Can Guided Selling Tools Improve the Customer Experience?
February 8, 2017
What factor influences customers’ purchase decisions the most?
C. Customer experience
While price and product are good guesses, customer experience (CX) is quickly becoming the biggest influence on whether customers buy from you or a competitor. Gartner reports 89% of businesses plan to compete on the basis of CX. And by 2020, “customer experience is expected to overtake both price and product when it comes to differentiating a brand.”
But even though they see CX as critical to their success, sales reps are failing to deliver the experience their customers and prospects want.
This is where guided selling tools can help.
The (Broken) Circle of Trust
What’s the experience missing? Trust. In a survey of enterprises with more than $1B in revenue, Accenture found only 12% of sales executives believe their prospects and customers perceive them as trusted partners.
Without trust, sales don’t happen. Think about a time when you felt a sales rep was only out to meet their quota. Did you buy from them? You likely went with someone else whom you trusted had your best interests at heart. Someone who listened to your needs, educated you on your options, and helped you make the best decision for you, not their bottom line.
You’re not alone. According to the IDC, 50% of buyers say sales reps need to better understand the buyer’s need and objectives. And, ultimately, 1/3 of lost deals could’ve been won if the sales rep had been better informed and acted more client-oriented.
Guided Selling Tools & CX
So what is guided selling, and how can a guided selling tool help improve the customer experience? Guided selling helps sales teams gain customers’ and prospects’ trust and provide the genuine, personalized experience they’re looking for.
At their core, guided selling tools put humans, not quotas, first. Here are four ways that happens.
1. Understanding Customers’ Needs
Guided selling tools help reps understand the customer. The tool asks needs-based questions to engage customers and make the discovery process contextual and customer-centric. Sales reps can gather and record valuable insights about the customer’s lifestyle or background, their values and preferences, and their existing knowledge of a product or service category.
2. Educating Customers
A guided selling tool is more than a set of filters to drill down through features. For someone with expert-level knowledge, this kind of filtering system can work. But, more often than not, filters can be confusing and leave people frustrated. They don’t explain what something is or demonstrate its value.
Guided selling tools often weave in short educational modules, such as video demos or interactive tutorials, to help customers quickly and easily understand the differences between complex products and services.
3. Making Personalized Recommendations
The #1 thing sales reps can do to improve the buying experience? Put aside the generic pitch. Which is precisely what guided selling tools do. The tool not only records customer inputs, it analyzes what products and services best meet the customers’ needs and recommends the best solution based on what the customer shared.
Plus, there’s radical transparency about the value the solution provides. The recommendation is more than a what. It’s the why. Recommendation screens summarize what the customer said and show how different features relate to customer needs.
4. Giving Customers Control
All of these things culminate in a powerful feeling: control. Guided selling tools, in effect, put customers in the drivers’ seat. Their input is what drives how product or service options are narrowed down. They can explore and compare different solutions and immediately see the value a solution provides them.
Humans Buy from Humans
At the end of the day, you’re not in the sales business. You’re in the business of helping humans. Using a guided selling tool is your opportunity to show that you and your team are authentic, trustworthy humans to work with, which will only help your customer experience, and in effect your bottom line.
Meet Unboxed Advisor
Want to see guided selling in action? Check out Unboxed Advisor. Advisor has helped enterprise sales teams not only improve the customer experience, but also increase YOY sales by up to 60% and sales rep productivity by up to 40%.