Guided Selling software (similar to Sales Playbook Software) captures information from data generated by the sales team and provides a more consistent, faster, and error-free approach to selling.
The goal is to allow sellers to connect with customers as quickly and successfully as possible. Such a sales approach may be used by both B2B and B2C businesses. It implies that guided selling applies to various topics, including e-commerce, physical interaction, internet purchases, etc.
Guided selling is a seller-centric approach that, as a software program, guides sellers through the whole sales process and increases pipeline visibility, allowing salespeople to close deals more quickly and make fewer mistakes.
While you can think of guided selling as a specific product or feature, it’s essentially a method for utilizing data to improve sales output. Guided selling, like sales enablement, is less concerned with particular tools or technological foundations and more about assisting sellers in becoming more efficient and effective.
Guided selling is part of a bigger enablement plan that uses technology to provide sellers with precise information throughout the process, allowing them to work more quickly, successfully interact with buyers, and make better decisions.
What Is Guided Selling and How Does It Work in B2B Sales?
The objective of Guided Selling software is to assist both parties in the buying process. Buyers benefit because they receive what they want, while sellers benefit since they have less actual “selling” to do as prospects are assisted in fulfilling their needs in a structured, well-considered way that is right for them.
Instead of relying on gut instinct to identify qualified prospects, AI-powered guided selling solutions use machine learning algorithms to guide sales representatives through the sales process and suggest actions based on data rather than best practices or gut feelings.
Like Salesforce and Microsoft, leading technology companies are using AI and machine learning to analyze, cleanse, and recommend actionable insights from big data sets.
On the other hand, Guided selling solutions are similar to recommendation engines employed by platforms like Amazon and Netflix, which utilize historical data, demographic information, actions, and additional insights to suggest items or material to customers.
Obstacles in B2B
B2B sales is changing at a rapid pace. External factors are pushing businesses to extract more value from less, while internal issues pile up.
Sales teams increasingly focus on maximizing their chances with every sale as sales cycles expand, buyer groups increase, and corporate purchasing power becomes more tightly guarded. Avoiding missteps and exploiting every opportunity is at the top of the list.
Increased revenue from the same or less spending is a crucial goal for sales organizations. This is about selling more quickly or devoting additional time to selling.
With more sales teams going remote, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to keep pipeline review meetings from turning into counterproductive inquisitions. When it comes to knowing where the pipeline stands, sales supervisors have even less information.
The fact that a new generation of self-determined teammates is particularly resistant to this supervision compound the difficulty. New work conditions and new types of salespeople necessitate different management techniques.
Internal difficulties are made worse by external events. Market changes have often led to competing activities within the sales department as various roles respond. Consider, for example, how sales operations develop new plays and strategies in response to changing customer demands.
On the other hand, Reps resist new restrictions on their flexibility and believe they are more critical than ever. Sales organizations require a solution that can help integrate the activities and goals of various roles within the team to avoid wasted effort.
Rep margins are getting narrower. Reps now stay with a firm for an average of 18 months, while ramp time takes three to six months. That implies that most of their time is spent learning.
Even after official ramp time, almost half of reps take longer than ten months to become adequately competent to influence company revenue targets significantly. Recruits in the sales sector require a more up-to-date method for onboarding and coaching.
Managers have more things on their plates than they have ever had. Their attention is divided between numerous applications, time-consuming reporting, tracking down verbal updates and information, and anything else that their team requires but that reps don’t finish themselves.
The views of management and data agree that sales management is devoting too much time to low-ROI activities and not enough to external-facing activities that generate revenue.
Proactive sales leaders are looking ahead and seeking methods to turn their new position into a competitive edge, striving for more than merely surviving the present reality. Shocks to the system will become more common as time goes on, and reacting in hopes of a “return to normal” is a losing strategy.
How guided selling process addresses these issues
The goal of guided selling is to improve visibility, assistance, and control throughout the sale. Sales reps can quickly learn about potential opportunities and critical information, be guided through the sales process, and be closer to a sale.
Focused selling aims to provide deep insight into the sales pipeline, team, and account activity. The platform delivers vital information directly to where your salespeople are working and additional levels of analysis for amassed data.
