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Conversational Marketing: How the World's Fastest Growing Companies Use Chatbots to Generate Leads 24/7/365 (and How You Can Too)

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Conversational Marketing: How the World's Fastest Growing Companies Use Chatbots to Generate Leads 24/7/365 (and How You Can Too)

David Cancel, Dave Gerhardt

ISBN: 978-1-119-54189-9 January 2019 288 Pages

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Description

Real-time conversations turn leads into customers

Conversational Marketing is the definitive guide to generating better leads and closing more sales. Traditional sales and marketing methods have failed to keep pace with the way modern, internet-savvy consumers purchase goods and services. Modern messaging apps, which allow for real-time conversations and instant feedback, have transformed the way we interact in our personal and professional lives, yet most businesses still rely on 20th century technology to communicate with 21st century customers. Online forms, email inquiries, and follow-up sales calls don’t provide the immediacy that modern consumers expect. Conversational marketing and sales are part of a new methodology centered around real-time, one-on-one conversations with customers via chatbots and messaging.  By allowing your business to communicate with customers in real time—when it’s most convenient for them—conversational marketing improves the customer experience, generates more leads, and helps you convert more leads into customers.

Conversational Marketing pioneers David Cancel and Dave Gerhardt explain how to:

  • Merge inbound and outbound tactics into a more productive dialog with customers
  • Integrate conversational marketing techniques into your existing sales and marketing workflow

Face-to-face meetings, phone calls, and email exchanges remain important to customer relations, but adding a layer of immediate, individual conversation drives the customer experience—and sales—sky-high.

Introduction: The Shift from Supply to Demand xi

Today, Customers Have All the Power xi

Winners and Losers: Why Companies Need to Adapt xiv

Amazon vs. Borders xv

Netflix vs. Blockbuster xvi

Uber and Lyft vs. Yellow Cabs xvii

Why I Wrote This Book (and Why Now) xix

Part I: The Rise of Conversational Marketing and Sales 1

Chapter 1: your website is leaking revenue (here’s how to fix it) 3

58% of B2B Websites Are “Empty Stores” . . . Is Yours One of Them? 4

90% of B2B Companies Don’t Respond to Leads Fast Enough. . .Do You? 581% of Tech Buyers Don’t Fill Out Forms . . . Are You Still Using Them? 7

Using Real-Time Conversations to Achieve Hypergrowth 10

The Conversational Marketing and Sales Methodology 12

Chapter 2: The rise of messaging 17

The Three Waves of Messaging (and How the Third Wave Changed Everything) 18

Why 90% of Global Consumers Want to Use Messaging to Talk to Businesses 24

Using Messaging to Capture and Qualify Leads in a Single Step 27

But . . . How Does It Scale? 29

Chapter 3: the rise of chatbots 31

Chatbots: They’ve Got Our Backs 32

A Brief History of Chatbots 33

Chatbots and Humans: Finding the Perfect Balance 38

How Chatbots Enable a Better Buying Experience 41

How a Single Marketer Can Book Meetings for Dozens of Sales Reps Using Chatbots 45

Chapter 4: Replacing lead capture forms with conversations 47

The Problems with Lead Capture Forms 48

How the #NoForms Movement Got Its Start 52

Rethinking Our Content and Lead Generation Strategies 57

Replacing Marketing-Qualified Leads (MQLs) with Conversation-Qualified Leads (CQLs) 59

Chapter 5: Ending The Family Feud Between Marketing And Sales 63

A Flawed System: The Ongoing Battle Over Leads 64

Streamlining the Marketing/Sales Handoff with Artificial Intelligence 67

The End of Business Development Reps (BDRS)? 69

Sharing the Most Important Metric: Revenue 72

Part II: Getting Started with Conversational Marketing 75

Chapter 6: Step One: Add Real-Time Messaging To Your Website And Start Capturing More Leads 77

