The Best Ways to Sell Connected IOT & SaaS Solutions
Selling Connected IoT and SaaS Solutions in 2022
The future is arriving ahead of schedule. Sellers offering IoT and SaaS solutions need to be prepared with a combination of speed, foresight, and trust.
Forward-looking companies want to use their data in more sophisticated ways. Doing so means relying on IoT and SaaS solutions that can yield new value from existing resources.
This approach, however, represents risks because IoT and SaaS solutions are complex and touch many parts of the business. A single failure could impact an entire operation. As a result, customers face uncertainty when considering these high-stakes purchases.
Effective sellers are learning how to respond to the customer’s hesitance with a combination of skills that represent an agile approach. In doing so the sales professional becomes a liaison between the present and the future for the customer.
Developing an Agile Approach to Winning the Tech Sale
Here we offer three key practices that will enable a seller to fill this role. When united as a single strategy, these concepts represent an agile approach that advances the tech sale.
1. Build Speed by Reducing Friction Involved in Buying
Digital solutions consist of many parts. Aligning all the stakeholders to the value of these parts is critical to winning the sale.
Doing so is a challenge because aligning all stakeholders takes time. As a result, the sales cycle becomes longer which offers more opportunities for the customer to become distracted with competing priorities and unexpected problems.
The solution to these challenges is to reduce friction in the buying process. Loran Nordgren, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management, warns that ignoring the friction problem is “like building an airplane and caring only about engines and not aerodynamics.” In his book The Human Element he shows that getting people to accept a new idea is not just about pushing harder, it is also about reducing the friction one encounters when facing a new solution.
Sales professionals can put this idea to use by helping the customer see how the solution can coexist with their existing systems. This approach is critical because most IoT and SaaS solutions touch every part of the business.
We believe that sales leaders can achieve this outcome with the Four Drivers that are part of the Sprint Selling methodology. These drivers are:
- Direct the vision
- Get to power
- Persuade with value
- Drive consensus and resolve risk
Learn more about the four drivers by downloading the brief: Simplifying Selling by Focusing on the Four Drivers
2. Stay Ahead of the Customer's Needs Throughout Their Digital Transformation
Today, nearly every business is pursuing some level of digital transformation. Many are making this investment via M&A Activity. As a result, the line separating industries is beginning to blur as technology becomes the dominant factor across businesses.
For example, many manufacturing businesses are beginning to resemble technology players. Similarly, businesses that identify as FinTech, InsurTech, and MedTech are more common.
Industry convergence means stakeholders must work hard to unite the capabilities of two businesses. This challenge also impacts the sales professional attempting to sell to a more complex organization.
The most effective sales professionals overcome this challenge by using an objective set of criteria that helps to measure progress in the sales pursuit. We call this the Pursuit Criteria which consists of five parts. These five criteria are:
- Pain: What are the customer’s main pain points?
- Power: Who are the primary decision-makers in the purchasing process?
- Vision: What are the capabilities the customer needs?
- Value: Is the value of the solution clear within the context of measurable business factors?
- Consensus: Do the stakeholders agree on the value and efficacy of the solution?
Take a deeper dive into the pursuit criteria by downloading the brief: Bringing Agility to Selling with the Use of Pursuit Criteria
3. Manage the Customer's Sensitivity to Digital Risks
The COVID pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation. This acceleration, while exciting, has surfaced a sense of risk among stakeholders because there are so many potential failure points when software is introduced into the customer’s ecosystem.
These elevated perceptions of risk are both personal and financial. The personal risk is the possibility that the buyer suffers reputational loss as a result of buying an ineffective solution. The financial risk is the possibility that ROI falls short. Addressing risk in the buying process means doing three things. First, the seller must take the time to understand each stakeholder’s sensitivity to risk. Second, they must determine what solution characteristics each stakeholder considers risky. Third, the sales professional needs to articulate why and how the solution mitigates those concerns.
Taking these steps requires the Six Critical Skills that give salespeople the flexibility to connect with customers in a meaningful way during their conversations. They also allow sellers to pivot and adjust in the moment as they listen to and make sense of the information.
These skills are:
- Presence: Projecting confidence, credibility, and conviction
- Relating: Using acknowledgment, rapport, and empathy to connect
- Questioning: Fostering openness to explore the customer’s needs
- Listening: Understanding the content and the emotion of a message
- Positioning: Presenting compelling information in a relevant way
- Checking: Eliciting feedback to inform the next best move
They may seem simple, but the degree to which a seller can master these skills is often what separates the best from the average—these skills demonstrate EQ (emotional intelligence) in front of the customer. Learning to improve EQ means breaking down each of these skills into behaviors.
Selling IoT and SaaS Solutions with a Sprint Selling Methodology
Richardson Sales Performance can help your sales organization sell complex, interconnected solutions with the Sprint Selling methodology.
Sprint Selling distills more than 40 years of training 3+ million professionals across 900 businesses into one effective program. The result is higher win rates, reduced cycle time, and increased revenue. Digital transformation is moving fast. Sellers need to stay ahead.
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