Introducing a conversational marketing strategy to your team is not difficult. The case studies mostly speak for themselves. The only tricky piece is the one that’s somewhat out of your control—convincing salespeople, who are notoriously resistant to change, to adopt.
Luckily, there’s a helpful trick, and you’ll know it if you’ve ever read the novel Tom Sawyer: Tell your salespeople they can’t have it. Then give it to some. When those few are wildly successful, others will want it. Just like how Tom got all his friends to paint a fence for him, you’ll have the inverse of the traditional adoption problem: Everyone will be demanding access to the conversational tool.
(No surprise Tom Sawyer’s main character is so psychologically adept—Mark Twain wrote ads and was one of the Gilded Age’s cleverest persuaders.)
With that knowledge in your pocket, here’s how to introduce it to your team.
Do you have lots of unidentified traffic that tends not to complete your form? Lots of ad spend but too few leads? A wide spectrum of customer types who you’d like to filter out before they reach sales? If so, conversational marketing may be helpful. There are a variety of use cases, but here are a few top ones:
Make a presentation that explains how a conversational marketing strategy can help address that challenge. (Or challenges.)
Circulate the idea with receptive sales managers and reps with something to prove. Sometimes top performers are eager volunteers, but more often than not, those in the middle of the stack-ranked pack are the most willing to try something new. They’re the ones who’ll pour extra hours into ensuring it works.
Once you’ve got your group, teach them conversational writing basics. You can’t assume they’ll write effectively, or have unlearned the formal style of writing most people are taught in school. Website chat is a bit of a new medium. It demands they speak with brevity, empathy, accuracy, and conviction. Don't leave that up to chance.
Then teach them the conversational platform and all the ways it can be used to sell. For example, even if a website visitor doesn’t initiate a chat, you can sometimes still see they visited the website. That’s useful intelligence. Maybe they really did open your email, and your next best action is to reply asap. This helps those reps see all the ways conversational marketing, and a robust conversational marketing strategy, can improve their day-to-day.
Phase one often involves simply launching a chatbot to qualify visitors. If it deems them a valuable visitor, it’ll offer a calendar link. This requires no intervention from the sales rep, and simply adds meetings to their calendar.
The next phase is launching actual live chat and what’s known as intelligent routing, so the moment the prospect inputs their email into the chat—perhaps even before, if they’re cookied—it alerts the salesperson that they’re on the website or ready to talk.
This approach of launching in graduated phases does a few things. First, it acclimates your sales reps to the value of conversational marketing. They’ll be getting “free” meetings. Then, they’ll get a chance to actually talk to those prospects via chat. And then, when the month is up and the sales team posts its stack-ranked results, it drives internal demand.
That’s because as other sales reps see these few hand-raisers getting favored treatment, they’ll want what Tom Sawyer’s friends all wanted—a chance to try and to do the work themselves.
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