Decision Intelligence Selling: Transform Your Sales Team for the Future With the Best Sales Intelligence Tool
Sales is an art, but it’s also a science. It takes skill and patience to convince people to buy your product or service. This is when Decision Intelligence selling comes in the picture.
I hope that rubbed you the wrong way. Maybe it made your blood boil and you wanted to write a strongly worded comment about why I’m wrong.
But we don’t agree with that way of thinking, and neither should you. But the problem is many people think this way including a lot of salespeople.
The idea is very outdated and needs to be updated.
Over the past few years, we’ve developed a new approach to sales that is called Decision Intelligence Selling. And today I want you and your colleagues to see how it can be used in order for us all to break out of old ideas about sales.
The Advantages of Decision Intelligence Selling
Mark Jopling leaned back in the conference room of his global technology company where he was VP of Sales and said, “I can’t believe this. You are basically telling me I have to go out on sales calls when my job is selling…salespeople?
Article: The customer’s perception of your product or service is key.
“I want my sales teams to learn how to do strategic selling, where they are able to convince the customer without feeling like it’s a hard sale. I’ve set aside two hours for this meeting and need your help with that process.
“Strategic selling is a term that’s used in many ways. What exactly are you wanting your people to do? And, what’s stopping them from doing it?”
Mark was very articulate and direct about what his employees were facing.
He was feeling frustrated and he put his hands on the table to show that.
“Now I know what you want. You want your people to sell the same way as you’ve been selling for me in this meeting today.
That was amazing. Mark identified the issues he had to confront before getting what he wanted.
We learned that our new sales approach was not only effective, but it felt natural and comfortable to us. It also generated a trust with prospective clients.
After Mark became a client, he soon turned into both an important friend and colleague because we resisted the temptation to pitch him. Instead, we helped him develop his decision intelligence selling by asking questions about what kind of buying decisions he needs to make.
Transformation is better than improvement
We learned from our mistakes and came up with a successful sales philosophy.
We had just lost two big sales that we could have easily landed. We took a few weeks to take an honest look at our selling methods.
When I first began hiring salespeople, we could have taken the traditional route to improving their skills. It’s very focused on skill and techniques but it doesn’t go far enough.
But we didn’t just want to improve the content of our words or how we designed our slide decks. We wanted something more than surface level changes that work for now, but won’t last long.
Instead of just hiring people, we wanted to change the culture.
An organization’s records of former customers are usually a poor source for prospecting.
We wanted to make sure our sales team felt like they were in a permanent, secure position with us.
When we started our self-evaluation, the first question was “What are we fundamentally trying to do?”
It was clear to us that we weren’t just selling a product. We were trying to sell them on the idea of buying from our company.
It was obvious, it made sense but wasn’t enough. It just didn’t feel right.
When we found out what was really happening, I called on my background in transformational learning. As a result of this discovery, our conversations took the form of building up DQ for clients.
Decision Intelligence are sales intelligence platforms that helps you make better decisions. It can be used in any business or company.
What Is Decision Sales Intelligence Solution?
We have come up with a new term for decision intelligence, DQ. It stands for emotional and intellectual intelligence.
In DQ Sales®, the seller’s only goal is to help prospective clients make a good decision for themselves and their business, even if it doesn’t involve buying from them.
This was the type of selling we focused on. We committed ourselves to it and thought about it as a fourth way to sell that differed from passive, transactional, or consultative approaches.
More and more salespeople are teaching consultative selling, where you build a relationship with the customer instead of just listing your products.
The problem is that it’s not enough. You must have a sales intelligence software.
When you go into a sales meeting, it’s still about what is best for the buyer. You are telling them how to run their business rather than facilitating discussion on what they should be doing.
Decision intelligence selling goes further than other tools because it helps you make decisions by understanding the implications of your choices.
After we had a clear goal, it became much easier to write the content for our sales approach.
As a seller, I need to lead buyers through the process of buying something. It’s not just about selling them my product; it’s also about making sure they’re comfortable with their decision.
What are these diversity initiatives?
Raising a Client’s DQ with Sales Intelligence Solutions
Prospective clients need to understand the problem and how your sales intelligence companies can help them solve it.
You can illustrate this by giving a 10-point rating for each element.
When a buyer has complete understanding of the problem and knows that your solution is going to fix it, then they have a 100% DQ (10 x 10).
One of the most interesting things we learned was that potential clients need to fully understand the problem before they can consider a solution.
