What is Decision Intelligence Selling?

BY Rachel Cagle
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During your pitch, your main goal is to convince your prospect to buy what you’re selling. You could have done your research and know that this prospect is an ideal candidate for your product or service. Now all you have to do is make them see the situation the same way as you. While that’s how most salespeople sell, Dr. Roy Whitten and Scott Roy, writing for Selling Power, recommend a different approach: increasing the prospect’s decision intelligence.

What is Decision Intelligence Selling?

When using decision intelligence selling, "the seller is dedicated to helping the customer make the most intelligent decision — even if the customer discovers that the seller’s product or service is not what he or she needs,” say Whitten and Roy. But if you’ve done thorough enough research into the client, decision intelligence reinforcement will only help in building a successful sales meeting and a relationship built on trust.

Steps to Successful Digital Intelligence Selling

Problem Identification

First, you need to discuss, at length, the problem that the prospect is hoping you can help them solve. You both need to fully understand and agree on what the root of their need is before you can continue the sales process. Keep in mind that our research on buyers reveals that 55% want to do business with a sales professional who provides relevant ideas to help them.

Easily identified problems may not be ones that demand immediate attention. During your discussions with the prospect, make a list of the problems you know you can help to solve. Continue to probe during your discovery meetings. You want to find a problem that you can solve and that you can address right away. If that problem doesn't surface during your discussions, be candid with the prospect. You can steer them in the direction of another provider, knowing that you worked with them as a consult. In addition, you've kept the door open for doing business together in the future.

The Cost of Delaying a Decision

When you know you can help a prospect, the next most urgent matter on their mind is money. Prospects always want to know how much a solution is going to cost. Some prospects will fixate on price, and you'll start to worry that they won't buy from you. Finances are a huge factor in the decision-​making process. Help the buyer see that they must consider costs other than your product or service’s price tag.

The longer they delay a decision, the more expensive their problem will become. Depending on the specific situation, they may incur higher maintenance costs and more downtime because they keep trying to repair a piece of equipment instead of buying a new one. In the meantime, they may be losing sales to a competitor that's able to quickly fill orders. Or, they may experience higher turnover because employees are tired of working with technology that is considered old-school. 

How are you supposed to know all these details? It comes down to maintaining a decision intelligence selling mindset. When you use a tool such as SalesCred to track what's happening at your prospect's company and in their industry, you'll have this information at your fingertips. 

The Value of Your Solution

Your next step is to craft a proposal that works these details into your solution. You need to make sure your client understands how your product or service can fully solve their problem and the true value they'll be receiving. Ensuring that the client is making a fully informed decision will help build trust, even if the prospect decides to buy elsewhere this time, they know they can trust you later on down the road.