B2B sales organizations should help sellers improve sales execution by adding AI-based guided selling to their sales technology stack.
The analysts opined the traditional forms of guided selling, both as a sales process methodology and as technology, have proved to be limited.
They lack a data-driven approach and do not provide statistically relevant recommendations that guide sellers to win deals. Both forms of guided selling have also undergone considerable change because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tad Travis, research vice president at Gartner, said the pandemic exposed cracks in many organization’s sales processes.
“Knowing that sales process discipline must be improved to increase the chances of closing new deals, sales leaders are investigating new data-driven, AI-based guided selling functions for improving sales execution,” continued Travis.
AI-based guided selling has four primary components (see Figure 1) and comes in two forms: prescriptive (recommended next best actions, such as what content to send next to a prospect), or predictive (insights that reveal statistically relevant indicators about sales process steps).
Rather than requiring sellers to decide what to do next to move a relationship, deal or quote forward, sellers can rely on statistically derived analytics.
Travis added that the value proposition of AI-based guided selling is undeniable. “However, it is not an immediate solution for better sales execution, as organizations with data quality or process issues may not be able to take advantage immediately,” he continued.
Figure 1: The four primary components of AI-based guided selling
Source: Gartner (May 2021)
Educate all sales partners on the foundational elements of AI-based guided selling, focusing on the importance of collecting the microlevel actions of engagement that sellers undertake within the span of an active deal.
Identify sales process steps and business outcomes that are unique to the organization’s processes to find the best-fit solution.
Update the sales technology roadmap by selecting the form of AI-based guided selling technology that is most relevant to the sales organization’s lead, opportunity, sales enablement and quote management use cases.
Prioritize where AI-based guided selling functions would be most relevant by identifying the parts of the organization’s sales value chain that are prone to the highest amounts of human-educated guessing, or that require the most amount of business rule evaluation.