Updated May 30, 2023: We added new information about how chat based on buyer intent can become an integral part of a successful conversion funnel.
A sales funnel is at the heart of every company’s sales process. Whether it’s a physical product, service, or software, your sales funnel describes the exact steps required to generate awareness and convert it into action, as outlined by the popular AIDA (awareness, interest, desire, action) marketing model.
Thus optimizing your sales funnel is directly correlated with improved sales results. Sales funnels are akin to leveraged investments, where small inputs can result in disproportionate outcomes.
When it comes to sales funnel optimization, adding live sales chat to your website is one of the most effective options you can explore.
Tip: Supercharge your sales funnel with Lift AI that adds buyer intent indicators throughout your marketing stack, including live chat for sales.
Funnel Compression: The Key to Improving Your Funnel
There are two ways to improve your funnel results:
- Lead generation
- Funnel compression
Lead generation is about adding more volume to the top of your funnel. The increase in website visitors (for example) would then lead to more conversions, even without changing the conversion rate (on average around 1.5-2%). The problem is that bringing more traffic to your website is difficult and expensive.
Funnel compression is about reducing the number of steps between the top (entry) and the bottom (conversion) of the funnel to make the process as simple and efficient as possible.
If the middle and bottom of your funnel aren’t streamlined, it doesn’t matter how many leads are at the top — most of them will get lost in the conversion process.
That’s why funnel compression is crucial.
Plus, you can start with analyzing conversions and compressing your funnel, and once the conversion rate improves, switch the efforts to lead generation. This way you’ll be converting new leads at a higher rate, forever.
How do you compress the sales funnel? The best way to start is to incorporate live chat on your website.
How a Sales Chat Funnel Benefits Your Customers
Traditionally, potential customers will reach out to your BDRs after browsing your website, getting interested in the product or service based on the general information provided, filling out a contact form, and waiting for a response.
You can see how this process creates striking inefficiencies. Instead of getting specific answers to unique problems, your website visitors have to read through the marketing copy to find solutions on their own first.
The same is true for ecommerce websites. Most companies assume their visitors will have no problem navigating the website and finding the product they are looking for and going through the checkout process.
Critically, this leads to your BDRs missing the opportunity to connect with leads in real time, when they are at their most inquisitive state.
Incorporating live chat for sales into your funnel solves these issues. Now your BDRs can establish a real-time connection with visitors, which lowers the friction of finding the right information, asking questions, and self-qualifying for the next conversion step.
From our experience with customers engaging in live sales for chat, about 65% seek answers to one-off questions which can’t be answered by FAQs and chatbots, and the other 35% want to be reassured that the product or service they are considering will solve their problem.
Why Having a Live Chat Funnel Is Good for Sales
While the benefits of live chat are clear when it comes to website visitors, how can it help you improve your bottom line?
As mentioned above, getting a real-time channel of communication shortens the funnel and results in higher conversion rates. Even if visitors don’t seek out live chat interactions themselves, your BDRs can proactively reach out through chat (called a chat invitation), just as store assistants would in a retail environment.
In such a setting, BDRs can give potential customers a helpful nudge towards fulfilling an action or finding critical information. The only problem is that chat invitations tend to be sent out at random rather than deliberately (more on this later).
From a technical perspective, live chat for sales is a more efficient process. A real-time chat combines the engagement and immediacy of a phone call while allowing your BDRs to manage a few conversations at once. It also saves time by letting your team solve problems faster and disqualify leads sooner into the process.
However, there’s a big problem that free-for-all live chat for sales creates: what if you get too many low-quality leads contacting you and overwhelming your sales team?
Up until now, the most effective solution has been to introduce a chatbot marketing funnel to shield your staff from spending their days answering the most common questions. Lots of companies now use chatbot marketing funnels with tools like LivePerson, Intercom, Salesforce, Drift, and more.
While chatbots are great for fielding general support questions, they are not that sophisticated when it comes to converting visitors into customers — something which live sales agents excel at.
How do you then know when to engage visitors with a live sales rep or qualify them first with a chatbot? After all, losing a high-quality lead because they didn’t bother engaging with your bot is not the outcome you want to see.
Optimizing Live Chat Funnel With AI
Enter Lift AI. Leveraging over 15 years of sales data across various industries, including more than one billion website visits and 14 million live sales engagements, Lift AI applies its proprietary machine scoring model to instantly qualify your visitors in real time. This AI model is so advanced that it’s able to assign accurate scores even to anonymous visitors, who don’t exist in your CRM database and haven’t performed any predetermined actions.
Using Lift AI can result in up to a 10 times increase in chat conversions within 90 days, as reported by Lift AI’s customers. For example, PointClickCare grew its conversions by 400%, attributing over $1M in revenue to Lift AI’s technology. Another customer, Formstack, increased its sales pipeline by 420%.
In the end, using Lift AI lets you drastically shorten your sales funnel and increase its efficiency at the same time. Essentially, you can connect promising buyers to your most effective conversion channels faster than ever (instantly). Your BDRs will become much more efficient with their time by introducing themselves to high-quality leads at the right moment while everyone else will have the option of going through a chatbot or a self-help guide on their own.
Get in touch with us today and see how machine scoring through chat can optimize your sales funnel like never before.