This is very timely, based on our previous discussion regarding transactional selling.
Indus argues that the The Traditional Sales Model Can’t Sell Enterprise Software. And, as he describes the traditional sales model he’s not wrong.
What’s the problem?
The problem is with his description of “the traditional sales model”. Whereas it is perfectly accurate for describing the transactional sales model, it is entirely inaccurate for describing the sales model that is actually employed for selling enterprise software today, namely the Consultative (or Solution) sales model.
As we have mentioned previously, the keys to transactional sales are very much in line with what he describes. But again, enterprise software is not sold by anyone in a one off cheaply pitched sort of way. People aren’t trained to sell it that way, the leading literature in the industry doesn’t educate that way and successful enterprise sales people certainly don’t sell it that way.
However, at its core his insight is an important one. It’s actually one of the basic premises of a book I highly recommend, The Challenger Sale. The same notion is also covered very well by the same authors in The End of Solution Sales, in which they argue that the notion of the solution sales model has been permanently altered by something that Indus refers to when he mentions “Thanks to Internet, people know about the product before they start a conversation with a software vendor”.
However, there is an area in which his premise may be even more insightful for than within the context of the enterprise sale, and that is within the context of the transactional/SMB software sale. It’s worth pondering whether software and SaaS sales at the small-to-medium business level (which is still sold rather transactionally) needs to become more solution based in its approach.
Ultimately Indus, your point is valid. But in truth…enterprise sales people are already there.