Are your customers still able to find their way through the jungle of product variety? The choice of products and product variants is becoming ever greater and also increasingly relevant for customers. This applies to both B2C and B2B business. Guided Selling provides the perfect solution for finding one’s way through the multitude of options. This is because Guided Selling solutions ask about the needs of the prospective customers. These are then translated into (technical) product features. In this way, you reduce hurdles in the sales process and make the purchase decision easier for your customers.
What is Guided Selling? Finding the right product faster
Guided Selling allows you to guide your customers through the sales process. This is a software-supported sales procedure in which customers receive advice and are guided towards the purchase. Following the principle of “finding instead of searching”, a Guided Selling system leads the customer to the right solution based on relevant user questions. This always ensures that only error-free, suitable configurations are generated.
How does Guided Selling work?
We are all already used to ‘Guided Selling’ from e-commerce in B2C. If a customer wants to buy an item of clothing online, they can usually easily specify the size, cut and colour on the website. The customer is then immediately shown the matching products. This is, however, much more difficult with technical products from the B2B sector – especially when it comes to complex machines or products with multiple variants.
Intelligent Guided Selling systems do not overwhelm prospective customers with confusing technical information. Instead, the customer is guided through the sales process with their individual requirements in a language that they can understand. This involves interactive user guidance through all relevant product features. The selection options result from the decisions already made by the prospective customer. This increasingly narrows down the possible options, ensuring that the customer is able to find the right solution quickly and efficiently.
Eliminating errors in the sales process
The Guided Selling approach systematically leads from the customer request to the company’s corresponding solution. The Guided Selling tool also ensures that no errors slip in during the sales process. Thanks to the defined rules, only solutions that really work can be configured.
Wide range of applications
Guided Selling is used in a variety of areas. In the B2B sector, this sales approach is especially evident in the following fields:
Sales staff can use a corresponding solution during their sales conversation and thus simultaneously configure a quote. Because the sales department has to deal less with technical expertise, there is more time for high-quality advice and contact with the customer.
Manufacturers can also provide their dealers with a product configurator with a Guided Selling solution. The Guided Selling platform helps the dealer to establish the requirements of their customers by asking the right questions and translating them into an optimal solution. The dealer can use this service during direct sales conversations with the customer or online via their web configurator.
Not only the sales team and dealers can configure products, systems and solutions in accordance with their customers’ specifications. Customers themselves can also assemble their individual product independently online via the manufacturer’s or dealer’s portal.
Example of Guided Selling in B2B
Our customer Frewitt sells high-quality, individually manufactured mills for the pharmaceutical, chemical and food industries. The mills are used to crush and micronise raw materials. The special challenge with these mills is that, depending on the products processed and the working environment, many different regulations apply for hygiene, fire and explosion protection, and occupational safety. The mills have to be customised accordingly.
The sales team therefore had to record the operating conditions of the requested mill very precisely right at the quotation phase and include them in the calculation. This required a great deal of expertise: for certain applications, only special modules and equipment features of the respective models can be used. Until recently, Frewitt maintained all these options and rules in Excel tables and text modules. This meant that every sales employee had to manually create and calculate quotations using their own individual expertise.
With the introduction of our CPQ software with integrated Guided Selling, customer requirements are now entered via the tool’s interface. The software then takes care of all the technical decisions that are irrelevant to the user. Finally, the Guided Selling tool only shows machines relevant for the customer, from which they can then choose.
No expertise required
When using ‘Guided Selling’, neither the customer nor the sales staff need any technical expertise. It automatically supports the sales department in understanding the customer’s requirements by asking the right questions and translating them into an optimum solution. Information is compiled step by step – only technically correct, feasible products can be created thanks to the underlying logic.
In addition, cross- and upselling opportunities can be presented and used by the system. Product innovations, higher-priced variants and suitable additional services are automatically shown. This means that even sales staff with minimal product and technical experience are able to sell reliably and successfully. Especially in view of the shortage of skilled workers, this is an option that is becoming increasingly important.
However, a simple Guided Selling solution is not sufficient for highly complex multiple-variant products. A product configurator with integrated Guided Selling can provide help here. It is the link between technical expertise, sales, design and prospective customers. The rules and configuration options as well as the product data are stored here.
The Guided Selling process
The Guided Selling journey: first, the prospective customer is asked about their needs. In the meantime, the software continuously checks which variants of a product can be offered to the prospective customer and assembles the product. Along with the actual product, additional services can also be offered. Finally, a quotation is generated, if requested.
The advantages of Guided Selling
- No expert knowledge required – the configuration knowledge is in the software.
- New sales staff are able to get started more quickly.
- More time for high-quality consulting.
- Trade partners can independently configure offers for your products.
- Guided Selling provides orientation throughout the process and facilitates selection.
- Additional sales are immediately displayed by the software.
- Guided Selling reduces the need for internal coordination and all those involved gain more freedom for their core tasks.
Even if the Guided Selling approach is more familiar from the B2C business, it is no longer possible to imagine the B2B sector without it. After all, there is no way around it if you want to meet the expectations of your current prospective customers. If you would like to find out more about how your business can benefit from Guided Selling, please get in contact with us.