Conversational marketing is about having real-time, one-to-one conversations with people on your website in order to capture, qualify, and connect with your best leads. It has the power to reduce your bounce rate, shorten your sales cycle, and even grow your revenue by $1 million or more.
Sound intriguing? It should.
As more B2B buyers use chat to evaluate products in real-time, it’s crucial that companies not only have the right tools in place, but know how to implement conversational best practices to drive the business outcomes they want.
So today, I’m going to give you the info you need to make chat your number one channel for lead gen, and put you on the path to generating $1 million — or more — in B2B sales.
#1 – Set up a game plan for managing sales chat
Number one reason people are afraid to implement conversational marketing? They’re afraid they won’t be able to staff sales chat. But that fear is grossly exaggerated.
In reality, there are plenty of options for managing incoming chats — you just need to establish a quick game plan for managing them at the outset.
Here are some key considerations:
➡Have a fair amount of traffic to your website? Awesome. With more visitors and potentially more chats, you’ll likely want to set-up LeadBot to help manage and route some incoming requests, as well as staff chat with sales reps. If you don’t have the bandwidth, hiring a managed team to respond to chats is also an option. Some companies even leverage a blend of all three to provide full coverage.
➡Don’t have a ton of sales reps? Not a problem. Real-time chat on a B2B website can be a game-changer — even if you’re a relatively small business. Many businesses simply leverage Driftbot for extra coverage during off-hours, and then use sales reps at peak traffic times. This way, there’s always someone around to answer questions or book demos.
➡Scaling sales chat from the ground up? A ton of companies prefer to take a gradual approach to implementing it so they can prove ROI. That’s totally fair.
Case in point: Ipswitch.
Just a few short months ago, the team installed Drift’s real-time messaging on one product page, and gave only a few team members access. But in just a few short weeks, they began to see extremely positive results. By end of Q1 2018, Drift became their number one source for leads, generating over $1 million in pipeline alone.
➡Need extra help managing conversations? In the case of Ipswitch, the massive ROI they saw from sales chat warranted an expansion of real-time messaging efforts. In order to provide coverage on evenings and weekends, Ipswitch Chief Marketing Officer, Jeanne Hopkins, leveraged an external provider for additional sales chat support.
Whatever you do, don’t let staffing sales chat slow you down when considering real-time messaging. With a few key questions answered, you’ll be able to devise a game plan in no time.
#2 – Staff sales chat with effective communicators
It should come as no surprise that conversational marketing requires a commitment to effective communication. But that’s not hard when you staff sales chat with reps that understand your product, and truly want to help potential customers see value.
It’s also helpful that reps demonstrate empathy for your prospects, and respect for their time.
The ideal rep for sales chat is one that takes the time to understand specific business challenges, and provide examples of how your product can help.
Other key attributes to look for when deciding which of your sales reps would be great on chat:
✔Responsive. A sales conversation needs to be timely. That’s why the right reps understand the importance of responding in under five minutes. But no one person has all the answers — if a rep needs to look for an answer, or research a topic, he or she should be able to communicate that to set expectations with a prospect, and keep the conversation going effortlessly.
✔Observant. Sales reps that excel in chat are ones that are able to mirror a prospect’s tone and language throughout the conversation. While it’s helpful to be warm and friendly with the people you’re chatting with, good reps understand that it’s more important to observe a prospect’s unique communication style, and cater to it.
✔Engaging. Sales chat need not follow a formal script. Reps who are great at sales chat understand the major objectives of a sales conversation, and then gently guide toward those outcomes with humor and authenticity. Another secret weapon? Sales reps who use their personality to connect with people on your website. As Sean Kenny, a Conversational Sales Advisor at Drift aptly puts it, “The value of chat is you.”
#3 – Draft high quality Drift Playbooks
Bots can play a key role in scaling sales chat engagement, but only if you customize the initial content and speak to the pain points of the people that visit your site. Luckily, that can be done through Drift Playbooks, also known as chat templates.
“With Drift Playbooks, I get to hand my sales team qualified leads all day, every day. It’s like having the best BDR on your website 24/7 that knows exactly what to say to your site visitors at the right time,” explains Sara Pion, resident Drift Playbook expert and marketer.
So, what do you need to do to get started?
👥Outline the potential scenarios where running an automatic Playbook or using a template would come in handy. Take a look at the pages on your site that get a ton of traffic. Maybe it’s your pricing page, a product feature page, or even some posts on your blog. If you’re getting lots of visitors to these pages, you should be engaging them with a Drift Playbook. This will allow you to maximize engagement with visitors to these pages without adding any extra work to your plate.
