Updated: May 3, 2022
Do you have a hard time creating content that works? Maybe they're inaccurate or too long-winded. Maybe you are leaving out important information. With the SPIN method, you can create content that grabs the reader's attention, keeps them engaged, and gives them all the information they need to be convinced by your message. The SPIN method can be applied to any topic or industry and can be used in a variety of communications including blogs, product pages, brochures, websites and more!
In my sales career, I have had the privilege of attending several trainings on various sales methods and techniques and then applying them in practice. Among them were the Target-Account-Selling-Method for the acquisition of key customers (qualitative instead of quantitative), Selling-to-VITO (Very Important Top Officer) or SPIN Selling. All of these methods helped me navigate the complex B2B buying world and, in particular, understand the challenges of users and decision makers at all levels and deliver relevant messages to each of them. These messages had to clearly address the buyer's core problem, the solution options, the pros and cons of each option, and the recommendations.
Of all the things I learned, SPIN Selling stuck with me the most. The acronym SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Implication and Need-payoff and was made famous in the 1990-ies by Rank Xerox when they asked their consumers a series of key questions to help their salespeople find more sales opportunities.
This helped me learn more about the customer's current situation in the opening phase of a sales call and asking a wide variety of problem questions or implication questions allowed me to get a picture of prospects' frustrations. By asking questions about the need-payoff, I learned how important or urgent it was for the prospect to solve problems and what goals were to be achieved. Thanks to my goal-oriented examination, I usually received binding commitments for the next action, which helped me to push the sale.
Types of SPIN Selling questions 1. Situation questions: learn more about a lead's current state 2. Problem questions: probe the prospect's frustrations and pain points 3. Implication questions: give the prospect a chance to express frustrations about their problems 4. Need-payoff questions: ask the prospect how urgent it is for them to solve their problem and what the impact of solving it would be
Clever questions are therefore the be-all and end-all and each type of question fulfills a specific function in the sales process. Sales questions should build on each other and uncover pain points, overcome objections and achieve more sales success. In any case, smart questions help build a trustworthy foundation and a lasting relationship with the customer.
This is also true in the current era, the era of #B2BmodernSelling, where transactional (commodity) sales are increasingly happening entirely online and with the help of algorithms, and even consultative sales are no longer done face-to-face.
We know it, the buyer journey is online, and the digitization of sales processes gives customers and prospects comprehensive access to information about a company and its products at any time. Here, it is important that the user experience delights the visitor and that the automated processes are designed and can understand the context of a potential customer through the analysis of data (for example, cookie or digital fingerprinting).
New B2B buyer enablement tools provide practical help and guide interested customers through the digital sales process, supporting them in their buying decision. But what we need and need to create is engaging and relevant sales content such as blog articles, product pages, case studies, brochures, product videos as well as various scripts for email templates and real-time communications via chat or video calling.
And here, as I said, the SPIN method provides a good framework (especially to the marketing folks) to define and create the right content, a content that works. By preparing in a meaningful way and providing information that is helpful to the customer and initiates the next step in the sales process, SPIN helps increase sales volume and close more deals.
Thank you for reading and best regards, Roland
The top three types of sales enablement materials created for sales teams are email templates (53% of teams), call scripts (39%), and pre-call checklists (37%). (Source: HubSpot Research Global Sales Enablement Survey)