The art of making a sale has dumbfounded many. In fact, we’re seeing an evolution in motion. In the mid 90s, selling was happening door-to-door, based on products, its features, and its benefits.
The late 90s-early 2000s saw a shift- where the brand’s unique selling proposition was less about the product, and more focused on the service you’ll receive from the brand. We were beginning to see less door-to-door sales, and more sales happening either through phone calls, television, or at urban villages.
Selling became less transactional, and more relationship-based.
Now that we’ve entered a new decade, this migration away from meeting in person has only amplified. We’re moving towards technology, and the disconnect between brands and customers is more apparent.
Exceptional service is not seen as a bonus anymore, it’s seen as the bare minimum. And the need to strengthen relationships is key. But, how can we achieve this without meeting in-person?
What is conversational selling?
Conversational selling is about using chat as a catalyst to close sales. It’s about building relationships through trust. It’s a technique that’s been used for centuries, focusing less on product pitches, and more on meeting customer needs.
People buy from people they trust, and the best brands hire talent that can build this trust naturally. But now that we’re living in a digital world, how is conversational selling being carried out?
You see, the technique hasn’t changed, but the channel has. Instead of conducting sales in-person, we’re doing it through social media channels such as Web, Facebook, WhatsApp, and more.
It’s about making it as easy as having a conversation with a friend. Sales-persons will listen and use dialogue appropriately to focus on the customer’s interests, needs, and objectives.
Why do brands need to adopt conversational selling?
For years, sales and marketing teams have been focused on using the “form and follow-up” approach to capturing and qualifying leads.
We’re all familiar with how this works:
For more than a decade now, step one has been getting all the attention, as we’ve been innovating new ways to attract website visitors and track down leads.
Step two, meanwhile, has remained unchanged, and that’s a problem. Because today’s buyers are getting fed up with filling out lead capture forms. As RapidMiner CMO Tom Wentworth explained, the people who visit your website are coming there for a reason (so why waste their time by making them fill out a form?).
People who come to your website aren’t coming there because they want to surf. They’re coming there because they have a specific problem, whether it’s a question about our product or what it does, whether it’s some technical support they need, or whether it’s they want to talk to someone in sales.
Using the traditional approach, you would make all of those website visitors fill out forms and then you’d sort them all out later — including the folks who were interested in talking to sales.
But as more and more companies have started to see, by adopting a conversational approach, and engaging with website visitors in real-time, sales reps can create a fast lane for their best leads.
Think about it: With the old way, you’re forcing leads to hurry up and wait. You’re investing all of this time and energy getting leads to your site, but as soon as they get there, BAM. You put up a lead capture form — a barrier.
With conversational selling, you pull down these barriers and give your company’s best leads a direct, real-time line to your sales team. You give leads the power to reach out when it’s convenient for them, and — with the help of intelligent E-commerce chatbots — you can answer their questions and schedule demos 24/7, 365.
As a result, your sales cycle becomes shorter, and you add to your sales pipeline.
What tools are used for conversational selling?
With a view to keeping the buying experience as smooth as possible, companies should strive to automate simple actions as much as possible. It is possible to reduce friction points by allowing customers to carry out these actions without having to change the medium they are using (i.e. call) or talk to sales agents. Many companies do this by automating the following tasks:
Ecommerce Chatbots can also be used to answer basic questions but should have the capacity to connect to a member of staff in the event that the query is too complex. Chatbots can also be used to filter users by questions to put them in touch with the correct department or product representative.
Best when integrated with the chatbot, these should have agents ready to answer questions from interested and qualified leads in real-time. Chat systems should have the capacity to perform web-shares, video options and voice calls, either through a phone line or by using VoIP phone service. These features help keep customers in conversations, via the method they feel most comfortable with.
Online sales engagement
Companies should seek to start a conversation with customers when they are browsing on their website and are showing an interest. This can be achieved through the live broadcasting of product demos straight from their website.
