Expert RoundUp Vol. 1 – Conversational Marketing: Can it Boost Sales?

Stephen M. Lowisz

So where should we put chatbots in our sales process?

Ognjen concluded that “chatbots should be used as an instant touch, some sort of engager that let us qualify and categorize the person, in order to personalize the conversation with the user.”
We’ve found bots to be incredibly helpful for low-ticket items (...) however, at the high ticket level, like what we do at 21 LEAP, we’ve found the effectiveness to drop a bit. For general email capturing and lead magnet delivery, Facebook has been great. For scheduling appointments, website chatbots can be leveraged. However, these are fully automated and don’t require any manual response within 5 minutes
It appears that chatbots are really useful in solving small problems and giving fast answers. Like any form of conversational marketing, you can use automated chat to qualify people who interact with you in that way. Is this what compels lead generation experts to try them?

What makes chatbots so popular right now?

According to Luis Camacho, the method is successful because “the market has not reached a peak and is not being abused like other forms.” Thus, there’s still room for early adopters. The users are not fed up with chatbots, vying for their attention. Although who knows what will happen after more and more B2B companies adopt chatbots Does it mean it’s just a trend that will fade after some time? I asked the experts about that too. Morgan Williams thought the trend is here to stay. Ultimately, it gives sales reps an option to get into a direct conversation with a qualified lead way faster than any other method out there. He said:
I see any sales/marketing innovation that successfully connects a true, hand- raising prospect with a salesperson faster as a net positive for both sides, a trend that is here to stay.
Chatbots and live chats can speed up communication between your sales team and potential leads. The trend of using such technology is bound to mature then. Yet, will every company adopt it successfully? Stanley Mungwe from LeadmeHome points out that if you don’t have the right principles at your company, you won’t succeed, even with the best technology.
The issue is that no trend, tactics, or hack can replace fundamental client-centric marketing which is based on showing the right offer to the right audience in his right state at the right time.
So before you jump into the conversational marketing bandwagon, make sure your company is ready for that.

What is the downside of using chatbots?

At the end of the day, chatbots are just… bots that are still in an early adoption phase. They are imperfect and limited in their functionality. Jonny observed:
The vast majority of bots are built using decision-tree logic, where the bot’s canned response relies on spotting specific keywords in the user input (...) Problems arise when life refuses to fit into those boxes.
Because of that chatbots can slow down the buying process. According to Deepak Shukla from Pear Lemon:
Chatbots will always get in the way of the actual action because some people just might want to talk to a human and there’s always some degree of delay with a chatbot and nothing will ever replace the human experience.
Gaetano from EarlyParrot observed another important hiccup with chatbots:
Some leads who are about to convert sometimes think that they are talking to a human being. So when a chatbot gets it wrong, leads might be put off and want immediate assistance by a human being.
Nevertheless, you can find a way around it, namely, don’t expect the chatbot to resolve every query the user come to you with. Your sales reps may take over in crucial moments. Even so, it is desired for the salespeople to take over. As Ryan said:
We’ve tested inviting a human into the conersation at various stages of the chatbot conversation, and without a doubt, can confidently say that once the prospect has indicated they want to speak to a salesperson, the earlier a human is introduced the better.
Chatbots won’t replace salespeople. You still need a human-to-human connection to close deals and build trust and rapport.

What’s the verdict?

I got interested in conversational marketing because cold emailing is a form of starting a conversation. You need to get in front of your leads, initiate a conversation with them in order to build trust and rapport. As we all know, we can’t close a deal after sending just one email.

Conversational marketing, and messaging technology like chatbots, won’t increase sales on its own either. However, pair it with an amazing inbound marketing, professional outbound tactics, as well as a great service and it, will definitely work to your advantage.

Make sure you’re ready to get your sales reps involved before you try conversational marketing technology. As we’ve seen, it’s essential. As the experts have told us, it’s essential to introduce a human being for it to be an effective strategy.

All things considered, give it a shot if you think you have a team to support it

Thanks to all the experts for contributing. If you have tried conversational marketing, share your experience in the comments.

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