The trend in eCommerce (and in business in general) is towards personalization. Technology is making the creation of bespoke products easier than ever, with new, turnkey solutions for custom products widely available to businesses of all sizes. Consumers are actively voting for personalized digital experiences: research shows that 83% of all consumers expect products to be personalized almost immediately, and they are willing to pay a 25% premium for that experience.

In B2B eCommerce, guided selling has been around for decades and was actually a precursor to the current mass market customization trend. But early solutions were little better than fancy ways to filter products on a website – or were conducted by phone or in person. Now, with the average person walking around with a 5G connected supercomputer in their pocket, the expectations have changed. Guided selling can happen on any website, at any time – helping create an explosion in new opportunities. Is your business keeping pace? To ensure your guided selling is as effective as it can be, check out the best practices listed below.

Make Guided Selling A Team Effort

 To truly make your guided selling shine, involve everyone from your organization who has any stake in the sales process. From your customer service reps to your sales team to your product engineers, institutional knowledge is the key to making your guided selling practice work. Also, the software that drives guided selling can make internal communication much easier, so having all your teams involved from the start can help create impressive internal efficiencies.

Build A Buyer Journey Map

 Understanding your customers is important in guided selling. Create buyer personas and journey maps that show you how your customers enter the sales process – and where they might be dropping off. Armed with this vital data, you can best match your guided selling practices up to your customer expectations. Even if you already have a guided selling program in place, the exercise of creating personas and journey maps can help dramatically improve it.

Question Everything

Building off the work you have already done in buyer personas and buyer journeys, have your team prepare a list of questions that they typically ask customers – or that customers tend to ask them. Spend time considering those questions and putting them in the right order to create a template of the guided selling process. Remember – your customers will take multiple paths through the guided selling process, so you’ll need to have a number of scenarios listed out.

In general, as you begin mapping out the questions that you would ask a customer, it’s best to start with broad, general questions and then narrow them down to the more specific questions that deal with technical matters.

Pick The Right Tools

 To create the best guided selling concept, you will eventually need the right guided selling tools. In modern eCommerce, many companies use 3D product configurators, 3D catalogs and other interactive tools to make guided selling a truly interactive experience. With the right guided selling tool, you can even implement new capabilities like keyword, serial number and BOM search while giving users the ability to download CAD files, engineering schematics and more. Companies are even beginning to implement AI and chatbot solutions into their guided selling, allowing for greater automation and more cost-efficiencies.

Ready to see how CDS Visual can help improve your guided selling? Contact us anytime for a free consultation and personalized demonstration.

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About the Author: CDS Visual

CDS Visual is helping lead the digital business revolution for industries all over the world. Whether you’re an OEM or parts distributor, we will help you convert prospects into buyers – while reducing engineering costs.

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