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5 Ways Conversational Marketing Can Improve your Sales

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5 Ways Conversational Marketing Can Improve your Sales


Conversational marketing focuses on growing a business’s sales funnel over personalized real-time conversations with customers. Conversations, in this approach, make or break a customer-business relationship. 

With the increasing use of affordable AI and ML based technologies, conversational marketing becomes accessible to businesses of any size which are looking to grow their sales funnel without an astronomical budget. In other words, what sets conversational marketing apart from other sales-oriented marketing strategies is its focus on resourcefulness in finding the right customers and delivering a personalized experience to them. 

So, how does it work?

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The strategy basically has two elements:

  1. Customers determine the logistics

Consumers are impatient, HubSpot research says. Customers and prospects must be able to reach out to you and get a timely response whenever it’s convenient for them. Because 82% of them say it’s important to get an immediate response regarding a sales or marketing question. Immediate means ‘’within 10 minutes’’, for 62%. This means you have to offer 24/7 live support, with the help of a combination of conversational marketing tools such as conversational AI, chatbots, live chat and more.

It’s also important that they can get in touch with you via messenger apps and social channels. Make sure your social accounts are active and accessible to everyone in your target market, regardless of their location or device type. 

A good example of this is how Learnsyt, an online course platform, uses a simple WhatsApp click-to-chat button in their blog. Once you click on the icon, you’re connected to their Whatsapp account and could start a conversation with them. 

If tracking every interaction seems too hard, using a customer success tool like Intercom or Zendesk would help in monitoring every interaction and touchpoint from across channels. These tools have features that’ll help you seamlessly deliver personalized messages to your customers and prospects, and drive them through the sales funnel.

  1. Conversations should drive results

Regardless of how well a conversation is held, the important thing is that it leads to somewhere. It holds true for both you, and your customers or prospects. “If a customer or lead comes to you with a question or problem, the conversation must lead you to the right answer or solution. You have to extract data, analyze the issue, and come up with a response, either in the form of knowledge, or action,” says Boris Jabes, CEO and Co-Founder of Census. That’s how it comes to a result.

If the conversation is initiated by you, it must lead your target to take action. The action can be visiting your resource center to learn more about your products, making a demo request, or buying a product. When this is the case, you have to look at customer data to understand their preferences, interests, and awareness stage. It’s the only way to tailor your message to customers at different stages of the buying journey.

5 ways conversational marketing can help you boost sales

1- Shopping assistants increase engagement

47% of consumers say they’re comfortable buying an item directly from a chatbot. So if you’re worried that conversational AI might come across as creepy or unnatural to customers, we’re in a different age now. 91% of consumers say that they’re more likely to buy from brands that remember their preferences and offer relevant deals and recommendations. In other words, they’re expecting a personalized experience, and brands must deliver it.

Source: https://martech.zone/ecommerce-virtual-shopping-assistant/

Take Sephora’s virtual shopping assistant, for instance. It welcomes the visitor, which is something that resembles an in-store shopping experience. Then it asks a question, to identify visitors that need help from a customer service representative—which saves time for the customer service agents. 

Finally, it encourages the customer to try on looks, which’ll increase their likelihood of making a purchase. Use a recommendation engine, internal or as a service, to offer personalized recommendations based on customers’ historical data and real-time responses. 

Building an internal engine can be difficult. You need to use an app, pluggin, or use several tools, such as NLP datasets, together to get the same result.

2- Loyalty programs work much better with conversational marketing

Loyalty programs have been around for a long time. However, the consumer is changing. Recent McKinsey study found that discount-based loyalty programs are not enough to keep customers today. Customers expect different experiences and to feel connected with the brand⁠—value beyond transaction.

Source: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/growth-marketing-and-sales/our-insights/preparing-for-loyaltys-next-frontier-ecosystems

So instead of siloed discount-based loyalty programs that offer nothing but monetary benefits, McKinsey suggests that businesses should create their own loyalty ecosystem, providing customers complementary product and service offerings, from which they can choose the best that fits their needs.

Check out Citibank’s loyalty program, for instance.

The company allows its customers to use their points the way they want, rather than forcing them to use it for a single predetermined purpose. Use conversational marketing tools such as live chat, chatbot, and messenger apps to learn what customers are actually interested in receiving in return for their loyalty, and offer reward options that they can choose from.

3- Chatbots automate processes 

Both B2B and B2C businesses now create content that helps their brand resonate with their audience. However, not all businesses are able to effectively turn that attention into sales. Chatbots could be used to automate some of your business processes such as lead generation and customer service. 

Insert chatbots in your homepage, blog posts, knowledge base, report pages and more. “When a visitor lands on those pages, these tools automatically start conversations that’ll drive them to make a purchase,” says Ben Rollins, Co-Founder of Axon Optics. Combining chatbots with email marketing could be fruitful as well. Barbora Jassova explains how this match could be useful in her email marketing vs. chatbots article. 

