Last Updated on October 20, 2020 by Sean B
Using chatbots for sales is one thing the Coronavirus Pandemic has helped increase. We’re now seeing sales related chatbots everywhere from the online jewelry store Rare Carat, to Dominos Pizza. Even the National Parks Depot uses a sales chatbot on facebook to keep visitors to their page engaged.
Chatbots were fairly a niche concept in technology but with time, they are turning into a necessity for most of the businesses. In fact, it is mainstream for a business to use a well-programmed chatbot as a 24/7 customer service representative.
Chatbots are given the tags of conversational digital agents by industrialists and tech enthusiasts. It means that they have become more powerful, responsive, and smart since the use of artificial language and NLP (Natural Language processing).
Positioning themselves as the epitome of technology, these conversational bots offer a glimpse of how these machines are replacing humans for every work. In the near future, chatbots are expected to cover 80% of the industrial work.
While AI-powered chatbots have the capabilities to replace humans, they can be used to provide services to humans as well. What we offer as an industrialist to our clients can be enhanced by a chatbot.
AI-powered chatbots have the capability to form direct communication with humans. The fact that humans and machines can now communicate over a channel means putting the chatbots into sales work is easier and achievable.
These chatbots are an integral part of the communication process today. Many leading brands have integrated live chatbots into their applications, websites, and even Facebook messenger. Their main job is to streamline the complicated interaction between businesses and humans. Hence, taking customer service to the next level.
According to a study published on Gartner, 85% of the customer support services will be handled entirely by chatbots at the end of 2020.
Companies and corporates around the world trust the technology of AI-powered chatbots for enhancing their sales and market strategies. The industrialists have realized the true potential of chatbots and are improving operational efficiency and customer engagement day by day.
According to Juniper Research, chatbots will save more than $8 billion annually by the end of 2022.
Reduce Costs Using Chatbots for Sales
The combination of human knowledge and artificial intelligence is creating endless possibilities for businesses stuck in the dark era and needing an upgrade in the technology sector.
Small businesses have tight budgets. They do not have the luxury to hire a large team for sales management. However, an automated solution like a chatbot could fill in the need for extra employees.
Chatbots can be trained or programmed to handle small business tasks/activities that humans do. Using chatbots for sales minimizes the need for outsourcing services.
Chatbots have huge scope in the sales as well. Keep moving forward to see how chatbots improve the sales cycle and customer’s buying experience.
The Chatbots Cycle
Sales automation is the ultimate way to streamline sales processes. AI-powered chatbots automate your sales cycle or at least a part of it using machine language and pre-defined codes. In some cases, chatbots can close the sales for you while in other scenarios, it can arrange appointments with qualified prospects to increase sales.
How to Design Your Chatbot for Sales?
Designing a sales chatbot is easy, given artificial intelligence is being used for marketing and streamlined customer service. Here’s a basic concept to building your own sales chatbot:
Determining a Goal
The first and foremost step to automating your sales is to determine your goal. What part of the sales cycle do you want automated? What can the chatbot do for you?
You’d need to consider the niche, the nature of the business, products, services, and the risks before coming to a decision. For instance, if you are selling high-ticket products on your Shopify store, it is quite unrealistic for a chatbot to close the sales deal for you. Higher price-point buyers like speak to a human.
However, the same chatbot could schedule a phone call for you with the buyer or at least generate high-quality leads. Other than that, it could also promote on-going offers and deals to lure the buyers into buying from you.
Creating Qualifying Questions
Like a good salesman, your chatbot should be programmed to accumulate information/data from potential leads and prospects. There are a lot of questions you could ask for new leads if it were you in place of a chatbot.
These questions will determine if the lead is a good fit for your business. It will also determine the products that will suit best to that lead.
A sales chatbot is often trained to present different sales offering to leads, depending on their responses.
Implementing Your Follow-up
A follow-up message is like an automated email to remind the leads of your business. A sales chatbot’s duty is to send a follow-up message to your visitors who did not complete the survey or left the website suddenly.
People usually get distracted in the first sales cycle. However, a good salesman guides them throughout the sales cycle. In a similar manner, your chatbot must have the feature to initiate a conversation again with people again.
Exceptional Conversational Experience
Last but not the least, ensuring the great conversational experience is an integral part of automating the sales process. Your chatbot should be mindful of how it should speak to the users. Long messages scare away the users. It should be friendly and respectable simultaneously.
How Using Chatbots for Sales Can Help Customers Through the Sales Funnel?
The potential customers go through the sales funnel process when making buying decisions. It has played an important role in the sales and marketing sector for a long time now. Although many marketers use the same old tactics, one tactic has definitely changed and that is – to utilize a chatbot for sales.
Web-based technologies like natural processing language and artificial intelligence allow the companies to accumulate data on potential customers. Artificial intelligence gives us a way to predict a customer’s action in the future. Hence, giving marketers info on how to take the sales process further.
