Our Four-Part Framework For Conversational Selling: How The Best Reps Build Pipeline Faster With Chat

By Drift

Conversational Selling Framework

Since launching our first chat widget on drift.com almost three years ago, real-time conversations with buyers on our website have been the #1 driver of our hypergrowth.

Leads that come from conversations are 2.5x more likely to become opportunities than those from any of our other lead sources.

And leads from conversations convert 2X faster into opportunities than other sources.

That’s the power of connecting with your buyer now, not later.

But getting this type of result isn’t as easy as buying a conversational marketing platform, installing it and crossing your fingers.

You need to learn how to sell over chat.

So after having tens of thousands of conversations with our buyers, spending months analyzing those conversations and consulting dozens of our conversational selling experts, we’re ready to unveil our four-part framework. If you want to create sales pipeline faster, this framework is your guide to starting more conversations with buyers on your website, delivering value to them and setting up next steps.

Step 1: Break The Ice

Step one is starting the conversation.

Getting someone to engage with you is half the battle.

Unlike a form, with chat and chatbots, you can create personalized messages that are friendly and helpful for people on your website.

A question we get a lot is: so what’s the perfect opener?

Your opening line should be different, cheeky, original, perhaps even funny.

Be different. Remember this isn’t going to be a static webpage with a form. It’s interactive. So something like “Hello, welcome to our site. How can I help you?” probably isn’t going to grab someone’s attention.

Whereas a bot like the one we have on our chatbot page “Checking me out? ?” really stands out because it’s funny and witty.

Drift Chatbot

And by the way, that question right there converts 22% of the people who see it into a conversation.

So here’s what you should keep in mind with your opening line: what would absolutely make this person respond to this or capture their attention?

And you don’t need to overcomplicate it either. We’ve had success just sending an opener that asks “Can I ask you a quick question?”

Be compelling. Think about the way you communicate with your friends over messaging. It’s not much different when you start using messaging to engage with your buyers.

Step 2: Make It About THEM Not YOU

If you were out on a date with someone and they only talked about themselves, you’d probably want the date to be over as soon as possible right?

Well, the same goes for conversations with your buyers on your website. If you just talk about how great your product is, why it’s better than your competitors’ and only focus on you, your buyer will see right through you: a sales rep who only cares about hitting a number and not solving problems for the customer.

Instead, make it about them. Remember: today your buyer has all the power. It’s your job as a salesperson to help them solve their problems. If you’re not doing that, they’ll find someone who will.

Making it about them also helps you have better conversations. The more questions you ask, the more likely a visitor is to respond and continue the conversation. You learn about their needs, they learn about your solution.

But one of the greatest things about conversational selling is that you don’t need to ask a bunch of questions to understand them. With Drift Intel, you can see who someone is without having to ask.

Drift Intel

So you can start conversations with people you know are a good fit for your product/service.

Step 3: Give Before You Get

In your conversations you want to give before you can get.

Here’s what I mean by that. Follow this simple rule:

Always answer someone’s question.

There is nothing worse than when someone asks about pricing and you disregard them by asking them more questions that you care about. You’re not solving their problems, you’re making it about your needs.

This is the quickest way to lose the trust of a prospect.

Of course once you’ve answered a question, you’ve earned the right to ask one in return. The rule is: answer then ask. Not answer, answer, answer. And when possible you should follow up an answer with a question (which keeps the conversation going).

Here’s an example.

Buyer: “I’m just wondering how we would use Drift?”

You: “Well most companies use Drift to create sales pipeline faster by generating leads through conversations with people on their website. Do you use chat to generate leads today?” 

And the beauty in that response is that your buyer just has to reply “yes” or “no” and the conversation can continue.

Adding value gives you permission to qualify them in a conversational, casual, and friendly way. This is how today’s buyer wants to buy.

Step 4: Establish Next Steps

Okay, you made it this far, nice work! You’ve discovered in your conversation that this person is a great fit for your product or service.

So what do you do now?

Well you want to establish next steps of course, but how do you do that when you’re already in a conversation with someone?

Here are three options:

  • Chat2Zoom. If you’re engaged with someone you’ve qualified in real-time, why make them wait for a meeting? Ask them if they want to jump on the phone or a Zoom call right now. After all, getting your buyers what they want now, not later is what conversational selling is all about. We call this Chat2Zoom because we convert chat conversations via Drift into Zoom calls.
  • Book a meeting. If your prospect wants to include other people on their team in the discussion, or they need to do more homework before continuing the conversation, then book a meeting with them.
  • Offer them a resource to help them solve their problem. A great example is something our sales team sends here at Drift: a video showing how a chatbot will look and work on the prospect’s website. You could send them a video, eBook, guide or something meaningful that helps them solve their problem.

How To Use This Framework

Now that you know what the framework is, how do you train your sales reps to follow it?

First, you have to train your team. Here’s a visual you can share:

4 step conversational selling framework

We also suggest you regularly review conversations to look for coachable moments. Some of our most successful customers, like Ipswitch, which generated $3.5m in pipeline through conversations, regularly reviews conversations with their BDR team to look for ways to improve.

And that’s it. You’re ready to get started with Conversational Selling! But remember, be helpful, demonstrate value early on and show that you can solve problems for your buyers.