Using Conversational Marketing Chatbots for Conversions

See how you can use conversational chatbots to actually convert your sales pipeline.

Using Conversational Marketing Chatbots for Conversions
Nick Duke
Nick Duke
March 16, 2022
min read
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Apple Podcast LinkGoogle Podcast LinkSpotify Podcast Link

Of all the traffic that makes it to landing pages, only 2.35% ever converts via a form. That’s a small number, and if that form were a door to a local business, it might not survive.

Meanwhile, B2B companies are spending $11 billion on digital ads every year—soon to be $15 billion—to drive visitors to those forms. That’s a lot of waste, and a big part of why conversational marketing chatbots exist. 

Chatbots allow your business to interact with that silent 98% in real time, for more conversions and a far greater return on your marketing spend. Conversational marketing has changed the B2B sales and marketing experience to allow for connection in real time with prospective buyers. But conversational marketing still needs strategy behind it.

Steps to execute your conversational marketing strategy: 

  1. Identify your target accounts in Salesforce.
  2. Implement a conversational marketing software.
  3. Sync that software with Salesforce. 
  4. Set goals and metrics for  30, 60, and 90 days out.
  5. Prep your salespeople with what to expect—at larger companies, consider piloting with a select number of advocates.
  6. Launch a (mostly) templated conversational marketing chatbot sequence with tweaks
  7. Place the chatbot on strategic, high-itent pages—for example, pricing or legal. 
  8. Launch, measure, iterate, and expand.

If you noticed that nowhere on that list did it say, “find a systems integrator” or “reconfigure your tech stack,” that’s because a B2B conversational marketing chatbot is purely additive. It’s non-intrusive, doesn’t require a lot of changes, and makes for a great year-long experiment to see if it proves valuable. 

11 Problems Conversational Marketing Solves

What sort of problems can you solve with a conversational marketing chatbot? And what might the impacts be? In this section, we’ll share a variety of scenarios as well as real-life case studies of Qualified customers and how they solved problems using conversational marketing best practices.

1. Catch visitors right when they’re ready to purchase

The faster you engage with visitors, the better. Instantaneous chatbot connections can increase your likelihood of closing the deal—either  because you intercepted someone before they evaluated another solution or because that initial positive impression put you ahead. 

The data platform InsideView launched a conversational marketing chatbot and trained its SDRs to use it. The team’s hypothesis was that they’d simply accelerate sales cycles. Not only did they achieve this, but they also found that if prospects engaged in chat, they were also 3x more likely to close.

2. Give target accounts a VIP buying experience 

Conversational marketing chatbots can recognize target accounts (as indicated in Salesforce) and alert the enterprise rep that someone from that account is on the website. When target accounts arrive, there’s someone waiting there to chat with them.

The analytics software ThoughtSpot used conversational marketing chatbots to replace its forms, and connect target accounts to enterprise reps. They earned 64% more meetings.

3. Increase account growth opportunities

Much of what happens with land-and-expand deals occurs in what’s known as “the dark funnel”—offline conversations that can’t be measured or tracked. But when someone from a different department starts conducting research, chatbots can instantly traverse Salesforce and connect them with their account manager.

4. Route leads based on account size

With the help of reverse IP tools, conversational marketing chatbots can determine whether visitors fall above or below an employee count threshold then route them to the right people.

Bitly, the link-shortening service, has a high-volume, self-service, prosumer offering (most of its 17 million monthly visits) and a low-volume enterprise sales offering. They used chatbots to connect enterprise prospects with salespeople right away and increased pipeline 6x.

5. Weed out unqualified visitors

Because a conversational chatbot can recognize high-value visitors, it can fast-track those accounts so they get a speedier response and deprioritize visitors who aren’t qualified.. 

That’s how Granicus, which sells to state, local, and federal governments, uses chatbots. Prior, all their contact requests came through one form, which meant new leads were buried among support requests. BDRs would have to dig out those requests and manually add prospects to sequences. With a chatbot, Granicus made faster connections and increased MQL conversions by 40%.

6. Convert more paid traffic to build pipeline

Conversational marketing chatbots allow you to use what’s known as a paid traffic converter strategy where you alert sales reps that a target account has clicked on an ad, so they’re ready when that prospect reaches the website. If the chatbot has engaged the prospect, they’re ready to talk to sales.

The communications firm Gamma implemented this strategy and found it earned them an additional £12M in pipeline.

7. Increase your return on traditional media buying

Whatever program drives traffic to your website, you can likely improve it with chatbots. If more traffic converts, you get a better return on that program.

The organizational consultancy Korn Ferry runs major paid advertising campaigns, both on programmatic and traditional TV as well as as hosting the PGA tour. That earns them 500,000 visits per month, but a 0.17% conversion rate. Chatbots increased that conversion rate by 60%. See more conversational stats and how impactful conversational marketing can be.

8. Give sales reps better insight into how prospects behave

A conversational marketing chatbot system gives reps real-time insight into who’s on the site, even if they don’t interact with a chatbot, which offers better insight into what that prospect is doing. (For example, if they skipped a call, but are now on a product page.)

9. Engage visitors who want to interact but don’t want to complete the form

Some buyers are in a rush, in between meetings, or in a place too loud for a call. Chatbots give them a chance to engage and get their questions answered, regardless of their environment.

10. Intercept deal saboteurs

Buying committees now consist of an average 6-10 people, according to Gartner, but it’s rare for a sales rep to actually thoroughly meet all those people. Chatbots give them access to that “dark” half of the buying committee. So if a procurement manager shows up doing research, sales has a chance to engage and preempt any objections that may show up later in the sales cycle.

11. Get additional facetime with prospects

B2B buyers typically still have an assumption that scheduling a call takes time, and is a hassle. (Half an hour is a lot of time to commit, especially when you’re comparison shopping.) So, they conduct most of their research independently. But chatbots allow prospects to engage and help the salesperson to be ever-present, ready to answer questions.

Can a conversational marketing chatbot work for me? 

If you’re spending on programs  to drive traffic to your website, and you’re still not seeing the results you want, chatbots can likely help. Not everyone who visits your website will interact with a chatbot. But those extra conversations with salespeople, accelerated deal cycles, and additional data gathered all make a meaningful difference—both to your marketing performance and to the prospect’s experience.

Nobody wants to fill out a lengthy form and await a not-so-timely call. They want answers, they want pricing, and they want to chat. If you have any interest in cracking that additional 98% of visitors that don’t complete the form, it’s certainly worth a shot. 

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