Artificial intelligence (AI) functionality has permanently transformed the form and function of guided selling capabilities, according to Gartner, Inc. B2B sales organizations should help sellers improve sales execution by adding AI-based guided selling to their sales technology stack.
During the Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference, taking place virtually today, Gartner analysts said 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.
“The pandemic exposed cracks in many organization’s sales processes,” said Tad Travis, research vice president at Gartner. “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.”
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.
“The value proposition of AI-based guided selling is undeniable,” said Mr. Travis. “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.”