Although a robot managing your entire social media presence, sales efforts and marketing seems scary, chatbots aren’t there to replace you. They’re there to enhance your business.
Most notably, it’s expected that businesses will save thousands (if not millions) on customer support and generate more revenue, thanks to chatbots and their smarter inbound lead generation.
Here are three powerful ways chatbots are impacting B2B marketing:
- Accelerating the sales process
- Making email automation bigger & better.
- More efficient customer support
Pretend you’re looking for a new CRM software (If you actually are, I recommend HubSpot), what is the process? What steps do you take?
It's likely you'll have a bunch of questions that you want answering. But you don't necessarily want to speak to somebody yet. Bots are perfect for every step in your journey. Why? We’ll explain...
Initially, you become aware when someone mentioned it on Twitter (or whichever social media channel), they had a CRM tool that was helping them better manage customer relationships.
A chatbot might have suggested this CRM to them after listening to their requirements.
Email support, in contrast, might propel you to a buyer’s stage you’re not ready for and deter you from going further. The solution a chatbot gives is typically more tailored and cuts out all the marketing and sales noise.
Now that you’re aware, you head to a search engine and look for the creme-de-la-creme of CRM software solutions.
A chatbot at this point can explain a business’s services on a website or via Facebook messenger, answering any questions or queries you might have straight away - regardless of the time. No more waiting in live chat queues.
You’re bombarded with results. Thanks to content marketing, there are too many pages to handle and a handful of landing pages that highlight the options available to you.
A chatbot can direct you to useful content that furthers your understanding on their business and services. It can also provide suggested reading links based on what you've said you're struggling with. In comparison, live chat and email support is sluggish and their help might not be relevant by the time they get back to you.
You’ve demonstrated clear intent on buying a CRM software by downloading a comparison eBook guide but duty calls and you have to get back to work. This means you have to end the conversation with live chat support.
When returning to the issue, you’ll need to explain your situation to customer service all over again. A chatbot would remember and would be there when you get back. You won’t have to wait in a queue either. The bot will even remember your most recent conversation which saves you time.
As you debate which CRM software you want to use for your business, you’re being met with remarketing ads everywhere you go and receive a follow up email that references the guide you downloaded.
A chatbot that has your basic details can automate emails that correlate with your journey and nurture you down the funnel. Whether you are an existing customer or completely new, content that resonates with you helps you build trust with this brand and provided useful information.
The email piques your interest and you decide to schedule a call. You’re busy, they’re busy and the sales rep keeps missing you.
A chatbot can have the functionality to schedule a meeting at your convenience and you can quickly reschedule if your plans change.
During the call, the company pitches why this CRM is the right fit for you and your needs and you bite the bullet.
Throughout this entire buying journey experience, opportunities exist for chatbots to make a significant impact. At any stage, a chatbot can leverage a landing page to facilitate a faster sales cycle.
If your bot asks the right questions, you can gain valuable insight into who’s navigating your site which helps refine your target audience when you review your personas.
Making email automation bigger & better
Email automation is a massive opportunity in B2B. You can use your inbound content to entice and gain interest, get a potential lead to opt-in to a newsletter, then guide them through your funnel, all without ever needing to take yourself away from crucial business matters - when a chatbot is involved.
That’s not to say email marketing is going to require a funeral anytime soon.
That’s been a myth for sometime now and GDPR shook a couple of things up - yet here we are.
Email continues to be one of the best converting tools known to marketers, especially when it comes to B2B. Chatbots have the potential to take the same process you use in your email marketing, do it faster and do it with minimal navigation and click-throughs.
Chatbot conversations can happen within Facebook Messenger or whatever chatbot software you use, almost instantaneously. When you factor in the length of most email automation campaigns, you’ll be saving a substantial amount of time in comparison.
More efficient customer support
More often than not, your customer service team answers the same questions day in, day out, that are probably very accessible on a Frequently Asked Questions page on your website. Customers don’t want to traverse the web for answers - they want them to be accessible and quick.
Chatbots can become a user-friendly version of your FAQs page, regurgitating instant and helpful responses that delight the customer.
Instead of having to man a live chat 24/7, you can design your chatbot to drive customer support conversations through from start to finish.
The beauty of bots is that you can refine their tone, personality and continually tweak their responses to better assist the customer.
With the future of AI approaching, down the line, they'll be able to learn from each response and apply it to future conversations. With this continually growing piece of software, you’ll end up with a pretty smart bot who knows what your customers want.
Now you know the powerful ways that chatbots are impacting B2B marketing, you can start implementing them in your strategy. It’s easy to get started and by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with a business without interacting with a human. That’s less than 6 months away. So the best time to get involved with conversational marketing is today.
Start impacting your marketing strategy with our Conversational Marketing Playbook
For more insight into chatbots and how they're changing the landscape of marketing, download our free guide now. From the best practices when creating your bot to what you need to create a compelling conversational design, we have bot basics down to a tee.