As a strategy, selling of solutions was adopted by the channel to address the complex multi-vendor, multi-product requirement of end customers. This allowed most resellers to pitch for bigger end-customer deals. With rampant downsizing of human resources, the end-customer landscape has also demanded such tactics and dependence of skill sets and human resources from suppliers has become higher.
However, in our region the results of a solution sales approach have not been very encouraging. The process of selling has become longer due to this strategy. Long drawn out, technology blueprinting sessions with solution analysts have led to customer fatigue. An intolerance towards a solutions approach has crept in with decision makers at the end-customer level.
The channel has invested in training sales personnel with a different skill set to cater to the solution selling approach. However, the skills required to understand, diagnose and customize solutions to meet end-customer requirements has resulted in lower sales performance by teams selling solutions leading to disenchantment with the process. This may be a result of time taken to close a solution sale versus time that it would take to just position and sell the products individually.