What is Conversational Marketing?

There is a predicament with the manner we have been trained to market and sell goods and services—it does not match how clients need to communicate. Conversational marketing is a one-to-one marketing approach that businesses use to cut down their sales cycle, find out about client’s needs, and craft a more human purchasing experience. Rather than forcing people to go through lead capture forms and wait several days for an answer, conversational marketing through automation uses intelligent chatbots, phone calls and emails with a targeted messaging to engage with leads instantaneously (like when they are live on your site). This makes it simpler for customers to connect with your business and will help you to convert more leads and faster. It is a rare move that will ensure you and your prospects are more contented.

How does the conversation flow?

Conventional marketing channels flow in a single direction. If you only send mail postcards, email, or purchase online or print ads, you are doing so little learning and talking. One-way communication cannot function in a customer consultation, and it is not helpful marketing. Conversational marketing employs tailored, two-way communication to engage, recognize, remember customers’ interests and convey the information and individual offers most pertinent to and preferred by your leads. When you make out what your customers desire, you can provide special events, discounts and information in your marketing operations that reverberate, are more probable to generate and convert more business. Conversational marketing is a channel particularly well matched for companies where trust is dominant and strong relations already exist. It is all about listening not just talking to make lasting connections.

Applications for That

The growth of social media and other computerized chatbots or tools has opened up new communication lines with clients. Consequently, conversational marketing has assumed a whole new level of significance. Increasingly businesses are leveraging on social media to propel their conversational marketing program and build up their brand voice. Chatbots lucratively convey the most up-to-date mutual communication scoring channel to digital marketing. They generate relations that feel like individual, continuous, real conversations. Those applications can recognize clients’ interests in services and products and even gather their interests to deepen relationships and engage them on subjects they prefer. Another alternative is Upcall which is a conversation-driven sales and marketing platform that uses real persons to gather insights over the phone, by “triggering” phone calls within seconds of a user’s action (such as filling out a form on your website) . It is scalable, efficient, and seamlessly integrated within your existing workflow.

Conversations Create Qualification for Conversions

Leads from conversation channels are inclined to convert at higher rates than any other digital marketing since it is the right consent-based marketing. People are opting to employ bi-directional communication. These communications build lasting value, longer, stronger and more trustworthy relationships. Tailored information amassed through conversations also allows businesses to stay above the customer marketing noise. When struggling for shopper mindshare, it is easy for messages to be lost in the scuffle. A solution to breaking through the mess is by giving relevance and personalization. Actually, 90 percent of marketers perceive individualization as the future of promotion moving ahead of segmentation to proper one-to-one personalization in a synchronized context.

10 Reasons Why a Phone Call is the Best Way to Qualify Web Leads

In the era of automated lead qualifying software and email, phone calls might seem an old-fashioned way to qualify leads. But that’s far from the truth. Actually, when used properly phone calls are the most effective way to contact possible clients and have plenty of advantages over alternative methods.

1. Phone calls create a personal bond with customers

When you talk directly to people who are interested in your services, leads are much more likely to take that interest to the next stage.

Human contact goes a long way in any business, but that’s particularly the case in real estate. When people hear a voice they trust, it’s much easier to get them to move deeper into the sales process.

2. Speed to dial: Phone calls are simply faster 

While emails can be fired off as soon as customers enter their information, there’s no guarantee that these emails will be opened anytime soon.

You can call customers almost instantly. That way, you can provide them with further details and find out whether they are going to move on with their purchasing or selling process.

3. The quality of information from phone calls is higher

Phone-based lead qualification also has qualitative benefits, allowing you to learn more about potential buyers and provide more information to them. This tends to make them more willing to engage with your company and lets you offer additional services that they may not have noticed online.

4. Call-based qualification leads to less confusion

Phoning leads improves the quality of decision making throughout the sales process. One of the biggest problems faced by  companies is ensuring that customers are well-informed and understand their options.

Speaking with a knowledgeable, helpful representative is almost always the best way to iron out any misconceptions, speeding things up and creating better relationships in the process.

