Filling out an online form is about as exciting as watching paint dry, yet they’re a standard lead generation tactic for many B2B businesses. In essence their success depends on the willingness of people to spend time filling in blanks in order to receive something they perceive as valuable, whether that’s an article, a white paper, or an online tutorial.
A more modern and effective inbound marketing alternative is a chatbot. Chatbots boost B2B lead generation and they are a quick and easy way to start a conversation with very little effort required from your target.
Bots have been proliferating on websites for not only customer support, but also for sales lead generation. They are easy to use, and can be entertaining too. Having somebody waiting for you to answer is surprisingly compelling. Without even knowing why, users find themselves slipping down the conversion funnel, quickly getting the information they need without having to look for it. Instead, they are treated to the much more fun experience of a simple interactive conversation.
Most of us have had a chatbot experience before, but if you haven’t, here’s how it works.
You head to a website and a chatbot pops up on screen, introducing their virtual self. They should also ask you for your name, so they can continue the conversation in a more personal way. To avoid any confusion, at some point early in the exchange they should clarify that they are not a human, but are in fact a bot.
Using a series of AI-powered questions they get to the heart of the matter, and find out what it is you are looking for. They should be able to get it for you in a nanosecond, after asking for a few more details, like your email address so they can follow up. In some cases they might pass the person along to a real, live human to assist.
This interaction should be as pain-free as possible, so a good script is a must. If you need help writing natural-sounding language, check out any of the numerous tutorials that exist. A few helpful tips include:
- Keep the messages short
- Avoid slipping into a monologue
- The bot shouldn’t post more than three messages in a row before waiting for an answer
- Leverage GIFs, emojis and videos to up the fun factor
If a customer leaves a conversation, the bot can leverage the information it gathered the last time and use it to personalize the next interaction and continue where they left off.
Don’t let hot sales leads cool down
Having a bot is a great investment for any B2B business with a website, but the follow-up is even more critical. A study showed that the faster the response time, the better the odds of contacting the sales lead. In fact, it found that the odds of making contact with a new lead are extremely high within five minutes but drop off dramatically as the minutes tick by. Specifically a sales rep is 100x less likely to make contact if the first call is made 30 minutes after submission. The goal is to respond immediately and persistently to sales leads.
According to the Harvard Business Review, an audit of companies demonstrated the extremely short life of online leads and found that about half of all online leads were followed up only after 24 hours, or never followed up at all! What may well have been a hot lead may turn into a frosty reception for the salesperson making the call a whole day after the lead, if not later. When you’re paying mightily for each lead, that’s a big, fat waste.
So ensure your sales team reacts to a bot-generated sales lead with just as much speed and enthusiasm as your bot did in the first place. Or, consider your bot all for naught!
Find out how 360 Leads can help your business with a lead generation campaign, whether that’s with a chat bot or not. Contact us today!