The Art of Guided Selling

In a perfect world, every member of your sales team would know exactly what to say and how to say it in order to convince prospects to buy the products and services that are ideal for their needs. Even brand new sales reps would know how to persuade hard-to-reach prospects, winning deals with the ease of seasoned pros.

But, guess what? Our world is far from perfect – and some sales reps simply struggle to win deals. In fact, at any given time, a whopping 44% of sales reps end up missing quota by the end of the month.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could guide your sales team to success, even the ones still wet behind the ears?

But wait Eyal, I don’t like to micromanage.

Neither do I!

I’m not talking about micromanaging; I’m talking about guided selling. By providing a situational framework to your sellers, you’ll be directing them through the entire buying process, regardless of who they’re selling to or what products or services they’re offering.

“High-performing sales teams are 2.3 times more likely than underperforming teams to use guided selling.” (Salesforce State of Sales Report)

There are two ways to go about this. You can encourage your salesforce to pick up the phone each time a deal is in progress, or you can employ the right technology that allows you to guide the sales process from afar.

Guided selling is especially helpful for sales teams who are working remotely. All reps, whether they are new or seasoned veterans, follow the same sales playbook, making the sales workflow smooth and error-free.

Let’s look at a few ways that guided selling can help your sales team excel, and how sales enablement technology like CPQ solutions can help you do it:

Guided Selling Helps Reps Adapt to Changes

No two deals are ever the same. To guide your sales force effectively, you should provide each team member with the intelligence to adjust to any changes as deals progress, providing support functions, cross and upsell advice and tailoring deals to account for the various buyer stages unique to each situation. The problem is that this process can get tedious if you have to do it for every deal that is initiated.

With CPQ software, sales guidance is commenced automatically, providing real-time adjustment for each deal in the pipeline. This allows your team to replicate the best practices of the organization without having to employ a cookie-cutter system – because, as we all know, those rarely work.

Guided Selling Process DealHub

Improve Sales Process Efficiency

Guided selling will help your team propose the products and services that best align with each customer’s unique needs. The thing is, searching for the right products, deciding on the best options, and then quoting a unique price can take days or even weeks to do correctly – and it requires a much deeper level of product knowledge than your new reps (or even some of your veterans) have. At the same time, you should be helping your sales reps find the ideal price and deal that makes the most sense for the customer’s bottom line without eroding your margins.

With guided selling, everything is handled – upselling, cross-selling, volume purchases and, best of all, quickly approved quotes. This helps the team run like a well-tuned machine, even if you have dozens of new sales reps or a myriad of product options to choose from.

Related article: The Advantages of Using a Sales Playbook to Guide Selling

Speed Up the Quotation Process

Quoting is often the most drawn-out aspect of the sales process. It’s also the part that is the greatest temptation for you to micromanage.

How many times have you been given a quote or discount from a sales rep for your approval only to find everything wrong with it and spend the next several hours rewriting it yourself? Do you really want to do this individually for each member that requests it, slowing down lead times and overall production?

With guided selling using CPQ, you can help your teams achieve automatic quotes complete with visual product comparisons, online visual aids, and audit trails. The last point is especially important because, as sales manager, you will be able to track all changes and actions taken as they happen.

With these instant and high-quality sales quotes, the quotation process is dramatically expedited, sometimes from days and weeks to minutes and hours. Your sales reps and channel partner reps will be quoting like pros – even with minimal or no training – and the personalized quote templates will help you maintain a standardized company message, which looks far more professional in the eyes of your loyal customers.

What does this all mean for your sales organization? With guided selling using CPQ Solutions, you’ll close more business (and do it faster), and you’ll provide your customers with a superior buying experience, something your competitors won’t be able to touch. Time and money will be saved, more product will be moved and revenues will grow.

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This article was originally published in September, 2015 and was updated May, 2020.