A vital part of any good omnichannel retail experience, guided selling offers a whole host of new capabilities for B2B and B2C companies.
Put simply, it gives buyers a helping hand as they navigate the world of online shopping. It provides all the information and advice buyers need to help them make decisions. It gives buyers the confidence to commit to purchases they might otherwise have been hesitant about. It’s usually part of a broader strategy, aiming to provide vital information to accelerate sales and facilitate better-informed decisions.
How Does It Work?
Using the power of data and data analysis, combined with the dynamic decision-making that great visibility enables, guided selling can make a huge difference to businesses. While it’s often associated with B2C companies, it’s also an important selling tool for B2B businesses. Here’s how it works in both a B2B and B2C context.
B2B Guided Selling
In B2B markets, guided selling can offer huge advantages. Typically, B2B businesses will have fewer customers than their B2C counterparts, yet these customers will spend far greater sums each time they make a purchase. B2B brands, therefore, need to ensure that every step of the sales process is fully optimized and stress-free for their customers.
It can make the sales process a smooth one by leveraging the power of data to provide a better experience for every buyer. Companies can make full use of their existing insights to optimize the entire customer journey and ensure that they’re always meeting the needs of their customers. As a result, conversion rates tend to improve, and the average value and frequency of orders rise too.
B2C Guided Selling
The customer journey isn’t just an important consideration for B2B companies. It’s also crucial for those targeting consumers. In these markets, guided selling can be used in a similar way to improve the shopping experience using targeted data.
Companies can use various technologies to analyze customer data in greater detail than ever before. The resulting insights can then be turned into real changes that benefit customers and provide an easier and more informative shopping experience.
Guided selling enables brands to offer a step-by-step buying process for customers as they shop online. Ideally, such processes will provide all the information customers might require without ever having to seek it out specifically. This tends to result in fewer abandoned carts and greater customer satisfaction, along with an increase in repeat purchases and loyal brand advocates.
How Does It Benefit a Business?
The benefits don’t end with customers and consumers. There are also significant advantages to be explored within a business. When companies start to make use of the opportunities that guided selling provides, they invariably see real progress within their teams too.
The very idea of guided selling helps to boost confidence in sales by championing the importance of information. It can therefore be used as a highly successful training tactic, and many companies use the ideas of guided selling in their onboarding processes too.
Guided selling can help close gaps in employees’ knowledge base by providing targeted training information, tutorials, and guides. It’s an idea that works just as well for long-standing employees as it does for new joiners. Many B2B and B2C companies are already reporting huge progress from guided selling practices in their training programs.
Guided Selling Done Right
Guided selling offers significant advantages to B2B businesses, but only when it’s done right! Take a look at some of the key areas to focus on to ensure the success of your guided selling strategies.
Great guided selling relies on data. However, once companies start to investigate how this data can be used, their capabilities soon soar. Automated playbooks are a prime example. By automating time-consuming parts of the sales process, companies can free up time for their sales team while also offering buyers a more reliable and responsive experience.
Sellers can easily access all the information they need to check in on new and existing deals, and ongoing client relationships can be easily managed to facilitate a better service going forward. Key metrics relating to deals can also be checked regularly, giving businesses a clear picture of everything from the extent of a deal’s progress and its estimated close date to the amount of time spent on it.
Flexibility is hugely important if a business is to succeed in today’s competitive online markets. When done well, guided selling enables a company to be readily adaptable and incredibly dynamic, ensuring that it can quickly respond to fluctuations in demand at a moment’s notice.
To accomplish this, it relies on real-time responses to ensure its success. Therefore, if a company uses the data it has and ensures that such data is acted upon in real-time, its capabilities will rapidly increase.
There are several points in the customer journey that rely on speedy responses – and in many cases, the time taken to respond can have a real impact on whether or not the company will close a deal. For guided selling to work, companies must prioritize response times and do all they can to keep deals moving.
Establish Visibility and Leverage Customer Insights
Guided selling relies on accurate data. The visibility of this data is also of the utmost importance. Companies looking to make the most of guided selling will need to champion visibility, providing teams with quick and easy access to key metrics gathered from the entirety of the sales pipeline. The provision of such data will then allow all team members to act on data in real-time and leverage customer insights quickly and efficiently.
Software dedicated to guided selling tends to provide opportunities for companies to do exactly this through regular auditing of key metrics designed to leverage customer insights in real-time. Companies can then gain a better understanding of what’s working well in their existing processes, and where there’s room for improvement.