5. Email-based outreach can be tedious

One of the best things about using phone calls to handle lead qualification is the simplicity of the process.

Almost all the time, email-based interactions generate complex (and sometimes seemingly endless) email strings. With phone calls, you can discuss everything in one conversation and make clear arrangements for subsequent follow-ups. Information is less likely to get lost in the to-and-from as well.

6. Phone calls bring everyone together

While emails can include every stakeholder, this doesn’t always mean everyone pays attention and understands where the sales process has reached.

Well-managed conference calls involve all of the key players, ensuring that everyone is engaged. Problems can be identified instantly and diaries can be synchronized with ease.

7. Lead scoring is much easier when carried out on the phone

The chances are you employ some sort of lead scoring system to differentiate customers and focus your resources on clients who are most likely to convert.

With call-based operations, staff can keep lead scoring tables close to hand and easily check off the various metrics, making every point as clear as possible.

Emails and online forms tend to provide less information for staff, resulting in lower quality leads or extended exchanges to secure better data. With phone calls, that’s not an issue.

8. Phone calls can synchronize with every other lead generation system

Most companies rely on a variety of contact points, from bricks and mortar locations to print adverts, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and email marketing.

With the right systems in place, all of the leads harvested can be handled in a matter of minutes, allowing you to make the most of your investments in social media and marketing.

9. Phone calls empower clients and representatives alike

For customers, calls are a chance to ask any questions that are weighing on their minds. For staff, they are a chance to listen, learn, and impress clients with their attention to detail.

This dynamic has a huge influence on lead conversion rates. It generates goodwill, trust, better information and – in the end – a much higher potential for closing the deal.

10. Call-based lead qualification is efficient, effective and affordable

Above all, phone-based lead qualifying systems are competitive with alternative options on every level, from initial cost to quality, operational efficiency and conversion rates. In fact, they tend to outperform automated or web-based systems on every score.

Services like Upcall provide professional phone agents who can call leads from any source within five minutes of them expressing interest. If your company is struggling to raise lead conversion rates, these modern phone-based options could be exactly what you need.

The Truth About Improving Real Estate Lead Conversion Rates

In real estate, new leads are everything. Without a reliable flow of potential clients, it doesn’t matter how great your conversion techniques might be – they aren’t going to lead to stellar profits.

That’s why it makes sense to invest in ways to maximize real estate lead conversion, giving you and your staff the chance to show your closing skills.

The thing is, throughout the real estate sector, you’ll find plenty of companies without a lead conversion strategy. They seem to think that old-school salesmanship is enough to succeed.

That’s a dangerous delusion, and one which inevitably leads to missed opportunities. However, it’s also a totally avoidable mistake, as long as you use the right lead qualification tools.

Why Does Online Lead Qualification Matter?

You might still be thinking: most of our business comes from referrals or repeat clients. If we assume that 40% of customers use the first broker they consult, (which is around the industry average), then companies can expect up to 60% conversion rates from online sales alone – pretty good by most people’s standards.

Given the price of investing in the technology to optimize online sales, this can lead to incredible returns on investment, even though it might seem at first like a small part of your business.

Use Speed to Lead Systems to Turn Online Queries Into Sales

However, that’s not the end of the story. To actually achieve these conversion rates, you need a way to turn visitors into leads, and then into sales. This is where systems like Upcall really come into their own.

In the world of lead qualification, speed is everything. Studies have found that US real estate brokers are far from perfect when it comes to responding to inquiries, with an average recall time of around 15 hours.

With performance like that, brokers who can reply promptly and efficiently have a huge advantage.

Think about it. As a buyer, how much more likely are you to choose a broker who calls you back within 10 minutes after you expressed interest via an online form?

Services Like Upcall Deliver Effective Lead Qualification Services

There’s a reason why real estate companies are failing to respond to queries effectively: time. Most professionals simply can’t manage the number of leads they need to handle, and lost opportunities inevitably result.