4 E-commerce companies crushing it with conversational selling
Based in Panama in Central America, Poppy’s is an E-commerce business that focuses on children’s products. It’s a space for future mothers, babies, children, and teenagers! From clothes to shoes and accessories, from toys to furniture- You can get it from Poppy’s.
Poppy’s has always known the importance of delivering exceptional customer service. So, in an effort to provide a frictionless shopping experience for their customers, they decided to complement their current system with a chatbot.
Meet Poppy’s Chat
Poppy’s aimed to help customers get answers to their questions in real-time, regardless of how complicated their queries are.
By partnering with Engati chatbot platform, Poppy’s deployed a E-commerce chatbot that could be trained with FAQs and flows. With the DocuSense technology, Poppy’s was able to upload documents with product details to the platform.
Now whenever customers have questions about certain products, the chatbot can fetch information and send it across in real-time.
In case the query was beyond the scope of the chatbot, Poppy’s opted to use Engati Live Chat as well. The agents add the human touch that customers desired, while the chatbot provides quick support.
Poppy’s decided to deploy the solution across their website and WhatsApp since a majority of their customers use WhatsApp. It’s trained to communicate with customers in both English and Spanish, to make customers feel comfortable.
Blibli is one of the pioneers of online shopping malls in Indonesia- Built upon a dream: to lead Indonesians to enter a new digital lifestyle and give only the best shopping experience for a better life.
Blibli is committed to conducting business with a customer-centric mind, striving to deliver the best features and services to satisfy their customers.
BliBli noticed that the download rates of apps were dropping rapidly since 2016 thus affecting their revenue stream. And that millennials prefer browsing through the internet or other social media channels.
While earlier, the focus by millennials was more on passing free time by scrolling through different social media platforms; the situation has changed now. Most young people today depend on social media for information. Everything from networking to reading news & shopping.
Since BliBli already had a large following on Facebook, Engati suggested deploying the solution via Facebook Messenger.
Their chatbot, Clara, was used to engage with customers in Indonesian Bahasa and to simplify the buying process. It became a quick and easy way for customers to navigate through BliBli’s entire catalog, manage their carts, purchase products, make payments payments, and track their packages.
Since Clara provides instant responses, 24/7, in the customers’ own language, Blibli even managed to bring down their customer churn rate.
Clara also helped in saving a lot of resources and time which was previously spent on customer care. Customers hate waiting, so Clara, provides 24/7 customer service without any human intervention required. Clara also helps customers to track their deliveries and answer any questions related to support.
Clara also does a phenomenal job in identifying leads, by asking basic questions through its interaction with the users. This helps in understanding what a customer is looking for and can redirect potential customers to a website or directly to the sales team as well.
Hola BB is home to beautiful eco-friendly products carefully handpicked for families and their little ones. It was founded in 2017 to provide a platform for parents to find everything they needed to take care of their families.
During the pandemic, young parents were struggling. It wasn’t feasible to drive to the mall to find supplies for their kids, nor was it good for the environment. Hola BB decided to opt for a more sustainable approach.
Hola BB’s chatbot, Luna facilitates customer support, handling orders, returns, and helping customers navigate through the website- handling over 1700 interactions overall.
According to Call Centre Magazine, the average handling time is 6 minutes. However with Luna, customer were able to handle their queries in under a minute. It saved a substantial amount of time, alleviating the tensions and pressure agents faced daily.
Gruppi is a Hungarian online retailer specializing in home improvement, hardware, and electronics. It’s a marketplace where you are guaranteed to find the best deals with renewable promotions every day. They pride themselves for providing fast, efficient customer service.
Through their chatbot, Gréti, customers get assistance in real-time. Gréti allows customers to browse through the website’s catalogue, providing recommendations based on what the customer’s interested in, and providing additional customer service as well.
Master the art of conversational commerce
Whether you're a B2B or B2C, ultimately you're selling to a human. To establish that human-to-human connection, considering deploying these conversational selling techniques, accompanied by the tools provided by Engati.