Live Webinar: Secrets to Building a Successful B2B2C Growth Flywheel
Save your spot now

Consultative Selling

Consultative selling is a sales approach that focuses on building strong relationships with customers by knowing their needs, pain points and goals. In consultative selling, the salesperson acts as a consultant, and the goal is to listen actively to the customer's concerns and provide solutions.

What is consultative selling?

Consultative selling is a sales strategic approach that focuses on knowing and addressing the needs and challenges of the customer through customized, value-driven solutions.

In consultative selling is when a salesperson takes on the role of consultant, working collaboratively with the customer to find the best solution.

Boost Sales Performance by 94% with Our Gamified Commission Management Software  

What are the benefits of consultative selling?

The benefits of consultative selling are the following:

  1. Higher customer satisfaction
  2. Raise conversion rates
  3. Value-based selling
  4. Competitive advantage
  5. Better understanding of customer needs
  6. Enhanced trust and credibility
  1. Higher customer satisfaction: Providing tailored solutions that meet customer needs leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers are highly likely to become repeat customers.
  2. Raise conversion rates: Knowing the customer's needs and presenting relevant solutions increases the likelihood of converting leads into paying customers. Customers are more likely to buy from sales professionals who genuinely understand and address their needs.
  3. Value-based selling: Consultative selling focuses on delivering value to customers instead of simply selling. This value-based selling approach enhances the customer's perception of the sales professional and various offerings.
  4. Competitive advantage: Adopting a consultative approach sets sales professionals apart from the competition, who may use more traditional sales techniques. It positions them as trusted advisors instead of pushy salespeople.
  5. Better understanding of customer needs: By listening and engaging in meaningful conversations with customers, sales professionals gain a deeper understanding of the pain point and goals that are aligned to reach.
  6. Enhanced trust and credibility: By acting as advisors and sharing valuable information, sales professionals establish themselves as trustworthy and credible experts in the field.

When to use consultative selling?

Some scenarios when consultative selling is particularly valued:

  1. B2B sales
  2. Long sales cycle
  3. High-value sales
  4. Selling complex products or services
  5. Competitive markets
  6. Selling complex services
  1. B2B sales: Consultative selling is mainly used in B2B sales, especially when dealing with other businesses or organizations. B2B sales involve more complex processes and multiple decision-making with solutions.
  2. Long sales cycle: For sales cycles that are prolonged and need multiple interactions with the customer engagement throughout the decision-making process.
  3. High-value sales: In sales situations where the products and services being offered are high in value or require an investment, consultative selling helps build customer confidence and justifies the expense with customized solutions.
  4. Selling complex products or services: For products or services that include technical or intricate features, consultative selling helps sales professionals communicate wisely and demonstrate how the offering addresses the challenges.
  5. Competitive markets: In competitive markets, the customers have several options to choose from; consultative selling differentiates the salesperson and offering by providing value and expertise.
  6. Selling complex services: For professional services that require proper insights into the customer's business and objectives, consultative selling allows the salesperson to provide valuable insights and expertise.

How consultative selling works?

The working of consultative selling involves various steps:

  1. Proper research and preparation
  2. Listening and discovery
  3. Need analysis
  4. Educating and providing insights
  5. Provide tailored solutions
  6. Handling objections
  7. Building trust and rapport
  8. Collaborative decision-making
  1. Proper research and preparation: Before engaging with the customer, the salesperson conducts research to learn about the customer's industry, challenges, and goals. This preparation helps the salesperson ask informed questions and showcase their expertise during the sales conversation.
  2. Listening and discovery: During the sales meeting, the salesperson actively listens and asks probing questions to know the customer's pain points and priorities that focus on gaining a comprehensive understanding of the customer's needs and challenges.
  3. Needs analysis: Based on the information allocated during the discovery phase, the salesperson conducts a thorough needs analysis. This includes determining the salesperson's products and services that can address those needs.
  4. Educating and providing insights: The salesperson acts as a trusted advisor, sharing relevant industry insights and success stories to educate the customer about potential solutions, as this helps build credibility and demonstrates the salesperson's understanding of the challenges faced by clients.
  5. Provide tailored solutions: Utilizing the information gathered from the needs analysis, the salesperson tailors their sales pitch to present solutions that address the customer's specific needs.
  6. Handling objections: If the customer raises objections on concerns, the salesperson addresses them openly and properly and includes addressing any doubts the customer may have and providing reassurance as needed.
  7. Building trust and rapport: Throughout the sales process, the salesperson works on building rapport with the prospect and demonstrates a genuine interest in helping the customer.
  8. Collaborative decision-making: Consultative selling involves a collaborative approach to decision-making. The salesperson and the customer work together to explore options and evaluate potential solutions.

