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Guided Selling

What is Guided Selling?

Guided selling is a sales process and technology to help customers find the products or services for their needs. Guided selling technology often uses a question and answer workflow, AI, and customer data to provide recommendations and guidance to customers at each stage of the buying journey. For example, a guided selling tool can help customers compare products, understand pricing, and select add-on services or features.

Gartner describes algorithmic guided selling as an emerging technology that improves sales effectiveness, keeps deals on track, and helps salespeople navigate complex sales processes. The guided selling process is used in many industries, including SaaS and eCommerce. This process increases sales productivity by providing a step-by-step process that salespeople can follow when working with potential customers. It enables sellers to become more influential by identifying the best products or services for their customers, which helps them close more sales

Guided Selling in B2B

Sales representatives in the business-to-business (B2B) world are under immense pressure to generate leads and close deals. They need to be knowledgeable about their products and services, understand the needs of their customers, and have a keen understanding of the sales process. However, in organizations that sell configurable products or have complex pricing, it can be difficult for sales reps to know where to start.

Guided selling tools help sales representatives follow a structured process. By asking questions and providing options, guided selling leads the sales rep through the decision-making process, helping them to understand the customer’s needs and how to meet them best. Guided selling can be used at various stages of the sales process, from initial contact with a prospect to closing the deal.

By implementing guided selling in B2B, three top improvements occur:

  1. Better alignment between buyers and sellers
  2. Improved engagement with buyers
  3. Faster response to customers’ needs

Guided selling helps align buyers and sellers by providing a set of questions or criteria that the buyer can use to narrow down their options. This ensures that both parties are on the same page and that the buyer is getting what they need. Guided selling also allows for a more customized and personal experience, as it takes into account the specific needs of the buyer. This level of customization can lead to a more satisfied customer and repeat business. Ultimately, guided selling benefits both buyers and sellers, leading to better communication and more aligned expectations.

At its core, guided selling is about helping sales representatives make the best possible decisions for their customers. It provides them with a framework, or sales playbook, to follow, which leads to more successful sales outcomes. Guided selling can help increase win rates, deal sizes, and customer satisfaction while reducing the time needed to close a sale.

The Guided Selling Process

Guided selling is an essential sales enablement tool that provides relevant, personalized content and information to reps during the sales process to keep buyers moving forward in making a purchase. The B2B guided selling process consists of steps that streamline sales workflows that result in customized quotes or sales proposals. The process is as follows:

Understand the customer’s needs and requirements: By asking questions and providing options, guided selling helps sales reps identify what customers want in a product or service, including any technical specifications. This information can better understand customer needs and how to meet them.  Additionally, guided selling can help build customer trust by showing that you are truly interested in understanding and meeting their needs.

Endorse products: Guide selling enables sales reps to recommend the right products and services and provide personalized content to aid in the buying decision. For example, technical product descriptions deduced from the customer’s needs can be matched to fact sheets of available products. Guided selling can also help identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities, as well as pinpoint areas where a customer may need more education about a product or service. 

Help customers make purchasing decisions: Guided selling helps customers make purchasing decisions by providing them with personalized recommendations and content to aid in purchasing decisions. This type of selling relies on customer data and AI to generate recommendations tailored to each individual. 

Guided Selling Examples

Guided selling can help companies optimize their sales processes, improve customer satisfaction, and increase conversion rates. Let’s look at some examples of how companies are using guided selling to optimize revenue.

eCommerce Guided Selling

Guided selling in eCommerce can be found in online stores when a shopper is presented with questions about their needs and preferences before being shown a selection of products that match those specifications. This type of guided selling helps shoppers find the perfect product without having to sort through an entire product catalog.

Other examples of guided selling in eCommerce include showing shoppers similar products to what they have already viewed or purchased, providing personalized recommendations based on past behavior, and offering real-time support from a customer service representative during the shopping process. By using these techniques, online stores can make the shopping experience more efficient and enjoyable for their customers.

Guided Selling in SaaS

Sales teams in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry often use guided selling to help potential customers choose the right product or package. With guided selling, sales reps ask questions about a customer’s needs using an online questionnaire or live conversation. Then they use that information to recommend the best possible solution. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to find the right product or package without overwhelming them with too many options.

