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.

How to Qualify and Convert your B2C Leads

No matter how well you construct your marketing campaigns or how exceptional your product/service is, if you can’t convert new leads, you’re going to struggle in today’s business world.
From companies that specialize in networking solutions to real estate vendors, the ability to follow up with leads from their first contact to the final sale is fundamental. Companies which fail to do that, often don’t do so because what they offer is wrong. They fail because they can’t convert leads into sales. Many tools exist to enrich B2B leads with a lot of useful information about the company, however for consumer leads (B2B) the process is totally different.

That’s where B2C lead qualification comes in. By creating tailored systems to process every lead that expresses interest, companies can prioritize high potential customers and focus their resources on the right leads. When you do that, good things follow and conversion rates increase dramatically. Let’s dig a little further to explore how lead qualification can turn your operations around.

 

Not all Leads are Equal: Learn How to Focus Your Energy Effectively

Firstly, it doesn’t matter what sector of the economy you work in, the same thing applies. Some customers are just more likely to convert than others. The secret is to hone in on those leads and dedicate your sales resources to them. Instead of spreading your resources thinly and trying to handle all consumers in exactly the same way, it’s vital to create an interface between customers and your staff. This interface needs to have the ability to rapidly assess every lead, sorting them into categories which stretch from high to low conversion potential. That’s what we call “lead scoring” – and it’s something that very few companies develop effectively on their own. It usually requires a little investment in external expertise to get a scoring system up and running. But when the conversion stats come through, it’s almost always worthwhile.

Understand Which Consumers you are Seeking to Reach

However, creating an interface between businesses and customers is just a first step in creating an efficient lead qualifying system. You’ll also need to carry out research to understand exactly what types of customers need to be targeted by your efforts. This isn’t the same as standard market research, which tries to investigate why people make purchasing decisions. Instead, researchers trained in qualifying leads seek to assess how customers feel after they have expressed interest in your products/services. They need to come up with templates for “ideal” customer profiles who are most likely to convert, and find ways of fitting actual clients into those categories when they make telephone contact, fill in online forms or send emails. It’s a specialist process, and one that has to be done well, or you can end up with categories that bear little resemblance to the customers you’ll actually be dealing with.

How You Relate to Customers is a key Part of B2C Lead Qualification

When you have an idea of who your ideal customers are, and you’ve set up the interface to handle their inquiries, there’s another crucial thing to think about: how your staff talk to customers in their efforts to qualify them properly. This usually takes the form of a simple conversation, but it can’t be a rambling, open-ended discussion. Staff need to be disciplined and focused on questions that matter. But at the same time they need to have the interpersonal skills and flexibility to relate in a human way to every single customer. Like good actors reading from a script but adding their own personality, lead scoring experts have to be responsive but always working to achieve results. If they take too long, their work becomes more expensive and customers may lose interest. But if they don’t ask every relevant question, the scores they come up with won’t be as meaningful. It’s a tough balance, and one which is easier to strike if you enlist the help of experienced B2C lead qualifying professionals such as Upcall.

Speed is Essential if you Want to Convert as Many B2C Leads as Possible

How quickly staff process conversations is important, but there’s another metric that catches many businesses out – how quickly they actually respond to B2C inquiries. Take real estate companies, for example. It’s well-known that companies which take longer to respond to customer inquiries tend to lose out. People might approach various realtors and be impressed by rapid responses, even if the company they choose isn’t necessarily the best equipped to meet their needs. This means that slick lead qualifying systems have to be optimized for rapid responses. With the right infrastructure in place, it’s relatively simple to achieve fast response times – an easy win on the road to converting far more leads into sales.

Turn Customer Contacts Into a Data-Driven Goldmine

Finally, B2C qualifying systems can add even more value to organizations by generating useful feedback for the companies that use them. If you are gathering data about customer responses, response times, which sales techniques work and scoring trends over time, you may be missing out on valuable data. By bringing in expert qualifiers to handle your B2C operations, you can get a much fuller picture of how your sales efforts are performing and learn more about your target demographics. With that information, you can develop your pitches and take your conversion efforts into orbit.