That’s why it makes sense to use specialist calling services who can carry out initial calls and respond to online inquiries.

Specialist call professionals can contact customers immediately, creating a personal relationship with real estate companies. They can ring back numerous times to maximize the chances of converting leads, and they can monitor their services to refine their methods and message – fine tuning campaigns to get the right results.

You could do all of this yourself, but if you want the best outcomes, specialist real estate calling is the way to go.

Why Your Slow Lead Response Time Is Killing Your Business

“I don’t care what response I get…but I follow up until I get one,” said Steli Efti, CEO and founder of Close.io

When buyers are ready, they’ll find you, right? So says marketing agency leader Pardot.

But the big question is not whether they’re going to reach out or even when. The question is simple: are you going to be ready when they do reach out?

Now take a moment to put yourself in a buyer’s shoes. Think about when you last did some personal research into something you really wanted to buy. When you were ready to purchase and walked yourself into the store and —

What happened? Were you approached right away? Did your interest wane the longer you were kept waiting? Did a store associate bother to engage you?

Even though you’re in-store, technically, you’re still a lead. And the longer you’re left unattended to and disengaged, the less likely you are to return.

On average, it takes companies 38.35 hours to respond to leads. In today’s omni-channel marketing cycle, that’s a lifetime. You may have the best product and service but if you can’t follow these key rules, your business is sure to miss out.

 

Not All Leads are Created Equal

 

The first key to improving your lead response time is to understand a very crucial fact: not all leads are the same.

This means, not all your leads are going to turn into qualified leads. And, even when they’re curious, it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily even “warm” — either “in the know” about your brand or ready to buy in the least.

Businesses that are slow to respond to a lead simply fail to be able to classify where the lead is on the buyer’s journey. Before they can even begin to follow up, leads must be qualified. And this requires on-demand access to the analytics that will be able to tell you where that lead is.

Qualifying leads is all about meeting a lead where it happens to be on the buyer’s journey. Classifying a lead is important in knowing which next steps to take, what content to provide, how to follow up and which scripts to use.

 

Failing to Meet Leads Where They’re At

 

Part of the lead qualification process is scoring the lead to see whether they must be further massaged and given multiple opportunities to engage with the brand or if they’re ready for the next segment of the buyer’s journey.

Obviously the greatest resource this calls for is time — it takes time to analyze where a lead is, once they’ve approached the brand in some way, and it takes time to then follow-up in a proven, tested and pre-determined manner.

Following up by calling a lead or presenting them with educational content is only half the battle. The other half is doing it at the right moment by understanding where they are.

A slow lead response time can result in an overflow of leads that haven’t yet been either qualified or engaged.

 

What’s the Plan, Stan?

 

Focus too much on automation alone, and you miss out on the sales aspect. But what’s the point to cultivating a qualified lead if there’s no funnel to guide your user through as they move on their journey?

Part of lead qualification is to set up a process for sales rep that can help guide leads to the next level of awareness.

In trying to improve a slow lead response time, automation of some form or another is the key to helping your customers reach the “aha!” moment and convert. Using Upcall and connecting it to apps like Zapier, for example, a sales rep could have a list of leads ready to be called and engaged with at the right time, without trying to figure out which leads to focus on.

Automating certain tasks through software like Upcall essentially allows you to take your limited attention and focus it on what you do best: following up and closing.

While you’re busy following up with another lead in person, there should be some form of automation that is delivering engagement, content, answering questions and providing guidance for the lead on this journey of brand awareness.

This is the point at which they can identify their issue, they see you as an educator and move to actually consider your products or services as the solution.

But if you fail to plan for fast lead follow-up and put the tech into place to respond in an automated way, then you miss capturing those leads for later follow-up in the first place.

 

Don’t Leave Anything On the Table

 

Here’s the number one reason a slow lead response time is killing your business: you operate in a market with a bevy of other competitors and comparable services, right?

If you fail to contact your lead within the first few hours (or minutes, depending on your industry), rest assured, your lead will end up somewhere else.

