Guided Selling: Check Twice Before You Buy
By Jim Lundy
There is a lot of hype in the market today by sales enablement providers that they offer guided selling. The truth is chasing some of them. As a sales leader, how do you know what you’re getting when you purchase a solution to help your teams? In this blog, we differentiate between what is true guided selling versus what is not, and what to look out for if you’re wanting to adopt guided selling technology.
Sales Methodologies and Guided Selling
We’ve been using the term guided selling (also known as customer revenue optimization) to represent the digitization of sales methodologies. The idea behind digitizing sales methodology is to create a repeatable process for a sales cycle so the sales representative knows what action to take next, how to engage with the account, and where their journey with the account or client is headed. It takes the guesswork out of selling to create a reliable approach for success. Without this methodology, sales reps often rely on inconsistent approaches, which can spell trouble for the pipeline.
Some vendors have added a few next-best actions to their sales enablement technology and claim that this is sufficient enough to call it guided selling (hint: it’s not). The reality is that there are different strategies and tactics that need to be employed at each stage of the sales cycle. True guided selling walks a sales representative through each step in the sales process based on the current state of their pipeline. It also understands that sales is not a one-and-done operation; it’s all about repetition, and getting the right touches at the right time.
It’s still early days for the true digitization of sales methodology. While there are dedicated providers such Upland Altify, People.ai, and Revegy that offer true guided selling solutions, many providers are not quite there yet.
Sales leaders need to understand this gap when they’re looking at potential products to purchase. We still have a long way to go in this area and many sales enablement vendors will need to partner with other providers to deliver a full digital sales methodology.
Learning the Playbook
Just like any sports team, the playbook you’re using to run your deals needs to be repeatable. That means that all the members of the team need to understand the playbook—which in this case, is the sales methodology. It’s important to remember that you can’t just use a technology platform as a panacea; you need to invest in a methodology and you need to believe in it and you need to ensure that the software platform you’re purchasing can truly help your reps succeed.
We’ve entered a phase where many vendors claim to have sophisticated guided selling capabilities but in reality, they only provide a simple, next-best action. Sales enablement teams need to understand this and make appropriate decisions. Be careful not to buy into hype, but to do a thorough evaluation.
Aragon can help you evaluate which providers are right for your sales goals. Contact us to learn more.