Guided selling: building a better breadcrumb trail

When you think about it, every brick-and-mortar sale is really guided selling. You walk in a store, and a clerk asks the same, simple question almost every time: “How can I help you?” Put another way, “Please give me a little information about why you’re here so I can guide you to the right product or service.”

And the best in B2B sales do all they can to replicate the guided selling experience on their company websites: tell us a little about yourself, your business, your challenges… and we’ll guide you to the perfect fit.

Sales enablement 1

Every answer is a data point

Sometimes, you know exactly what a customer wants when they visit your website: they clicked an ad offering a discount on product X, they clicked a link in an email to download a whitepaper, etc. They have a data point following them that basically identifies their current want or need.

But there are just as many visitors to your website (if not more) who arrive with no such data points: how do we steer these visitors to what they want? Same way as our friends in the brick-and-mortar world: asking the right questions.

And the first questions you ask must be customer-centric: do all you can to understand their needs before attempting to guide them anywhere. I.e., asking questions about their time-frame and budget—while absolutely critical for closing a sale—is probably not the best place to start.

Remember: each answer in the guided selling process is a data point that triggers a follow-up question or action. There should be no “standalone” questions or answers as your goal is a comprehensive view of the customer and their business needs.

Use All Available Context

Typically, the simpler the product, the fewer questions/answers needed to guide the visitor to it. And no matter what you’re selling, take advantage of the context!

For example, if you’re an online flower vendor and it’s Valentine’s Day, you basically have all the context you need. You don’t need to ask, “Why are you here today?” You can probably skip to, “How many roses do you want to send, and where?”

Granted, most B2B sales aren’t that simple, but there’s context for every visitor: current events, new regulations, end of the quarter, etc. Wherever possible, don’t waste time on things you already know. If you’re a CPA firm and it’s the end of the fiscal year, you probably don’t need to ask, “What brings you here today?”

Sales enablement 2

Guiding Them to the Catalog

Once you’ve gotten enough data points to fully understand a customer’s business needs, it’s time to present a solution, and, ideally, you’re doing so dynamically via a cloud catalog of all your products and services (IQX offers this feature).

Trust us: no one wants to look through your entire catalog. The guided selling process will help deliver a selection of products/services that best matches your solutions and their needs. And if they choose not to buy, you still win as you now have a more comprehensive understanding of that prospect for when they return, and can market to them accordingly until then.

Always keep in mind that @@guided selling is more than, “How can we help you?”@@ It’s an iterative Q&A process that collects breadcrumbs of data that help you lead each customer to the perfect fit.

If you'd like to learn more about this topic or see IQX for yourself with a free demo, contact us.