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Insight Based Selling

Whether it be in business-to-business or business-to-consumer sales scenarios do you believe insight based selling behaviors offer salespeople a higher probability of success in selling over a less flexible "by-the-book" approach? - by Community Mailbox
Tough to answer without some examples of what you mean by "insight based selling behaviors." - by Gary A Boye
A flexible approach has to be better than sticking to the book in most cases. Having said that i'm a huge believer in insight and process, tough question. - by Tony Dunne
It IS a tough question and it needs clarification.

Whose book? What book? Insight into WHAT? Do salespeople who follow some sort of book necessarily possess adequate insight? Do salespeople with insight, such as, for instance, knowledge of a prospect's unique situation, have an adequate learned process to gain positive outcome?

Again--the question needs clarification. - by Gary A Boye
I apologize for the lack of clarity. Insight based selling to me means selling from a base of understanding (hopefully accurate and in-depth) about selling, the opportunity (namely the prospect and his/her specific situation), and making adjustments accordingly. What I meant by "by-the-book" is following procedures as written in a sales training book or manual without regard to the unique situation at hand. For example, the activities involved in personal selling are often presented in theory as a linear sequence however often times in practice such a rigid approach would lower the probability of success in selling. - by Community Mailbox
The strength of any system is its ability to adapt where needed and come up with a better outcome. A book can guide us in techniques and theories but our experience and intuition are the keys for me. Even if a sales person was a rookie I believe they’d be better served by following the prescribed system for as long as possible and then using their intuition. - by Tony Dunne
The strength of any system is its ability to adapt where needed and come up with a better outcome. A book can guide us in techniques and theories but our experience and intuition are the keys for me. Even if a sales person was a rookie I believe they’d be better served by following the prescribed system for as long as possible and then using their intuition.
What does "system" mean to you in the context of this discussion? - by Gary A Boye
What I meant by "by-the-book" is following procedures as written in a sales training book or manual without regard to the unique situation at hand. For example, the activities involved in personal selling are often presented in theory as a linear sequence however often times in practice such a rigid approach would lower the probability of success in selling.
In my view, the procedures or activities involved in a successful sales engagement do not necessarily have to be linear, or sequential, or rigid.

However, care should be taken that the process is comprehensive. Sales are lost when steps are omitted. They need not be lost because of a change of sequence in those steps. We always navigate through uncertainty in all life's activities--and that includes selling for a living. To fetter on a rigid process does not work so well in an activity as dynamic as a sales conversation. - by Gary A Boye
What does "system" mean to you in the context of this discussion?
In this context I mean sales system, the elements that you put together that makes up your sales system or process. For a sales system or process to be effective I believe it needs to have an element of flexibility to it. If it doesn’t then customers can often feel railroaded and pressured, that could be ok if you only want to sell to them once and not generate referral business, depends on your business model. - by Tony Dunne
I wish there was a way to put into words a full description that did not allow ambiguity. There is not enough time or large enough space to give an answer that will not be taken literally. I believe each person needs a system or guideline to follow. However the system should have flexibility that will allow the steps to be interchanged and implemented at different stages at any time during the sales call.

As an example; when I look at a homeowners problem I then proceed to do a home inspection. Whenever the need to address the issue immediately arises I can place the inspection at any point of my visit with the customer. It can be in the middle or at the end of my visit and in some cases ignored at the request of the customer. By the book places the inspection at a certain point of the visit and would become rigid placing undue stress on the customer and the sales person due to circumstances. - by rich34232
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