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What is AI-Guided Selling and how does it work to improve business results?

AI guided selling, or enhanced sales, combines human skills with the power of artificial intelligence to boost prospect engagement and increase the chances of conversion.

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What is AI-Guided Selling and how does it work to improve business results?

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With the boom in new technologies being deployed within businesses, a major shift in business processes is definitely underway. We're now seeing a lot of talk about guided selling, assisted sales, and enhanced sales. 

In 2021, Gartner published a study revealing that 75% of B2B businesses were aiming to have reinforced their sales methods with sales support tools by 2025. Their goal? To contact and convert more prospects. 

So, in concrete terms, what is guided selling and how can your business benefit from it? What are the most effective guided selling tools? 

We'll answer all your questions in this article. We'll also give you some concrete examples of guided selling. First things first, let's start with a simple definition.

What is guided selling?

Guided selling is conceptual framework with two key aspects:

  • The first covers all support provided to the potential buyer to help them choose a service or product that aligns with their needs.
  • The other aspect consists of helping the sales agent to properly support the prospect throughout the purchasing process.

We're going to particularly focus on the second aspect of guided selling in this article.

How does guided selling work?

Guided selling tools allow you to simplify and automatise management and contact processes, as well as the collection of information that will be useful for analysing the prospects' needs. Guided selling provides sales agents with information on how to put together the optimal offer for buyers. 

Okay, so, that's the theory part, but in concrete terms, how does guided selling really work for sales teams? 

Guided selling consists in collecting information on all your sales and clients. After classifying and processing this data, the support tools will provide you with recommendations adapted to each sale situation, in order to increase the probability of client conversion. They may take the form of advice on the mindset of the potential buyer or information that will help you to handle their objections more effectively. 

These tools are generally based on Artificial Intelligence. As for the technical aspect, these are often AI models pretrained with market data, and you can then refine this training with your business' data.

What are the key benefits?

Guided selling helps to clean up and streamline the client pathway for both the buyer and the sales agent. It reduces a certain element of uncertainty. However, that isn't its main benefit, here are the key advantages of guided selling:

1. Rationalisation of the sales process

Your guided selling tool will allow you to standardise certain processes and identify the most effective practices, so that you can reproduce them. You'll be better able to identify any opportunities which arise, waste less time on identifying prospects' challenges, and respond to prospects' needs more effectively.

2. Improving the client experience

On top of improving the daily work of sales agents, guided selling also improves the client experience. 

B2B sales cycles are longer than B2C cycles, which leaves more time for competitors to intercept your prospects. Your prospect can be inundated with offers each week, leaving them completely lost in the seemingly endless options. 

Thanks to guided selling, you can clarify the situation by offering them customised support, acting more like a consultant than a salesperson. You can do this thanks to guided selling. This approach tends to go down very well with clients. 83% of B2B clients think that customisation improves the purchasing experience.

3. Increasing the chance of conversion

In mechanical terms, standardising your sales process and offering a better experience to prospects will increase your chances of converting them. 

That's for good reason, as the correct application of guided selling gives clients the impression that they've been understood and really listened to. They're then naturally more inclined to trust you and to buy your products or services.

Examples of guided selling

Now that you've got the theory part of guided selling covered with some concrete elements, let's move onto some examples. Imagine that you're a sales agent in a company selling a stock management software for businesses. Here's what the use of guided selling would look like in that context:

StepDescriptionGuided selling tool
1. Making contactContacting the prospect through email, a call or chat and giving them a brief presentation of the software and why it's of interest for their business.System to identify the best time and channel to use to contact the prospect, lead management tool, call script scenarios
2. Needs analysisIdentifying the prospect's specific needs by asking questions on stock volume, the industries involved, the challenges faced, etc. Using active listening and noting down key information.Targeted question suggested using databases, emotion analysis using voice and natural language to identify needs and issues
3. 100% customised demonstrationPreparing a demo of the software, focusing on the features that correspond to the prospect's needs and issues which were identified in Step 3.Interactive presentation of the software, contextual adaptation and customisation
4. Presentation of the advantagesAlways present the software through its key advantages: Saving time and money, efficient management, trend anticipation.Showing infographics or explanatory videos, the stock management solution's ROI, simulation of financial impact on management costs
5. Testimonies and case studiesIllustrate the advantages using concrete examples from other company that have used the solution, highlighting the positive impact on their businessExtraction of testimonies from similar clients operating in the same industry
6. Customisation of the commercial offerCustom proposal, taking into account the expectations, pain points and budget of the potential buyer.Automatic quote generation based on the data automatically collected during interactions, suggestion of additional modules
7. Handling objectionsEffectively anticipating, identifying and handling the prospect's objections by providing clear responses and solutions to their concerns.Suggestion of responses via a library of objection responses
8. Closing the sale and follow-upSummary of advantages, responses to objections and contractual information, detailed follow-up, planning the next stepsSummary generated automatically and automatic planning recorded in the sales agent's calendar

What are the best B2B guided selling software?

