GAP Selling

“The best salespeople identify the gap between the customer’s current reality and the customer’s desired reality, and they help the customer close that gap.”

– Mike Weinberg

 
GAP selling (or GAP analysis selling) is a sales methodology that focuses on identifying and addressing the gap between the customer’s current situation and their desired outcomes. It involves analyzing the customer’s needs, identifying the problems or challenges they face, and proposing solutions that will help them achieve their goals.

The GAP selling methodology includes four steps:

1. Identify the customer’s needs: The first step in GAP selling is to identify the customer’s needs and goals. This involves asking questions, listening actively, and demonstrating a thorough understanding of the customer’s requirements.

2. Assess the customer’s current situation: The next step is to assess the customer’s current situation and identify any problems or challenges they are facing. This could include issues with their current solution, inefficiencies in their process, or any other challenges that are hindering their success.

3. Identify the gap: Once you have identified the customer’s needs and their current situation, the next step is to identify the gap between the two. This is the difference between where the customer is currently and where they want to be.

4. Propose a solution:
The final step in GAP selling is to propose a solution that will help the customer bridge the gap and achieve their desired outcomes. This could involve offering a product or service, providing training or support, or making recommendations for other resources or tools that will help them succeed.

Overall, GAP selling is a methodology that focuses on identifying and addressing the gap between the customer’s current situation and their desired outcomes by identifying their needs, assessing their current situation, identifying the gap, and proposing a solution to help them achieve their goals.
 

1. IDENTIFY THE CUSTOMER’S NEEDS


Identifying the customer’s current situation is a crucial step in the GAP selling process. It involves gathering information about the customer’s needs, pain points, and objectives, and understanding the specific challenges and opportunities they are facing. By doing so, the salesperson can tailor their pitch and demonstrate how the product or service can help the customer achieve their goals.

There are several ways to gather information about the customer’s current situation:

Ask questions: Asking the customer questions about their business, their current challenges, and their goals for the future can help the salesperson gather important information about the customer’s current situation. This might include asking about their current process or system, their pain points or frustrations, and their desired outcomes. It is important to listen actively to the customer’s responses and ask follow-up questions to gather as much information as possible.

Listen actively: Active listening is an important skill for salespeople to develop. By truly listening to what the customer is saying and paying attention to their body language and verbal cues, the salesperson can gain a deeper understanding of the customer’s current situation. This might involve asking clarifying questions, rephrasing what the customer has said to confirm understanding, or simply nodding and showing interest in what they are saying.

Research the customer: Doing research on the customer’s business and industry can also provide valuable insight into their current situation. This might include looking at their website, reading industry news articles, or speaking with other people in the industry. This can help the salesperson understand the customer’s specific challenges and needs, and provide a more informed and tailored pitch.

Overall, identifying the customer’s current situation is an important step in the GAP selling process. It involves gathering information about the customer’s needs, pain points, and objectives, and understanding the specific challenges and opportunities they are facing. By doing so, the salesperson can tailor their pitch and demonstrate how the product or service can help the customer achieve their goals.
 

2. IDENTIFY THE desired outcome


Identifying the desired outcome is an important step in the GAP selling process. It involves helping the customer define what they hope to achieve through the purchase of a product or service. This might include specific outcomes such as sales growth, increased efficiency, cost savings, or improved customer satisfaction.

There are several ways to identify the customer’s desired outcome:

Use open-ended questions:
Asking open-ended questions that encourage the customer to provide more detailed answers can be a useful way to gather information about their desired outcome. For example, instead of asking “What are you looking to achieve?”, you could ask “Can you tell me more about the specific outcomes you are hoping to achieve?”

Ask for specific examples: Asking the customer to provide specific examples of their desired outcome can help the salesperson understand the customer’s needs more clearly. For example, instead of just asking about the customer’s goals for the future, you might ask for specific examples of how they envision their business improving once they have implemented your product or service.

Use the customer’s own words: When discussing the customer’s desired outcome, it can be helpful to use the customer’s own words and phrases to describe it. This helps to ensure that the salesperson and the customer are on the same page and that the customer feels understood and heard.

Overall, identifying the customer’s desired outcome is an important step in the GAP selling process. It involves helping the customer define what they hope to achieve through the purchase of a product or service, and understanding their specific goals and objectives. By doing so, the salesperson can tailor their pitch and demonstrate how the product or service can help the customer achieve their desired outcome.
 

3. IDENTIFY THE GAP


Identifying the gap is the third step in the GAP selling process. It involves identifying the difference between the customer’s current situation and their desired outcome, and understanding the specific challenges or barriers that are preventing the customer from achieving their goals. By doing so, the salesperson can tailor their pitch and demonstrate how the product or service can help the customer overcome these challenges and achieve their desired outcome.

By comparing the customer’s current situation to their desired outcome, the salesperson can identify the specific challenges or barriers that are preventing the customer from achieving their goals (aka “The Gap”). This might involve looking at areas where the customer’s current process or system is falling short, or identifying opportunities for improvement. For example, if the customer is experiencing slow turnaround times and is looking to improve efficiency, the salesperson can identify the gap between the customer’s current situation (slow turnaround times) and their desired outcome (improved efficiency).

