A conversational marketing growth strategy uses chatbots, live chat, voice calls, and video to engage buyers in real-time sales conversations on your website. This approach reduces buyer friction, increases web conversions, and accelerates sales cycles—if it’s implemented with a solid strategy (a big caveat).
Conversational growth strategies are designed to remove these roadblocks to generate more pipeline and revenue. They instantly create valuable, quick, and genuine conversations. They allow sales-ready leads to motor through speedy and seamless sales cycles—on their own timeline and on their own terms.
A conversational marketing strategy helps you convert more traffic from your website into leads, pipeline, and revenue. Today’s buyers want instant access to experts from your team. For every hour that sales reps don't follow up on a form fill, it becomes less and less likely that prospect will convert. And worse, if you don’t instantly meet customers where they are with helpful conversations, they’re going to bounce from your website to talk to your competitors.
The digital marketing team at Korn Ferry was struggling to convert visitors into leads for their sales team. Their “Contact Us” form was buried deep in the site, and their average conversion rate sat at 0.17%. After they implemented a conversational marketing strategy, they increased conversions by 60%.
Sales is about fostering real, authentic relationships. And it can be tricky to build relationships when your “Hello!” is a long and cumbersome lead gen form, and the “How are you?” might not happen for weeks. If you can greet customers with friendly, real humans the moment they land on your website, you’ll make an excellent first impression that’s far more likely to develop into a trusting relationship.
In a traditional B2B sales cycle, each step of the journey can drag on for weeks or months due to asynchronous sales cycles. Since buyers are usually part of buying committees, delayed momentum often prevents otherwise viable deals from closing. There's a narrow window of opportunity where interest is high and people are aligned. The longer a sales cycle gets delayed, the more pieces can fall out of alignment. For example, organizational changes can make it unclear who owns the project, new projects can dominate with the "recency bias," the moment of acute pain passes, or new people join the team who aren’t sold on the vision. Or worse yet, your champion departs for another opportunity.
On the other hand, if you’re able to greet a website visitor with a personalized message during a moment of intent and give your buyer immediate and clear answers to their questions, along with a calendar link to book time that works with their schedule, you can drastically speed up the pace of sales cycles. Not only is this a more efficient use of sales reps’ time, but it also generates more revenue for your organization—quicker.
A good conversational marketing strategy will usually start with automated chatbot responses to frequently asked questions, with the option to speak with a human if the prospect needs to address more complex concerns. This approach allows you to use your team’s time wisely, and have personal conversations at scale.
Unlike phone conversations where a sales rep is tied up fully when speaking with one customer, with live chat, they can manage a handful of conversations at the same time. When visitors on the other end go dark, it doesn’t waste the salesperson’s time. And when they return later, the rep can seamlessly resume the conversation.
Millennials are increasingly ascending to positions of influence in the workplace, and they prefer instantaneous answers to their questions. 73 of those individuals currently involved in the B2B buying process are Millennials and 1 in 3 are the sole decision-makers. This means it’s extremely important for vendors to cater to their preferences for chatbots and live chat over other traditional channels.
In an increasingly distributed remote-first world of work, business hours are becoming more flexible. Teams are often scattered across multiple time zones and can mold their working hours around their lives. Chatbots are an excellent way to cater to these customers when it’s outside of your team’s working hours, with the option to have your team follow up when they’re back online.
Plus, as buyers come and go from the website when they have a spare moment, reps can pick up the conversation without missing a beat. With a conversational marketing platform, you—and your colleagues—have full visibility into the conversation and visitor history right when a prospect returns to the site. This helps build rapport, personalize the sales process, and increase sales velocity.
Now that you understand why it’s essential to have a conversational growth strategy to compete in today’s fast-paced marketplace, let’s discuss the steps for implementing your own strategy.
Buyer personas are a cornerstone of marketing 101, and they’re equally important to your conversational marketing strategy as any other channel strategy.
Getting clarity on these questions will be crucial groundwork to help you build experiences that cater to those folks when you build your conversational experiences later.
Once a buyer lands on your site, you need a strategy to engage them in a conversation. Will your brand voice be irreverent and funny or professional and direct? Both are valid choices that can serve different types of brand experiences. It depends on who you’re targeting and what you are trying to create.
While the tech world is increasingly favoring human, lighthearted, fun brand voices, this approach doesn’t work for all industries and audiences. Study your audience to learn what will resonate best with them.
While the tech world is increasingly favoring human, light-hearted, fun brand voices, this approach doesn’t work for all industries and audiences. Study your audience to learn what will resonate best with them.
Once you’ve answered these questions, create a loose set of guidelines for your team, who will be continuing the conversation after automated portions of the chat. This will ensure they’re able to effectively engage the prospect.
Next, it’s time to decide which channels you’re going to use to drive traffic to your various chat experiences. Digital marketers spend a fortune to send qualified traffic to the website. Without a conversational marketing strategy to effectively convert leads, it’s hard to justify these investments. The crucial need to convert traffic is why 78% of marketers say they invest in one or more marketing channels that engage customers in real time.
Qualified is the perfect delivery system for an effective strategy because it allows you to use UTM parameters to build a unique experience for each stream of traffic. For example, folks who land on the homepage from a branded search will likely have higher intent than those who land on a blog post they saw on social media.
Next, it’s time to decide which channels you’re going to use to drive traffic to your various chat experiences. Digital marketers spend a fortune to send qualified traffic to the website. Without a conversational marketing strategy to effectively convert leads, it’s hard to justify these investments. The crucial need to convert traffic is why 78% of marketers say they invest in one or more marketing channels that engage customers in real-time.
For low-intent traffic from digital marketing campaigns, point folks to educational experiences that offer quick answers to frequently asked questions and links to relevant resources. It’s usually not necessary to have sales folks ready to enter the conversation right away. Conversely, you can assume that folks who land on the pricing page are high-intent, so you may want to offer CTAs like “Want to see a custom pricing package for [your company]?”
You’ll also want to personalize your chatbot experiences with CRM data. Greet them with “Hello [Firstname.] Let us show you how we can help [your company] achieve [X.]” If they’ve visited your site before, greet them with “Welcome back, [Firstname]” when they return.
There are two main metrics to monitor to determine if your strategy is a success:
Make sure you take a reliable baseline before you introduce a conversational growth strategy, so that you can monitor increases over time.
At this point, your website conversions are on the rise. Give yourself a nice pat on the back! But your work isn’t done yet because optimization plays a crucial role in improving your conversational growth strategy over time. You can always improve the buyer experience on the website to keep increasing your conversions and pipeline. You can use Qualified’s analytics to see where chats tend to drop off—perhaps your copy is unclear or an asset is underperforming. Try refreshing the copy or swapping the asset for a new one and see if this improves the drop-off. You’ll also want to refresh your chat copy over time to reflect product changes, messaging changes, and keep it feeling fresh overall.
B2B buying is dizzyingly complex. It can be extremely stressful for buyers trying to wisely spend their organization’s dollars while avoiding making costly and embarrassing mistakes.
As a marketer, if you can reduce the complexity of your buyer’s quest to find the right solution with conversational marketing, you will have created a very eager—and grateful—buyer.
Learn 10 key plays to put into practice so you can start driving more pipeline with a conversational marketing growth strategy.
Learn how both chatbots and real-time conversations are used to deliver personalized website experiences for your most valuable digital buyers