Updated: April, 2023
Online sales professionals who focus on conversions know the benefits of conversational marketing. It allows them to provide a great customer experience for more leads while boosting their sales at the same time.
Yet not everyone is taking advantage of what conversation marketing has to offer. Lots of companies are not sure how to implement it in their traditional sales activities, such as email, forms, and nurture campaigns. As a result, they feel stuck with average inbound conversions.
Let’s look at a few conversational marketing approaches and see how we can follow them to improve customer relationships, maximize conversions, and increase website sales.
Tip: Get everything you need out of conversational marketing in one tool with Lift AI. This real-time buyer intent solution identifies the best website visitors for your BDRs to talk to and connects them directly via online chat. More effective conversations — more sales.
What is conversational marketing for businesses?
Conversational marketing is a specific marketing approach that engages your website visitors with meaningful conversations.
By engaging visitors directly, conversational marketing has more impact on the customer journey than more traditional ways of capturing leads, such as web forms. Web forms capture only those website visitors who are willing to provide their email, and conversations with them tend to stretch out for days or weeks. And that doesn’t even include those who are intrigued by your offering but are not ready to share their email.
Two reasons why conversational marketing is effective:
- Engages visitors with relevant messaging in real time
- Captures attention when visitors’ interest is at its peak
As a result, you can attract more qualified leads and widen your customer base faster than with any other online sales process.
How do companies implement conversational marketing?
There are three distinct solutions:
- A chatbot messaging app
- Conversational marketing software powered by AI
- Live chat for sales
Each solution requires a well-defined strategy and trained sales reps to bring high-quality results.
How do chatbots create inbound marketing leads?
Chatbots are commonplace on all kinds of websites, from Amazon to two-person startups. They are popular because they remove the need for the salesperson or a customer service representative on the other end. They are cheap, instant, and work 24/7.
Since chatbots use pre-configured responses, it pays off to take the time to craft effective ones. A productive chatbot is able to answer frequently asked questions, direct visitors to appropriate resources, provide basic customer support, and escalate to live sales agents.
A chatbot can become an integral part of your sales process and conversion funnel, serving a large audience with next-to-no effort.
Conversational AI is an advanced evolution of chatbots that mimics human-like behavior and provides a more tailored customer experience. To be effective, however, conversational AI needs millions of existing customer interactions to train itself on, which can be a challenge for smaller companies. That’s why it’s more commonly used for support rather than sales.
How does live chat help companies improve sales?
Live chat for sales complements chatbots and conversational AI. Having BDRs ready to engage with website visitors through a chat window offers an unbeatable opportunity for human interaction.
BDRs are able to convert visitors to leads and sales much better than chatbots. The challenge is keeping enough staff to reply to inquiries in real time. There will inevitably be long periods of inactivity or time wasted on low-quality prospects.
The best live chat strategy would be knowing when your team should engage with potential customers and when it’s better to leave the lead qualification process to a chatbot or conversational AI, without losing any sales.
How salespeople can engage in effective conversational marketing
Even with the best web design in place, B2B companies still suffer from abandonment. If visitors don’t see what they are looking for in seconds, they leave to search for it somewhere else.
Conversational marketing is a great way to prevent potential customers from leaving. But don’t make the mistake of asking for their email address too early into the conversation. As much as 80% of visitors might leave the conversation prematurely if asked for personal information.
The key insight to internalize is that people don’t want to be sold to, they want to be helped. That’s what the best conversational marketing strategies are positioned to deliver.
Your goal with conversational marketing should be to foster meaningful conversations, build trust, and establish relationships. To do that:
- Evaluate the buyer intent of each website visitor
- Understand their goals
- Answer their questions related to your product
- Help them navigate through your website
- Gather feedback
Once you’ve provided enough value to earn customers’ trust, you can:
- Offer customized deals
- Upsell interested visitors
- Ask for email addresses and other personal information
- Book demos
Some of these things can be done with a chatbot, and some require assistance from salespeople — that’s why the most successful conversational marketing platforms engage both.
Drift is a revenue acceleration platform that lets you specify customer engagement points throughout your website. You can write custom prompts for various target audiences and offer them predetermined options, from downloading reports to subscribing for updates, to booking demos.
You can also let visitors skip contact forms and initiate a real-time conversation with your sales team via chat, which could move from text to audio to video later on.
LivePerson is another great conversational marketing platform that features both chatbots and live chat for sales to automate and scale visitor interactions.
The problem is that up to 98% of potential customers on your website are completely anonymous. This means you don’t have enough information about them to decide how to proceed. In practice, conversational marketing platforms are at the risk of flying blind — hoping that BDRs are spending time with the right visitors while chatbots are handling the rest. There is, however, no certainty.
Chatbots are not a one-in-all solution. At best, they are engagement channels for improving customer relationships. But like all channels, they need to be aligned with your visitors right from the start. The last thing you want is for high-potential visitors to be greeted in a way that doesn’t meet their needs.
You need clear goals and a process for measuring your progress against them. That means your chatbot and live sales chat experiences should be integrated into your CRM and marketing automation tools to be effective.
The key is knowing how to properly allocate your sales resources to boost conversion rates and drive your sales volumes.
Lift AI is a unique buyer-intent solution that applies the power of artificial intelligence to excel at one thing — accurately identifying the buyer intent of every single person on your website in real time.
What makes Lift AI valuable is eliminating manual guesswork from visitor targeting. This is made possible by Lift AI’s machine-scoring model, which processes an unprecedented amount of real-life data — more than 15 years of sales engagement insights, 14 million conversations, and billions of website visitors.
To enable real-time engagement based on visitors’ buying intent, Lift AI works with Drift, LivePerson, and other conversational marketing apps.
Lift AI identifies high conversion intent visitors, which is on average 9% of your website traffic.
As a result, you can connect high-scoring visitors with your sales team directly, use a qualification bot with mid-intent visitors, and leverage more automation with low-scorers for nurturing and answering simple questions.
By engaging visitors with the right resources based on their conversion potential, Lift AI customers like PointClickChare increased conversions by 400%, adding over $1M of incremental revenue in the first year. Formstack, another customer, saw a 420% increase in pipeline sales.
Finally, your conversational marketing can deliver on the promise.