Executive Reports
October 1, 2023

50% Of Sales Go To The First Company to Respond. Here’s How to Beat Them All

Don Simpson

Beat Competitors to the Starting Line, AND the Finish Line.

According to a white paper authored by Google and the Corporate Executive Board, 35% to 50% of B2B sales go to the vendor that responds to customers first. 

In other words, with each passing second your warm leads become colder and your competitors could snap them up. The race is on.

However, most of the insights you’ll read about this topic relate to how your company can be the first to respond, therefore securing the sale before competitors do.

For example, according to Insidesales.com, conversion rates are 8x better if you respond to prospects within 5 minutes.

So the traditional strategy becomes how you can reduce your lead response time through sales strategies, automated tools, and adding sales resources.

All of these tactics make sense in terms of being the first vendor to respond, but they’re missing a trick. One that wasn’t possible to perform until AI technology found a way.

And as is typical of AI breakthroughs, it’s not just an improvement but a paradigm shift which opens up an entirely new playing field. 

That AI breakthrough is this:

The best way to secure sales before competitors do is to proactively engage promising visitors rather than reactively responding to them. How? By revealing the buyer intent of all web visitors in real-time using Lift AI.

This AI-powered strategy puts you in a position to preemptively strike at sales opportunities - beating competitors to the starting line, before they’re even ready for the race. 

In fact, the competitive advantage is most obvious in three distinct ways:

  1. Real-time Engagement: Determine which visitors should be engaged by sales first in real-time, while they are on your website, and stop self-sabotaging by asking them for their email address before they can speak to a sales resource
  2. Follow-up Prioritization: Determine which accounts you didn’t engage yet, so your sales team can determine who to follow-up with first 
  3. Unlock The Potential of Anonymous Visitors: Instead of focusing exclusively on how to engage or respond to “known” visitors and accounts, you can proactively engage anonymous visitors who demonstrate high buyer intent to capture them early in the sales cycle

So, let’s look at each of the 3 scenarios:

1. Real-time Engagement: Determine which visitors should be engaged by sales first in real-time

Did you know that as many as 50% of prospects that ask for a sales rep (and even go so far as to submit their email address in order to do so) never even get followed up by a sales rep?

Why? Because the sales rep makes their own assessment about the visitor’s intent and worthiness, and never follows up due to competing priorities. 

So how are companies solving this problem? They look to supplement their data on each visitor using “in-market intent data” in order to try and prioritize who to engage with first.

However, your competitors likely purchase the same in market intent data that you do from 2nd and 3rd parties - ID reveal, firmographic data, demographic data, and market buying signals such as content consumed or keywords searched. There are great companies like G2, Bombora and Zoominfo that will provide you (and your competitors) with this data. 

So, let’s assume a level playing field in terms of 2nd and 3rd party data.

How do you differentiate that intelligence? By capturing unique 1st party data.

Using Lift AI’s real-time buyer intent intelligence, you have an invaluable additional layer of intelligence that’s captured for each visitor on your site only - this is 1st party data that your competitors do not have access to, as it is uniquely yours. 

Based on your visitors' real-time behavior on your website, Lift AI scores their buying intent allowing you to engage promising visitors immediately in real-time with platforms like Drift.

This is an essential function, as you’re far more likely to convert a visitor while they’re on your site than when they’re not. Prioritizing these visitors in real-time is no problem, as the machine learning algorithm of Lift AI will automatically deploy sales rep playbooks for visitors deemed to have “high” intent.

It also solves the problem of prioritizing which visitors to engage first in real-time. Typically,  a visitor may engage the sales team in chat and even supply their email address in order to be connected, even if asking the customer for their email address can sabotage your conversion rates by as much as 80%. However, the customer who has supplied an email address may or may not be demonstrating high buyer intent - it’s possible they just need support with a technical question. Lift AI allows you to see through these visitors and determine who really needs to be engaged first, instead of wasting sales resources in engaging them or leaving them unresponded due to volume. 