Say you have a web form that has seen some results but needs optimizing. You could replace it with a chatbot, which has been set up with a series of qualifying questions, based on the fields of your web form . . . . On the front end, the user is having a seemingly innocuous chat with a support agent/bot. In the background, the system is sorting their information based on preferences, requests and needs. . . . With the data collected, you can then use these to create segmented lists, which allow for an extra layer of personalized content – guaranteed to increase conversion rates.

Chatbots for customer service are pretty popular these days, and have features such as artificial intelligence, visual flow builders, omnichannel messaging support, live chat handover, detailed analytics,etc.

Say for instance, you’re selling outdoor sports equipment. On your blog, you just published an article that talks about the importance of using a headlamp when trekking, for safety reasons. A visitor, who’s a newbie in outdoor sports, just found out its importance.

You can add a CTA to the blog, and ask the readers if they have questions about LED Torch and headlamp equipment. If they click on it, the chatbot can pop up and offer information about the product with a link that goes to a product page. This way, you’ll be able to have a conversation with someone who didn’t have an intention to do so, and streamline their buying journey.

4- Conversational display ads drive results

A problem with generic display ads that account for the majority of the ads we see everyday is that they’re not the best at keeping our attention, even if they manage to capture it at first. Conversational display ads overcome that problem. Auto giant Ford tested conversational display ads’ effectiveness by running them using AdLingo—a Google platform—and saw a 38% relative increase in purchase intent with a 40% reduction in cost per micro-conversion vs. the company benchmark.

Run conversational display ads to lead prospects into visiting your product pages. Ask them a few questions to understand their intentions, but keep it simple. Try for instance, to capture what drives them to make a purchase. If what they’re looking for is affordability, direct them to more affordable products. If they value sustainability over affordability, make sure to recommend products that stand out with their robustness, durability, and sustainable production processes.

5- Social conversations build trust

Back in the days of mom-and-pop stores, shop owners would have to be present in their shops, to make sure the customer is well taken care of, and is happy with the experience. At the same time, they were socializing with their customers. Customers would trust the store owner’s capability to answer questions around and resolve issues in their area of expertise. In return, the store owner would benefit from that trust and communication, which are two pillars of a strong customer-business relationship.

Today, that level of intimacy between customers and shop owners is mainly transferred to social media. The connection is not exactly physical anymore, but it is still needed. That’s why 70% of consumers say they feel more connected to a brand whose CEO is active on social media. If you want customers to feel connected to you, regardless of how physically far they are, you’ll have to show them there are real people behind the brand.

Source: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/data/social-media-connection/

The important thing to remember is, you have to be genuine. Your brand’s tone of voice must reflect its values, and must be coherent across channels or your community software. Find your brand’s unique tone of voice, get inspiration from what you think differentiates you from all the other brands that race for the same attention. Take these two fashion brands for example:

Notice that their target markets separate from each other on so many levels, and these brands’ purpose is to appeal to their audience. This will not come to you overnight. You’ll start from somewhere, and consistency will be the key to building your own audience. With time, and using the right tools such as IG tools, you’ll get closer to your customers, better understand their agenda, and become their go-to address in matters related to your business. 

Finally: 

Customers are more at ease to express their concerns through engaging conversations with brands. So apart from the benefits listed above, conversational marketing channels such as messenger apps, social media conversations, sms, live chat and chatbots are all cheap but effective ways to gain customer intelligence. 

Brands typically consider these channels ideal for running their voice of customer (VoC) programs. Conversations could be started to elicit your customers’ feedback on particular issues such as their opinions about your new feature. The data could be organized and even visualized using visual reporting tools to give you a clearer idea of how you should optimize your customer journey. So make sure to use your conversational marketing channels to get to know your customers as well.  



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How to turn the great buyer resignation into B2B career opportunities

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Create a B2B GTM strategy that buyers, execs and revenue teams love


Marketers play a large, proactive role in the buying-selling process to generate revenue across the entire buyer lifecycle – from generating a new customer, to contract renewal, to solution expansion and cross-sell/upsell.

This is no small task, especially when B2B buyers, barraged by untimely automated messages, random cold calls and lackluster outreach from both sales and marketing, are opting out of vendor conversations. B2B marketing expert Tony Zambito calls this the “Great Buyer Resignation.” This phenomenon has progressively intensified over the last five years and is both a challenge and an opportunity for B2B marketers.

