Despite what outsiders may believe, sales doesn’t just come down to being blessed with the gift of gab — although, it helps.
Salespeople juggle huge lists of daily tasks, from prospecting to lead nurturing, cold call outreach, social selling, and much more. There’s a lot to stay on top of (as you know…). Sales reps need all the help they can get, and that’s where guided selling comes in.
While guided selling spans a diverse range of tools and processes, the goal is to help sellers engage with buyers as efficiently and effectively as possible.
How does it do that? We’ll break that down in this article, but here’s a preview: Guided selling provides an adaptive situational framework to direct sales reps through the sales process.
Because it increases efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness, using this selling solution also means you’re building a high-performing sales team.
- Guided selling: Doing all the heavy-lifting to help you make $$
- How does guided selling work with a B2B sales team playbook?
- 3 key ways guided selling supercharges your B2B sales team
Guided selling: Doing all the heavy-lifting to help you make $$
Selling is hard enough. Wouldn’t it help to have the most up-to-date information to make it easier to snag a deal?
That’s what this selling solution is all about.
A seller-centric process, guided selling guides sales teams through the entire sales cycle, increases pipeline visibility, and enables reps to consistently close deals — faster and with fewer missteps.
This adaptive process is typically implemented as software across the B2B, B2C, and e-commerce industries. It uses a wide range of technology and contextual data to enhance sales productivity in countless ways.
Check it out. 👇
With this system, sales reps have access to the best content, actions, and communication tactics for any given sales situation — which basically cements their ability to guide prospects to the right purchasing decision.
Because reps are also equipped with tailored recommendations for potential buyers of each sales transaction, they have the right information to effectively engage buyers and make better decisions.
Plus, it integrates seamlessly into your tech stack. It’s not uncommon for sales teams to toggle between five to eight sales tools, including a sales engagement platform. Guided solutions can deliver assistance to the right systems and integrate into workflows to provide relevant content, training, and tools.
How does guided selling work with a B2B sales team playbook?
Like a charm.
The goal of guided selling in B2B is to help facilitate the buying process in a way that everyone benefits: buyers get what’s right for them, and sellers get to do a lot less selling.
When incorporated into your sales playbook, guided selling acts as an interactive map that gives sales reps access to primo data on their prospect’s needs and wants, all while they actively navigate the sales process.
But because the nature of B2B deals is often complex, a guided selling approach will be most effective if it’s adaptable and capable of pivoting to accommodate unexpected changes in the buyer’s journey, from new stakeholders jumping aboard to shifts in the sales cycle.
The key to a flexible and intuitive B2B guided selling solution? Artificial intelligence (AI).
In an announcement for its “Future of Sales in 2025” report, a global research and advisory firm Gartner underscored the need for sales technology “that includes advanced approaches such as predictive analytics and guided selling.” It highlighted AI as a critical tool for closing deals quickly.
One key finding from the report: 60% of B2B sales organizations will transition from experience- and intuition-based selling to data-driven selling by 2025. (Convinced ya need to get on board yet?)
Innovative guided selling solutions use AI to identify relationships between actions and results. AI-enabled tech can analyze historical performance insights against buyer behaviors, demographics, market conditions, and tons of other relevant data points.
That can be gold for B2B sales reps who can use the analytics provided by AI to be in the best position to increase win rates.
3 key ways guided selling supercharges your B2B sales team
If guided selling sounds like a slam dunk to you, that’s because it kind of is.
According to the third annual State of Sales report from Salesforce, high-performing sales teams are 2.3 times more likely than underperforming teams to use guided selling.
Here are just three of the ways guided selling could benefit your sales operation and make your team a part of that stat before you know it.
1. Personalize sales calls and proposals
It’s not rocket science: Most buyers ultimately sign on the dotted line with the vendor who responds faster than everyone else. That means you always want to be a rep who’s quick to get back to prospects with a sales proposal.
But when you do, it’s critical that your proposal is personalized — not just a fill-in form you use for any prospect, no matter their needs.
With a guided selling solution in your sales playbook, gone are the days of spending hours digging for relevant pricing sheets and content assets to create a sales proposal.
Instead, sales reps can adjust quickly to various sales scenarios and produce individualized sales proposals for customers quickly and efficiently. Not only is this a time-saver, but it also enables them to snag the first seat at the table with the information buyers are hungry for.
🔥 Psst – pair guided selling with our Dynamic Scripting solution and your sales team is golden.
2. Respond appropriately in real-time (no missteps here!)
B2B selling means you’ll likely experience tons of variations that occur throughout the deal cycle — like your buyers changing their needs or budget — so responding to shifting circumstances in real-time is a major key to success.
To do this successfully, reps need to be on top of communications and sales activities all across the board — and that’s at the most basic level.
Being adaptable and dynamic out in the field is so critical for many reasons, but mostly this one: Real-time information is often the difference between wins and losses, especially when it comes to navigating the many time-sensitive turning points of a deal.
The sales community has long since noticed the difference in conversion rates when lead response times are minutes rather than hours — one drastically increases the likelihood of a sale, and the other tanks it.
But without an integrated guided selling approach that makes the right time-sensitive information accessible — like industry-specific training reminders and content on hand — it doesn’t matter how quickly you get back to your prospect.
You’ll just have to follow up. And in the time it takes to do that, your prospect has already phoned or researched your competitor.
Whether there’s an unforeseen shift in market conditions, deal requirements change, or otherwise, guided selling informs sales reps and leaders ASAP, empowering you to respond quickly and keep deals moving at top Sonic speed.
3. Accelerate the sales cycle
Speaking of Sonic speed, using a sales playbook that informs your guided selling approach (and vice versa) reduces the sales cycle in three top ways:
- Harmonious alignment. When every team member uses the same sales tools and tech, the sales process becomes clearer, more concise, and easier to follow. And the reason is simple: Because everyone’s on the same page, you all work together to prevent time-consuming (and avoidable) mishaps.
- So long, dead leads. Guided selling makes eliminating poor leads simpler. Without having to flip your pipeline inside and out to see what shakes out, sales reps are free to spend more time wooing qualified leads.
- Eyes on the prize. Guided selling enables salespeople to truly focus on what contributes to making the sale: solving their prospect’s pain points. The faster you can get to this part of the process, the more you can shorten the sales cycle.
Something else that might help accelerate the sales cycle? Lead routing.
Next steps: Refine your guided selling approach with our Sales Engagement Buyer’s Guide! With these two tools working in tandem in your back pocket, there’s nothing your sales rep won’t be able to sell.