5 Best Guided Selling Examples for B2B Success

Industry Trends | 10 min read |
guided-selling-examples

Building long-term relationships is a crucial objective in marketing. While the primary goal is to sell products and services, fostering strong and enduring connections with customers can lead to repeat business, referrals, and a positive brand reputation. Guided selling is a powerful approach that effectively accomplishes both objectives, especially in the B2B realm.

While visually appealing product images and a user-friendly interface are important, they are just the tip of the iceberg in today's landscape. The shift toward providing unique and personalised solutions aligns with the growing expectations of B2B buyers who seek more than just generic offerings.

Modern B2B marketing recognises that every business has distinct needs, challenges, and preferences, and it strives to address these on an individualised basis. Here, guided selling can serve the role of a strategic tool to address several B2B challenges, such as intricate decision-making processes, longer sales cycles, etc.

Guided selling simplifies this process by offering tailored recommendations based on a deep understanding of the customer's unique needs and preferences. It not only makes it easier for buyers to navigate their options but also instils confidence that they are making informed decisions.

Several compelling reasons exist to implement guided selling techniques as soon as possible. According to a prediction by Gartner, 75% of B2B sales organisations will enhance their conventional sales approaches using guided selling solutions by 2025. There are also numerous real-life guided selling examples that acted as conversion machines for businesses.

Best Guided Selling Examples in the B2B Market

Guided selling offers a host of benefits for businesses in the B2B context. Firstly, it enhances the customer experience by simplifying complex purchasing decisions, leading to greater satisfaction and trust. Secondly, it improves sales efficiency as it assists sales teams in offering tailored recommendations, which often results in higher conversion rates.

Additionally, guided selling can lead to increased revenue through upselling and cross-selling opportunities. It also provides valuable customer data and insights, enabling businesses to refine their strategies and offerings. Ultimately, by aligning products or services with individual customer needs, guided selling fosters long-term customer relationships and establishes a competitive advantage in the market.

Here are some of the real-life guided selling examples:

1. Merck Life Science

The collaborations between Merck, a vibrant science and technology company, and Exhibit 360 are remarkable examples of guided selling. They demonstrate a commitment to enhancing customer engagement through technology-driven solutions.

During the pandemic, Merck sought a solution to exhibit their innovations in the market. Here, Exhibit 360 stepped in to create a virtual experience, which consisted of a lobby, an auditorium, and a BioProcessing booth, akin to a real-life physical booth. It featured guided tours, webinar sessions, games experiences, and branded industry experiences that boosted customer engagement.

Another instance is in the case of Merck’s excipients. This essential component of medicine is often challenging to distinguish visually since it is typically in powdered form. To address this issue and effectively showcase its excipient products, Merck adopted a forward-thinking approach by leveraging virtual showrooms.

By offering simulations of experiments and demonstrations virtually, Merck allows customers to gain a deeper understanding of how various excipients perform and how they may fit their specific pharmaceutical formulations. This hands-on experience not only enhances the decision-making process but also instils confidence in customers that they are making informed choices based on practical insights.

Furthermore, the integration of a virtual assistant within the virtual showroom takes customer support to the next level. It ensures that customers have personalised guidance and support as they navigate through the available excipient options. This virtual assistant can address customer queries, provide explanations, and assist in the decision-making process, creating a seamless and interactive experience.

With numerous virtual projects, Merck showcased over 175 life-changing products and Exhibit 360 aided by creating them. Each product featured info hotspots to help visitors learn more about them.

Merck's investment in virtual marketing demonstrates a commitment to customer-centric innovation. It positions the company as an industry leader, setting a precedent for B2B companies. This showcases how technology can enhance customer engagement and product presentation.

2. Salesforce

Salesforce leverages AI-driven insights and recommendations to provide sales representatives with the tools they need to make informed decisions and provide better service to customers. Its guided selling tools help sales teams prioritise leads more effectively.

By analysing vast amounts of customer data and historical interactions, the platform can identify the most promising leads, reducing the risk of time and effort being wasted on less likely prospects. This ensures that sales reps can focus their attention where it matters most, increasing their efficiency and potentially leading to higher conversion rates.

Salesforce's AI-driven insights also offer valuable guidance on the next steps in the sales process. Whether it's suggesting the optimal time for follow-up, recommending additional products or services based on the customer's profile, or even predicting potential objections, these tools empower sales reps to engage with customers more strategically.

By analysing the customer's profile, preferences, and previous interactions, the CRM system can suggest solutions that are most likely to meet the customer's needs. This level of personalisation is a hallmark of guided selling, as it ensures that the recommendations provided are highly relevant, increasing the chances of a successful sale and enhancing the overall customer experience.

T-Mobile, a prominent telecommunications company, leveraged Salesforce's guided selling tools to streamline sales processes and enhance customer interactions. Salesforce helped prioritise leads and provided personalised recommendations based on customer profiles.

