It’s a scenario you’re probably familiar with:
You’re on a company’s website, researching their product, and you decide to take the next step.
So you click that “Contact Sales” button or “Schedule a Demo” button (or whatever it is) and then…
Well, you don’t get to talk to sales.
And you don’t get to book a demo, at least not right away.
As Neil Patel explains:
You know how this typically works.
You fill out a form, and they assure you that “someone will be in touch soon.”
However, you end up forgetting about it a few hours later and then lose interest when nobody gets in touch.
As a sales and marketing team, that’s exactly how potential customers end up slipping through the cracks:
People land on your website with intent to buy (or at least to learn more), but when nobody’s there to answer their questions or engage with them in real-time, they move onto researching the next solution.
The Limitations of “Contact Sales” Forms
In our best SaaS marketing post, where we analyzed the marketing strategies of the top 100 SaaS companies, we found that 69% of those high-growth companies have a call-to-action (CTA) on their website that prompts people to get in touch with sales.
You can see the most popular CTA copy they use in the slide below.
We also found that of those companies that prompt people to connect with sales, the overwhelming majority (67 out of 69, or 97%) direct people either to lead capture forms or to landing pages where they’re then instructed to call in or email.
Only two companies in the Cloud 100 give leads the opportunity to chat with sales reps in real-time after clicking their “Contact” CTAs (see screenshots below):From a sales and marketing perspective, it’s understandable why so many companies continue to rely on the traditional approach:
It’s easy to scale.
When you’re using lead capture forms, you can simply go down your list of leads and call them or email them when the timing is convenient for you.
Alternatively, if your CTA prompts people to call in or email, the reality is that your team isn’t always going to be available to answer those calls, and they’re not always going to respond to those emails in a timely manner (assuming they respond to them at all).
As a result of this company-driven approach, the buying experience suffers, and leads slip through the cracks.
According to research from InsideSales.com & HBR, even if you let just five minutes slip by after a lead first reaches out, there’s a 10x decrease in your odds of actually getting in touch with that lead.
After 10 minutes, there’s a 400% decrease in your odds of qualifying that lead.
To clarify: The problem here isn’t that marketers or business development reps (BDRs) aren’t working hard enough, it’s that we’re invested in a system and a toolset that no longer match the way people prefer to buy.
Nobody likes making phone calls today.
So it should be no surprise that 73 percent of consumers prefer live chat and messaging options over phone and email support….
We bounce around from device to device. And we use many different channels to learn more about a company before doing business with them.
That means our marketing approach needs to evolve, too.
Life in the Fastlane
In a world where you can stream just about any song or movie or TV show in seconds, and where you can order just about anything online and have it delivered to your door in minutes, today’s buyers expect a fast, seamless buying experience.
Ultimately, you can’t provide that kind of experience using forms and follow-ups.
And that’s why companies (like Assertible) have been seeking out alternatives (like Drift).
Just set up an Assertible demo for a F500 company in seconds with @drift ??⏲ Imagine if they had to use the “Contact us” form!
— Cody Reichert (@CodyReichert) August 11, 2017
By replacing your sales “contact us” forms with a virtual assistant like Drift, you can capture, qualify, and connect with leads in a single step — no more email back-and-forths, and no more endless games of phone tag.
As a result, sales cycles end up shrinking from months and weeks, to days and hours.
We know this because we see it happening first-hand with our own sales team:
Instead of putting up more roadblocks, we’re using artificial intelligence to create a fastlane for our best leads.
Even when our sales reps are asleep, or away on vacation, Drift can continue to ask qualifying questions and schedule demos 24/7, 365.
As a result of using this real-time, “‘always on” approach — an approach that’s powered by conversations, not forms — our sales productivity has skyrocketed. But we’re not the only ones seeing the results.
Case in point: Here’s a Tweet from our pal Scott (who booked 80 pre-qualified demos in a single month using Drift).
So @drift booked 80 pre-qualified demos for us in July (so far). Big part of that is the Playbooks (chatbot) feature. That’s nuts!
— Scott Magdalein (@ScottMagdalein) July 31, 2017
Final Thought: Making the Switch
From a tactical perspective, replacing your sales form with an intelligent assistant is as simple as turning on a Drift Playbook (a pre-packaged campaign designed to accomplish your goals) and using the corresponding #DriftLink for your sales CTA.
For example, if you wanted to prompt people to book a demo, you could turn on our Get More Sales Meetings Playbook, and link it to your “Schedule a Demo” CTA.
That way, if someone clicked that “Schedule a Demo” CTA, it would trigger a virtual assistant that could A) ask a few qualifying questions, and B) let qualified leads schedule times for demos on a sale’s rep calendar — right from the chat window.
Ultimately, we’re trying to make the buying process as simple and as seamless as possible, and we see sales “Contact Us” forms as yet another obstacle for buyers.
Need help replacing your forms with a virtual assistant? Click the link below to learn more.