The goal of real-time coaching is to provide sales reps with timely instructions aligned with your sales strategy. As the name implies, real-time coaching is at the core of guided selling.
Sales software that provides guided selling transforms your sales process, data from linked applications, and AI suggestions into a sequence of statements and alerts. This way, your sales team activity helps shorten your sales cycle.
Sales peps get notifications in their feed telling them about the next steps and informing them of any significant changes to opportunities. Sales managers and leaders receive alerts.
How it helps Sales Process
Guided selling is intended to provide your sales teams with every chance of closing their pipelines. That implies offering a greater understanding, direction, and control in the sales environment.
The sales pipeline is an essential reflection of your company’s success. The double-sided nature of the platform allows for a deeper look into the reality of the sales process and will enable you to gain insight from the data collected. The system provides vital information right where your salespeople are working and adds additional sense to gathered data.
Sales managers’ visibility
Your sales managers may check on their pipeline at a glance using guided selling: which deals are moving quickly, which ones are in danger, and which ones are stuck.
The first step toward better insight into your company’s health is creating a proper pipeline visibility foundation. This rudimentary level of pipeline visibility makes it simple for supervisors to intervene in time and assist get projects on track again. Knowing the status of transactions provides more honest insight into where things are going, resulting in more accurate predictions and less over-promising.
Managers can also view team and rep activity at a glance. Analytics that show where team members are spending their time allows managers to see what’s working best for generating income. Managers may now quickly identify who requires assistance and with what, making coaching easier.
This new level of visibility reduces sales team communication costs. Managers may stay up to date on the status of their reps’ opportunities straight from the dashboard they use every day, rather than waiting for verbal reports in pipeline meetings.
All relevant data points are just a click away, including sales team activity and communication history, account responses, and planned subsequent actions. Pipeline review meetings cease to be confrontational since all participants are made aware.
Sales reps’ visibility
Reps have a lot more information at their disposal, including dashboards that display the status of each opportunity consistently at the forefront. The platform also utilizes data and the rep to provide more insight and reveal connections that aren’t available through traditional metrics.
For example, conversation intelligence is used to obtain more information from meetings and conversations.
The guided sales platform also acts as a central notification center for your rep’s tech stack. Instead of switching between numerous tools, which leads to lost focus and forgotten activities, your reps will receive notifications about all significant events in their feed, whether it’s about signed (or unsigned) contracts, messages that need to be responded to, or payments that have been made.
Guidance in Real-time
Real-time guidance is the core component of guided selling. The platform consolidates your sales process, data from linked applications, and artificial intelligence suggestions into a set of guiding messages and notifications to enable sales teams to advance deals as quickly and simply as possible.
Sales managers and leaders receive alerts in their feed informing them of any significant changes to opportunities, such as warnings about deals at risk, notifications about close dates being postponed, and alerts about new possibilities.
They can rest confident that reps are following the processes and playbooks they established and getting updates on where things go off track from the system.
In-time notifications help salespeople avoid spending a second of time on deals that may be progressing. This becomes even more crucial as time goes by. Buyers in today’s market expect rapid, comprehensive, and customized service. Fast responses to leads’ inquiries have been shown to improve conversion rates in numerous studies dramatically.
Control over your sales process
One of the most significant advantages of guided selling is the degree of control it allows you over your sales operations. Simple procedures are even automated to save more time for your sellers to sell. The platform expedites things like CRM data collection and entry, bulk outreach, and calendar planning.
Numbered steps in a playbook or strategy will be more direct with guided selling since everything is centralized. Your company transforms formal or informal plays and playbooks into notifications and automation as it goes through adopting and fine-tuning guided selling.
Do you expect your reps to follow up with you within 24 hours of a meeting? Even if it isn’t written down anywhere, this is one of the most critical practices in your plan. Bringing all of these best practices, laws, and plays together has several advantages.
Onboarding new reps is improved.
According to a study, reps forget up to 80% of sales training in only three months. The only way to ensure long-term learning acceptance is by repeating it. Notifications alert you when and how to execute different skills and plays, reminding you of what you’ve learned.
Notifications can help recruits and existing team members acquire the skills they need. Announcements cannot take the place of extensive training, but they may improve the training’s effectiveness and ROI.
