With the rise of user experience (UX) standards in online sales, it’s no longer enough to simply offer products and services and hope that users convert into leads. Whether you run your own eCommerce platform or sell personally branded products through your blog, creating a guided selling experience for your customers can transform the way you run your business. According to Sales Jobs Network, today’s professional salespeople spend only 34% of the time actually selling products, with 77% in agreement that a cohesive, cross-department collaborative sales effort is necessary for the highest amount of revenue. This is where guided selling comes into play as a means to engage the user, curate their browsing experience and help them narrow their purchase choices through interactive content marketing. With that said, let’s dive into the tips on how to design a successful guided selling experience in order to bridge the gap between product and customer for your brand.
What a Guided Selling Experience Represents
Let’s start with the basics and work our way towards the tips on how to design your own guided selling experience further down the road. As we’ve previously mentioned, guided selling is a form of online sales centered on UX-based content marketing. Marie Fincher, Writer at WritingJudge and Head of Content Department at WoWGrade.net spoke on the matter recently: “Successfully implemented guided selling can ensure that both casual customers and recurring followers always find what suits their needs – the needs which are often personality-based and latent until the right content is presented to them.”Interactive content, personality tests, customer calculators, and other forms of product personalization all fall under guided selling and offer a way for brands to humanize their platforms. Although it may seem more logical to focus on digital marketing strategies that involve PPC, SEO or B2B networking, guided selling is a much more customer-centric option for businesses of all scales and industries.
Benefits of Using a Guided Selling Experience
With the basics of guided selling out of the way, let’s talk about the business advantages of its integration in greater detail. Since guided selling offers a way for brands to personalize content and eliminate low-consideration bottlenecks, they can be quite advantageous from the business side of the equation. With that in mind, the advantages of featuring guided selling content on your online sales platform include but are not limited to:
Fewer returns on made purchases
Higher user retention and positive word of mouth
Higher conversion rates due to streamlined sales processes
Higher return on investment (ROI) compared to traditional content marketing
Increase in industry authority, brand awareness, and market reputation as a sales platform
Tips to Design a Successful Guided Selling Experience
1# Define your Target Platforms
As the first step in your guided selling efforts, you should consider the platforms on which you would feature the interactive content. While the content itself isn’t restricted by a CMS or an eCommerce platform, you should create a content plan which can be followed going forward. For example, you may want to feature guided selling content such as product finders or calculators on your blog as part of your native advertisement UX. On the other hand, interactive sales consultation can become a part of your eCommerce product description pages in order to ensure a smoother transition from engagement to conversion. Once you decide on the platforms for your guided selling content, you can refer to writing platforms such as Trust My Paper and Evernote for easier back-end content management. Go into guided selling with a clear idea of how to take advantage of these interactive content types and they will pay off in spades.
2# Choose Adequate Templates
Once you settle on your choice of platforms for guided selling, you can proceed to the selection of templates for your interactive content. Different templates will attract different customers and have various effects on the global audience. Templates differ in visual composition, UI and content types which best suit their pre-designed spaces. Where guided selling excels, however, is in its ability to be exported and seamlessly integrated into your website or eCommerce platform without compatibility issues. This makes the template selection more casual and customer-oriented without the worry of whether or not your favorite template will suit your website’s back-end structure.
3# Build Personas Early
Another benefit of guided selling is the ability to create sales personas for your content marketing to further improve the UX of your customers. Personas serve as interactive sales consultants for low-consideration customers who may not be completely sure of what they need in terms of product purchases. Your personas can be centered on different aspects of sales, from customer support, product recommendation, feedback collection and other aspects of online sales. The data your personas collect can be used to further refine your guided selling experience, engage more users on a daily basis and improve your overall sales platform.
4# Integrate Calls to Action
In order to evoke a sense of urgency and action with the customers who engage with your guided selling content, you need to ensure that they are encouraged to do so. Calls to action are a tried-and-tested marketing strategy that revolves around personalized messages which, quite literally, call users into action. Integrate calls to action into content creation and writing of your guided selling experience through platforms such as BestEssayEducation and Hemingway to achieve the best rate of success. Simple calls such as “Contact us now” or “Find your perfect product here” can do wonders for your engagement and subsequent conversion rate.
5# Respond to Customer Feedback
Lastly, the best way to iterate on previously successful guided selling experiences is to interact with your customers. You can do so in several ways, including post-purchase feedback forms, website popups or chatbot interactions during the sales engagement. The data you collect from customers can be used for further content personalization in order to create an even better-guided selling environment. Make sure that your customers have a channel of communication available for feedback, comments, and suggestions in order to streamline your sales and eliminate potential bottlenecks quickly and efficiently.
Whether your business is in its inception or you already have an established market presence as an online sales platform, guided selling can provide you with the breakthrough you were looking for. Find interesting and creative ways to design guided selling experiences on your platform by referring to an interactive content marketing platform equipped with the right features for your needs. Before you know it, the customers you aimed to attract will engage your interactive content and spread favorable comments about your platform due to their positive experiences.