In this episode, the panel of executives from the community shared insights and perspectives on how their companies are transforming their sales organizations to meet the expectations of today’s buyers by moving from product sales to solution and outcome sales.  The panel includes Kylie Ilieski from Siemens (Regional Sales Manager), Dave Levitt from LiquidFrameworks (Senior Vice President Worldwide Sales & Marketing), Werner Schaefer from Intel (Sales Vice President & General Manager Network Platforms & Communications Service Providers), and Charlie Thackston from SOAR Performance Group (President).

Questions discussed:

  • When we met as a board group, this topic of moving from product to solution or outcome sales was selected as a priority. Why do you believe this is such a relevant topic?
  • What are some of the initiatives that you have put in place to move towards solution or outcome based selling?
  • What have you seen work well in this area and what have you seen be a challenge?
  • Why do you believe customers want to buy in this way?
  • What kinds of business results have you seen from initiatives focused on moving to more outcome based selling approaches?
  • What recommendations would you make to other sales leaders as they think about moving to more outcome based selling approaches?

The topic of the panel discussion was “Moving from Product Sales to Solution and Outcome Sales” – below are some of the key insights shared by the panel:

  • The move from product focused selling to solution and ultimately outcome oriented selling has 2 main drivers: prospects/customers and competitors
  • Prospects and customers are demanding faster time to value which is increasing the focus on the outcome offered by potential supplier and reducing focus on product capabilities
  • From a competitive perspective, all panelists agreed that there are more competitors moving faster than ever before. So any product advantages are short lived
  • Why is this such a compelling issue? Organizations that do not adapt this mindset and build the necessary organizational and individual capabilities required to execute outcome focused selling are at serious risk of losing existing customers as well as new prospects.
  • However, executing on this approach is very challenging. Panelists cited a heavy focus on the ‘coolness’ of the technology vs. interest in customers business as a major limiting factor preventing sales teams from selling outcomes and business value.
  • All agreed – the sales professional of the future will be ‘a business person with the title of sales’ not a ‘sales person’
  • How have they dealt with this? Each of the panelists cited training for how to engage with customers in an outcome oriented, business first discussion as critical
  • Specifically, leveraging techniques like whiteboarding and approaches like Value Creation Selling were highlighted as things that the panel had seen work
  • The panel also suggested that an honest assessment of the capabilities of the sellers using a tool such as the Success Guide would be critical going forward

Thank you to the hosts for the meeting – the University of Houston and SOAR Performance Group.


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Episode 24: Moving from Product Sales to Solution and Outcome Sales