Test effectiveness of your methods and materials
Without a reliable way to evaluate new methods, bias can quickly enter into the data. Thanks to notifications, sales operations may be confident that the procedures being tested are actually carried out and done correctly. Test outcomes are trustworthy because the system’s data is obtained automatically rather than through word of mouth.
Learning how to adapt to new situations is a crucial part of any effective marketing strategy—trying out various forms of communication, different target audiences, new geographies, and so on demands thorough testing. Pivots are faster when you have centralized access to sales processes since it allows for quicker changes in direction.
How Sales Reps benefit
Guided selling tools guide sales reps through the entire sales cycle and selling process so that they can close more deals and become more efficient at selling.
It crunches complete sales communication data with Al to find correlations between actions and results and gives reps step-by-step guidance to win with more consistency and speed.
Reps get a front-row seat to their transactions, with dashboards that make progress on each deal front and center. The system also analyzes data alongside the rep to provide deeper insights and connect dots that might not otherwise be visible.
For example, conversational intelligence may be used to look for patterns in meetings and conversations. In contrast, relationship intelligence can help you figure out who has ties to leads and prospect organizations from your business.
The guided selling platform also functions as a communications hub for your rep’s technology stack. Instead of switching between multiple tools, which distracts from the task at hand and leaves undone activities, reps get alerts about all significant events in their feed, whether it’s agreements that have been signed (or not), messages that need to be responded to, or funds that have been paid.
Training reps becomes faster and easier
According to research, reps forget up to 80% of sales training from sales kickoffs within three months. Repetition is the only way to increase long-term absorption of training. Notifications provide in-time reminders about when and how to apply various skills and plays, which helps to cement learning.
Notifications are another way to get information to team members, whether it’s about new employees being added to the organization or existing ones receiving continuing training. Notifications can’t compensate for poor instruction, but they may enhance the training’s effectiveness and return on investment.
What exactly does guided selling entail?
Guided selling uses a number of AI technologies to assist your sales staff and purchasers on their path.
Data acquisition without human interaction
To provide a clear picture of sales activity, you’ll need complete, integrated sales data. Guided selling platforms pull together all of your sellers’ emails, meetings, conversations, and calls to produce a sales connection or opportunity from their communications channels and other events across the sales tech stack.
The data analytics of the area you want to focus on
Guided selling platforms use the data to provide feedback. The ability of a platform to show your manager current health, buyer activity, sales team activity, and what should happen next is based on this analysis.
The platform uses AI to analyze your company’s historical sales data in order to know what actions move your deals forward the most effectively, offer real-time recommendations to reps, and provide real-time insights to managers about their teams’ greatest activities
The unique connections that link your sales resources into an ecosystem.
- When a prospect accepts a meeting, all concerned parties are prompted for their contact information and reminded of the date, time, and location.
- Meetings and transcriptions are saved for natural language processing.
- Attendees of our live webinar are automatically added to your CRM.
Notifications are used to give direction to sales teams. Sales executives create the content of notifications based on the demands of their sales organization, with AI analysis of what works best, and it may include directions or simple alerts.
- When a keyword is mentioned during a meeting, the platform advises your rep to provide particular marketing materials to the prospect.
- When opportunities above a certain dollar value are generated or when the committed pipeline falls below a certain amount, marketing managers get an alert.
- If a customer has not responded to the owner of an opportunity for a set duration, he or she is reminded to contact them.
The dashboard is the base for salespeople working in the field. This is where your salespeople may check on their deals and what to do next and discover material that can assist them in moving them forward.
- Managers can access the pipeline dashboard to get a bird’s eye view of each deal’s health, as well as delve into all supporting data.
- All team members’ feedback is gathered and displayed on a single feed, with the option to use mobile push notifications.
- Analytics dashboards provide a wealth of information, including charts for team and opportunity behavior, as well as relationship maps.
It’s worth noting that guided selling is not a one-size-fits-all program that you have to hope will work with your current processes. The recommendations the platform delivers are tailored to your specific situation based on your company’s previous sales data. However, the majority of guidance comes straight from your playbooks and procedures.
Every company, product, and selling situation is unique; thus, effective guided selling must be customized to each. Effective directed selling takes advantage of what your sales staff already knows but does so more consistently and easily scalable.