Say No to
Strategic Selling
Programs

If you’re like me, you believe deeply in the principles of SPIN Selling and Integrity Selling. You may even think it’s heresy to question them. But hear me out and answer me this:

  • Should we teach reps to be strategic marketers?
  • Should we ask them to find customer pain points and create value propositions (or a 
needs-payoff in SPIN Selling) that solve them?
  • Isn’t that marketing’s job?

Genesis
SPIN Selling and Integrity Selling caught on by necessity. Traditional product marketing models simply provided features, functions, and benefits. Reps had to create their own marketing strategies. The best reps were very good at it, but most reps weren’t. When I worked for Stryker, we were given a week of training and lots of product brochures, and then told to “go hunt.” By the time you figured out the right value proposition for each target and for each product, you were likely about to be fired because you’d missed your quota. Is this really how we want our sales reps to operate?

Stop product marketing
It doesn’t work. Instead, adopt solution marketing, which is very, very strategic. Follow the checklist below to make sure that 
what you create adds maximum value in the field.

Strategic marketing checklist:

  • Conduct market research to find the unmet needs of each target audience
  • Craft a value proposition contoured to each
  • Map the buying journey
  • Marry sales messages to each target at each stage of the journey
  • Create sales collateral appropriate for each stage
  • Include key questions for the reps to ask each target in every piece

Sales reps are not marketers
I can’t tell you how many frustrated marketers ask us how they can stop reacting to their sales forces and start leading them. Begin by recognizing that sales reps are not marketers. You are. Their job is to execute the marketing strategy. Your job is to give it to them. Don’t abdicate your role as a strategic marketer. Stop training sales reps to be strategic marketers with SPIN and Integrity Selling.

Tom Dudnyk
Written by: Tom Dudnyk
August 12, 2019
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