The Complete Guide To Insight Selling – Start Using Data To Invoke Change

What Is Insight Selling?
What Is Insight Selling?

Insight Selling is a sales methodology where representatives win deals by showing the value of their solutions. They provide insights into opportunities the prospect might have overlooked during sales conversations. It places emphasis on the sales rep being an expert in their field.

What is “Insight Selling”?

Insight Selling is an advanced sales technique where professionals link their expertise directly to a customer’s business challenges. They uncover hidden problems in the customer’s strategy, providing extra value through this process. In simple terms, Insight Selling is about guiding a prospect with data-driven insights that address their specific needs. This is something that traditional B2B sales methods do not do.

What are Insights in Sales?

Insights in sales are accurate and deep understandings of your prospect, your prospect’s business or your industry. These understandings rely on research, experience, data and metrics to build a solid relationship with the prospect.

The Two Types of Insight Selling

Nowadays, buyers stay connected and are constantly online, actively learning about your company and its competitors. Technological advancements alongside social media have changed the buying process and, as a result, the selling process.

Buyers today are more empowered than ever before. By the time they reach out, they already know about the features of your products or services. So the sales rep’s role shifts from product information to offering valuable insights that prospects may not have considered.

With the Insight Selling approach, you need to understand the two types of ‘insights’:

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1. Interaction Insight

As you guide prospects through the sales pipeline, Insight Selling opportunities can arise through your interactions. By having valuable conversations about their pains, needs and wants – you can encourage a solution by inspiring change.

Using Interaction Insight, sales experts encourage prospects to consider unique business ideas. They push prospects beyond their comfort zones, asking tough questions and challenging assumptions. When done well, buyers often generate their own insights on how to improve their business using your solution.

2. Opportunity Insight

Opportunity Insights focuses on selling specific ideas or strategies to prospects. Your prospects might not have considered these insights, but they position you as a valuable ally. To do this, the sales rep must bring up new ideas that inspire the prospect. The winning formula for opportunity insights is educating your potential customer while collaborating to create new opportunities for the buyer.

Opportunity insights and interaction insights work together to build trust and maximize loyalty. Whether presenting new opportunities to potential customers or through collaborative interactions, Insight Selling empowers reps to drive change.

Insight Selling vs Solution Selling

Insight Selling is a more modern sales approach than Solution Selling.

Solution Selling involves salespeople acting like doctors, asking questions to uncover and identify the prospect’s challenges. From there, they can suggest and help find a solution for the prospect.

Insight Selling offers valuable insights throughout the sales process to prospects who already grasp their challenge and its solution. That’s why many consider Solution Selling outdated compared to Insight Selling. Prospects usually approach salespeople after researching, already understanding their needs and potential solutions.

Infographic on the differences between Insight Sellers vs Solution Sellers

Is Solution Selling “Dead”?

Insight selling isn’t exactly the new solution selling; rather, it’s an evolution of it. As buyers have become more informed and independent, sales methodologies have adapted. Insight Selling builds on Solution Selling by addressing known problems and also enlightening customers with new perspectives and opportunities. In today’s information-rich sales environment, consider this strategy as an additional approach that complements traditional Solution Selling.

The Reality of Sales Teams Using Insight Selling Today

In today’s sales landscape, businesses widely adopt and value insight selling as a valuable approach. Sales teams increasingly use insights to provide prospects with relevant and valuable information, helping them make informed decisions. Buyers also seek sellers who offer more than just a product. They desire insights, expertise, and a consultative approach that adds value to their purchase decisions.

Many sales teams claim to incorporate insights into their sales process. However, the effectiveness and the quality of these insights can vary. Top-performing sales teams are those that can differentiate themselves. They offer distinctive and practical insights that connect with buyers and shape their choices.

Insight Selling has become an integral part of modern sales strategies, with buyers expecting a deeper level of engagement. Sellers must strive to meet these expectations by effectively using insights to drive sales conversations.

When Should You Make the Leap to Insight Selling?

Consider switching to insight selling when:

  1. Your sales approach is reactive and solution-oriented, but buyers seek proactive guidance.
  2. You notice that traditional sales pitches are no longer effective because buyers are well-informed and have access to information.

In essence, buyers seek more than solutions; they value strategic advice. If you notice this trend, consider incorporating Insight Selling into your strategy. To succeed, read the situation and adapt your sales technique to meet evolving buyer expectations.

The 3 levels of the Insight Selling model

To successfully use the Insight Selling approach, you must be proficient in the three levels:

Level 1. Connect

Insight sellers connect in two ways:

1. With buyers

2. The dots between the buyer’s needs and their solutions.

Level 2. Convince

Insight Sellers assure buyers they can achieve maximum results and position themselves as the top provider among all options.

Level 3. Collaborate

Insight Sellers are responsive, proactive, and easy to buy from. This is precisely why buyers willingly collaborate with them.

Asking Insight Selling Open-Ended Questions

Insight Selling relies heavily on the concept of cognitive reframing. In simple terms, this means creating alternative ways of viewing ideas, situations, and their possibilities for action. That’s why below you can find several questions perfect for insight selling.


People tend to overlook questions that start with “why.” However, they foster collaborative thinking when used skillfully without putting the buyer on the defensive. For instance:

  • “Why is that your strategy?”
  • “Why do you say that?”
  • “Why do that versus this?”


Next, “How” questions get buyers to consider their reality. You will probably find that buyers always have strong opinions but not strong plans. For instance:

  • “How do you see this working out?”
  • “How do you think you need to proceed?”
  • “How will you avoid common challenges like X, Y, or Z?”

“Have you considered X, Y, or Z?”

Ask this question to buyers who might not be aware of certain options or recent advancements.

“How do you know that?”

Again, buyers will always have strong opinions that may not have a foundation. Therefore by asking for their thinking – you can help the buyer question the basis for their opinions and assumptions.

“What will happen if you don’t act?”

By asking this provocative question, you’ll inspire buyers to consider the negative consequences of their inaction.

4 Common Insight Selling Mistakes to Avoid

Like any other sales methodology, Insight Selling has its own common mistakes to avoid. For this reason, below, you can find an outline of four of the most common mistakes – so that you don’t make them!

1. Using insight selling as a tactic

Consider insight selling as more than just a tactic. Instead, it’s about consistently delivering value throughout the entire sales process. For this reason, salespeople must genuinely embody curiosity, dedication, and empathy toward the buyers they assist.

2. Not collaborating

It’s a fact that buyers disengage when sellers don’t establish themselves as a reputable source of information. That’s why sellers need to conduct collaboration-driven meetings.

3. Poorly executed presentations

No one wants to sit through a boring, static, and endless slide-filled meeting – it’s just not engaging. So ensure you have the customer engaged and involved in discussions and sharing of ideas. Captivate your audience with real stories that show your product in action. When you share how others overcame challenges and succeeded, your clients can see themselves in those stories.

4. Not embracing the role of change agent

Insight selling directly involves pushing your buyer out of their comfort zone. Therefore, logically, you must inspire them to do this with a change agent attitude. Why would anyone buy from a seller who wasn’t confident in their solution and thoughts?

Ready to Sell With Insights and Authority?

The best sales conversations are the ones where salespeople direct the customer to see something they’ve never considered before. While understanding your clients’ challenges and pain points is a crucial sales skill, the next level is about uncovering valuable opportunities and matching your company’s relevant capabilities to specific buyer problems.

Join SOCO’s Insight Selling Training today and start to expertly advise clients with unique insights – a skill needed in today’s competitive market.

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