Skip to main content

When Selling with Insights, Don’t Ignore the Rest of the Pursuit

SalesPursuitProcess Banner Sales Process Meeting

agrodnitzky10 May 2016Blog

Share on LinkedInShare on TwitterShare on Facebook

An insight-based selling approached can help a seller differentiate themselves, drive business outcome-based discussions, create a sense of urgency in the buyer, and provide value to a customer or potential customer. But providing insights for the sake of insights can create risks that can have an adverse effect on the potential deal.

Today we start a series of blog posts that will review three potential risks of adopting an insight selling approach. In my first post I will look at the importance of staying focused on the pursuit.

There is no doubt that leveraging insights in the sale is important today. You have been living under a rock if you are in sales and haven’t read about or experienced the changes in buyer behaviour — they are more informed, have increasing demands, have set higher expectations, etc. The use of insights at the right time and in the right way can truly help a seller. Sellers can encourage customers to think about their business issues and needs in a new way. This includes helping the customer to get past their own misunderstandings and misperceptions in order to make the best decisions for the business. Sellers must bring relevant insights and ideas to create value in the buying experience itself rather than just in the solution that the seller delivers. If sellers themselves do not become a point of differentiation, they will find themselves responding to a set of requirements defined by the customer, which may be right or wrong for what the customer really needs, and which may or may not reflect the seller’s strengths. They will find themselves competing on price and struggling to differentiate.

However, insights are neither a panacea nor a silver bullet. In the quest to outsmart competitors and, in some circles, outsmart customers, many have lost sight of the fundamental truth of selling: customers want value above all else, and value is much more complex than an insight pitched over the course of one or two meetings. Selling with insights must be carefully folded into a comprehensive, customer-focused selling methodology and seen as one tool in the sales toolkit rather than the entire toolkit itself. Organisations who successfully adopted an Insight Selling approach did so because they were aware of the risks and were proactive in managing them.

The Risk – Don’t Ignore the Pursuit

To be truly and wholly effective and differentiated in the eyes of today’s buyers, sellers need to create value in the buying experience itself — that means helping customers to better understand the true nature of a business issue and how best to address it. It is not about manipulating or controlling the customer. It’s about building credibility, fostering trust, and creating value for the customer and, in turn, creating opportunities for you as the seller.

Another cold, hard truth — there is no single trick to value creation that you can teach to your people and then set them free to go and sell away. If there was, we’d all be doing it right now!  Circumstances, past experience, biases, pressure, fear, opportunities, competition, and personalities all complicate and make each opportunity pursuit unique. Sure, there are some standard best practises, but the most powerful way to navigate the buying process today is for sellers to continuously develop their skills to make smart decisions in the moment, plan and prepare better than anyone else, connect and build trust, and differentiate themselves in the ideas they bring, the way they show up, the words they use, their focus on the customer, and their passion for helping the customer achieve their business goals. Strength in opportunity planning, strategy, customer dialogues, and selling skills is an absolute pre-requisite for layering in insights. But, why is this so critical?  Stay tuned for part 2 of this series to learn more about the traps of selling with insights.

Share on LinkedInShare on TwitterShare on Facebook
insight selling training richardson

White Paper: Creating Trust With Buyers Through Selling with Insights


Resources You Might Be Interested In

Article: How to Cut a Deal Loose: Walking Away from Low Quality Opportunities

Learn how to qualify out poor-quality opportunities and identify pursuits that are most worthy of a seller's time.


Brief: Sales Tech Stack Chaos & How to Avoid It

Learn about Richardson's simple framework for building a tech stack that works for your sales organization.


graphic with the name selling challenges research study

2024 Selling Challenges Research Study

After gathering information from over 1,000 sales professionals, sales leaders, and sales enablement professionals, Richardson presents these findings and the specific actions needed to overcome them.


Solutions You Might Be Interested In