Insight selling may not be a familiar term to you. Your customers too may not have heard of it. But use insight selling and both you and your patrons will reap substantial advantages, not least of these is a sustainable competitive advantage and long term success.

What then is insight selling, and why is it so potent? The starting point is an understanding of the different expectations of your customers.

A simple approach to customer segmentation will uncover these expectations.

Customer Segmentation

The Customer Segmentation model provides an overview of the different relationships being pursued by clients of their suppliers.

The model is a continuum representing your strength as service suppliers over a customer tie-in, and your adversaries’ influencing dominance over the relationship. There are broadly five different types of customer rapports which you can have with key decision-makers within a purchaser report. These transformed into five different buying styles used by patrons(depending on their internal culture and their own views of you as a supplier).



Shop around’s provides a description of a client rapport in which the salesperson perhaps has only one point of contact. The customer sees your products and services as a commodity buy( i.e. accessible anywhere in the market) and has a price-driven approach to the relationship. The patron is only interested in negotiating the minimum price and homes no significance on a full customer service relationship with you.

The next category of a patron is the Cherry Picker ‘ or multi-sources. This customer has the same mentality to the S/ A client( i.e. premium driven) but recognizes that you have advantages over contestants in certain areas. The affair may go beyond the central contact to include others but there is no real want for an ongoing, value-added relationship. The peril for you as a supplier is being viewed as a niche musician in certain areas of expertise, but not being recognized as a’ one-stop browse ‘. The relation is still very much price sharpened, and’ Cherry Pickers’ are experts at using competitive quotes to reduce prices.

The client has an entirely different mindset and position. Expressed support for Tries Partnership. The purchaser actively heartens a penetration and scope of the relationship, and actively supports “you’re going to” freely consult and provide total solutions to their needs. Price is subordinate to the overall cost, and the commodity or services supplied is seen as part of a total business answer designed to create an ongoing competitive advantage for this customer.

Your sales beings are seen as a vital primary phase of contact between the customer and yourself as service suppliers, and they are seen more as a relationship manager. These affair directors are expected to manage their internal unit of experts and their interface with the customer’s team of specialists.

You are seen as a strategically important supplier and you are involved in the customer’s future schemes as they progress. Discussions take place more around total expenditure mixtures, and the rate is seen as one element of a bigger cost/ advantage picture.



The customer Preferred Supplier’s purchaser is an extension in the attitude of the client. This is a customer who does not merely encounter a long-term relationship with you as very valuable, it positively spurs closer links between the two companies. There is an expectation that your relationship manager will be pro-active in bringing the customer new ideas, belief as one of them, and build a real depth and width of relationship at all levels. This patron is likely to be at the forefront of best rehearse for the administration of continual betterment, procurement, e-business, and supplier relationship development. Relationships are ascertained very much in the light of total mixtures and the’ added value’ they deliver.

Finally, the Integrated Supplier the customer is the customer who has decided to outsource all its needs to you. This is the ultimate’ partner’ purchaser who may require daily be made available to your personnel, is looking for longterm ideas and is seeking customized mixtures. The trouble is that this customer often requires management at’ Shop Around’ premiums and the accounting becomes a high volume, low-pitched perimeter threat to your business. Unless substantial added value can continuously be delivered by you as a supplier, and the customer’s dependency on you is maintained, relationships can revert to a price down driven discussion.

Applying The Customer Segmentation Model

To apply the sit, categorize your existing histories according to these five different relationships( as well as according to other criteria such as the volume of auctions, profitability, strategic importance etc).

Next, think through the selling skills required to sell to each category. For example,’ Shop Around’ and Cherry Picker’ reports ask robust toll/ make selling skills. These auctions might be effectively undertaken over the telephone, by telephone account managers.

‘Seeks Partnership’ and’ Preferred Supplier’ histories involve more sophisticated sales skills. The sales party needs to be an influencer, affinity developer, business philosopher, business overseer and inventor of value-added solutions.

