First steps – you have options.

One of the nice things about conversational marketing is
that it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. As you begin to modernize your marketing funnel so it’s more effective for both your buyers and your salespeople, there are a wide variety of options that will introduce conversational elements into your lead generation process.

1. IMPLEMENT LIVE CHAT
Giving buyers the option to talk directly with sales via a live chat can go a long way toward boosting their engagement with your website and your sales team. Many people simply prefer chat to other methods of communication. It’s convenient, unobtrusive, and provides immediate gratification. Caveat: live chat can only be available during business hours, but it’s still a worthwhile step that will help close the gap between buyers and sellers.

2. ENRICH FIRMOGRAPHIC DATA IN REAL-TIME
Hitting website visitors with a barrage of annoying questions about the size of their company and their revenue levels can be a turn-off. But, that information plays a critical role in prioritizing incoming leads based on ideal customer profiles. Without that data, your sales team won’t know where to focus their efforts. Use technology like reverse-IP lookup to identify visitors in real-time and access key firmographic information behind the scenes. You can also identify people your sales team has already reached out to, and connect them directly with the appropriate rep.

3. CONNECT YOUR LIVE CHAT AND CRM
Once you have identified the visitor’s company, you can add available CRM data in real-time, things like the account owner, whether they are a strategic target account, whether there’s already an open opportunity or an existing account.

4. USE WITH CHATBOTS TO QUALIFY AND SCALE CONVERSATIONS
Chatbots can handle a wide range of simple questions once you have established key contextual information about the visitor. For example, a chatbot can inquire about whether a visitor is interested in talking to sales, support, or learning about job opportunities. It can ask questions that help establish where a visitor is on the buying journey such as, “Are you here to chat with a rep, or are you just researching?” A chatbot can inquire about what specific kind of information a visitor would like to access, or what department they work in, or whether they already have an account manager. The use cases are endless.

5. ROUTE LEADS MORE APPROPRIATELY
You can use data enrichment and chatbots to help you determine the most appropriate resource. 100-person company? Notify your small business team. Large company from the strategic target list? Notify the enterprise rep on the account. Company located in the UK? Notify the EU sales team. You get the idea. The best part is that you can do all of this in real-time so that the appropriate salesperson can join the chat with a friendly, “Human here!” By inserting a live person into the conversation in real-time, you ensure that the conversation doesn’t lose momentum like it would if the buyer had to wait a day or two to get a
follow-up email.

6. MAKE IT EASY FOR BUYERS TO BOOK MEETINGS
You never want to miss an opportunity to book a meeting. Connect your reps’ calendar to your chatbot so the bot can propose meeting times and lock down a time even when the buyer is on your site after business hours. After that, sync the meeting with your MAP or CRM system.

7. USE BOTS TO GET THE BUYER EMAIL ADDRESS
Even if a buyer isn’t interested in talking to a salesperson just yet, you can still capture their contact information via relevant and helpful offers from your chatbot. For instance, maybe there’s a particular piece of content that would be useful to the buyer. Tailor your bot to request an email address so that it can send the content. Or, have it ask for an email in case the chat is disconnected.

8. REDUCE THE NUMBER OF FORMS ON YOUR WEBSITE
Don’t worry. You don’t need to get rid of all the forms. Conversational marketing actually works really well in combination with more traditional marketing automation strategies. The key is to think things through so that you’re using each approach where it makes the most sense and will be most effective. For instance, at Drift, we use conversational marketing for webinar and event registration, newsletter and blog signups, and even capturing email addresses in order to send premium content. Could we use forms in some of these instances? Of course. But we find that the chat option usually drives better engagement and conversion.

Your buyers don't want to be treated like MQLs.

Treat your buyers like people. Here's how conversations are transforming the marketing funnel as we know it (and what you can do about it).

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