IS A Service of tremendous value to these organizations.
Delivering these services to those who value them helps them and, again, creates tremendous value to our own company.
We need to recognize and be proud of the fact that we offer a tremendous service that creates huge value for our customers and companies. We need to be careful to invest our time on those that value that service.