This resulted in increased sales productivity, shorter sales cycles, and improved customer satisfaction, illustrating the effectiveness of guided selling in driving efficiency and customer engagement.

3. Caterpillar

An example of an industrial manufacturer using guided selling is Caterpillar Inc., a global leader in construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. Caterpillar implemented guided selling tools to assist its sales teams and dealers in helping customers find the most suitable heavy machinery and equipment for their specific needs.

Caterpillar's guided selling approach involves a range of digital tools and technologies, including its "Build & Quote" feature on its website. Customers, which often include construction companies, mining operations, and other industrial enterprises, can input their project requirements, such as the type of work, location, budget constraints, and environmental conditions.

The guided selling system then generates customised equipment recommendations, including bulldozers, excavators, loaders, and more, tailored to the customer's project specifications. By using guided selling, Caterpillar simplifies the decision-making process for its customers, who may be faced with complex choices when selecting heavy machinery.

The tool not only offers product recommendations but also provides valuable insights on financing options, maintenance plans, and productivity-enhancing features. This not only helps customers make informed decisions but also strengthens the relationship between Caterpillar and its dealers by facilitating productive discussions and value-added consultations.

In this example, guided selling has proven highly effective for Caterpillar in the industrial manufacturing sector. It not only simplifies the purchasing process for customers but also ensures that they receive equipment that aligns perfectly with their project requirements.

Additionally, it empowers Caterpillar's sales teams and dealers to provide valuable assistance and build lasting customer relationships, ultimately contributing to increased sales and customer satisfaction in the highly competitive heavy equipment industry.

4. Siemens

Siemens, a global leader in manufacturing industrial and infrastructure equipment, specialises in energy, healthcare, and transportation solutions. The company employs guided selling techniques to assist its B2B customers in selecting the appropriate industrial automation and digitalisation solutions.

It offers a digital platform called "Siemens Industry Mall" that acts as a guided selling tool for its customers. When businesses visit the platform, they are prompted to answer questions about their industry, manufacturing processes, production goals, and specific challenges they face.

Based on these inputs, Siemens' guided selling system provides tailored recommendations for automation equipment, control systems, and digital solutions that can enhance efficiency and productivity.

This guided selling approach simplifies the complex decision-making process in industrial manufacturing. Instead of sifting through a wide range of products and solutions, customers receive personalised guidance on the best suitable technologies for their unique requirements.

It not only helps them make informed choices but also fosters trust in Siemens as a partner capable of understanding their industrial needs and providing tailored solutions.

Siemens' use of guided selling not only enhances the customer experience but also contributes to increased sales and customer loyalty. It demonstrates the company's commitment to delivering value and innovation to its B2B clients in various industries, including manufacturing, energy, and healthcare.

5. Amazon Business

Amazon Business, the B2B arm of Amazon.com, uses guided selling techniques to assist business customers in finding and purchasing the right products and services for their procurement needs. When business customers log into their Amazon Business accounts, they are presented with a user-friendly interface that offers a range of tools and features to streamline the purchase process. One key component of this is the guided buying experience.

Amazon Business analyses the customer's past purchasing history, order patterns, and industry trends to provide personalised product recommendations. These recommendations appear prominently on the user's dashboard, making it easy for them to find relevant items quickly.

The platform categorises products into various industry-specific segments, such as office supplies, industrial equipment, or healthcare products. Users can apply filters and refine their searches based on specific criteria, such as brand, price, and product specifications.

Amazon Business allows organisations to set up approval workflows. This means that when employees want to make a purchase, it can be routed to a supervisor or procurement manager for approval, ensuring compliance with company policies.

These real-life examples showcase how guided selling can be a valuable asset in the B2B sector, particularly for businesses looking to streamline their purchasing processes and manage their procurement effectively.

Conclusion

Guided selling has emerged as a powerful strategy for B2B success, helping businesses provide personalised and valuable experiences to their customers. By leveraging AI-driven recommendations, interactive virtual showrooms, expert-guided consultations, and data-driven insights, B2B organisations can effectively engage customers, streamline their buying processes, and ultimately drive revenue growth. The guided selling examples showcase its versatility in various industries, from manufacturing to technology and beyond. As the B2B landscape continues to evolve, businesses that integrate guided selling will gain a competitive advantage.

FAQs

1. How does guided selling impact customer satisfaction?

Guided selling enhances customer satisfaction by providing personalised recommendations, simplifying decision-making, and ensuring customers find the right products or services tailored to their needs.

2. How can businesses implement guided selling strategies?

Businesses can implement guided selling strategies by using data analytics, AI-driven tools, and developing interactive decision-making tools to assist customers in making informed purchasing decisions.

3. What are the key benefits of guided selling for businesses?

Guided selling benefits businesses by reducing decision-making complexity, boosting customer engagement, and enhancing sales team productivity.

4. Can you share statistics on the success of guided selling techniques?

According to a study, 90% of companies that implement a structured, guided sales process were identified as the top performers.

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