When you think of sales enablement, what comes to mind? A CRM? Content management tools? Refresher training and coaching?
People are quick to name the usual suspects. But these sales tools are often rep-focused. And reps are only one part of the equation. The other mission-critical part? Your customers. The customer experience is crucial and if you don’t win their trust, you don’t win sales.
Enter guided selling. Guided selling software weighs the rep experience and the customer experience and creates a win-win for both parties.
Benefits of Guided Selling Software
Unlike other sales tools, guided selling software isn’t just for reps. It benefits both your reps and customers. Here’s how.
Guided selling software is configured to reflect your sales process and provides a consistent framework to guide customer interactions and needs assessments.
Benefit for reps
For new reps, this framework can help them learn the ropes faster. For experienced sales reps, this is a reminder of “true north” that helps reinforce best practices over time.
Benefit for customers
According to the CEB, buying decisions typically involve five to six stakeholders. When a rep encounters multiple stakeholders, consistency needs to be the name of the game. Wildly different interactions with your team mean your reputation’s shot and customer confidence is shattered. Guided selling software will help ensure each and every stakeholder receives a consistent experience and message—and the customer trusts you.
In sales, information changes at a rapid-fire pace. There’s a lot to keep up with, like new product launches or changes in pricing or availability. With guided selling software, both reps and customers have access to current product or service offerings, features, specs, pricing, and resources.
Benefit for reps
Guided selling software can help support reps’ training. To be clear, this isn’t a crutch or a replacement for product and sales training. It’s a supplement, reinforcing overarching messages while also keeping reps on top of the nitty-gritty.
Armed with current information, reps feel better prepared and more confident.
Benefit for customers
Would you buy from someone who seems unsure? Confident reps mean confident customers.
Guided selling software also helps convey credibility and expertise. Customers see their rep is in the know and using the latest insights, not outdated information.
The output of guided selling software is a product or service recommendation for the customer. This recommendation is generated dynamically. An algorithm behind the scenes weighs customer inputs to build the best solution whether it’s products, services, or other options.
The recommendation summarizes the customer’s answers and shows how the solution meets the needs expressed by the customer. The sales rep can edit and fine-tune the recommendation on the fly if the customer has additional feedback. Once the recommendation is finalized, the rep can send an email summary to the customer, if desired.
Benefit for reps
Guided selling software simplifies the process of proposing solutions. Plus, reps position themselves as customer advocates because they’re equipped to clearly and consistently summarize, confirm, and respond to the customer’s needs.
Benefit for customers
There’s transparency about how and why certain products or services were recommended. So instead of feeling like a rep is pulling a fast one, or pushing something just to make quota, customers instead see their best interests are at heart.
Digital, Mobile Presentations
Guided selling software makes selling less clunky. Content is digitized and available on mobile devices. This includes presentation and recommendation tools, as well as reference materials and collateral.
Benefit for reps
Reps save time because they don’t have to hunt for printed brochures and catalogs or create yet another PowerPoint deck. Everything is built into a single, digital resource and is already designed and styled. Going paperless is more convenient, too. Reps can pick up their tablet or phone and get working.
Benefit for customers
Customers receive a polished presentation every time. And there’s the undeniable wow factor of getting to use a tablet to do a needs assessment and review a recommendation. Plus, customers can get in the driver’s seat and explore interactive modules—for example, they could tap and swipe through a product demo instead of thumbing through yet another brochure.
||Benefits for reps
||Benefits for customers
||Reinforce sales process and best practices
||See a reliable partner with stable team and strong, shared vision/story
||Stay on top of ever-changing details and feel more confident and prepared
||Feel confident by working with an expert
||Simplify process of recommending a solution
Be seen as customer advocate
|Understand how a product or service meets a business need
|Digital, Mobile Presentations & Resources
||Spend less time on non-selling tasks and more time working with customers
||Enjoy a more interactive and engaging experience
Add Guided Selling Software To Your Sales Toolkit
Guided selling software helps both reps and customers feel supported and empowered to achieve their goals. Guided selling isn’t an extra burden or out to undermine other parts of your sales strategy. It supports and bolsters other sales enablement initiatives, like training.
