When you hear the words “conversational marketing” what comes to mind?
Do you embrace the idea of a chatbot to interact with visitors to your website, or does the idea turn you off in some way?
There is a lot of data in support of utilizing this new approach, and some reluctance to embrace it.
To bot or not to bot, that is the question.
The B2B buying process has become cold, impersonal, and way more painful for the buyer than it needs to be. Making it easier for people to engage with your business will help you convert more of the right leads faster. Forcing people to go through lead capture forms and wait days for a response is no longer the way to get things done.
By 2020, it is predicted that 85% of consumer interactions will be handled without a human agent (Chatbots Life 2019)
While cold-calling is certainly not dead, and email campaigns can be tailored and personalized, as tech evolves and people’s behaviors adapt, procuring engagement on your website becomes more challenging.
Conversational marketing expedites the process of marketing by passing leads right to sales. In the past, leads went to the website, filled out a form, and then they waited. The sales team had to follow up and marketing was left trying to make sure that sales connected with that lead. With conversational marketing, it’s instantaneous. Given the amount of effort you are putting into driving traffic to your website, don’t you want to be there to engage with them?
Sales people can’t scale, but bots can’t sell.
Because it’s a new way of selling, Maura and her team at Qualified.com are trying to help educate people on the power of Conversational Marketing.
One of the biggest misconceptions she comes across is that it’s all about the bots, and that’s where it stops. Maura insists that is not the case.
Bots are great for gathering more qualifying data on website visitors, booking meetings with the sales team while the sales team is away, moving the sales cycle along with finesse, but it should not be the sole focus of conversational marketing.
Let’s look at some quick stats:
- 0.5% of all B2B companies are using chatbots as of 2019. (NerdyData)
- 64% of internet users list 24-hour service as the best chatbot feature (The State of Chatbots Report-2019)
- Live chat software has a 73% satisfaction rate (G2”s Facebook Chatbots Guide)
- 40% of millennials say they interact with chatbots on a daily basis (Acquire.io)
Even though I have been quoted as saying: “The biggest trend in marketing right now is trends”
All the indicators are pointing towards Conversational Marketing becoming an invaluable asset. A qualified lead differs for each company according to their ideal customer profile. Finding the right balance of bots and humans for different parts of your unique sales cycle is going to be something to examine and develop. One question you may ask yourself to personalize the conversational marketing experience is:
How can you engage with targeted accounts when they come to your website?
Marketing is spending so much time, effort and dollars on how to get people to their website. They are thinking about what they read and consume once they get there. What’s the content, what’s the messaging, what are the videos, whatever it may be, but when people are ready to buy, they have to really jump through hoops to get to talk to sales. Ugh. For marketing, that’s kind of frustrating.
For sales, it’s frustrating because they have these leads at their fingertips, but they can’t get in touch with them because the timing’s wrong. They are stuck sitting on a lead queue chasing after them there. They’re hitting the phones, they’re blasting out emails, but it’s just not as effective as it could be.
Marketers are getting all of these eyeballs to their website, all these qualified buyers, but then they can’t get them across the finish line and into a sales cycle using this decade old approach. That right human>bot ratio is what bridges this gap and slides contacts through your funnel. And by the way? Your buyer is frustrated as well.
“The 5 Minute Rule.”
A study by LeadResponseManagement.org found something remarkable. The study showed that when B2B sales teams respond to leads in under 5 minutes, their chances of engagement and conversion of leads into pipeline skyrocket.
If response time is under 5 minutes you are 100 times more likely to connect and 21 times more likely to qualify that lead.
If ever there was an argument for implementing Conversational Marketing it’s “The 5 Minute Rule”.
Customers have B2C consumer experiences that appeal to a quick and painless mindset. They go to Amazon. order groceries, they’re there in an hour. They go to Spotify and play the new Taylor Swift album. Netflix? Peruse, choose, and it’s, right there on the screen. So why is the B2C buying experience so slow?
“Condense the process, and It’s going to make the marketing to sales handoff immediate.” -Maura Rivera
I feel like this episode busted a myth in a hard corps manner!
MYTH: Conversational marketing is all about chatbots. Conversational marketing is so much more than chatbots, that is just a piece. For buyers, it’s about having real-time conversations with human sales reps. For sales, it’s facilitating an immediate conversation with hard earned visitors to the website that are ready to communicate. Hard corps!