👥Create Playbooks that fire when people visit those popular pages. Have a post about growth marketing that drives a ton of traffic to your blog? Capitalize on that traffic by triggering a bot to appear on that page with copy that’s relevant to the content a visitor sees on your blog.
Want to see how Drift can help you drive growth and demand for your product?
Same goes for engaging people on other high traffic pages. If your pricing page gets a ton of visitors, you should capitalize on high buyer intent by implementing a Playbook that asks people if they have any questions or need more info about plans.
If someone is on your product pricing page, you will want to focus wording on the specific product or service they’re interested in, and the options available. This may also be a point to have a human step in quickly, as the prospect is likely to be further down the funnel and you don’t want to lose them:
“Hi there, do you need some help deciding the best pricing plan for you?”
When people land on your homepage, you’ll also want to engage a visitor with some light touches and maybe dig into pain points:
- “👋🏽. How may I help you today?”
- “Hey there. Can I show you how to generate more qualified leads?”
- “Just wanted to say hey 👋🏽 I’m here to help if you have any questions on lead generation.”
👥Track and optimize your Playbooks over time. Remember to continually monitor the results and success of your playbooks. Analyze what’s working to drive the results you want (meetings booked, for example). Build on success by focusing on improving one key metric at a time.
Keep in mind that it’ll take some experimentation to find your sweet spot with Playbooks. Some bot chat scripts will work better than others — so if you’ve got a lonely bot on your site, it’s time to switch the script and try something new.
Here are some key metrics to track efficacy of Playbooks:
- Number of conversations started
- Number of conversations started over time, segmented by hour of the day
- How many meetings booked
- How many leads generated
- How much revenue influenced from different Playbooks
When creating a Playbook, clearly define your goals. For example, on the homepage, your goal may be to simply start conversations, whereas on the product page it could be to book qualified meetings for your sales team.
#4 – Have a seamless routing process in place for conversations
Once you’ve rolled out conversational marketing, set up simple processes and automate tasks so there’s clarity on roles, and what happens next.
This is a great opportunity to align your sales and marketing teams so that both are aware of their responsibilities when it comes to handling objections and setting appointments to avoid any confusion. This can really benefit your sales cycle.
- The sales chat agent should know when and how to pass a lead on in case of technical/product enquiries. On the other hand, the sales, product, and technical teams should follow-up and connect with a prospect when a chat rep has set a demo.
- You may have a ton of product offerings and different experts for each. Make sure you route conversations to the correct specialist depending on the responses or page your visitor is on.
- If your key qualification questions involve annual revenue, number of employees, web traffic, it’s great. If one (or all) your qualifications are met with positive answers, have your top chat rep step in to move the deal forwards.
#5 — Why proactive outreach drives outcomes
You may not realize it, but Drift allows you to see key information on web traffic, which you can then use to your advantage to generate proactive messages based on visitor type:
For example, if a visitor has spent over a minute on your pricing page (implying that they may almost be at the decision stage of the buying process), then one of your sales chat representatives can proactively reach out with a message like:
“I see you’re looking at our pricing options. Do you need help deciding what’s right for you?”
Offering to chat with prospects as they browse your site gets you directly in on their buying process, and is a fantastic opportunity to provide support when it’s most needed.
#6 — Shortening the sales cycle via on-the-spot demos
The B2B sales cycle can be frighteningly long. Before a purchase can be made, sales teams invest a ton of time in guiding and educating prospects (and entire teams of prospects) over multiple calls, emails, in-person appointments, and sales demos.
The good news is, you can use chatbots to reduce the time it takes to set up appointments/demos by instantly booking appointments right in a conversation with Drift:
Using chat, SalesRabbit was able to dramatically impact their sales process in
- Booked 40% more meetings for their sales team
- Drove 50% more qualified leads
This drove a dramatic increase in productivity for SalesRabbit’s sales team, and in a remarkably short period of time.
Chat Drives Engagement, Qualification, and Conversions
If you’re driving traffic to your B2B website, you can’t afford not to have sales chat.
Besides potentially driving millions in pipeline and closed business, chat — when combined with conversational marketing best practices — is the best way to capture and qualify leads at scale for your business. And it doesn’t require a massive investment of time or resources to get started. So, go ahead — take the time to implement these best practices and you’ll be well on your way towards that $1 million revenue mark.
This is a contribution from Maryann Thomas, Content Writer at CloudTask.