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Your sales reps may spend months or sometimes even years slowly chipping away the barriers within prospective accounts. They try to help customers understand all their possible options and jump at every request for information, thinking that a wealth of details will help the buyer reach a decision.

Prescriptive selling turns this workflow on its head. Instead of simply responding to a customer’s direction, salespeople following a prescriptive sales strategy proactively provide a clear recommendation backed by concise reasoning. They use detailed, fine-tuned sales playbooks for all types of nuanced scenarios to guide prospects with a detailed plan of action from the very beginning, based on accounts and use cases that are similar to their own needs.

Instead of being overwhelmed by an array of options and murky decision-making, your prospects gain a clear, outlined path to solving their problems and begin to see your sales reps as trusted, knowledgeable advisors.

According to research by consulting firm CEB, which was acquired in 2017 by Gartner, this type of prescriptive sales approach actually increases ease of sales by 86%.

Here’s how to start integrating a prescriptive sales strategy.

Use product demos as part of a detailed plan

Traditional product or solution demonstrations often follow a “spray-and-pray” approach. Your sales reps might put all cards on the table and wait for potential clients to cherry-pick the solutions or features that best apply to them.

In a prescriptive approach, take a varied approach depending on the individual scenario to provide clients with a solution that’s tailored to their account.

  • Rely on analytics within your sales enablement system to choose presentation decks and product demonstrations that have proven success. Rethink the agenda; demos shouldn’t be just structured as tour of product or service features. Start by focusing on the end goal: getting stakeholders to reach a consensus. Structure your demo meeting around the needs and potential resistant points of multiple stakeholders that may be evaluating what you’re offering.
  • Use historical account analysis to anticipate potential concerns the client might raise. Instead of shying away from product or service limitations, address concerns before they arise later in the buying cycle.

This type of demonstration strategy puts your sales reps in the driver’s seat from the very beginning of the account’s discovery and qualification phase, eases the path to purchase, and puts your potential customers on a clear track for success.

Ditch traditional sales scripts for more personalized playbooks

Customer verifiers can be linked to customized playbooks that align enterprise-wide sales content with each customer action. Instead of requiring your sales rep to track down or use the same selling script based around products and internal terminology, guided selling provides a full suite of proven, customized selling tools and content for each account type.

In addition, using data analytics to track which pieces of content are the most used at different stages of the funnel with different types of customers allows your sales reps to send potential clients only the most relevant, informative advice tailored to their needs, questions and concerns.

Streamline the quote process with AI-enabled CPQ

Prescriptive selling can also help speed the pricing and quoting process. Once your reps reach the offer stage, providing them with AI-enabled CPQ tools enables them to offer data-backed quotes that continue to build client trust and shorten the sales cycle.

Prescriptive CPQ processes:

  • Use data analytics to see what products have sold the most over time to specific types of accounts and use that insight to suggest similar configurations to similiar customers.
  • Provide pricing calculations that account for multiple factors such as geographies, industry, competitor data, and more to increase the chances of winning the deal.
  • Automate the recognition of cross-selling and upselling opportunities within existing accounts.

Using these methods, prescriptive selling can eliminate confusion, indecisiveness, or conflicting interests within a potential account and clear the way to purchase.

Author Bio

Marcia Savage

Marcia is the marketing content manager at CallidusCloud, which was acquired by SAP in 2018. She is an experienced content producer who has worked as an editor for several B2B publications, including Network Computing, CRN, and TechTarget data security-focused sites.

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