Commodity…. Product…. Solution……. Value……. What NEXT??? (Part 1)

Business is dynamic, which is always changing and so the selling techniques. Once upon a time, everything was sold as “COMMODITY”. In commodity era, there was hardly any meaning of selling skills. Every sales person had similar thing to sell. Sales reps were simply good’s transfer and payment collection agents. Then came the era of “PRODUCT” and first time, requirement of selling skills were felt. Organizations started conducting training programs for sales team, where they were apprised about unique features of product, e.g. excellent quality, durability, efficiency etc. No need to say that this idea got enormous success. Everyone jumped onto the same wagon. And, and, and sucked all the juices out of this great idea. Once again, idea of selling product was commoditized.

Business had to move on. And mavericks always bring innovations. They came with an idea of shifting entire focus of business from manufacturer to consumer. Entire orientation was shifted towards customers. Their need was assessed and studied and products/services were designed as per customer’s need. Therefore, PRODUCT was replaced with SOLUTION. Suddenly solution became the buzz word, every sales pro started talking about. Now sales reps needed more skills of customer handling. They had to analyse customer’s need and take active part in designing specific solution to certain customers. Unfortunately, every organization started talking about solution, even though many of them never shifted to the new model.

Now I can notice a new buzz word in industry i.e. VALUE. This word is very beautifully explained with fan and flare in marketing books and corporate offices. But when it comes to practicality in customer’s chamber, hardly any customer think beyond MONETARY VALUE. You may have a differing view regarding this term “VALUE”. But there is one thing for sure. One day, VALUE will also lose its shine and a NEXT will come into picture.


Moreover, what will be life of that “NEXT”? Is there anything with a sales pro, that will never lose its shine or which can never be commoditized?

I have got my own thoughts, which I will share in my next blog. Can you share your thoughts, what should be that “NEXT”?

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