And it might be somewhere that has had the foresight to put the appropriate tools like Upcall, Zapier, CRM and funnels in place. Essentially, a workflow and a process for lead nurturing is required, at base, to capture lead’s interest and make the most of them.

So spend the the resources required now to benefit later by identifying the key places where leads are dropping off and addressing those parts using the right tools. Fail to do this and you’re literally leaving cash on the table.

On the flip side, this could also be a major opportunity for you to win. So position yourself with the right software to do exactly that.

Guest Post: Outbound Calling in the Sales Enablement Ecosystem

Today we’re happy to feature a guest post by Cory Bray, co-founder of ClozeLoop, a sales enablement platform designed to help companies achieve revenue and profitability goals. Bray has ten years’ experience building high-performance sales teams across multiple industries.

Cory and and ClozeLoop co-founder Hilmon Sorey are also co-authors of The Sales Enablement Playbook, now available on Amazon. Whether you’re a sales executive, sales practitioner, or a non-sales executive looking for ways to impact growth, this book will help you identify your role in a thriving enablement ecosystem.

Order your copy here!  

The Sales Enablement Playbook by Cory Bray and Hilmon Sorey

By: Cory Bray

I was recently chatting with my friend Sam (CEO of Upcall) about my new book (The Sales Enablement Playbook) and we were talking about how I view Sales Enablement as an ecosystem, not a position or department. He asked, “How do you think Upcall fits into the Sales Enablement ecosystem?” Hmmmm…great question.

After taking some time to think about his question, it’s amazing how many ways companies can augment their internal team with outsourced calling to impact results.

The Obvious: Outbound Sales Development

Remember, sales development teams are just trying to arouse curiosity…not close deals. For that reason, it makes tons of sense to augment the team when leads are in short supply…you won’t be risking quality if you have adequate training for your UpCallers. Some ideas are to focus on include:

  • Account-Based Selling: In any given account, there are possibly tens of people who could be your entry point. If they are putting off buying signals, attack the account in a week, not a month.
  • Re-Activate Dormant Accounts: Those companies who stopped responding to your AE? Let’s take another look, but let the AE focus on deals that are closing this quarter.
  • Target Medium-Priority Contacts: Let your full-time SDRs who you can coach in person handle the high-value leads, but instead of waiting weeks to get to the medium leads, get after it now!

sales, team, group, working

Inbound Sales Development: Handle Those Spikes

Have you ever received an email saying it was great meeting you at a tradeshow….6 weeks after the tradeshow? Terrible, right? Well, when there are spikes in inbound interest, there are three options:

  • Make Inbound SDRs work 80 hours a week and violate the Overtime Provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Wait weeks to follow up with leads
  • Augment the team

One option stands out from the crowd… 

Sales Development Meets Customer Success

As we describe in our book, one of the most overlooked sources of leads is employees who used to work at your customer but now work elsewhere. If they loved your product in their last job, make them an evangelist in their new job! It’s tricky to hunt them down, but it’s totally possible. Take your research and feed it to an UpCaller for a whole new revenue stream.

More Customer Success

In addition to generating leads, why not make some calls to capture:

  • Net Promoter Score: It’s tough to rely on email responses to NPS surveys. Augment them with calls.
  • End-User Success Stories: When it comes time to renew, do you have enough data to support your case? Make calls to individual end users to capture their stories, then aggregate these for renewal conversations.
  • Product Feedback: Figure out what specifically is holding you back, and take those details to the product team for consideration.

feedback, product

Based on the feedback here, you might need to tweak your product, target market, or selling approach. All of these adjustments will seriously enable the sales team moving forward.

So Much More…

These are just some of the ideas that came to mind, but depending on your business, there are probably several additional applications.

Get more leads. Get better leads. Figure out why the leads you’re getting aren’t converting. Understand customer satisfaction levels and address any options. What’s not to love here?

It’s pretty cool how many places UpCall fits into the Sales Enablement Ecosystem!