Don’t let guided selling software fly under the radar; integrate it into your sales enablement toolkit. Your reps and customers will both benefit.
Want to learn more? Check out Unboxed Advisor, a sales enablement platform with a guided selling tool that connects reps to customers in a high-tech way.
Sales executives are in growth mode. And with guided selling, that growth is achievable.Sales cycles are 27% faster, more leads convert into customers, and more reps meet their quotas.
This infographic explores how sales organizations can reap the benefits of guided selling tools.
More GUided Selling Resources
Want to learn more about guided selling and how it can benefit your sales team, your customers, and your bottom line? Here are a few additional resources.
If you’re looking to add guided selling into your sales toolkit, check out Unboxed Advisor. Advisor is a sales enablement platform that uses guided selling to connect your reps to your customers, improve the customer experience, and increase sales.
NextWorth expanded their online electronics trade-in program to include brick-and-mortar retail partner locations. As a result, they needed to teach their retail partners’ employees how to conduct accurate product trade-ins. Rolling out a series of engaging, bite-sized training videos—plus updating the retail partner trade-in site to be more user-friendly—helped cut variance in half and ultimately netted a double-digit increase in trade-in accuracy.
Boston-based NextWorth makes recycling old electronics easy with three simple steps: Get A Quote, Send It In, and Get Paid. Customers can ship their trade-ins or take them to a local retail partner, one of which is Target. At Target, an associate inspects the device and gives the customer a quote. If the customer accepts the quote, the associate hands over a Target gift card in exchange for the device. Instant cash value–what’s not to like? In addition to being green, our friends at NextWorth are agile. When they have a strong, profitable idea, they focus and pursue it to completion quickly. That makes them an energizing client to work with.
Expanding the trade-in program from their NextWorth.com site into Target locations presented a new challenge. Rather than have an experienced NextWorth technician inspect the device after it was shipped in, a Target employee performs the evaluation and offers instant cash. That means every trade-in requires a judgment call at the point of transaction. Some products are easy for associates to identify and inspect, such as movies and games with specific titles. However, some items are difficult to identify and evaluate—take the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S for example. They’re almost identical on the outside, but have a few key differences affecting their trade-in value. More challenging trade-ins, plus too much room for associate interpretation, resulted in an inconsistent customer experience and lost revenue dollars. NextWorth came to us with a need: provide training to teach hundreds of associates how to conduct more accurate product trade-ins.
As we started to learn more about NextWorth’s business, we uncovered another issue affecting the variance at retail partner locations—not just lack of training. The partner trade-in site’s user interface (UI) did not intuitively guide and support associates through the trade-in process. We realized if the UI were more precise and had stronger visuals, much of the associate confusion would be eliminated. The NextWorth team was very open to feedback, and over the course of several meetings together, we developed a strategy that proposed a new UI. The site refresh would make it easier to identify the correct product at the point of transaction.
We studied the current trade-in process in detail and sought out the biggest challenges. Then we designed the UI updates. Once the UI was completed and tested, we scripted, shot, and embedded supplemental microlearning into the UI design. Between transactions, associates could log into the system and learn additional skills through short, video-based training courses and help windows while they were still on the sales floor—which made for a better user experience, and better training, for all.
Here are some highlights from our UI/UX design and microlearning work:
It’s easy for employees to find the right category for the trade-in item because we used a highly visual layout that doesn’t require a lot of reading.
“Does the item power on?” is the gatekeeper question. Answering “No” generates one set of questions, and answering “Yes” generates another. This makes the trade-in process quicker and more accurate, because employees only spend time on evaluation questions that apply to the device. We also added help windows to show employees how to answer the more difficult product evaluation questions.
Short training videos introduce employees to how the trade-in program works, the program’s benefits, and how to provide a great customer experience.
Quick, simple quizzes confirm understanding of how to proceed in more challenging trade-in scenarios.
Within two weeks of the site refresh, NextWorth’s variance in retail partner locations was cut in half, and their UI and training investment was paid for immediately. In the end, they achieved double-digit improvement in trade-in accuracy. On top of that, we again proved the best associate training aims for simplicity at every point. One user-friendly tool, plus supplemental training, goes a long way. And now, it’s easy for all of us to trade-in our old smartphones for the latest and greatest.