The customer may provide clues about the gap between their current situation and desired outcome through their words and actions. For example, if the customer is expressing frustration with their current process or system, they may be looking for a solution that can help them improve efficiency or reduce costs. By paying attention to these clues, the salesperson can identify the specific challenges or barriers the customer is facing and how the product or service can help them overcome these challenges.

Overall, identifying the gap is an important step in the GAP selling process. It involves understanding the specific challenges or barriers the customer is facing, and how the product or service can help them overcome these challenges and achieve their desired outcome. By doing so, the salesperson can tailor their pitch and demonstrate the value of the product or service to the customer.
 

4. PROPOSE A SOLUTION


Presenting a solution is the fourth step in the GAP selling process. It involves demonstrating how the product or service can help the customer bridge the gap between their current situation and desired outcome. This is an important step because it helps the customer understand the value of making a change and how the product or service can help them achieve their goals.

There are several ways to propose a solution in the GAP selling process:

Demonstrate how the product or service can help the customer overcome their specific challenges: By demonstrating how the product or service can help the customer overcome their specific challenges, the salesperson can show the customer the value of making a change. This might involve highlighting the specific features or benefits of the product or service, and how they can help the customer achieve their desired outcome.

Provide examples of how the product or service has helped other customers: Providing examples of how the product or service has helped other customers can be a persuasive way to demonstrate the value of the solution to the customer. For example, the salesperson might provide case studies or testimonials from customers who have achieved success with the product or service.

Offer a trial or demo: Offering a trial or demo of the product or service can also be a useful way to persuade the customer to make a purchase. This allows the customer to experience the product or service firsthand and see how it can help them overcome their specific challenges and achieve their desired outcome.

Address objections and concerns: By addressing any objections or concerns the customer may have, the salesperson can help to overcome any barriers to purchase and persuade the customer to make a purchase. This might involve addressing any doubts the customer may have about the effectiveness of the product or service, or addressing any concerns about the cost or implementation of the solution.

Offer incentives or discounts: Offering incentives or discounts can also be a useful way to persuade the customer to make a purchase. For example, the salesperson might offer a discount on the product or service, or provide additional resources or support to help the customer achieve their desired outcome.

Overall, proposing a solution is an important step in the GAP selling process. It is critical to demonstrate how the product or service can help the customer bridge the gap between their current situation and desired outcome, and showing the customer the value of making a change.
 

Great GAP Selling Questions


Here are some great GAP selling questions:

– What are your current challenges and pain points?
– What are your goals and objectives for the future?
– How does your current process or system work?
– How does your current process or system compare to those of your competitors?
– How does your current process or system fall short in meeting your needs?
– What specific outcomes are you hoping to achieve through the purchase of this product or service?
– Can you provide examples of how our product or service will help you improve efficiency, reduce costs, or achieve other specific goals?
– How can our product or service help you overcome your specific challenges and achieve your desired outcome?
– Can you provide specific examples of how you envision your business improving once you have implemented our product or service?
– What benefits does our product or service offer that your current solution does not?
– How will our product or service help you achieve a competitive advantage in your industry?
– What resources or support will you need to implement the solution effectively?
– How will our product or service fit into your current process or system?
– What specific features or capabilities are you looking for in a solution?
– How can we tailor our solution to meet your specific needs and goals?
– What concerns or objections do you have about making a purchase?
 

Implementing GAP Selling with a Sales Team


Here are some tips for implementing the GAP selling process with a sales team:

Train your sales team on the GAP selling process: It is important to ensure that your sales team is trained on the GAP selling process and understands each step. This might involve providing training materials, holding workshops or webinars, or having experienced salespeople serve as mentors or coaches.

Emphasize the importance of gathering information: Encourage your sales team to be proactive in gathering information about the customer’s current situation, desired outcome, and specific challenges and needs. This will help them tailor their pitch and demonstrate how the product or service can help the customer overcome their specific challenges and achieve their desired outcome.

Encourage active listening: Active listening is an important skill for salespeople to develop. Encourage your sales team to listen carefully to what the customer is saying, and pay attention to their body language and verbal cues. This will help them understand the customer’s needs and goals more clearly.

Provide resources and support: Make sure that your sales team has the resources and support they need to effectively implement the GAP selling process. This might include providing access to sales tools and resources, such as visual aids or customer case studies, or offering coaching and support from experienced salespeople.

Track and measure success: Tracking and measuring the success of your sales team’s use of the GAP selling process can help you identify areas for improvement and ensure that your sales team is effectively using the process. This might involve tracking key performance indicators such as conversion rates or customer satisfaction scores, and analyzing data to identify trends and patterns.

Overall, implementing the GAP selling process with a sales team involves training your sales team on the process, emphasizing the importance of gathering information, encouraging active listening, providing resources and support, and tracking and measuring success. By doing so, you can help your sales team effectively implement the GAP selling process and drive sales success.
 

Other Sales Methodologies

Solution Selling
Target Account Selling
SPIN Selling
The MEDDIC Selling Methodology
GAP Selling
The Challenger Sales Method
 

Check out our guide to Sales Strategy

Check out our 100-page Sales Strategy PowerPoint Template

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