What are examples of consultative selling?

Some examples of companies known for employing consultative selling techniques are as follows:

  1. IBM
  2. Salesforce
  3. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  4. SAP
  5. HubSpot
  1. IBM: IBM, a global technology and consulting company, is known for its consultative selling approach. They work closely with clients to understand their business needs and offer solutions and leverage their vast range of technology and consulting services.
  2. Salesforce:Salesforce, a leading customer relationship management (CRM) software company, emphasizes consultative selling to understand its customer's sales and marketing needs.
  3. Amazon Web Services (AWS): AWS, the cloud computing division of Amazon, practices consultative selling to help businesses migrate to and optimize their cloud infrastructure.
  4. SAP: SAP., a multinational software company, employs consultative selling to understand its customer's enterprise resource planning (ERP) and business software requirements.
  5. HubSpot: HubSpot, a provider of inbound marketing ad sales software, emphasizes consultative selling to help businesses attract, engage and retain.

What are the strategies of consultative selling?

Consultative selling is a sales approach that prioritizes relationships and open dialogue to identify and provide solutions to a customer's needs. It is non-aggressive, intended to create a beneficial outcome for both seller and buyer, and is typically used in complex or high-stakes sales situations. Here are some key strategies associated with consultative selling:

1. Research: Prior to a sales interaction, a consultative seller should have a clear understanding of the prospect’s industry, business, and specific challenges. This knowledge not only helps establish credibility but also allows the seller to provide tailored solutions to the prospect's needs.

2. Active listening: Consultative selling requires more listening than talking. By asking open-ended questions and genuinely listening to the prospect's responses, the seller can identify the buyer's needs, concerns, and decision-making processes.

3. Problem identification: This approach aims to identify the customer’s problems or "pain points". Instead of jumping straight into the product pitch, the salesperson seeks to understand the issues the prospect faces and how they impact their business.

4. Solution selling: After understanding the prospect's problems, the salesperson presents their product or service as a solution. The key is to customize the solution to the specific needs identified rather than proposing a generic product or service.

5. Value demonstration: Consultative selling goes beyond simply listing features and benefits. The salesperson should demonstrate how the solution will add value to the customer’s business, often quantifying potential cost savings or improvements in efficiency.

6. Building relationships: Rather than focusing on a one-time sale, consultative selling is about building long-term relationships. After the sale, maintaining regular contact and providing ongoing support can lead to repeat business and referrals.

7. Educating the customer: Consultative sellers act as trusted advisors, educating prospects on industry trends, best practices, and providing new ideas. This strategy positions the salesperson and their company as experts, building trust and encouraging the customer to consider future opportunities.

8. Patience and persistence: Consultative selling often involves longer sales cycles as it's about building relationships and understanding needs. Patience, persistence, and regular follow-ups are important for success.

These strategies, when applied effectively, can differentiate the salesperson from competitors, foster customer loyalty, and ultimately result in more successful and profitable sales engagements.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

What is the difference between consultative selling and transactional selling?

Consultative selling is customer-centric, focusing on understanding the needs, challenges and objectives. The primary objective is to provide customized solutions and build strong relationships. The sales process in consultative selling is more included and may require multiple interactions with the customer and includes conducting thorough research, active listening to find the best solution.

Whereas transactional selling is product-centric, emphasis is placed on one-time sales transactions. The primary goal is to close deals rapidly, with minimal interaction with the customer. The sales process of transactional selling is short and straightforward.

Similar Blogs

Quick Links