For customers in Best Buy stores, Comcast sought a way to create a more consistent and engaging experience to teach them about the benefits of XFINITY® products and services. After introducing our sales enablement tools, pilot stores achieved a 40% increase in productivity and a 60% year-over-year increase in sales.
Comcast brings exciting products and unparalleled choices to customers across America. Their state-of-the-art TV, internet, and voice services push the boundaries of innovation and creativity. Through a partnership with the complete solution in mind, Comcast Connection Specialists can sell XFINITY products from within Best Buy stores. This gives customers quick, easy access to XFINITY packages that optimize their new Best Buy devices.
Comcast needed a sales tool that could accomplish the following:
- Make the sales process more consistent. Best practices needed to be translated into an easy-to-follow, repeatable model. A consistent sales process would capitalize on winning behaviors and empower more Comcast Connection Specialists to be successful in Best Buy stores.
- Establish instant engagement. As with any sales role, Comcast Connection Specialists need to immediately break the ice, build credibility, and establish rapport. In a retail setting like this, every minute with the customer counts.
- Educate customers. To understand how a product works, most customers need a quick visual demonstration—that’s why businesses often use brochures and one-pagers. However, Comcast wanted to leave their print materials behind and introduce a more dynamic, interactive, and compelling way to teach customers about their value proposition and help them make a smart buying decision.
- Measure customer interactions. Comcast didn’t have a way to measure what happened during conversations between Connection Specialists and customers. What packages did the Connection Specialist show the customer? How long did they talk? What were the customer’s needs? Who was Comcast competing against? The Comcast team wanted a way to collect insights to drive future product training, sales, and innovation.
Comcast saw Unboxed as an ideal partner for several reasons. First, they knew we’d be nimble, quick, and responsive. Working with a firm of our size meant we would pay close attention to the project and adopt a consultative approach from start to finish.
They didn’t [just] take direction and go for it. They challenged us a bit in a good way. They really listened to the request of the sales team. That is what they delivered.
“They didn’t [just] take direction and go for it. They challenged us a bit in a good way,” said Rob Simek, Executive Director of Sales Channel Marketing. “They really listened to the request of the sales team. That is what they delivered.”
Building an interactive sales tool was new territory for the Comcast team, and they knew they needed a partner with an extensive retail background. They didn’t just need a vendor to create software—they needed a partner to advise, develop, and support the training and execution of a new experience from a retail perspective.
We teamed up with Comcast to understand their current sales process, pain points, customer needs, and Connection Specialist needs. This involved the following:
- Meeting with field representatives and visiting Best Buy stores to understand the obstacles to closing a sale
- Rapid prototyping to show preliminary designs to Connection Specialists and get their input
- Hands-on training for Connection Specialists in the pilot stores
- Observation in stores and weekly calls to gather and apply feedback and make changes
After a thorough discovery process, we applied what we learned to create the UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience) for the XFINITY Sales Tool. The app has two components:
Advisor’s guided selling tool helps a customer navigate through qualifying questions and provides a personalized product recommendation.
Advisor also uses interactive simulations to demonstrate the features and benefits of XFINITY products and services.
It was exactly what we were searching for. It made everything simple and easy to understand.
The XFINITY Sales Tool has a simple, elegant design that’s easy and fun to use. More importantly, it gets results. Pilot stores experienced a 60% year-over-year improvement in sales, and productivity climbed 40%. The app allowed Connection Specialists to effortlessly log valuable customer insights.
The app also boosted Connection Specialists’ confidence and engagement skills. Qualitative feedback indicated the iPad provided a professional appearance, making it easier to approach Best Buy store guests. They called the app a “knowledge backup” that lets them focus on the customer. They also said it drives upgrades and helps close sales faster. “98% of a transaction can be done on [the] app, the rest [can be done] after the guest leaves the store,” said one Connection Specialist.
“It was exactly what we were searching for,” said Simek. “It made everything simple and easy to understand.”