Some examples of guided selling in action include:

  • Asking a customer about their budget and then recommending a package that fits within that budget.
  • Asking a customer about their team’s size and then recommending a package that includes enough licenses for everyone on the team.
  • Asking a customer about their preferred features and then recommending a package that includes those features.

Benefits of Guided Selling Software

There are many benefits to using guided selling:

  1. Automates sales playbooks to support consistent sales performance: Sales playbooks provide a roadmap for success, outlining the steps to close a deal. Guided selling automates sales playbooks by providing a series of questions that need to be answered to generate a personalized quote. This ensures that every salesperson is following the same process and increases the chances of success. Guided selling also makes it easy to track progress and identify areas where improvements can be made.
  2. Responds in real-time: Guided selling also allows sales reps to quickly access product and pricing information, which can be critical when responding to customer inquiries.
  3. Supply total visibility into the pipeline: Guided selling is a powerful tool to help sales teams gain visibility into their pipeline. By providing recommendations and next steps for each opportunity, guided selling can help salespeople prioritize their time and resources. Additionally, guided selling can help managers track progress and identify potential roadblocks. By using guided selling, sales teams can improve their chances of success and close more deals.
  4. Integrates with your sales stack: A guided selling tool can play a key role in any sales stack, providing valuable insights and recommendations to help sales teams close more deals. In most cases, a guided selling tool will be integrated with a CRM and CPQ system. The CRM system will provide the data that the guided selling tool uses to generate recommendations, while the CPQ system will be used to generate quotes based on those recommendations. A guided selling tool may also be integrated with a pricing engine. This can help ensure that sales teams always quote the correct price to customers based on the latest data from the guided selling tool.

Guided Selling Technology

As businesses implement digital transformation of their sales processes, sales leaders are looking for ways to use technology to serve their customers better and increase their sales teams’ efficiency and productivity. Algorithmic guided selling is an example of technology helping companies optimize their sales cycle and accelerate revenue

Algorithmic guided selling technology is software that automates sales processes and helps sales reps close deals by enabling them to understand what their customers want and need and recommend the best products or services. This technology can also be used to upsell or cross-sell products and services.

Guided selling is powered by data, analytics, and machine learning. Data can come from various sources, including prospect data, customer surveys, transaction data, website data, and social media data. Guided selling can be built into automated tools such as chatbots, live chat, sales engagement software, and CPQ.  

Synonyms

  • Sales playbook automation
  • Sales workflow automation
  • Product configuration automation

People Also Ask

How does guided selling increase sales effectiveness?

Guided selling helps salespeople become more effective by using data to inform the sales process. Providing information and guidance, this technology makes the sales process more efficient and increases the chances of closing a sale.

For example, a salesperson might use it to:

1. Help potential customers narrow down their options
2. Educate prospects about the features and benefits of different products or services
3. Guide customers on how to use a product or service
4. Build the correct product configuration according to the customer’s specifications
5. Create an accurate sales quote based on products that meet the customer’s needs

When should you consider guided selling?

There are a few key factors to consider when deciding whether or not guided selling would be beneficial for your business. One key factor is the type of product or service you offer. If you offer a complex product or service, guided selling can help simplify the purchasing process for your customers.

Another key factor to consider is the level of customization or personalization that your product or service requires. If your product or service is highly customizable or personalized, guided selling can help your customers choose the right options for their needs.

Finally, you should also consider your customer base. If you have a large customer base with a wide range of needs, guided selling can help you segment your customers and offer them the most relevant options.

What is guided selling in CPQ?

CPQ is a reliable, powerful, and fast way sales organizations can manage the difficult and complicated process of configuring, pricing, and quoting their products and services. CPQ software is also a sales technology that helps sales organizations configure product offerings, set up pricing rules and discounts, and minimize errors while generating quotes.

Guided selling in CPQ software allows sales reps to quickly and easily find the best products or services to meet a customer’s needs. Guided selling tools typically work by asking the customer a series of questions and then using their answers to recommend specific products or services. This helps to ensure that customers always get exactly what they need while also freeing up reps to focus on other sales tasks.

CPQ software with guided selling functionality can be a valuable addition to any organization, particularly those that sell complex products or services. Guided selling can help to reduce the time it takes to generate quotes and proposals and increase quote accuracy and customer satisfaction.