Why The Future of Marketing is Conversational
Anyone in sales or marketing knows that the best way to make a connection is through a conversation where relationships are forged between two or more people. The sooner you can have a conversation with a prospect, the better luck you’ll have understanding their problem, proposing a solution, and ultimately closing a deal.
This is compounded by the fact that we live in an on-demand world, where answers to our questions are a quick web search or “Hey Siri” request away. This has transformed the way B2B buyers expect to engage with businesses. According to a report from Salesforce, 71% of customers expect companies to communicate with them in real time. Even though most B2B marketers and sales professionals know it’s best to have real-time conversations, we still rely on old school tactics of contact forms and emails.
While contact forms and emails have their place in the world of B2B marketing and sales, deals ultimately progress when you have a conversation—a discovery meeting, a pricing discussion, or closing a deal. These pivotal moments in the buyer journey are fueled by conversations, which is why it’s no surprise we’re in the midst of a massive shift toward conversational marketing.
If your company could know instantly when qualified prospects arrive on your site, why not greet them with a conversation? Instead of making your prospects fill out forms, conversational marketing allows you to instantly start conversations with your qualified buyers.
Conversational marketing is a critical element of a modern go-to-market strategy for several reasons:
The best conversations happen in real time. Each party can share their ideas and questions and get instantaneous responses. That’s why following up with a lead within 5 minutes after their initial contact gives you a 9x higher likelihood to convert them, according to InsideSales.
Despite the fact that real-time conversations are much more effective than getting in touch after a long wait, it takes B2B companies an average of 42 hours to respond to a lead after they fill out a form on a website, according to a study by Harvard Business Review.
To effectively connect with prospective buyers, you’ll want to have a conversation as soon as possible. By using a conversational marketing solution, you can instantly engage with these prospects at the very moment their interest is piqued and you’ve captured their attention.
Today’s conversational marketing solutions are much more than a chatbot or a live chat app that allows you to say “hello.” For example, Qualified offers a robust integration with Salesforce that shows you relevant information about a website visitor, such as whether they’re from a target account of yours. This provides you with the context you need to decide when, how, and if you should engage with them.
Not only will you have context about who you’re talking to, but you’ll also be able to customize experiences based on behavior. For example, wouldn’t it be helpful if you could instantly see that a visitor navigated to your website after clicking an ad that positioned you against a competitor? That would indicate that the visitor may already be familiar with your competitors and is shopping for alternative solutions.
Similarly, if you see that someone is interacting with certain pages on your site, you can customize your outreach and conversation accordingly. Someone who is looking at your product overview pages is likely at a different stage in the buying process than someone who is looking at your pricing page.
Conversational marketing is successful because it’s authentic. Rather than burdening your prospects with a generic introduction to your company, you’re helping them get their unique questions answered as quickly as possible, simply by connecting them with another human being.
By conversing with prospects in real time, you’re building an authentic relationship that makes them feel supported and understood. That authenticity not only closes deals, but also builds trust that they’ve made the right investment by partnering with your business.
Conversational marketing is a powerful tool that can catapult you into conversations with prospective buyers. Rather than encouraging a prospect to fill out a form knowing they’ll have to wait for a response, you can engage them instantly and capture their attention when they’re most interested in learning more.
If you’re ready to learn more about how to convert conversations into revenue, check out Speed to Lead, which is packed full of tactics and best practices for building a world-class conversational marketing strategy.