You have to guide the buyer through two topics: what they are facing and why you can help them solve it.
- You need to discuss all of the problems that were introduced in this article.
- And then you need to teach them how to calculate the cost of not solving these problems.
When you complete these first two steps, the conversation becomes more productive.
Buyers and sellers have a better idea of what they want when negotiating the terms.
The buyer knows what they want and how much it costs to not have that.
The sellers know exactly what to say now.
The next two steps are about teaching the buyer how your product can help them. And this is where you, the seller, will be able to bring in your expertise on exactly what they need.
- You want to make sure that you and the buyer are on the same page before going into a meeting.
- You should also consider the quantitative and qualitative values of a solution for their business.
In the past, buyers were forced to make a decision before they had all of their information.
What happens when you don’t increase your buyer’s DQ?
One truth about sales is that most buyers do not come to a conversation with high DQ. This may be the case even for sophisticated potential clients.
What we found is that more sophisticated buyers score an 8 on the Problem axis and a 6 on the Solution, whereas less sophisticated ones only get 3s and 3s.
If you do the math, their least-savvy buyers have a staggeringly low 9% DQ. Even their most sophisticated buyers only come with 48% of what they need to make a decision.
The DQ gap is significant.
Buyers are always asking two fundamental questions: what am I being sold, and how much will it cost?
I’ve found that the most common way to business intelligence sales is by simply following a script.
It’s tough for customers to see how their problems are affecting them. But if they start feeling the pain of their problem, it creates a real sense of urgency that pushes people forward.
Leaving these problems unsolved can be expensive, which is why it’s important to find a solution.
If you have a great solution to their problem, they will be confident in it because of the previous two steps.
The more a person understands the value of your product, the easier it will be to sell them on it.
Training and practice
We had to undo a lot of selling habits, but the results were worth it. Our clients have had to do this too.
Deals usually start out slow but then progress quickly. Contracts are often larger than the buyer first envisioned because they discover problems and need a bigger solution.
All objections have been uncovered and addressed, so there are few if any that slow down the process of closing a sale.
We’ve found that this type of strategy encourages the salesperson to sell, without being too pushy. It also allows for a more personal relationship between buyer and seller.
Will you always get the sale?
No, of course not. But the process itself can be a qualification for buyers.
If you can’t get them to engage in the process, stop working through it and instead work with them to figure out what is preventing them from proceeding.
If you’re not the right supplier for them, they’ll let you know. You can leave on good terms and be ready to approach future sales conversations with more openness and trust.
I know that I can’t trust my salespeople if they don’t take the time to get to know me and understand how important it is for them, too.
Implementing DQ Selling
If this type of selling appeals to you, then it will be clear in your gut.
If you want to learn more, sit down with your team and discuss these three things: 1) What can we do as a company? 2) How does the hiring process work for our salespeople? 3) Are there any other factors that need to be addressed or considered?
Identify the Problems that your products/services solve for your clients
Look at your past and current clients to see what types of projects you have done for them.
What challenges did they have?
What were their obstacles?
What were the problems you actually solved for them?
The problems I solved best were the ones that came first on my list.
Develop a problem proposition for each item on the list
In DQ selling, you don’t use your product’s value propositions until Step 3 of the sales conversation.
Instead, teach your team how to ask good questions about the client’s problems. This will get them talking instead of just listening to you talk.
Monitor how your sales team actually takes clients through the four steps of the DQ selling conversation
Decision Intelligence selling is a huge change for your entire team. And it’s not something you can do on your own.
We can teach each other how to have longer conversations with clients who are not used to having these types of discussions.
Share the best practices you’ve learned and skills that are required to do these first two steps before moving onto your own solutions.
A Final Word
After I had spoken to Mark about the potential of a new salesperson, we were sitting in front of his senior team. We told them how he put both hands on the conference table and said “I want my team to sell like you’ve been selling.”
Mark smiled and said,
When I interviewed this person, they were the sixth one that week. The other five people had given me nearly identical answers to my question about how their company helps with strategic selling.
They all pulled out their Powerpoint slides and case studies, which I found confusing. They were trying to prove they could help.
You were the only one who listened to me and asked what I wanted, which helped me get it.
And then he added,
“When I offered you the job, it was because of your hands.”
DQ selling builds trust, which is what makes it so powerful.
We hope you find this useful and that it helps. It’s not something every person can do, but the payoff is huge.
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