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Product Selling vs Solution Selling: Should You Change Your Sales Strategy?

Choosing a sales strategy is critical to getting your deliverables into the hands of buyers. However, you have to learn which approach would be most beneficial and the right means to deploy it. In this article, you’ll learn more about product selling and solution selling and which is right for a sales strategy.

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Choosing a sales strategy is critical to getting your deliverables into the hands of buyers. However, you have to learn which approach would be most beneficial and the right means to deploy it. In this article, you’ll learn more about product selling and solution selling and which is right for a sales strategy.


Sales is important for a business that offers deliverables, which could be a product, a service, or both. The process of making sales depends on your type of product, your industry, and your customer’s needs. For example, retail businesses adopt the strategy of product selling as it involves informing prospective customers that a solution for their troubles is available and can be purchased at an RRP in a dealership or supermarket. 

On the other hand, organizations that have businesses as their clientele, may not necessarily need to have a ready solution on the shelves. They carry out a needs analysis of potential clients, sometimes even identifying gaps and lapses in business processes, and offer tailored solutions to preempt and/or address their challenges. 

This article shines more light on solution selling and product selling while highlighting the best sales strategy to adopt based on the circumstance. 


What is solution selling?

Your salespeople are taught to take a prospect's demands into account on all levels when they are selling a solution. The ultimate objective is to suggest the goods or services that best answer the issues and difficulties raised by the client.

It's a procedure that requires you to understand the prospect's current situation while exercising empathy and critical thinking. However, in many instances, selling a good or service just to make sales can be straightforward.

However, the procedure is more involved when you want to market a solution rather than merely a product.

An effective salesperson will possess the following qualities:


  • Thorough knowledge of the market they're operating in


  • An awareness of the particular difficulties the prospect faces


  • An understanding of the sales process for consumers with similar needs


  • Objectives to propose remedies for issues discovered during the sales cycle

Because it is effective in certain circumstances, solution selling is greatly utilized in several types of enterprises. Let's examine a few of them.


When can solution selling be effective as a sales strategy?

‍There are a number of important things to take into account when deciding whether to employ solution selling or product selling.

For businesses with complicated products that are highly adaptable, solution selling is a suitable strategy. For instance, a company that provides cloud storage and maintenance/security services often develops customer-specific packages to suit the requirements of each consumer.

Determining how much data the prospect needs to upload to the cloud and how many devices need to connect to it is the salesman’s responsibility. Additionally, the salesperson needs to be aware of the customer's expected level of assistance and any potential add-ons.


Product Selling vs.‍ Solution Selling

A seller often seeks immediate rewards when selling products. Selling solutions requires you to consider the long term.

Understanding the big picture and going to your customer where they are is key to successful solution selling. 

Undoubtedly, features, advantages, and product details are all significant. But these won't ever be the focal point of a solution selling strategy that is properly applied.

Selling products prioritizes the “what” over the “why,” while selling solutions accomplishes the exact opposite.

When selling goods and services that don't "sell themselves" or when a product answers an issue that a customer isn't yet aware of, the solution-selling method is usually always the most effective tactic.


How the sales process differs between product-selling and solution-selling and adopting the right sales strategy

What then does it look like for a salesperson when applying these two models during the sales process? Here is a quick breakdown of how qualifying, pitching, and closing deals differ between product selling and solution selling:


  • Qualify

Understanding whether a prospect is a good fit for the product you're selling depends on qualification. In this phase of the sales process, each of these models behaves as follows:


Solution providers spend a lot of effort vetting potential customers. Lots of qualifying questions will be asked, which will spark in-depth talks about the prospect's current difficulties, objectives, aspirations, and wants.

Product vendors frequently speed over qualification or ignore it entirely. They may overlook important qualification questions and launch straight into their pitch since they are more concerned with the product than the prospect. 


  • Pitch

How does each of these sales approaches persuade potential customers that their product is the best option?


The end result—how will this product impact the prospect's life and business? How will it help them achieve their objectives? The sales pitch from the solution provider is more targeted to the current needs and shows the potential customer what life would be like after buying the solution. 

Every prospect that is approached by a product vendor receives the same, highly-practised sales script, which has very little individuality. This type of salesperson delivers an extremely technical pitch that emphasizes features, how they operate, what they can do, and price. A typical product pitch will also mention competitors frequently, demonstrating the product's superiority by highlighting the weaknesses of other options in the market.


  • Talk and seal the deal

It's time to clinch the sale. How do these approaches fare during the bargaining and closing process?

Solution providers are open to bargaining. To ensure that customers get the most out of the product, they search for the best feature combination at the appropriate price. They focus on providing prospects with the right answer at a price they can afford while being adaptive (often to a fault).

Sellers of goods are typically tougher negotiators. They base the value of their product on its specifications and cost in contrast to rival products, thus they're typically not open to adapting at this point. They approach negotiations with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude and rush to close the deal.



When contrasting solution-selling with product-selling, is there a better sales strategy? Simply put, selling a solution rather than a product is generally the superior strategy for modern sales representatives. 

Take the effort to study more about the various available sales models rather than choosing one and sticking with it. Choose the elements of each sales model that best suit your selling approach and those of your clients and adopt the most appropriate sales strategy that would deliver positive results.

Written by

Tobey C. Okafor

Internet Entrepreneur and Content Writer based in Lagos, Nigeria.

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