How to Use Conversational Marketing to Qualify and Convert Leads

Finding leads is easy. Converting those leads into paying customers is the hard part. Yet, many businesses sometimes overlook the simple and obvious—people like talking about themselves and their problems, issues or challenges. Failing to recognize this can be a serious business blunder. In fact, research has shown that the more you can get prospects talking about themselves, the more likely those leads will turn into conversions.

Using conversational marketing to generate leads and achieve higher conversion rates takes many forms, but at its core are three key components: building rapport, listening and qualifying. Along each step of the way, it's important to remember that your goal is to get the prospect talking about their problems, issues and challenges—not yours.

If done well, conversational marketing can help you:

  • Respond in real-time
  • Mine chat logs for information
  • Sound more human
  • Personalize your messages
  • Qualify leads quickly
  • Convert traffic
  • Deliver higher sales conversion rates

And, of course, it can switch your marketing from one-way communication to a two-way conversation.

What Is Conversational Marketing?

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Conversational marketing (CM) is a new, personalized approach to doing business online but that mimics the feeling of human-to-human conversation. It moves prospects through the marketing and sales funnel by using one question at a time (much like how you would during an in-person conversation) and draw responses from them as they go on their journey with you.

CM is an effective way to build relationships with customers through the experience of a conversation. It’s been touted as an effective route to drive user engagement. Conversational marketing can also help expand your customer base while developing loyal customers who will grow your income faster—all by making it easier for people to engage with your business.

Technology allows marketers to transform traditional marketing materials into interactive versions. We all know how that a key goal of marketing is finding out what customers want. This can only happen through engagement and initiating conversations. Deploying Ingage’s powerful presentation software allows you to do just that by enabling you to create engaging sales content, share it with the people who need it and measure the impact on your business.

How do you recognize conversational marketing? Chatbots. Live text. Voice assistants. Any form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that can hold a conversation while exchanging information with you is likely CM in action. If there’s a personalized feel to the conversation using details gathered from your earlier answers, you’re likely conversing with AI.

Benefits of Conversational Marketing

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Conversational marketing is a great two-way stream where you can assist customers as well as gather useful insights from them. We’re all familiar with the saying ‘Every sale counts.’ By extension, every lead counts as well and with proper managing, they can eventually turn into buyers. Using the traditional route of qualifying leads one by one can be tiresome and delays closing the sales cycle. A short conversation with chatbots, however, can extract all the necessary information quickly. What’s more, the chat also picks up vital clues and valuable insights shared by customers.

Integrating CM in your sales and marketing programs can generate the following benefits:

Shorter Sales Cycles

Getting a salesperson to qualify an inquiry means digging through customer information sheets or setting up additional meetings with clients. In contrast, buyers engaging with a chatbot can provide information on what they want in a single, sharp conversation.

People want to talk to brands because it's faster. We're live in a world of short attention spans. We scan for information. We don't want to have to slog through multiple pages of "reviews" or "FAQs" just to get details about a product.

More Personalized Marketing Experiences

Getting instant feedback on inquiries is something every customer desires. Making AI-powered CM available on a 24/7 basis is a cheaper and more effective option. Getting questions answered quickly improves the buying mood. In addition, loyal customers often buy more from your store.

Because of the instant messaging format (text and images), chatbots and other AI-based assistants can be programmed to engage your consumers on a very personal level. This empowers the consumer to get information when they want it and also facilitates interaction with your brand in a very personal way.

Better, More Accurate Data

Chatbots and voice assistants collect user data while at the same relaying relevant product information. Once collected and analyzed, sales and marketing teams can extract insights. These can form the basis of key future decisions that improve performance.

Qualifying And Converting Leads

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Companies can use conversational marketing to refine their lead generating and conversion processes. Instead of going over each customer information sheet to find out specific preferences, CM elements can help provide an automated solution that helps to distill leads. This is especially helpful for companies that carry multiple offerings and need help segmenting their diverse audience.