And that’s just one example of many possible journeys where seeing real-time buyer intent data can help you filter and prioritize visitors to both optimize conversions and sales resources in real-time.

2. Follow-up Prioritization: Determine which accounts should be followed-up by your sales team after they have left your site

So, Lift AI’s buyer intent data helps you prioritize which of your visitors to engage while they are on your site, but it also enables you to prioritize who to follow-up with after they’ve left the site, if you weren’t able to engage them in real-time.

This is a unique value-add to companies that take full advantage of marketing software such as lead scoring, ABM programmes, CRMs, and more. You can combine Lift AI’s data with your existing data to further prioritize accounts who show high buyer intent according to Lift AI, plus promising signals from your other tools. 

Using this strategy, you can optimize your sales team to find and prioritize the right visitors in real-time, then prioritize the visitors to follow up with first if they happened to be missed on the website. This is also true for visitors who supplied an email address but were missed by the sales reps.

For example, you might implement Lift AI to trigger marketing automation from your CRM for any visitor who is a target account, is demonstrating in-market signals, and is also showing high Lift AI buyer intent. 

A major opportunity here is in giving your sales team a plan of action for every visitor. Suddenly, Lift AI allows them to see who is the most important visitor both in real-time and outside of real-time, increasing their conversion rates and productivity. 

3. Unlock The Potential of Anonymous Visitors

Lift AI doesn't just add real-time intelligence to your “known” visitors (which typically make up 30% of your traffic that your ID reveal tools are able to identify) - it also works on the remaining 70% of traffic in the form of completely anonymous visitors. 

This is a breakthrough opportunity for marketers and salespeople. By engaging anonymous high intent visitors on your website in real-time with human interaction, you can surface up sales opportunities and get a first mover advantage before your competitors even know the prospect is in the market. And remember, the first sales rep in the deal wins the customer 50% of the time! 

Today’s buyers are as much as 70% along in their buying process before they even talk to a salesperson, and they do this shopping while staying anonymous.

Historically, there was no way to optimize conversions for anonymous visitors without knowing anything about them. Most marketers would rely on their generic website conversion funnel, hoping for the best. The visitor might land on the site, click on a product page, read a blog, then request a demo - but the chances of moving through that funnel are slim. 

With Lift AI, you suddenly shine a light on those anonymous visitors with real-time buyer intent data helping you determine who to engage for maximum revenue.

So, how does this work in action?

How Lift AI Works to 9x Conversions

Lift AI is a machine learning model pre-trained using billions of data points to determine the buyer intent behavior of website visitors in real-time as they navigate your website, with over 85% accuracy. 

In practice, Lift AI is a snippet of code added to your website which begins assigning “buyer intent scores” to each visitor as they navigate your website.

Those buyer intent scores are between 0-100, where 100 is considered high intent.

Scores are attached to each visitor’s unique “Lift AI ID” so you can utilize scores in various ways - the most common example is through conversational marketing (chat).

For example:

  • High intent visitors can be routed to live agents, who have the highest chance of converting visitors in real-time
  • Medium intent visitors can be routed to a mix of chatbots and live agents, where chatbots are tasked with escalating further qualified visitors to live agents for conversion
  • Low intent visitors can be deflected away from your live agents so they don’t waste time speaking with the wrong prospects, and instead they can be routed to support or nurturing chatbots

The result of this strategy alone can be significant. On average, users of Lift AI and conversational marketing tool Drift get 9x more conversions into pipeline.

That’s without counting the additional use-cases of adding Lift AI scores to your CRM tool for prioritized sales outreach, using Lift AI scores to create retargeting lists, and much more.

So, do you want to beat the competition to sales? Don’t fight to be the first one to respond to customers - be the first to proactively reach out to high intent visitors in real-time, before your competitors even know about them.

Not convinced? You can get in touch with us. Installation is simple, and only takes a few minutes.

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