There are countless tools available to help sales professionals with their daily work, but they're not all available on every market. Here are the top guided selling solutions that we recommend:

Cadence

Cadence is a prospecting tool that allows sales teams to automatise a large part of their processes and to standardise the most effective processes. 

How? By automatically generating a list of tasks which allow each team member to know what to do and when to do it. Plus, the tool has its own A/B testing section, to help you determine the top-performing methods and campaigns. 

Cadence makes it easier to create multi-channel prospecting sequences, and rationalises your prospecting so that you can contact 100% of your prospects using the best-suited communication channels.

Try Cadence by Ringover

Empower

Empower is an AI-based conversational analysis solution. This software can be used for sales enablement but can also be used as an AI-enhanced sales tool. Empower features its own automatic call transcription module. 

Connected with your business telephony solution, it recovers all recordings of your calls with your clients and transcribes them. The software can also translate these transcriptions into multiple languages (French, English, Spanish). 

Where Empower really goes above and beyond is in its capacity to analyse the content of communications with clients. You can create your own keyword tags, so that you can easily pull up audio passages and transcription sections that are most relevant to you from each conversation and identify any business opportunities at a glance. 

Empower also provides sales agents with recommendations, giving them information on the prospect's mindset and the quality of the communications, highlighting any potential areas for improvement.

Try Empower by Ringover

HubSpot

You've most likely heard of HubSpot. The publisher offers businesses an exceptional ecosystem with an abundance of tools and features for increasing sales. Once of its strengths is the collection, processing and centralisation of marketing and sales data. With this ideal solution or team alignment, you can really support your prospects throughout their client pathway, without weakening your sales pitch.

Try the Hubspot integration

Salesforce

Just like HubSpot, Salesforce is another well-known name in the world of CRM software. As a comprehensive solution, it has numerous modules for guided selling throughout the sales cycle. Sales agents can use transaction models, automatically generate quotes, and get cross-sales suggestions.

Try the Salesforce integration

Best practices for guided selling

Each sale has its particularities, but there are approaches that can be applied to all sales:

Guide the prospect without sounding like you're telling them what to do

Supporting your client without sounding like you're telling them what to do demonstrates that you're taking note of their concerns and want to resolve them. It's also a good way of establishing a trusting relationship with them, which promotes more effective collaboration. This effective collaboration also helps to precisely identify the client's actual issues and the underlying challenges, which may not have necessarily been identifiable beforehand.

Guide the prospect

Be factual and base your pitch on reliable data

Regardless of the tools that you use, make sure that they're populated with reliable data. You'll thus reinforce your credibility with the client and find it easier to earn their trust.

Give systematic examples

Whenever you can, give examples and illustrations of what you're saying, using videos, images and live demos, if you can. Show clients concrete examples to bolster your pitch and catch their attention.

Contextualize as much as you can

The more precise you are in your pitch and the support you offer, the higher the chances of converting the prospect. Offer as much context to your prospects during your communications, and don't settle for just presenting them with the features and specifications of your solution.

Focus on speed and efficacy

First and foremost, guided selling depends on the client's pace. That said, a quick and effective approach can demonstrate your efficiency, professionalism and expertise. Quickly answering any client questions also means you can cut off any lurking competitors.

Wrapping things up

In short, guided selling is a must-have strategy in the current B2B landscape. That said, you need the right technological tools and to properly train your teams to use them effectively to support your client throughout the sales cycle, which can err on the long side in the world of B2B sales. It's an excellent tactic for establishing strong, trusting relationships with clients and engaging buyers, as long you supplement it with the ABCs of sales:

  • Guide the prospect without sounding like you're telling them what to do
  • Illustrate what you're saying with examples, testimonies, case studies, and demos
  • Focus on reliability, speed, and efficacy

Guided selling: Ringover is here to help

As we mentioned earlier in this article, Ringover has developed two solutions that help businesses to deploy guided selling techniques. With Cadence and Empower, you can unlock the full potential of AI to make the most of each and every interaction you have with clients and optimize your sales approach. 

This means you can count on more conversions without compromising on the quality of your communications with clients, guaranteeing that they get a customized experience throughout the purchasing process. You can now request a free trial or a live demo to find out more.

FAQs: Guided selling

Which industries can benefit from guided selling?

Guided selling can be used in any industry. Any business with a complex sales process can rationalise these processes and improve results.

How can B2B guided selling improve the conversion of prospects into clients?

Guided selling tools offer precise recommendations on the needs and issues of potential clients. Sales agents can use these recommendations to clearly mark out the prospect's pathway and create a customised purchasing experience, which in turn increases the likelihood of a purchase.

Can smaller businesses also use guided selling?

This tactic isn't just for big corporations. SMEs can also benefit from it when they have the right tools.

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