What are Solutions v/s What are Bundles ?
- Solutions are usually groupings of related products and services.
- These may be solving complex problems or simply business problems. E.g. Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office & Skype combined can be thought of a communication solution.
- Solutions often have high degree of integration and allow the flexibility to customize the individual offerings for a specific customer type or industry application. An organization that focuses on solutions should be structured to support solution based sales, marketing, delivery and post deployment services.
- The staff must stay “close to the market” or be intimately involved with customers to constantly gauge needs and discover opportunities that bring together the needed products, technologies and services, whether sources internally or externally.
- There is typically a large consultative aspect of every solution sale. E.g. IBM sells solutions by bringing product and services together, both from its internal divisions globally. This is valuable for customer for IBM being one stop shop and for IBM to maximize its core capabilities which is technology products and service to go with it.
- Bundles are grouping of products together when they don’t solve a customer’s problem from start to finish.
- If a company wishes to sell a bundled solution, customers will eventually discover a weakness in one or more of the components and look for another way to solve their problems.
- There is a quick and easy way to determine whether a given solution is actually a bundle. In a B2B setting, if purchasing agents can pick the offer apart to shop the individual components, it is a bundle.
- Bundling, although sometimes can be used as a strategy to compete if other players are doing so in the market, however often times the excess overhead cost (dollar and human capital) is something firms should be cautious of.
- An example of bundle would be your TV Cable packaged with internet and home phone.
- Similar bundling exists in B2B software sales
Appropriate grouping of products based on market needs or firm’s strategy.
Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.