Let the sales cycle begin with chatbots!
In today’s world, everything is going digital. Everything is getting automated and is made easier for us. In the recent trend, we can see how AI-equipped chatbots are coming to use in all sectors of industries. Businesses are constantly looking out for new ways to implementing innovative technology like artificial intelligence and what not. Chatbots have become so popular among businesses that they’re making their way into the marketing array as well. A sales chatbot can start an interaction with anyone who visits a company website or any business social media handle. This turns any website visitor into a potential lead, not just those who download the business content. Let’s see how chatbots are helping in business with sales automation.
What is a sales cycle?
The sales cycle is a process that companies create and go through when selling a product to a customer. It encompasses all activities associated with sales closure. Different companies have different steps and activities in their sales cycle, depending on how they want to define it for their business.
It is difficult, in fact tricky, to define a clear cut definition of sales cycle that spans across the entire sales industry. This is because sales cycle has various definitions. Some people define it as the time it takes to start from nothing to closing a deal. Others define it as the time it takes to bring a qualified prospect near to a closure.
Regardless of the definition, however, businesses should keep track of the length of their sales cycle. This helps them ensure that their selling process is efficient and perfectly functional.
Artificial intelligence can make sense of customer data and use it to predict what actions customers might take in the future. This gives marketers and salespeople more information on what they need to move a lead through the sales funnel.
Chatbots are a common way through which companies collect customer data to facilitate the sales cycle. These virtual customer service representatives and salespeople communicate with people via instant messaging and help initiate them into a successful sales process. They can answer customer questions, collect data on people’s interests and even suggest products to them. In fact, chatbots can help lead customers in a virtual manner through every part of the sales funnel.
How do marketers automate the sales cycle with chatbots?
Chatbots have been sweeping marketers off their feet ever since they were empowered with the rules of artificial intelligence. They actually turned out to cut off a lot of tasks from the marketers so that they could now focus on coming up with fresh marketing strategies.
Chatbots are unique because they not only engage with your customers but they also retain them by using their own preferences and data. This means that unlike other forms of marketing, chatbots keep your customers entertained and hooked for longer.
For example, let's say you catch your audience's attention with a video. While this video may be extremely engaging, once it ends, it doesn't have much more to offer.
A chatbot can catch your audience's attention and learn from the interaction, allowing it to send relevant information regarding your brand, products, and services. Therefore, it's able to up-sell and cross-sell in a personalized, conversational, and engaging way through artificial intelligence.
Let’s read some of the things that chatbots took over, making them one of the best marketing tools out there.
In today’s age, every marketing specialist aims to personalize content for a product, service or customer experience. And chatbots exactly do that! Since chatbots use artificial intelligence, they can compile and analyze data and make knowledgeable decisions. Chatbots can provide recommendations to customers based on previous interactions, purchase history or any other customer values that the chatbot collects over a period of time. In the eyes of every marketer, the key to make profits is to keep the customers keep coming back for more. Since chatbots collect user data, in cases of any purchases made, it can send the users their order updates and other logistics such as shipping and tracking and even recommend similar products.
The chatbot funnel
Imagine the bots as if it were a funnel. The topmost being the users, the middle one all the users and chatbot interactions that sort themselves out and the bottom-most where everything comes out in a flow. According to the chatbot funnel, if the chatbot visitors are 100%, 99% of the audience is in your reach, out of which 75% is the open rate, 48% is the CTR and eventually 1% of the purchase. This is way higher when compared to a normal website funnel.
Also, let's face it. It can be a bit tough to create a profitable chatbot funnel. However, with this simple approach you can build a chatbot for sales that speeds up conversions. In fact, before we can talk about conversions we must focus on nurturing leads. With chatbots that offer virtual assistance nurturing leads is fast and easy. Chatbots can generate data on product preferences, consumer behaviour and email behaviour.
Therefore, the data from chatbots can help you in creating effective emails and lead-nurturing campaigns. Additionally, a chatbot can send regular follow-ups based on a consumer’s behaviour, such as the time they open their emails.
