We all know that chatbots are great for customer support – they're available 24/7 across multiple channels, greet and help website visitors, and provide real-time responses to FAQs. But sophisticated chatbot platforms are also capable of completing a range of complex tasks and fulfilling a number of use cases. For many businesses, their greatest value lies in how they support the sales process, such as by driving lead generation. What we are seeing nowadays is forward-looking companies embracing the use of automation to guide prospects through the sales funnel.
That’s why we thought it would be useful to put together this list of our top 5 tips on how to use chatbots to improve your pipeline.
Tip #1 – Deploy AI Sales Bots
There are different types of chatbots available in the market – from those that perform basic functions and can be set up in minutes by people with no technical knowledge, to those capable of advanced functionality that are powered by AI or Artificial Intelligence. We recommend you consider an AI chatbot or smart bot whenever you can.
Through data processing and machine learning, they offer far better performance and customer experiences. They can analyze information they’ve gathered on prospects and cross-reference them against your ideal customer profiles to qualify leads and alert your sales team. When programmed the right way, they’ve been known to increase sales by 67%.
Considering their impact on the bottom line, it makes sense to invest in AI chatbots and get a multi-functional tool that gets better and better as it becomes more familiar with the main tasks it is expected to perform.
Tip #2 – Personalize customer engagement with NLP
Chatbots that use NLP or Natural Language Processing can be invaluable when it comes to improving customer engagement. If you’re unfamiliar with NLP, it’s a branch of AI that helps your chatbot derive meaning from language so that it can respond appropriately – essentially, in a way that sounds like a human agent.
When trained well, your chatbot can interpret the intent of potential customers from messages and interactions, and can provide personalized experiences to increase your conversion rates.
Tip #3 – Use integrations to learn more about your audiences
Every data exchange in the digital space leaves a trail, and chatbots are very useful for collecting and organizing data on your website visitors and their browsing and shopping habits. It’s no secret that data-driven marketing campaigns are cost-effective, so any tools that allow for quick and effortless market research are obviously very valuable.
Chatbots can also integrate with your CRM system or your marketing automation platform to automatically share data across the company. This allows you to gain insights on your audiences, attribute campaigns to prospects, and deliver personalized messages.
Integrations can also be used to improve the sales workflow. For example, your chatbot can be trained to deliver qualified leads to your marketing automation platform, which in turn adds them to a personalized and relevant email drip campaign to follow-up with them and get them to convert.
Tip #4 – Avoid a hard-sell approach
The greatest advantage of chatbots is the that they enhance the customer journey by engaging in meaningful conversations with prospects. Instructing your chatbot to aggressively push for a quick sale can be a mistake, as it can disrupt a positive user experience. It’s better to allow prospects to express genuine intent and interest before directing them towards relevant content that will motivate a purchase. There’s a fine line to walk here – chatbots should definitely be programmed with sales in mind, but they shouldn’t be reduced to advertisements in a chat box.
Because chatbots offer unique opportunities to build long-term success, they shouldn’t be squandered by chasing after quick wins. Sales offers should be an integral part of the conversation flow, but with carefully chosen triggers so that there is context and timing to engagement, and prospects never feel pressured to buy.
Tip #5 – Remember to analyze and optimize
Just as there are always new tips and tricks for sales reps to learn, there are always new things you can do to optimize your chatbot. Even the best-performing tools can be improved. Plus, the conditions in the market and the expectations of users might change, not to mention your own priorities. So it’s good to constantly refine your chatbot.
A key feature which can help with that is data analytics. This can be in the form of conversational analytics, conversational flow charts and word clouds. All of which can be used to refine your conversational marketing strategies. Furthermore, you can connect your chatbot to Google Analytics to track and view the metrics your chatbot is designed to improve to measure results.
If you're interested in learning about chatbots for sales or how Instabot can help improve your pipeline, get in touch or start a free trial today.