One common way leading corporates accumulate data is by using chatbots. The chatbot communicates with humans through messaging apps and helps them move further with the sales funnel process.
They can answer custom questions, suggest products, accumulate data, and even record a potential customer’s buying interest.
Technically, chatbots can leads customers through every step of the sales funnel process. Although, sales funnel is a vast topic to discuss, commonly discussed phases are:
Let’s walk through these processes and see how a chatbot automated each one of them.
Awareness is the initial process where a potential customer finds out about your product or service. They can self-aware about your product through a variety of ways including emails, television advertisements, social media, online chats, and chatbots.
Most of the chatbots are integrated into the website or the application for live chatting. However, some of the leading brands operate them through social media platforms like Kik, Facebook messenger app, or Twitter.
If this is the case, the potential buyer will most likely communicate with your chatbot through a social media platform. In other cases, the visitor has to navigate through a website and then chat with a conversational bot.
Typically, the chatbot waits till a visitor navigates through the website and then pops up with basic product-related questions. The sales chatbots could help potential buyers end their journey on landing pages. Thereby, increasing sales.
In the second stage, the lead or prospects begins to show interest in your product/service. He seeks more information about the product by conducting online research. Other than that, they can chat with the bot or mail the questions to be answered by a salesperson.
Chatbots have the capability to handle preliminary questions. They mostly answer frequently asked questions. If they are familiar with the question, they provide the answer. Otherwise, they send the query to a customer service representative.
In today’s world, people want to interact with businesses by a tap on their phones. In fact, 51% of people want businesses to be accessible 24/7.
Chatbots can fulfill this demand without needing additional resources from the company. Chatbots are available 24*7. Even if they cannot answer a customer’s query, they can forward it to a customer’s representative. This develops a sense of responsibility in the eyes of the leads.
This stage brings a lead closer to the purchase process. This is the stage where leads decide if they want to purchase from you or not.
To improve sales, many marketers present customers with a variety of deals, offers, promotions, and advertisements. Chatbots help in this stage in a direct manner.
Chatbots gather leads’ information and use it to predict the leads’ buying decisions through artificial intelligence. They might give a user a survey or even ask questions on their own to gather data.
In addition to that, they also record data through the person’s previous interactions, buying history, purchasing habits, etc. Ultimately, showing the advertisements and promotions at the right time to the leads.
This is the final stage where the lead takes the decision which you want him to. This action regards to making a purchase. At this point in the sales funnel, the lead performs and action to facilitate a sale. If you are not selling high-ticket products, the customers can directly purchase through an AI-powered chatbot.
During this stage, the data collected by the company is crucial for future sales. The sales and marketing teams will consume this data to construct new marketing campaigns for their customers.
Here, the chatbot can be used to communicate with the current clients through a messaging app. The chatbot could either introduce a newly launched promotion or asked the client to renew his subscription.
Chatbots can also track a person’s purchase history and suggest an item that might interest him. For instance, if a shopper leaves a product on his cart, the chatbot can easily remind him to checkout.
Sales Chatbot Features That Hook Customers
Instead of revamping your sales strategy, it might be time to get a little help from your digital friends- the chatbots.
Smart solutions available today are cost-effective and yields results for large-scale and small-scale businesses alike.
Here are some features of the sales chatbots that hook the customers into purchasing from you:
It Gives Personalized Welcome Messages
A proactive chatbot helps break the ice with users new to your website or online store. Personalized messages make it easier for visitors to engage with your brand or ask for relevant questions about the product/service. For instance, Omega Bank adds personalization to its welcoming messages by addressing the customers with their names.
It might seem irrelevant but it helps your business more approachable.
It Stops the Customers From Leaving
According to the ‘Raising the Bar’ survey by Forbes, 1 in 5 customers from Generation Z will abandon a service if the chatbot is too slow to respond to their queries.
Generation Z shoppers interact more with brands that have chatbots as digital assistants. Sales chatbots are great promoters that hook the customers into taking advantage of an on-going promotion. If you have a sale going on, use your chatbots to promote the deals and offers.
It Reduces Cart Abandonment Rate
Adding items into your cart and then closing the tab is normal for customers nowadays. According to Barilliance, people abandon their shopping carts after seeing huge shipping/delivery costs.
If you are using the ‘buy now, pay later’ option in your online store, make sure to use a chatbot to communicate this fact. Sometimes, a shopper just needs a little push to purchase.
In addition to that, chatbots can also keep the customer’s interest by answering product-related questions, payment options, payment security, money-back policy, etc.
Closing Thoughts on Using Chatbots for Sales
Chatbots offer incredible options to deal with customers on different communication channels and increasing sales as a result. They are also capable of providing you with important data to predict your future sales. By setting up a sales chatbot, not only can you improve your sales funnel process but also streamline the purchasing process. Thereby, increasing sales as a result. A big difference in sales and customer engagement will have you using chatbots in other business areas as well.
Hopefully this article answered some questions and gave you some information.
Please leave us a comment with any additional questions you have.