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Conversational ABM: How to Engage Intelligently with VIPs

Successful ABM strategies still need real conversations to close deals 

A year ago, a conversation at an event could lead to a new sale, or a stronger relationship with your target accounts. Though the pandemic will eventually subside, analysts believe that remote working and virtual sales are here to stay, and your ABM strategy should reflect this.  

In a digital selling world, you can still have just as many real, valuable sales conversations with prospects. By taking a conversational account-based marketing (ABM) approach, your sales team can live chat with VIP prospects the moment they land on your website. You can supercharge your sales engagement and deliver personalized experiences that will make a big difference to your target accounts.

This is the fifth post in our Conversational ABM series. In this series, we’ve covered:

  1. Why Conversational ABM is so important (book 65% more meetings with target accounts!)
  2. How to identify the right target accounts (with Salesforce as your source of truth)
  3. How to drive traffic from target accounts to your website (personalization converts!)
  4. How to alert and route target accounts on your website (instantly connect VIPs to your reps)

Conversational ABM can transform a quick website visit into an actual sales meeting with your most important accounts. It helps you seize on that short window of time by breaking through the noise with relevance and personalization. 

In this post, we’ll cover how sales and account teams can engage with VIP prospects in a smart way that gets the conversation going. 

Personal and creative ways to start conversations with target accounts

Prospects come to your site for a reason. They are looking for information and though they may intend to self-educate, you still have a major opportunity to engage with them. You just need to do so in a tailored, contextual way. 

Since it’s tightly connected with Salesforce, Qualified can identify VIPs from your ABM target accounts the moment they land on your site. When they arrive, their dedicated sales rep for that account will get an instant alert (Slack alerts, Microsoft Team alerts, voice alerts… whatever works for you!) Qualified gives sales reps a clear picture of that visitor and their account by surfacing relevant data from Salesforce, as well as other platforms that you’ve hooked into. Then the rep can initiate a conversation and deliver a hyper-personalized sales experience.

greet target accounts on your website with conversational marketing ABM
A standard greeting that can be customized for your target accounts

By connecting Qualified with  Salesforce, Marketing Automation, ABM, and data enrichment platforms,, you can see relevant firmographic information and account information for this visitor. So when you initiate a chat with them, demonstrate that you understand who you're talking to and what their needs are. 

But let’s get more specific. What kind of conversation starters would engage your target account and demonstrate that this engagement is worth their time?

1. Demonstrate to target accounts that you know their business 

Show them that they aren’t just another visitor or a faceless prospect. If they’re a target account, you already know your product or service is a good fit. Focus on demonstrating that you understand their company and business. Leverage what you know about their needs and specs and they will value the fact that they won’t have to repeat or explain themselves too much. 

conversation starter for target accounts using company information
Greet target accounts by showing them you know their needs and context

2. Support open opportunities on their journey

One of the main objectives of ABM is to move contacts through the funnel faster. Visitors that are already in a buying cycle deserve VIP treatment and Qualified allows you to turn open opportunities into customers even faster by creating a real-time two-way dialogue.

By tuning in to even the most complex sales process data in Salesforce, Qualified enables you to identify visitors who are already in a buying cycle, and surface important opportunity data like amount, stage, and close date. By understanding where they are in the journey, you can provide timely and empathetic messaging when you engage. 

conversation starter for target accounts that are open opportunities
Greet open opportunities using the knowledge you have about their buyer journey

Additional examples of conversation starters for open opportunities: 

  1. When a target account is on your pricing page: 

“Do you have questions about rates for additional monthly seats? Happy to hop on a call and walk you through our pricing structure!”

  1. When a target account is deep into a product page: 

“Besides these latest features, we also have a new release coming up next month which will allow more integrations with your existing tech stack. Let me know if you have any questions about them!”

3. Make it worthwhile for a lead to click through from a demand gen campaign

Leads pulled to your site from targeted paid media campaigns need to be given special attention. If you miss the opportunity to engage, the potential of your team’s investment won’t be fully realized. But more importantly, they are likely a hot lead! 

If you’re carrying out campaigns designed specifically for your target accounts, be sure to seize those golden opportunities when they click through. Show that you know why they came to your site, and that you’re there to help make their visit personal and valuable. 

conversation starters for target accounts coming from paid campaigns
When a target account comes from a specific campaign, greet them with context

4. Greet prospects just like you would in real life

When connecting with people in a digital-only environment, highly personalized greetings can break through the noise. Think of what you might say to someone if they were perusing your booth at an event, or if you were talking to them at a conference networking event. 

Establishing an emotional connection will break down barriers and lead to faster connections. What can you use from what you know about this person? Their geographic location, for example, can offer a fun way to connect with the human on the other side of the chat. 

conversation starter with target accounts based on location
Connect with your target account about their geographic location

Additional examples of real-life greetings: 

  1. Connect like a friend: 

"Hey there! Happy Friday! We did it, Erin! 🙌"

  1. Acknowledge what they are doing in the moment and add more value. In this example, a visitor may be on your company’s customer stories page: 

"Pretty great ROI, right? If you like this case, this other one from your industry might also be interesting: [link]"

Of course, an icebreaker is just the first step. Once you get your target account engaged, in order to keep the conversation going sales reps need to provide real value for the prospect, and remember that their time is precious. 

Moving qualified prospects from conversation to conversion

So you’ve cast your line, but what do you do when you get a bite? Qualified enables you to seamlessly turn chat conversations into voice calls and screen sharing sessions. You can also easily book calls or demos with prospects directly in the chat. 

When you engage your target accounts in that magic moment when they’re most engaged, ie, visiting your website, you can end up having valuable sales meetings. These are opportunities that could easily be missed without a conversational ABM approach.  

Wrap up

Qualified helps you remove the friction from the online sales process and provides a platform for real-time website conversations. These encounters help sales teams forge new relationships and move deals through the sales cycle. To get the most from your online conversation, remember the four steps below, and you’ll see your conversion go through the roof!

1. Demonstrate to target accounts that you know their business 

2. Support open opportunities on their journey

3. Make it worthwhile for a lead to click through from a demand gen campaign

4. Greet prospects just like you would in real life

Would you like more tips on how to turn conversations into sales? Check out our Conversational ABM Playbook for more on how to use conversational marketing effectively to deliver on all your ABM ambitions. 

Posted on
February 24, 2021
by
Corinne Pearce

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