Replace Your Forms or Add a “Second Net” (Don’t Worry, It Takes Five Minutes) 78

Put Up a Welcome Message 83

Set Expectations with Online/Off line Hours 86

Show Your Face 87

Create Separate Inboxes for Sales, Support, Success, Etc. 89

Know Your Stuff (and Use Tools That Can Help) 91

Capture Leads (Without Using Lead Forms) 93

Chapter 7: Step Two: Give Your Email Marketing Strategy A Real-Time Makeover 95

Email Isn’t Dead (You’re Just Doing It Wrong) 96

The Problems with Traditional Email Marketing 97

A Few Simple Tweaks for Bringing Your Email Marketing Strategy into the Real-Time World 100

Why Replies Are the Most Important Email Metric 105

Chapter 8: Step Three: Master The Art (And Science) Of Qualifying Leads Through Conversation 109

So, Uh, What Do I Say? 110

The Best Questions to Ask Your Website Visitors 112

Use Data to Have Better Conversations 114

Score the Leads You Talk to (and Send the Best Ones to Sales) 118

Chapter 9: Step Four: Filter Out The Noise And Target Your Best Leads 123

Where to Start: Targeting the High-Intent Pages on Your Site 124

Targeting Visitors Based on Their On-Site Behavior 125

Targeting Visitors Based On the Sites They’re Coming From 126

Targeting Visitors Based On the Companies They Work For 128

Other Targeting Options for Increasing Conversion Rates 132

Chapter 10: Step Five: Build A Lead Qualification Chatbot (Without Writing A Single Line Of Code) 137

Coming Up with Questions and Responses for Your Bot 139

Deciding On a Call-to-Action (CTA) 147

Five Tips for Making Your Chatbot Conversations More Engaging 148

Part III: Converting Conversational Marketing Leads into Sales 151

Chapter 11: How To Put Your Sales Funnel On Autopilot 153

Set Up Routing Rules So Leads Always Are Connected to the Right Sales Reps 154

Use Chatbots to Schedule Sales Meetings 24/7 155

Have Your Website’s “Contact Sales” CTA Trigger a Real-Time Conversation 157

Have Sales Reps Create Digital Business Cards 158

Get Real-Time Notifications When Leads Are Online 159

Say Goodbye to Manual Data Entry 162

Chapter 12: How Sales Teams Can Create A Better Buying Experience With Real-Time Conversations 165

Ask for Permission Before You Start Asking Questions 167

Let Your Sales Reps’ Personalities Shine Through 168

Use Empathy Statements to Show You’re Listening 170

Show the Value of Your Solution 173

Use a Video Call to Personalize the Final Ask 176

Chapter 13: How To Send Sales Email Sequences That Buyers Will Actually Engage With 177

The Days of Spray and Pray Are Over 178

Using Artificial Intelligence to Unsubscribe People Who Aren’t Interested 184

Customizing Your Sales Emails with Calendar Links 185

Creating Personalized Welcome Messages for People Who Open Your Emails 188

Chapter 14: Conversational Account-Based Marketing (Abm) And Selling (Abs) 191

What Is ABM? (and Why Should You Care?) 192

How a Real-Time Approach Can Solve ABM’s Biggest Problem 193

Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Your ABM Prospects 195

Mining for New ABM Prospects on Your Website 199

Part IV: After The Sale 203

Chapter 15: Continuing The Conversation 205

Creating an Incredible Brand Experience 206

Staying Close to Your Customers (Through Continuous Feedback) 208

What to Do with Customer Feedback Once You Collect It 213

Chapter 16: a conversational approach To customer success 219

Overhauling the Traditional Approach to Onboarding 220

Opening a Fast Lane to Your Customer Success Managers 223

Using Real-Time Conversations in the Battle Against Churn 225

Conversational Upselling 101 228

Chapter 17: Measuring Conversational Marketing and Sales Performance 231

Sales Meetings Booked 232

Opportunities Added 233

Pipeline Influenced 235

Closed/Won 235

Conversation Metrics 235

Team Performance Metrics 240

Final Thought 242

About the Author 245

Index 247