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  • CPQ
    October 5, 2016

The Value of Customer Experience through Guided Selling

Ambar Castillo
Senior Product Marketing Manager for Oracle CX

Technology has given customers an immense amount of buying power. This newfound power means that businesses must find a way to not only offer personalized buying experiences but also to understand customers’ needs throughout every point of the buying cycle. With the growing number of transactions in the digital marketplace every day, how is this even possible? 

Identifying Customer Needs

The abundance of information gained through constant digital connections has made customers multifaceted, 3-D beings. Actually, customers have always been multifaceted, but it’s only the last decade or so that organizations have been realizing that customers have varying degrees of needs and wants, and that the buying process should be tailored to support those varying needs. It’s critical for businesses to not only meet the needs that customers have upon their initial transaction but to also fully understand the thought processes behind why they need what they do, as this could open the door to more opportunities with those customers.  

To truly understand customers’ needs, businesses have to be proactive to close the knowledge gap that many sales reps find themselves in - where constant changes in product and pricing make it hard for sales reps to keep. This unfortunate gap can cause businesses and salespeople to appear untrustworthy in the eyes of the customer or prospect. 

Improving the Buying Experience 

This is where guided selling—taking a customer through a step by step process to fully understand their needs—comes into play. Through guided selling, many business-to-business and business-to-consumer sales teams can gain trust, knowledge, and ultimately empower customers to become brand ambassadors through personalized customer experiences.    

With configure, price, and quote (CPQ) tools, guided selling gives customers extensive value. Through concentrating on what customers know and then taking them through multiple steps to ultimately reach what they need—that is, guiding them—businesses can help make sales possible that perhaps customers weren’t even aware they needed. Guided selling through CPQ tools is an important facet of the customer experience and is how many enterprises and small businesses have begun to structure their sales processes. 

For instance, sometimes customers or prospects know what they don’t want rather than precisely what they need. When you start the process of buying a car, it’s typical to know just that you need a car, rather than knowing the exact model, color, interior, etc., of the car you intend to buy without doing extensive research. Guided selling walks you through the steps of figuring out which car will meet your needs, no matter how intricate the details. 

Guided selling takes a previous generic pitch and helps the sales team tailor a custom conversation through open-ended questions and analysis to recommend the best fit for the customer or prospect. 

While technology has given customers more power, it has also given businesses the ability to seize an immense opportunity to understand customers better than ever, and that’s not something you can put a price tag on. 

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