In the seller/buyer relationship, most people might say that the seller is the one working the hardest. They’re tasked with sourcing the prospect, asking qualifying questions, exerting persuasive efforts to stand out from competitors, following up, and more. But in reality, buyers have to work pretty hard these days, too. Embarking on a search for the right technology investment means spending more than two-thirds of their time gathering, processing and de-conflicting information (and still not finding anything that resembles their business problems) (Gartner). It also means a business case must be made to more than 13 people, on average, in an enterprise technology buying team. All of this effort toward gaining approval on a final decision can be really overwhelming and inefficient, particularly when their day-to-day workload is mounting. The time lost while digging their way out of piles of information is significant and often all for nothing – 94% of today’s B2B decision-makers have participated in a canceled buying cycle.
Changing this inefficient, labor-intensive environment for both buyers and sellers starts with leveraging the power of data. When sellers are enabled with the tools and insights to lead sales engagements that focus on the customer’s unique business problems, buyers are relieved of the arduous task of creating a compelling business case for the technology investment. Sellers are relieved of making one-off judgments during the unexpected moments with customers and instead, can let data lead. As Johan Abadie, our VP of Digital Marketing and Analytics, says, “Never bring an opinion to a data fight.”
Algorithmic-Guided Selling is the Future of Sales
A recent Gartner survey looked at emerging technologies to assess the impact on sales execution. Of the technologies available to improve sales productivity, one of the most sophisticated and dynamic is algorithmic-guided selling. Sound complicated? Not for the seller. In fact, it makes life a whole lot easier. Here’s why:
Algorithmic-guided selling uses sales data to augment the seller’s ability to engage with prospects, manage the buying process and generate quotes (Gartner). It uses a combination of existing sales data and artificial intelligence (AI) to help to guide sellers through deals, allowing them to pivot in any direction the buyer wants to take the conversation. When sellers are enabled with this heightened level of data and insight, they can relax and focus on listening to the buyer’s needs and ultimately, prescribe a unique solution for them (backed by hard-to-deny data).
But like many technologies that have clear and immediate benefits, they can seem daunting and complex. The survey found that while emerging developments in AI can significantly improve sales productivity and reduce human error in the sales process, sales organizations are not yet realizing these potential returns. Let’s look at the reasons algorithmic-guided selling, as part of sales enablement technology, not only increases sales effectiveness but also ROI.
3 Benefits of Algorithmic-Guided Selling
Algorithmic-guided selling leverages AI: Sellers have access to not only existing sales data, but smart data that can recommend the next best action. This means that sellers don’t have to worry about relying on their individual judgment during the sales process; the data makes the decisions for you.
It’s data, but it’s personal: While starting a conversation with data might seem counterintuitive to a personal connection, it’s exactly the opposite. Not only does customized data allow the seller to better understand customer challenges, but it also gives them the time to be attuned to their needs. They have exactly the right content at exactly the right moment, even if the sales conversation changes direction.
Data can save deals: Without algorithmic-guided selling, sellers are left to their own devices, which means manually searching for answers or worse, delaying responses for interested buyers. When intuitive systems aren’t in place to help sales reps pivot in the moment and successfully address any question the buyer asks, it’s often hard to revisit those responses later to the same captive audience. When information is lost, so is their interest.
The Gartner survey found that nearly 51% of sales organizations have already deployed or plan to deploy algorithmic-guided selling in the next five years. Will you? Learn more about algorithmic-guided selling and how you can engage with customers more confidently and flexibly.