Conversational marketing: It’s an exciting new idea in the world of lead qualification, and if your job lies somewhere on the spectrum of marketing and sales, maybe you’ve heard of it. You may also be aware that the conventional process of gathering leads, qualifying them, and connecting them to your sales team is fraught with inefficiencies, wasted time, and mixed results.
Is there a better way to qualify leads? Can we use technology to improve the process and fundamentally change the way we interact with leads? The good people at Drift say yes. Their service uses AI driven chat bots to engage in conversational marketing with prospective customers, engaging with them in real time and qualifying them for your sales reps. Let’s learn a little bit more about Drift, and how you can use it for qualifying leads.
Conversationally Qualified Leads
First, let’s set the stage with the traditional way of connecting your customers with your sales team. After someone visits your website and expresses an interest in some way, the sequence of events usually looks like this: they fill out a form on the website, which becomes a lead in a CRM. Then, through a series of nurturing emails, their qualifications as a lead will be assessed, and if they’re “hot” enough, they’ll get a phone call from a sales rep, maybe.
This is what’s typically known as a Marketing-Qualified Lead, and there are also Sales-Qualified Leads and Product-Qualified Leads that assess qualifications in slightly different ways, but they all suffer from the same essential issues: they’re slow, and they don’t get to the heart of why someone might be interested or what is motivating them to act. That’s where conversational marketing comes in.
Conversational marketing is all about changing the way we interact with and qualify leads. Essentially, a service like Drift allows visitors to interact with your site in a way that’s much more similar to the way we interact with each other – through conversation.
Essentially, you don’t need to guess whether they’re interested in your product because they took some sort of action or tried a free trial. To a salesperson, a conversationally qualified lead says: they told us why they’re interested in buying and what they’re trying to accomplish with our product, because we talked with them.
Say Hello to Drift
Now, it’s not practical or feasible to have someone behind the keyboard chatting to every single person who arrives at your site, but it’s easy for an AI chat bot to talk to each and every prospect, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So how can conversations with buyers happen seamlessly, continuously, and at scale? Enter Drift.
Drift acts like a virtual assistant for your website, helping to engage with your customers at the right time: when they’re on your site. Drift uses messaging to talk to leads and prospects, asking them substantive questions about motivations, concerns, and pain points, and assessing their lead qualifications. Basically, it’s a very smart chat bot that can have a conversation with your potential customers and automate the lead generation stage of your marketing.
But that’s not all it can do. Once it has qualified your site visitors, Drift identifies which sales rep it thinks should talk with which visitor, depending on your lead scoring parameters, and it can even book meetings for your sales reps automatically. All of this is done without a single form, and it can happen within minutes, not days or even weeks.
AI driven chatbots like Drift are connecting your best leads to your sales reps in real time, when customers are at their most interested and engaged. It’s an always-on solution that is able to give each and every visitor equal attention, and it ensures that your reps are interacting only with quality leads.
Just from a cursory use of the chatbot myself, I can tell there’s great promise in its ability to engage with visitors in a way that feels natural and unobtrusive. Drift may be a good indication of the direction AI is taking in assisting us with marketing and sales. It’s an exciting way of using technology to innovate processes we might not have even known needed fixing.
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