Guest post by Devin Pickell, Content Marketing Specialist at G2
Think of a software company you admire, and one you engage with regularly. You may be a customer, a content consumer, an email subscriber, or simply enjoy its brand. Now, look at the bottom right-hand corner of that company’s homepage. There’s a good chance you’ll see a live chat agent, commonly known as a chatbot.
The Outreach team has written extensively about how the digital world is changing sales (and how your sales team should adapt—did you read the ebook, Transforming Your Sales Teams For Success?) and this is a great example. Chatbots are a new frontier of sales technology.
For those unfamiliar with chatbots, these are virtual assistants that communicate with human users over a conversational interface, such as a website. Think of an instant messaging platform, except that on the other side of the conversation is a bot.
There are a few types of chatbots used by companies today, two of the most common are pre-programmed bots and artificially intelligent (AI) bots.
Pre-programmed chatbots provide users with a variety of options to select. For example, you land on a homepage and a bot asks, “How may I help you today?” with several buttons to tap on, like “Learn more about the product,” “Sign me up for the newsletter,” “Start a free trial,” etc. Each button leads down a different path based on the user’s selection.
AI-enabled chatbots communicate with users through text responses, not buttons. For example, the previous bot asks how it can help, and instead of selecting an option, you’ll simply type out your question. AI deciphers the text using natural language processing (NLP), then forms a response to your question.
Chatbots have traditionally been used for answering FAQs and providing automated customer service, but savvier companies have incorporated chatbots in their marketing and sales funnels to increase conversions.
If your business is searching for a newer, more engaging way to communicate with site visitors – all while increasing conversions – consider using a chatbot. Here are three reasons why chatbots are beneficial.
Sales reps already have their hands full with planning, scheduling, traveling, and other duties that keep them from holding conversations with prospects. However, by implementing a chatbot, you have a way of connecting with visitors even when reps are away, and can dedicate meaningful time to each prospect that lands on your site.
The ability to automate prospecting efforts with a chatbot gives your company a direct competitive edge. As a matter of fact, 42 percent of customers said they prefer communicating with brands over web chat, compared to just 23 percent for email and 16 percent for social media. Companies already using chatbots are uniquely positioned for an inevitable future driven by on-site conversations.
More companies are catching on and integrating Drift chatbots with Outreach, allowing them to drive real-time conversations and automatically follow-up with prospects.
It’s simple math. The more conversations being held on your site, the more opportunities for converting prospects. But because prospects are not created equal, chatbots can help categorize prospects during this process – all without human intervention.
Does this contact need further education on your product? Are they interested in a demo? Do they want to know how your features stack up against competitive products?
Chatbots can provide clear-cut data on what exactly a prospect is trying to get out of your company and appropriately route the prospect to the right rep or resource.
Not only will chatbots increase your chances for converting, you’re gaining a deeper understanding of those who engage with your site and creating better-quality leads that are handed off to the right teams at the right times.
Being able to automate prospecting efforts and qualify leads more effectively isn’t just beneficial to your company, but site visitors as well. We are living in an increasingly “always-on” world, where prospects want their questions answered promptly. According to Ubisend, 51 percent of people prefer businesses to have 24/7, around-the-clock services available to answer questions, but this level of service isn’t feasible without incorporating a chatbot on your site.
Chatbots help you meet the “always-on” demands of your prospects, and could be the difference between a good and great customer experience. And, as we already know, companies that excel at customer experience will grow revenues 4-8 percent above their respective markets.
With so many advancements of chatbots in recent years, they are no longer confined to FAQs and customer service. More companies are considering chatbots as a legitimate part of their marketing and sales efforts.
If you’re a company looking to refresh how you engage with prospects or simply looking to increase site conversions, it’s worth looking into chatbot software today. If you’re an Outreach customer interested in chatbots, you should read how to incorporate it into your sales strategy for more seamless conversations with your customers.