March 28 by Miguel Tam

When I was buying wood and braces to build and shore up extra support boards for my probably not-to-code garage (the upper rafters have become a de-facto storage attic), I spent some time with a floor rep at the local hardware store. Not knowing what I needed, he asked me several questions: How long is the space you need to cover with these new support boards? What is the estimated weight you will be resting on these boards? Does your garage get particularly damp during the fog season? Is it insulated? What kind of beam are you connecting the board to? What is your budget?

After going through these questions, he did some calculations in his head, asked a co-worker for her opinion, checked inventory, and then offered me the best materials to meet my needs within the price range I had in mind. What he was doing was essentially Guided Selling. Asking the right questions to get me what I needed at what I was willing to pay.

The concept of Guided Selling in sell-side software, especially in Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solutions, which address highly configurable and often bundled products and services, is at its core, an automated replication of this human interaction. Guided Selling allows sales reps to ask the right questions to potential customers for complex products or requirements and be able to identify the best match, on-the-fly and free of guesswork or human error.

With Apttus Guided Selling, part of Apttus CPQ, reps are guided through a highly configurable questionnaire to increase opportunities to upsell, cross-sell, and encourage volume purchases with easily approved quotes. With an automated system, institutional knowledge doesn’t leave when sales reps move on. The feature is especially valuable if you have thousands of products, numerous partners, or a rapidly growing sales team. In addition, this CPQ component allows to you extend the power of guided selling to partners and even customers (guided buying).

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