What is disruptive selling?
Left to their own devices, buyers will engage with sellers well after the buyer has figured out what they want to buy, and from whom. We need to engage with them before they reach that point - "disrupting" their thinking, to "move the goalposts" more in a direction that leads to our unique strengths.
The ultimate disruption is to "shatter their status quo" - teaching them that they're not running their business as well as they could be. You can do this by introducing statistics, insights, and benchmarks.
This starts them on new buying journeys, focused on solving issues we know involve our "strong suit".
How can disruptive selling benefit me?
If you can change a prospect's thinking, you can (over time) draw them toward your solution.
If you use disruption to engage earlier, you will have:
- Higher win rates
- More margin
- Better customer relationships
How is it different from traditional sales approaches?
Late buyer journey sales methodologies (e.g. Strategic Selling) are excellent – when there is a deal on the table to be won. What they don't do is tell us how to generate new deals from scratch.
Methodologies focused on solving problems customers know they have (e.g. Solution Selling, SPIN) are excellent when customers can articulate (with prompting) a problem they're having – but customers want to be educated on new issues, and are sick of being asked "what keeps you up at night?"
Disrupting a customer when they are "calm" teaches them something new and presents a problem to them they didn't realise they were having. If this education is well targeted, we can start buyers on brand new buying journeys – and they genuinely love the education.
Disruptive selling has been around as long as the phrase "tough love" (i.e. telling people things that are good for them, but that they may not want or be prepared to hear).
Superior salespeople have been using this technique for decades.
One strain of the approach was labelled as "Challenger™" selling, made popular in the book.
Who is disruptive selling ideal for?
Sellers that want to challenge and educate their customers – adding value by teaching the customer new things to improve their business.
What results can I expect from disruptive selling?
- Happier customers (because you've shown them new ways of running their business – whether they were prepared for that or not)
- Higher win rate (by walking with the buyer on their buying journey, over time moving them to favour your unique strengths)
- Less competition (by engaging with the customer earlier, building trust and adding value via education)
- Higher margins (by using education to truly educate against competitors).
Can disruptive selling be used in both B2B and B2C?
Yes. Doctors use it all the time - "if you don't stop drinking and smoking you will die in less than 5 years!"
Is there some sort of “crash course” I can do or book I can read to get up to speed with this stuff?
The CEB book mentioned above is a must read.
The most difficult part is coming up with the "disruptive insights" themselves.
We have a proven methodology to develop these – quickly. They lie currently undisturbed in your customer base. Click here to talk with us about how to undertake this research in your organisation.
When is disruptive selling NOT a good fit?
When you are a "sales wannabe".
How much of a paradigm shift is needed to put disruptive selling to work in our organisation?
Enormous. It can be taught – but the skill sets are very different compared to "old school" selling. The challenge though is coming up with the "disruptive insights".
I’m a sales professional, why haven’t I heard of this before?
Like most professionals you're bogged down in the "day to day". Take the time to absorb and experiment with this approach. This is not a subtle difference – it's a genuine game changer.