What Is SPIN Selling?

Popularized by Neil Rackham’s book, SPIN Selling, published in 1988, SPIN Selling has proven to be an extremely successful B2B sales methodology. The basic theory behind SPIN Selling is that by asking the right questions at the right time, you can be a more effective sales person.

Rackham set out to discover the best way to sell, and through analysis of 35,000 sales calls, his research shows that above all else, timing is everything. Through his research, Rackham found that the SPIN model was far more successful than traditional sales techniques, and can create more successful salespeople. He determined that there are different types of questions sales reps can ask that are most effective at leading prospects through the buyer’s journey. Rather than telling prospects that they need your product, SPIN Selling questions are often open-ended, but ultimately lead the prospect to decide for themselves that your solution is necessary.

The SPIN Selling sales technique centers around 4 main types of questions: situational, problem, implication, and need-payoff. Within these 4 question categories, Rackham explains how one can engage their prospect and use their answers to decide your next step. Importantly, this strategy allows you to adapt and be flexible because in the end, you are selling based on the needs of your prospect.

While SPIN Selling is well established, it can be enhanced by utilizing modern sales tools to implement the strategy. As individuals, each sales rep can explore this method over the phone. However, using SPIN Selling across all of a team’s materials and having the ability to quickly update documents based on a prospect’s answers can help convince prospects of your product’s value, and close deals. With Quickcard.com, you can drive sales by producing high quality, customer centric sales documents such as sales decks, one-pagers, and other types of sales collateral.

SPIN Selling was developed to keep the prospect in mind, and Quickcard allows you to quickly develop sales documents that are personalized and prospect-specific. With quickly customizable inputs, you can address the situation and problems that your prospect is facing, can show the prospect that a change is needed, and can help them conclude that your solution is the right one. Along the way, a team of sales experts will help you implement the SPIN technique; teaching and guiding your team as you develop sales materials that follow the SPIN method through the complex sales process. Here are just a few ways Quickcard can revolutionize your sales.


Quickly Address Situational Questions

While using the SPIN Selling method, the first type of questions salespeople must ask are situational questions. Situational questions center around anything that can be discovered about how a business currently operates. By establishing the buyer’s current state of affairs, you can understand the steps that they need to take to implement your product.

Situation questions can gather crucial information about your prospect’s business, such as the amount of money they currently spend on tools similar to yours, the actual solutions they already use, and how often they use them. Once you know this information, it is crucial that you incorporate it into your sales materials.

Quickcard allows you to immediately use what you learn through SPIN questions. In order to be ready to send off relevant and personalized materials as quickly as possible, your team can have multiple versions of a document ready for businesses to circle internally. For example, the solutions you highlight about your product might change depending on the funding series a company is in, the size of their team, or any number of situational factors. With the click of a button, your sales documents can reflect this newly gained knowledge through an infinite number of variables.

Highlight Customer's Problems and Pain Points

As Neil Rackham determined through his research, timing in sales is important. While the timing he referred to was the order of questions that salespeople ask, timing of the solution you ultimately offer is critical. By asking problem questions, you can determine the best way to sell your product and the many features you have to offer. If a customer is having specific issues that your product can solve, you can address them immediately by choosing the iteration of your sales document that features it.

Problem questions show your prospect the features your solution offers, without actually mentioning your product. By establishing that problems do exist, you have made your prospect one step closer to concluding that your product is necessary.

Quickcard allows you to create multiple versions of a document that can be updated to address each specific pain points. For example, for a company having issues with scalability, your sales deck can include valuable information about the ease of your product’s adaptability. For a company having issues with small sales or large sales, you can do a deep dive into features that focus on the incredible customer service they offer or the features that work well across an entire team. Not every company you sell to will have the same pain points. The ability to highlight which features your potential customers care about most will make them feel heard and taken care of.

Conclude Implications of Problems

Through your communication with your prospect, you are able to identify many of the problems that their company is facing with their current situation. While many of the problems they describe may seem stark, many prospects may not even understand the serious implications of the problems they face.

With implication questions, Rackham describes how you can guide your prospect towards an understanding of the setbacks and inefficiencies their companies face at the present time. While you need to be careful to not offend, the only way to transition prospects to customers is to make the prospect understand how serious their problems really are. By asking them questions which help them realize or be reminded of these setbacks, they begin to be more open to a new way forward.

Implication questions help prospect’s recognize the potential need for a change, and your documents can help push them towards that change. When companies realizes the effect of the problems they face, it is a lot easier to convince them a change is not only desirable, but necessary. SPIN Selling focuses on the premise that it is important customers come up with this idea on their own, rather than you, the sales rep, telling them they need a change. However, your documents can do more to imply that the problems the company is facing are serious.

As your prospect returns to his or her team to discuss your solution, Quickcard allows you to control the message they circle internally. Your carefully crafted SPIN Questions will go to waste if your prospect, now your champion, doesn't do a great job selling your product. This is where Quickcard comes in. All the important information you have gathered through your discussions can be reflected in your sales documents as they climb up the ladder to the real decision makers.

Demonstrate How Your Solution Fulfills the Prospect’s Needs

Need-Payoff questions finally begin to allow the prospect to visualize your product as the solution to their problems. Introducing your product without forcing it on your prospect is the biggest challenge sales team’s often face. As you carefully ask prospects whether tools you offer could help solve the problems they have illustrated to you, the SPIN method suggests you allow the prospect themselves to conclude that your solution would be beneficial.

It can be difficult to do this, but carefully structured questions can lead prospects towards this outcome. In your sales documents, you can begin to be a little more direct. Once your prospect begins to consider your product, you can sell them on the benefits your solution will bring. By having the ability to quickly adjust your documents after understanding the needs of your prospect, your company will seem like the only viable solution.

Supercharge Your SPIN Selling Foundation with Quickcard

The idea of SPIN Selling revolves around understanding customer needs. Personalized sales documents are crucial to demonstrate your understanding of your prospect’s needs and desires and to ultimately accomplish successful sales. SPIN Selling is great on its own, but can be enhanced if you can quickly filter the knowledge you gather throughout your whole sales pipeline. It doesn’t take much time to learn more about Quickcard and how their team can assist you to increase your sales effectiveness.

As he set out to develop this method, Rackham examined an enormous set of data, and Rackham’s research produced this method of effective sales performance through the conclusions he could draw from 35,000 sales calls. It's worth mentioning that Quickcard’s analytics allow you to really see what method is working for your team. While SPIN Selling is a great way to lead customers to purchase your product, there are plenty of other methods that may be a better fit for you and your team. You can even learn more about other methods to contribute to your sales success such as MEDDIC, NEAT, SNAP, and more here.

Sources

HubSpot: https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/spin-selling-the-ultimate-guide?toc-variant-a=

LucidChart: https://www.lucidchart.com/blog/the-4-steps-to-spin-selling

Rackham, Neil, SPIN Selling: Buy Here