What Is Outcome-Based Selling?


The world of sales is layered and has many forms. While we may think about sales in its simplest terms as a company selling a product or service to a client, this process is often much more complex than it first appears. To be an effective salesperson, you must be strategic in your planning and execution, focusing on customer outcomes vs. your products or services.

Of course, it is important to inform customers about your product or solution’s unique features, but that is not what will create an urgency to act.  People make decisions for two reasons — to avoid a risk or to achieve an outcome. Your sales dialogue has to target what is most important to them so they can visualize the advantages that are available through a partnership with your company.

What Is Outcome-Based Selling?

Outcome-based selling ensures the customer’s desired outcomes are the focus of the conversation. This is true when targeting a new prospect, and it is even more true when seeking to retain or expand an existing relationship through upselling and cross-selling.

A customer-focused mindset will increase conversions while building lasting and meaningful relationships with clients, making them more likely to think of your product or service again in the future. An important aspect of outcome-based selling is delivering customized experiences to ensure customer success.

For outcome-based selling to be successful, you must determine the key outcomes that the client must achieve. The difference between outcome-based selling and traditional selling is determining the customer’s priorities instead of communicating the features of your solution and the benefits to the buyer.

Outcome-based selling requires all sales team members to have a customer-focused mindset to determine how to best help a current or potential client succeed during and after the sales process. When you take the time to understand the customer’s priorities, you will be much more likely to enhance the customer’s experience and create the urgency to act, and act now.

Benefits of Outcome-Based Selling

The purchasing process continues to evolve with changing buyer behavior and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). An effective salesperson stays up-to-date with these trends, prioritizes customer needs and offers innovative solutions. Outcome-based selling helps clear up ambiguity and ensures customers get the greatest value from their decisions. Outcome-based selling puts sales teams in a position to:


  • Increase customer loyalty: Outcome-based selling is built on the ability to draw out and demonstrate an understanding of the customers’ true needs. These interactions are a great opportunity to strengthen the relationships between a customer and a company. Building meaningful relationships with customers will increase customer loyalty and improve the chance a client will purchase a full solution from your company. Most customers prefer buying from a person that they know and trust.
  • Improves business value: Because the customer is at the forefront of the purchasing journey, you can shift the customer’s perspective from cost to value and ROI. By focusing on needs and outcomes you are better able to co-create the optimal solution to ensure success. As a result, your value as a business is highlighted and commitment is strengthened.
  • Close deals faster: Outcome-based selling helps a salesperson close better deals faster, increasing revenue and efficiency often while increasing margins. Focusing on customer needs enables you to present a customized solution, which is much more likely to lead to a successful conversion. With deals closing faster, your company can focus on growing its customer base.
  • Encourage spending from existing customers: Outcome-based selling can also help you encourage existing customers to make another purchase or upgrade their current one, depending on your business model. An existing customer already uses some of your solutions, meaning they are more likely to make another purchase with your company if they are satisfied with the relationship, their customer experience and the ROI achieved. Outcome-based selling will help your company create even more value for existing customers.
  • Align practices with consumer outcomes: Many customers seek value-based outcomes that are quantifiable and sustainable. Outcome-based selling creates the confidence that they will receive maximum value — at the right price.

How to Get Started With Outcome-Based Selling

If you are looking to implement outcome-based selling initiatives, consider these important steps:

  • Identify your demographic: The first step to any successful sales initiative is understanding your target audience. With outcome-based selling, your customer base will be both new and existing customers. You can filter your demographic base using relevant criteria, such as priorities, industry or changes in the marketplace.
  • Understand your customers’ goals: Another important aspect of identifying your target audience is understanding your customers’ goals. An effective salesperson uses empathy to understand what a client may be feeling or thinking and leverages this information to align a solution with customer goals. Active listening will help you and your buyers realize the full depth and breadth of their needs.
  • Customize a solution: Outcome-based selling helps you establish and prioritize the customer needs and outcomes which then enables you to co-create a solution tailored to the client’s needs and goals. Assessing which elements can help your customer achieve their goal is a fundamental step of this process.
  • Present an outcome: As the sales process progresses, expanding the business, technical and personal need-set allows you to tell a story of success to the buyer. While presenting a possible solution your company offers, highlight your knowledge of the customer’s needs and show them you have created a custom solution for their goals.
  • Follow up with a customer: After securing a sale, it is important to follow up with them. Regularly checking in can ensure your client is fully utilizing the solution and will strengthen your relationship.

Transform Sales, Leadership and Procurement Teams

Global Performance Group is a premier corporate training company and recognized behavioral transformation experts. We believe introducing lasting change in an organization is achieved by creating positive habits through coaching, technology and content. Our experts work with sales teams, leadership teams and procurement teams to foster positive growth.

Contact us online to request a quote and learn more about our innovative programs and solutions.

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