Conversational Marketing is the foundation of the next sales evolution, and it can supercharge your sales operations like marketing that’s suddenly powered by jet fuel.
As the origins of customer service bots make way for today’s sophisticated tech and seamless bot-to-human prospect handoffs, there’s never been a better time to modernize your sales processes with AI.
Plug into the new way to sell with these eight sales-driven conversational marketing solutions:
1. Bypass Landing Pages Using Website Chatbots
Conversational marketing can double the conversions achieved by your forms. While forms aren’t exactly dead, landing pages can still be a hurdle prospects may not want to deal with.
Prospects are simply more willing to provide their contact information to a chatbot, naturally, through the course of conversation. Then, if a visitor walks away or stalls short of conversion, the bot can prompt them to keep going and reach the conversion point.
2. Offline Bots can Capture Information and Interest on Service Pages
Your website just became the hardest working salesperson in your company.
Chatbots don’t eat, they don’t sleep and they don’t celebrate many holidays (with the notable exceptions of tax holidays and Toyotathon.) So, when you’ve got visitors stalking your service pages at 3 a.m., your conversational marketing AI can provide the same consistent experience at 10 a.m. that they could at 2 a.m.
So much of inbound marketing’s magic is reaching the right people, at the right time, with the right information. Chatbots remove the hurdle of business hours and time spent waiting for a salesperson to help a shopper.
When a chatbot asks if a lead wants to talk, it’s not interrupting someone’s dinner or catching them at a bad time. Your brand there in the exact moment they’re thinking about you. Unlike your marketing, your chatbots can answer specific service-related questions and collect contact information for customers at the perfect time, all the time.
Then, instead of following up on the few prospects that filled out a form overnight, your sales team could wake up to an inbox full of leads, from fully-converted leads that booked their own meeting through your chatbot, to leads who triggered an email workflow by downloading a resource on your site with the assistance of a chatbot.
Now, when your sales team follows up on incomplete conversions or partial contact info, they’re simply continuing a conversation that’s already in progress.
3. Qualify Leads and Set Meetings for Sales
Your sales team can’t afford to talk to everyone. So don’t waste their time or your money. With conversational AI, you can proactively qualify leads based on the buyer’s intent, then seamlessly hand the conversation to sales without the customer being the wiser.
As soon the chatbot conversation qualifies for escalation to a real salesperson, your sales team is alerted and can take the wheel without the buyer even being aware of the switch from AI to live human.
Or alternatively, when it comes time to set up a formal sales meeting, conversational marketing can empower your buyers to set the meeting themselves. Instead of spending time and resources nurturing your leads into making an appointment, chatbots flip the script.
You’re no longer intruding on your leads, you’re empowering them.
4. Give Them the Answers They Want, With Less Friction
Cut the fat of your sales conversations and the friction of your landing page forms.
Conversational AI can provide automated answers to common questions in real time, on demand. For people who want information but not a conversation, chatbots can lead them down the path of success, without bothering sales. These visitors don’t want or need to talk to sales, so don’t force them to.
For the visitors that do need your sales team, contact forms can still provide friction that slows or stops conversions. You’re asking visitors to take a leap of faith with their personal information everytime one of those forms is filled out.
Ease them into the process instead, by asking them their contact information one detail at a time, in the natural course of conversation with a chatbot. Even if your questions ask the exact same information as your forms, there’s a level of trust generated by responsive technology that just can’t be replicated with a fill-in-the-blank format.
5. Hyper-Contextualize Bot Conversations for Specific Pages and User Intents
Imagine you’re having a real-life sales conversations. Every word you said would be fueled by context: clues about the buyer, what they’ve asked about, what they’ve said, when they started talking to your sales team, etc.
Context is a powerful sales tool and it’s more possible than ever online, thanks to conversational marketing. Not only can your chatbot’s questions be page or topic-specific, messages can also be based on the buyer’s persona or even the specific place on the page that the user initiated the conversation.
The more specific your conversations get, the more qualified your lead becomes. Start these hyper-contextual conversations with your chatbots, then seamlessly hand the lead off to your live sales team as soon as the questions go beyond the scope of your AI’s messaging.
6. Make Buyers Happy to Tell You Every Detail You Need to Sell
It’s a universal truth: people love talking about themselves. A good salesperson knows how to use that, so does a chatbot. AI can casually slide onto the screen while your lead is shopping or perusing your website. Then, as a helpful shopping sidekick, chatbots can take a fun and personal interest in your leads by asking them questions about themselves to narrow down exactly what they need.
Instead of automatically becoming wary or defensive of a lurking salesperson, buyers recognize this type of chatbot as a useful tool for saving time and finding exactly what they’re looking for. Why? Because the buyer is still in control of the conversation and doesn’t even have to worry about being polite. Walking away is as easy as the click of a mouse.
With buyer’s primed to personalize their shopping experience, brands can collect information on an unprecedented scale. Whether it’s a business shopping for marketing solutions or a person shopping for clothes, buyers are trading very specific personal information for customized content and recommendations.
Think about e-commerce experiences on websites like Ipsy or Rent the Runway. Every question you answer about yourself works to create your own personal shopper with custom recommendations for details as specific as skin tone or your local weather.
The more information a lead provides, the more invested they become, making them increasingly receptive to your messaging.
7. Conversational Marketing is Aligned With How Buyers are Buying
Modern consumers are educated, meaning it’s rare for buyers to make a purchase without some level of research. AI can make finding that information easier, by providing assistance without the hassle of dealing with a live salesperson before a buyer is ready.
Your chatbots and their messaging can play a pivotal role in even the early stages of the buyer’s journey, by providing information when and how your buyers need it most. Imagine if every single site visitor had access to their own personalized research librarian built to operate specifically on your website. That’s the kind of research and learning experience that keeps buyers coming back for more.
8. A Whole New Level of Mobility
An agile sales team moves in lots of different directions at once. It’s just the nature of the job: in person, on video, over the phone and across the world. Chatbots help their technological tether to stretch even further.
With AI, your sales team can connect with whomever needs to talk to them, anywhere they are. Salespeople can easily keep a keen eye on site visitors with alerts from your company’s chatbots as conversations progress. Once the conversation has escalated to requiring a live salesperson, whomever is available can seamlessly respond from their smartphone in a format similar to a text message chain.
A Whole New, Robot-Fueled Sales World
While chatbot technology hasn’t exactly changed the way we interact with buyers or even how buyers shop, it has enhanced both, setting the stage for an experience that’s more streamlined and efficient than ever before possible.
The question is no longer if your company needs a conversational marketing integration, it’s how effectively you’ll use it. More than any other department, your sales team should be extensively trained in and familiar with the full breadth of your AI’s capabilities. Supercharge your sales team and processes with automated-assistance and the detailed, personalized experience it can create for your brand.