The right use of digital technology
The whole world is going digital and everything comes down to results! Marketing specialists constantly look for new ways to drive sales with the use of technology. Chatbots serve this purpose perfectly. Connecting on clients and leads more than the surface level is what drives results. Customers demand more personalized content now than ever, and that’s what chatbots do.
Moreover, artificial intelligence is one of most-discussed technology topics among consumers and enterprises alike. Diverse AI experiments have been underway. In fact, one of the areas that has shown the most maturity is Conversational AI.
With the widespread adoption of AI-powered smart devices (Alexa, Google Home) and virtual assistants (Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant), organizations are moving toward a conversation-driven interface. They are doing it in increasing numbers to better engage their customers and drive efficiency through automation. Of course, the simplest form of conversational AI is a chatbot and offers the right use of digital technology.
Help increase online sales and customer retention
In the eyes of every marketer, the key to make profits is to keep the customers keep coming back for more. Since chatbots collect user data, in cases of any purchases made, it can send the users their order updates and other logistics such as shipping and tracking and even recommend similar products. But how does AI actually increase online sales and customer retention? It uses the following methods-
Generation, qualification, and conversion of leads by nurturing them right when they visit your website. This turns visitors into leads and helps you increase sales with customer engagement, which is key to improving customer retention.Further, when we say customer engagement we don't just mean engaging them with delightful content. We mean engaging them informative content that they are looking for or might need in the near future.
It understands your customer’s needs and doubts. Any query is important to be resolved quickly to push the customer down the sales funnel. The more your chatbot interacts with the customer, the more it understands them.
A chatbot can shorten the sales cycle of a business. Businesses and enterprises usually spend a lot of time doing manual tasks. But with chatbots, all the repetitive work and follow-ups can be done instantly without any human intervention. This way the sales team can focus on more important tasks and make the sales process a lot better for the customers.
Imagine your chatbot knows that your customer is looking for shoes, it will recommend your customer both, similar and high-end products. They can up-sell and cross-sell your products by showing the right product to the right customer. Both these methods have their distinct benefits and keep the sales going.Chatbots offer an increase in sales by 25%, along with a 300% improvement rate of customer lifespan.
How machine learning chatbot increases sales
Machine learning is the most buzzword-y technology advancement in today’s world. Most people encounter this technology through chatbots. Chatbots have been a supplement for human customer service and it also increases sales.
As the term refers, machine learning is basically a computer program that collects data, analyses it and can make decisions according to it. Once trained, the machine will pick up on learning on its own through its customer interactions and builds a bond with them. This encourages the customer to go ahead and buy your product. As mentioned earlier, the more your chatbot interacts with the customer, the more it understands them and this helps you create a personalized experience for your customers.
These advanced chatbots create a more authentic experience for the customers rather than a robotic one. They can understand context, language and consider past interactions to make the customer feel like they’re talking to a real person. Every time there’s a user input that you haven’t trained the chatbot for, you can just re-feed in the knowledge and it will automatically pick up on it and have almost null error rates.
Chatbots have been used to generate leads, perform marketing strategies and handle customer care. The use of AI makes them multi-skilled and can be used for multi-purposes. You can not only use them on your website but also integrate them with other mediums such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, Kik, etc. This will help your business reach out to customers on all the online platforms.
Chatbots have been a great tool for marketing and sales and it’s only getting better in the coming years. With abilities like emotion detection (EI), chatbots can provide a more unique experience to its customers. They have single-handedly increased the sales rate by 30-40%, about 61% of people prefer talking to chatbots for customer support and by 2020, 80% of businesses plan on using chatbots.
Chatbots can streamline your sales cycle. Chatbots can help free up time for your sales representatives and work on important sales closures. It helps bring back the 'human' in sales to acquire as well as retain customers.This means that chatbots will help sales representatives focus on nurturing leads and sales conversions.
With chatbot development tools like Engati, you can even track your customers’ traffic and activities. This will further simplify the closing of sales deals because you can personally reach out to customers with the help of the data that you collect.
We hope you found this blog helpful. Happy botting!
Blog Cover Photo by Unsplash.
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