How to Use Insight Selling to Supercharge Your Sales

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By CloudSmiths

Read Time: 3 minutes

Gone are the days when sales teams and reps could rely on simply pitching a product or solution to prospects and trust that prospects would believe them. In the era preceding the internet and instant access to information, customers and prospects placed a lot more inherent trust in what reps and agents would tell them. After all, it was hard to quickly compare reviews, experiences and alternatives. 

That’s long since changed since the advent of social media and online review forums. Easy access to information coupled with an oversaturation of content and product marketing has made the modern customer more wary and less trusting of any information placed in front of them. 

Sales teams who want to excel in their customer reach and service need to look for new ways of engaging and retaining customers’ interest while developing a sense of trust, and they can do this by harnessing the principles of insight selling.

What is Insight Selling?

We can define insight as the ability to form an accurate and intuitive understanding of something. In the world of sales, insight is gathered through extensive research, analysis and data collection used to identify customer problems, determine solutions and build a deeper relationship with a customer. 

Insight selling is the practice of using insight to drive a conversation or close a sale with a customer by addressing the customer’s needs using insight.

What distinguishes insight selling from traditional solution-based selling is that sales reps use insight selling to offer useful ideas, perspectives and even identify problems the customer didn’t realize existed. 

According to research from Forbes, 79% of business buyers state that it’s critical for them to interact with a sales rep who they perceive as a trusted advisor, and this is what insight selling is all about. 

Adding value and being a trusted advisor to the customer is the central focus of insight selling, with the product or service being sold coming second to that. 

How to Master Insight Selling 

Now that we’ve established the importance and benefits of insight selling, how can you as a sales rep or manager of a team, pull it off? There are 3 key steps to mastering insight selling:

Get an innate understanding of your customer

Insight selling requires sales reps to dig deeper beneath the surface metrics and data about a customer. The aim is for you to develop a deeper, more holistic understanding of the customer and the various jobs they’re trying to complete, whether they’re primary, secondary, functional or emotional. 

With a comprehensive understanding of the role they’re undertaking, you then need to assess the existing or potential challenges the customer faces that prevent them from completing these tasks. Then it’s time to come up with innovative solutions or perceptive advice that will address their concerns and help them succeed.

Synthesize and share information

As a salesperson inside the bottle of a particular industry or specialization, you’re in the unique position of being able to identify recurring or unique issues within your market before a customer has even realized that it’s going to be a problem. 

Servicing and interacting with different key players within their industry affords sales reps the ability to synthesize information learned from different touchpoints and recognize ongoing patterns over time, as well as shifts in these patterns. You have valuable proprietary information, so use this to your advantage when meeting with a customer. 

Be an excellent listener

Gaining insight isn’t just about doing your research and being prepared. Insight selling is also about actively listening to a customer and being able to ask the right questions to leverage the information necessary for imparting advice or making a recommendation. 

An essential characteristic of working in sales is being able to listen to customers, but insight selling requires reps to make listening a key component of their sales strategy. 

Ideally, you should start a meeting with a customer by listening to them. Use your experience and expertise to help the customer identify the solution that they need as opposed to telling them what to buy. 

The rise of insight selling is reflective of the overall shift in sales trends. Today, it’s less about convincing a customer to purchase a product or service and more about developing trust and sharing valuable insights that will enrich their understanding or experience. 

Discover and understand what unique challenges your customer is experiencing in their organization, leverage your industry experience to offer them personalized advice and perspective and be able to listen to the customer and ask the right questions that will form helpful feedback, and you’ll go from strength to strength in your sales journey.

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