A reality check

Let’s tackle the B2B challenge first by capturing today’s reality. The B2B buying process has gone primarily digital; most B2B sellers and teams have not. Sales has limited access to prospects and customers. We know the facts. According to Gartner, more than two-thirds of the buying process is complete before buyers engage directly with a brand rep. Only 17% of the B2B buying process time is spent with a salesperson across all suppliers. And this scenario is only accelerating as digital native professionals become influencers and decision-makers.


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To contribute to revenue and customer generation, B2B marketers are cranking out “leads” to help sales generate revenue. Marketers are often using legacy marketing automation-centric practices developed during the first wave of marketing technology and lead generation. The teams are pushing out random campaigns in a world where prospects and buyers already know what’s coming when they download a white paper or attend a webinar. Cringe — here come the automated nurture and cadenced phone calls.

Compounding the challenge, prospect and customer outreach happens in silos via one-off campaigns, isolated channels and focused functional teams. And data is being used to justify spending rather than apply buyer and account intelligence to deliver more timely information, better buyer engagement experiences, and more creative outreach.

The change and challenge revenue teams face are real.

Marketing’s impact opportunity in the buyer and customer generation lifecycle

With change comes opportunities for B2B marketers who understand, embrace and develop a smarter approach to identify, engage and delight buyers. And it should be emphasized that B2B teams and marketers have begun their transformation as marketing works across their entire company to play a more proactive role in all revenue and customer generation aspects.

From talking with progressive B2B go-to-market (GTM) leaders, here are strategies to stop mass buyer resignation, advance your career and have a much more significant impact on revenue growth.

1. Drive the shift from push to pull marketing

We often focus our effort on pushing email, cranking out business development representative calls, blasting ads and putting up forms to engage B2B pros. The breakthrough strategies are built around moving from pushing stuff at prospects and customers to pulling buyers through their process. Give them control. Provide options and let them guide their own journey, based on their needs, with value-added assistance. This is an art and science to master. This playbook and skill-set is, and will continue to be, highly coveted.

2. Focus on moments we create, not just those touchpoints we capture

Capture” is primarily what we do today in the form of paid media engagement to generate leads, drive web traffic and white paper downloads, and sponsor events to scan and swipe badges. The best marketers are flipping this model and asking, “How can we create moments for the buyer?”

Moment creation requires a proactive, experiential mindset putting ourselves in the shoes of our most coveted buyers and accounts. Breakthrough moments and experiences can be done through:

  • Product-led growth (PLG).
  • Interactive and self-guided applications and videos.
  • Personalized workshops for prospective buying teams at your target accounts.
  • Curated web pages that feature topical and popular content aligning with themes your buyer has been researching or engaging with over the last quarter.

It doesn’t have to be over complicated.

3. Master the full customer lifecycle

Today’s market realities and company growth mandates underline the need to build GTM models, strategies and resources around the entire customer lifecycle. With today’s prevailing Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud subscription customer financial models, 50 to 70% of the profit comes from existing customers.

For a deeper perspective, a five percent increase in retention results in an estimated 25 to 95% increase in revenue.

4. Embrace data intelligence and science

We will not be effective marketing leaders or pros without the ability to access, use and interpret data. At a minimum, we must be proactive in using data to understand markets, customers, accounts and market trends. The ideal case is to be confident in turning data into insights and actions and applying data science to help guide investments, programs and experiences. Data cannot be used simply to justify or defend marketing spend.

The most in-demand marketing skills in a B2B buyer-driven world

Let’s look at a few past examples of marketing career breakthroughs to plot the future. Ironically, the emergence and mastery of marketing automation tools, data and campaigns created a generation of what turned out to be the marketing operations (MOps) profession. It’s become a well-compensated, highly respected and in-demand role. In another example, the rise of account-based marketing (ABM) created a shift of sales support-focused field marketers to revenue generation-focused members of the GTM team.

Based on the Great Buyer Resignation reality and market shifts, here are a few high-impact career opportunities for talented pros who want to up-level their professional world while positively impacting their company’s growth. It is important to point out these re-imagined roles all focus across the customer lifecycle and obliterate internal silos whenever and wherever possible.

  • Growth marketing: This high-impact role is the next level of demand marketing, which today has largely been focused on digital and paid media spend to generate qualified leads or pipelines. Growth encompasses the full customer/buyer lifecycle of revenue generation in today’s Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription world. It also focuses on identifying and activating the markets, drivers and industries to grow revenue and expand the company’s total available market (TAM).
  • Journey architects: To align with best-fit buyers and accounts, this craft is an ability to use buyer and account intelligence to create experiences to more naturally pull a buyer or buying group through their journey. With a full view across buyer channels and company touchpoints, this role expands beyond marketing to ensure more timely information. For perspective, this is the buyer-driven outgrowth of what was integrated marketing.
  • Revenue ops: It is very difficult to identify and engage buyers and target accounts if your view is only on sales, marketing, customer success or finance. This progressive function demands a full view of buyer and customer lifecycles. It unifies and analyzes data to empower the rest of the front-line, customer-facing players to act on intelligence and insights.