Understanding the market requires breaking down the client base further into customer segments based on certain factors. Focusing on a particular segment helps you make highly customized conversations. Using topics or materials that resonate with this segment, your CM devices can strengthen and maintain improved client relationships.

Smart data analytics can also help to qualify leads faster. Having a mechanism to collect insights from customers or leads on what they want or don’t want helps streamline business operations. Using chatbots to lob in a few questions, companies can determine which products are popular and which ones are not. Posing a follow-up question on why they don’t like a particular item helps narrow it down further. In addition, analytics can gather some details automatically, including length of stay in the site or with the chatbot, or record the last question before disengaging.

Engage with Personalized Conversation

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Chatbots and other helpers can streamline the qualifying process faster and better. However, they will depend heavily on the data fed to them. A well-thought-out string of qualifying questions can help filter participants and bring you closer to the ideal customer.

The more personalized the conversation becomes, the bigger the chances of converting engaged leads into customers. Scripts and questions should be more sophisticated. Instead of closed questions that will yield either a yes or a no, ask open-ended questions that can draw richer insights. Of course, chatbot scripts should also consider average engagement times as long, drawn-out conversations might induce a negative reaction.

Convert Leads into Loyal Customers

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The conversion strategy assumes that a lead is ready to take the next step in the buyer’s journey. To convert the lead into a fully committed customer, make sure to follow the seven steps in the conversion process.

1. Map Out the Buyer's Journey

Determining where the lead is among the three stages of the buyer’s journey (Awareness, Consideration, Decision) can help create content that can help nudge them to the next stage. Remember, each stage requires a different approach.

2. Create User Stories

While creating a user profile with details on what they want to acquire and why is a good idea, it shouldn’t be too lengthy. A simple but equally effective approach would be to distill the entire user story into a single sentence: “I am a [classification], I want to [objective] so that [justification].

3. Simulate the Conversation

If performed right, roleplay can help flesh out the script and identify any gaps or excesses in the final narrative. Assume the role of the buyer, then visualize the buyer’s journey. Anticipating how the buyer will converse with AI can help visualize the potential hurdles and help refine your game plan.

4. Give the Chatbots a Way Out

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In certain instances, there are triggers during a conversation that signal the need for a new direction. It’s necessary to determine which elements will necessitate the need to steer the conversation on a different path to draw out more information. More importantly, the AI should have a threshold trigger where it can start referring the conversation to a person. This helps to address specific questions that are just out of the range of AI.

5. Map the Conversation’s Exits and Dead-ends

Ensure that when mapping the AI script, conversations shouldn’t stop abruptly or loop continually. Counters or signals should help push the conversation to another direction if certain situations arise where the conversation is on the verge of repeating itself.

6. Let the World Know

If possible, share your stories of successful interaction with the chatbots to encourage other users to participate as well. At the same time, secure feedback from actual chat users as well. There’s no point in having a great conversational marketing strategy if nobody knows it exists or if it's successful.

7. Continually Learn From the Experience

You can’t improve what you cannot measure. Generate reports to determine pain points and areas where users lost interest. Analytics can help determine which parts of the conversation were well received and the parts that were completely ignored. Did customers appreciate the replies or were they turned off? Does the conversation read too much like talking to a machine? These insights can help improve the user experience. However, note that customers are diverse and a one-size-fits-all approach just won’t cut it.

Use Ingage to Create Content

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Conversational marketing is about the rise of a new type of marketing technology—and about marketing trends in how people talk to each other online across multiple channels. The Ingage Suite offers a modern and powerful marketing solution to improve your prospect’s experience while also growing your online revenue.

If you want to create engaging content that’s tailor-made to specific audiences, consider upgrading your presentation software to Ingage. In a highly competitive market where competition for eyeballs and attention is fierce, you’ll need a flexible marketing tool that delivers personalized messaging to targeted clients.

So, stop wasting valuable meetings and close more deals with professional presentations that sell. Sign up for a free demo today.

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