This is a guest post submitted by John Dubay from Leads at Scale.
B2B lead generation is like a puzzle. You have to find the right mix of channels and messaging to find great potential clients. And the kicker — you need to reach out at just the right time.
Traditionally, B2B companies have used channels like email, social media, PPC and content marketing to reach their prospects. They rely (mainly) on luck that their message will land at a convenient time for conversion.
But what if you could be sure that you are available to prospects at the very moment they’re ready to buy? What if you could answer their questions in real-time, moving them through the funnel faster than ever before? Well, actually you can with chat marketing.
- If a visitor engages with a live chat agent, they're 2.8 times more likely to end up purchasing a product
- 38% of customers reported making a purchase after having a good session with a live chat agent
- And adding a live chat feature on a website will typically lead to a 20% increase in conversion rates
Considering these stats, it’s surprising then to know that only 9% of companies currently use live chat on their website.
So where is the disconnect?
It could be that companies aren’t aware of the potential of chat marketing for B2B lead generation. Some still look at chat mainly as a customer service tool. And some companies simply aren’t aware of how to implement a good strategy.
In this blog, we’ll look at the benefits of chat marketing for B2B lead generation, and some best practices for using it to generate quality leads.
Let’s jump in:
What are the benefits of using chat marketing for B2B lead generation?
Unfortunately, the days of answering customer emails and voicemails whenever you’re ready are no longer. A whopping eighty-three percent of customers now expect immediate engagement when they contact a company. Obviously, this is a big ask for your B2B salespeople. Being available 24/7 simply isn’t possible.
However, chat marketing allows instant, real-time engagement at any time of the day or night. Whether you use a chat bot or a third-party service, being able to connect with customers when they want to interact could be the difference between a conversion and a lost sale.
For today’s customers, personalized communication is just as important as real-time engagement. In fact, recent studies have shown that personalized communication can increase customer engagement by as much as 55%, and can increase conversion rates by 51%.
Chat marketing offers an ability for personalization like no other B2B lead generation channel. You can instantly learn a customer’s name, learn exactly what information the customer is looking for, and help them find a solution. And this one-on-one connection with your brand is exactly what savvy B2B decision makers crave.
Reach B2B prospects more easily
Your B2B leads are busy. When they are on your website looking for information about your company, there’s truly no better time to engage them. Instead of waiting for an answer to your cold call or a response to your email, you can actively speak with warm leads while they are focused on your company.
Better conversion rates than lead pages
Live chat takes the work out of conversion for clients. Instead of slogging through a form, prospect information is captured more naturally. And as we mentioned above, if client’s can get their questions answered immediately, they’re more likely to move forward in the pipeline.
Now that you know the benefits of chat marketing, you might be wondering how to make it work for your business. Let’s explore some best practices for making chat marketing a success:
Best practices for using chat marketing in B2B lead generation
Generate leads 24/7 with live chat support automation
As we mentioned above, prospects have come to expect instant engagement. Having a live chat option that is up and running 24/7 helps to make this a reality. You can achieve this either with an advanced chatbot or by using a third-party service that can take over during your company’s off hours.
If you choose either of these options, just be sure you are using adequate technology and/or training for your live chat, as a bad experience can drive customers away for good.
Greet website visitors with a chatbot welcome message
Don’t wait for prospects to engage you on chat! When you notice someone browsing your website, greet them with a welcome message for your chatbot.
You can (and should) customize your welcome message to fit what your customer is looking for. For example, if you notice someone is on your pricing page, greet them with a message such as: “Hello! Do you have any questions about our pricing?” This shows prospects that your chat is going to be a quick and efficient way to engage with your company.
Be aware of your chat response times
Having slow response times on your live chat is a sure way to lose engagement from your prospects. A report by Forrester's Raising the Bar found that 1 in 5 customers are willing to stop using a product or service if they get a slow response time via online chat.
So, before you begin using live chat, be sure you have a strategy in place to ensure you can answer all chats quickly and efficiently.
If you need a few moments to respond to a customer’s question or inquiry, simply let them know that you’re looking into it and that you will be back to them in short order with a response. Try keeping all responses under 2 minutes.
Get your sales team some help
If your sales team simply doesn’t have the time to engage with prospects on live chat, considering freeing up some of their bandwidth by bringing on a lead generation partner who can help in other areas.
Bringing on a partner for B2B appointment setting services, cold calling, or other types of outbound lead generation can help fill your pipeline with leads from other areas while your sales team focuses on warm leads from your website.
About the author:
John Dubay is the Managing Partner at Leads at Scale, an outsourced sales support company that helps B2B companies generate well-qualified leads at scale, ready to be closed.