The bottom line on what buyer resignation means for our marketing careers

Now is an opportunistic time to capitalize on market and marketing shifts and commit to buyer-centric GTM strategies and tactics. If you see a new role or transformation opportunity inside your organization or at a new company, raise your hand and dive in. These are the times when careers are made and energized.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Scott Vaughan is a B2B CMO and go-to-market leader. After several CMO and business leadership roles, Scott is now an active advisor and consultant working with CMO, CXOs, Founders, and investors on business, marketing, product, and GTM strategies. He thrives in the B2B SaaS, tech, marketing, and revenue world.

His passion is fueled by working in-market to create new levels of business and customer value for B2B organizations. His approach is influenced and driven by his diverse experience as a marketing leader, revenue driver, executive, market evangelist, speaker, and writer on all things marketing, technology, and business. He is drawn to disruptive solutions and to dynamic companies that need to transform.



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Grow revenue streams through web accessibility and compliance

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Grow revenue streams through web accessibility and compliance


1 out of 4 people in the U.S. lives with some type of disability. Because consumers are online now more than in previous years, your clients’ websites must be accessible to everyone.

It’s not merely a matter of being compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). It’s also good business—because web accessibility can deliver better results and enhance search engine optimization.

Join a panel of agency, compliance and disability leaders to hear more about how web accessibility can work for your agency and your clients.

Register today for “Agencies: Grow Revenue Streams Through Web Accessibility & Compliance,” presented by accessiBe.


About The Author

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries.



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Why Sales Teams Should Care about the Fake Web

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Why Sales Teams Should Care about the Fake Web


The issue of the Fake Web has been all over the news lately. Perhaps most notably, Elon Musk delayed his deal with Twitter until they agreed to further transparency around bots and fake users. Additionally, a viral tweet about the increase of fake internet traffic also attracted the attention of Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

All of this is probably not a surprise to anyone on the pulse of technology news. But it is reasonable to wonder: What does this have to do with sales?

For starters, reports show that $115 billion is lost each year in sales labor costs due to bots and fake users.

To help connect the dots here, we’ve outlined a few specific ways these bad actors impact sales teams on every level and ultimately hurt businesses bottom line.

Sales teams end up wasting time on bad leads.

Time is critical in the sales cycle. Leads need to be acted on quickly before they lose interest or forget they requested to be contacted completely. For this reason, sales professionals put a lot of time and effort into crafting the perfect email sequences, following up with leads, and nurturing these leads until they are ready to buy.

But sometimes leads that were once considered “hot” go silent. This can be because they genuinely lost interest, their priorities changed, they realized they didn’t have budget for a specific line item, or they went with a competitor. Other times leads go cold because they were never really leads to begin with – they were bots and fake users.

When this is the case, it is not only frustrating and disappointing, but it also takes time away from real genuine leads who could have used more attention. Since time is money, this is also reducing the potential revenue a business could be bringing in.

Inventory numbers become inaccurate.

For companies that sell items of limited quantities (retail brands, ticketing services, tourism and travel companies, concerts and sporting events, etc.), it is important to keep track of how much inventory is available. They want to ensure that customers are able to purchase available items while not misleading anyone into thinking something is available if it is sold out in actuality.

Obviously, a bot can’t go to a concert or put on a pair of exclusive sneakers, but they skew inventory numbers through a variety of malicious practices.

This can take the form of scraping information and reselling at a lower price on other sites, which causes businesses to overstock and undersell. It can also come in the form of bad actors committing credit card fraud by using fake or expired cards, which causes the business to lose both the product and the revenue. Additionally, bots can be programmed to instantly buy thousands upon thousands of items before real users ever have the chance to purchase.

All of this throws off the sales cycle by making it impossible to determine how much genuine interest for certain goods and services there is in the market.

Trust is lost between sales and marketing.

Many sales cycles start with marketing. A future customer might first hear about a brand through social media. Or maybe they discovered a company in a search query. Perhaps they saw a few paid advertisements and decided to dive deeper. Marketing is a critical component of driving pipeline and ultimately revenue.

Sales teams know that when leads show up in their database, it didn’t come out of thin air – it was likely a result of marketing. But when there is a pattern of marketing leads having fake names or emails, or appearing promising but randomly going silent – sales teams start to question the legitimacy of all marketing leads.

If there are bots and fake users entering the funnel and being passed off to sales, it decreases the overall quality of marketing leads, and consequently decreases trust.

For all of these reasons and more, many teams are adopting Go-to-Market Security to ensure all the hard work sales and marketing teams put in each day isn’t hindered by the Fake Web.





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