What if a robot could handle all of your outbound B2B sales efforts?
Imagine automating all of your inbound and outbound marketing efforts?
Since Facebook’s 2016 announcement that chatbots would be coming to Messenger, all of that and more is possible.
Why should your business use chatbots to connect to customers on Facebook? On average, B2B decision-makers spend 760 minutes a week on the platform. The C-Suite decision-makers you need to connect with are on Facebook.
Today’s B2B customers are very similar to traditional B2C consumers. They like to be in command of the buying journey, learning about products and services via social feeds, websites, and reviews before even engaging with sellers. The challenge this poses for B2B companies is meeting B2B consumers where they are and converting them into leads. Chatbots can help you connect to customers on your website and Facebook.
Chatbots represent a serious shift in how B2B companies generate leads. With chatbots, your business can save thousands on customer support and increase revenue. And it’s all thanks to more efficient lead generation through chatbots.
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is an AI tool that automates your web messaging process through text-based conversations.
While it cannot handle more complex customer requests, it can answer questions and provide information for common topics and do simple processes.
Chatbots Speeds Up the Buying Cycle
Chatbots are quickly becoming the first ‘person’ a lead comes into contact with. You can leverage chatbots during any phase of the buying cycle. When buyers come across your website they are prompted to connect with the bot. The chatbot can ask the user questions about their needs. Based on the customer’s answers to the questions, the chatbot can show information about products and services. Even better, the customer can make a purchase directly through the bot.
Some actually connect into your CRM directly to where you’re able to speak to your prospects differently than if they were a new lead. This, within itself, helps your lead velocity, or time it takes leads to travel through your funnel to closed-won.
In the sample below, you can see that your MQL (marketing qualified lead) could be pushed by a chatbot improving the yellow line from MQL to Customer.
With a chatbot, the customer doesn’t have to go through the frustration of navigating through the site and searching for products and services. Chatbots make it easy to go through the buying process without having to talk to a single agent.
If you capture a lead and connect to their Messenger inbox, you can take them through your entire sales funnel without leaving Facebook. Customers can select products and services, make a purchase and be given a receipt all through Messenger.
Chatbots Provide 24/7 Customer Support
Engaging with B2B consumers individually through sales representatives via live chat or phone is extremely expensive and time-consuming. Companies can’t possibly have enough agents to reach out to every site visitor. And with long wait-times to connect with a live agent, many users leave websites before businesses have a chance to reach them.
Chatbots are ideal for early lead generation activities like data gathering and answering routine inquiries. Visitors can also schedule meetings directly from the bot. Chatbots can sync directly to your sales calendar and schedule meetings on your behalf. With routine activities taken care of, you keep representatives available for more complex, high-value activities later in the sales journey.
Generating and Nurturing Leads with Chatbots
Chatbots help with lead qualification. With the right questions, chatbots can help you gather valuable insight about who’s visiting your website. You can get information on what products and services they are interested in, and details about their business needs. You spend less time going through bad leads.
Chatbots can also help you nurture relationships with warm leads. You can connect directly to a customer’s Messenger inbox and send highly personalized messages.
Chatbots Help You Save Money on Email Marketing
While email is still one of the best converting tools for marketers, chatbots can replicate the same process you use in email marketing, faster.
Any conversation you can have through email, you can have twice as fast through chatbots, and with fewer click-throughs and navigation involved. Chatbots are also less time consuming and easier to track than most email automation campaigns.
Learn More About Your Buyer Personas
Knowing your buyers’ personas is key to good B2B lead generation. Chatbots can track visitors’ interactions with your business and see their social activities. Based on this information you can observe behavior patterns and reveal buyer personas. Your sales team can then apply predictive analytics to isolate quality leads in the sales pipeline.
B2B chatbots have a strategic role to play in delivering innovative solutions to the sales process problems. B2B chatbots help your sales teams to tailor interactions to each lead, increasing your chances of quality leads converting into customers. According to Gartner research, 30 percent of B2B companies would improve their sales processes if they implemented chatbots.
Showing your value
No matter how good you are at your business if you can’t meet customers where they are with answers to their questions. While the usual marketing strategies of sending emails and setting up phone calls work well, a chatbot can boost your lead generation efforts.
Dustin DeTorres is the CEO of DeTorres Group, a B2B Lead Generation & digital marketing agency that’s been helping B2B companies across the world since 2008. To learn more about Dustin DeTorres, click here.