The’ Integrated Supplier’ client requires the most sophisticated determined of selling skills, which need to incorporate INSIGHT SELLING skills, and high-level relationship building skills. High-pitched degree negotiations often have to be managed.



As a result of placing clients into these categories, parties within your marketings force can then be aligned to the different customer kinds. Relevant sales processes and skills can then be designed to use with each purchaser type.

Insight Selling

Insight selling necessitates the most sophisticated of auctions sciences as in effect you are dealing with a customer who probably knows as much about your business as you do! More importantly, they expect you to know more about their business than they do! Fair, or an idealistic expectancy?

Whatever your view it’s an expectation you will need to fulfill or be in for some criticism.

Insight selling makes for granted the essential points of good product learning and consultative selling abilities. The customer no longer predicts you to identify their situation, the requirements, and difficulties but instead presumes you to have analyzed their business and distinguished fresh penetrations to bring to them. Penetrations which will deliver cost savings, increased aspect, productivity, and any number of other progress important to them.

In insight selling the supplier takes its own initiative to “engage” with “the consumers ” on a number of tactical issues and works with the customer, in partnership, to work up ideas into deliverables.

The process can be summarised as follows:

1. Strategic Analysis of Customer

2. Identification of Customer’s future needs and opportunities for the supplier; opening selection

3. Opportunity testing with the customer

4. Re-Working of ideas and confirmation of the opportunity to pursue

5. Sale of the idea and solution plus commercial benefits

6. Implementation of solution

7. Communication of success in implementing the solution

Insight Selling Process

The purpose of the process is to identify the added value, rate saving, total solution for “the consumers “. A solution which will go way beyond conventional product and service offerings and will be a unique solution for that customer.

Understanding the customer’s business, and the financials behind the business is key to success. In effect, the supplier is carrying out an extensive divergence analysis of the situation faced by the customer versus the future situation available to them.

But there are threats. There are some within the customer who might not welcome a supplier pointing out an opportunity they perhaps should have recognized themselves. Hence the is required for highly honed consultation abilities, and the psychological intellect to administer key decision-makers and influencers within the customer in the overall process.

Insight selling is “bought” by the customer because the one step removed, the objective look of the supplier is invaluable in eradicating blindspots they might have.

Because the ultimate answer is collectively designed it is also more painlessly bought and implemented.

The supplier, in the process, goes on to gain even more valuable insights to bring to the customer, thus fastening out the competitor and procuring fruitful, increased revenue streams.



The final step of the process is often forgotten, yet it is possibly the most important – telling the customer what you have done to add value to their business.

Communicating Success

Many suppliers use insight selling to good influence but then fail to communicate, regularly and tangibly, to their champion or patronize what decisions they have achieved and the bottom-line impact on the customer’s business.

At this, final, place, therefore, the supplier needs to become its own P.R. business, perpetually prompting “the consumers ” of their importance and creating even more goodwill for fresh penetration selling opportunities.

The communication process clearly overlaps with ongoing history management and this also needs careful attention from the revelation auctions being. Successful client tie-in management systems can assist the salesperson enormously.

Account Management

Insight selling is a continuum, used to produce never intent potential for more sales, but it does require creativity as well as strategic thinking and commercial-grade analysis. And this is where the wider history conduct squad need to be involved, not just in servicing the chronicle but in contributing to further insight selling opportunities.

All too often, once an added value, total solution sale has been achieved, report directors forget to use this as a further auctions program and fail to actively involve their internal experts of fresh initiatives.

There is a sense in which the customer’s apprehensions have been raised and they are now looking for even greater fulfillment of these brought forward. The penetration exchanging process needs to be completed again and again.

In sum up

So does insight exchanging establish even more challenge for you going forward? Certainly. Is it asking in the implementation process? Absolutely. Can you render not to make love, especially with those searching an indeed integrated supplier relationship with you? Categorically not! You appreciate, insight exchanging, same to other forms of effective selling, merely enables you to keep up with other best rehearse suppliers. So perhaps the time is right to get closer to them too, and working in collaboration with them to provide even greater penetrations to your purchasers!