Source the Right Partners for your Lead Qualification Operations

Lead qualifying and scoring are essential to many business sectors in the United States. In fact, if your staff have to field multiple B2C inquiries every day, there’s an excellent chance that you can enhance your sales figures by bringing in some expert assistance. Upcall can create comprehensive customer engagement plans for all types of businesses. Our teams are experts in assessing leads and categorizing consumers, as well as masters of B2C communications. Get in touch if you want faster response rates and higher-quality leads. We can help your business enter a whole new era of efficiency and higher sales.

What Is B2B Sales Outsourcing and How to Do It Right?

At its simplest, B2B sales outsourcing has three components, as the name suggests. Firstly, it involves direct connections between businesses. Secondly, it’s a way to maximize sales. And thirdly, it’s a sales method which is “outsourced” to a third party service provider. As such, it’s an alternative to traditional sales systems that exist entirely within companies, and it has plenty of advantages over those older ways of operating. Let’s look at how it works in more detail before moving onto some of the reasons why you might want to give sales outsourcing a try.

 

Capitalize on the Advantages of Outsourcing Your B2B Sales

 

When you outsource sales, that doesn’t mean losing control over the strategic direction of your business and it doesn’t necessarily mean moving your entire sales team over to an external company. But it does mean harnessing the specialist sales expertise of external providers. Sometimes, companies choose to transfer their day-to-day sales operations completely. Others prefer to use outsourcing for individual campaigns, when a little bit more capacity is required and their core team can’t deliver.

It can also be employed for specific sales tasks. For example, you could choose to outsource your market research operations, bringing in specialists to research your client base and find out exactly what they want. Conversely, you might wish to move your lead qualification systems to an external provider with expertise in inbound marketing and responsive phone-based sales. And the same applies to both lead conversion and customer relationship management. Thanks to cutting edge outsourcing experts, all of these sales functions can be performed out of house. It’s just a matter of choosing which functions you would prefer to delegate.

 

Using Outsourcing Well Can Have Huge Sales Advantages

 

At first glance, outsourcing might seem intimidating, particularly for small businesses with relatively tight margins and a tradition of keeping close control over sales professionals. But that’s largely a mirage. Much of the time, SMEs find that the benefits of B2B outsourcing outweigh their anxieties about control, providing that outsourcing is done right.

Those benefits can be transformative for all kinds of business. For example, if you are branching out into a new product sector or geographical area, outsourcing can bring in local or sector-specific expertise that your core team doesn’t possess. In cases like that, it could be used to hit the ground running fast in an area that you aren’t familiar with, while you train existing staff to hone their knowledge or recruit new permanent staff to fill the gap. Outsourcing your sales operations is also a great way to innovate. Used well, outsourced sales teams can allow companies to try out new ideas before mainstreaming them in their own office.

Then there are instances where sales forces stagnate and a stimulus is required. Whether the causes are burnout or the inability to take in new ideas, outsourcing sales functions is often a good way to inject dynamism into your sales operations. Specialist sales companies can bring in agile, up to date ideas about customer liaison, lead qualification and CRM. And if you bring them in on a short-term basis, they can provide a motivation to your own sales team to shape up and improve their performance.

Finally, outsourcing can be a wholesale substitute for standard sales structures. If companies are experiencing sluggish sales and their metrics on lead conversion aren’t trending upwards, outsourcing can be an effective solution. In some sectors like real estate, more efficient sales teams can be the key to unlocking regions or retaining customers, and this kind of efficiency is where outsourcing excels.

 

How Can You Introduce A Streamlined B2B Sales Solution?

 

We know that outsourcing sales operations can have huge benefits for a wide variety of SMEs, but there are also dangers when outsourcing is handled poorly. For instance, existing customers might resent dealing with unfamiliar contacts, core sales teams could become demoralized, and managers may lose control over the overall direction of their sales strategy. These are real risks, so outsourcing needs to be done properly.

Firstly, it pays to understand which type of businesses are well-suited to outsourcing sales operations. Generally speaking, outsourcing works well when companies have large quantities of incoming leads (such as real estate brokers, vehicle leasing companies, or IT suppliers). And it functions best when these leads need to be dealt with as quickly as possible. So, if you operate in a highly competitive, lead-based sector outsourcing could be the ideal solution.

You also need to be clear about the purpose of any outsourcing operation. There’s no sense in duplicating work between core teams and outsourced providers. And there’s no sense in tasking external companies with performing work with a low return. Because of this, it makes sense to audit your sales operation before outsourcing, to understand where external contractors can add value, and tailor your commissioning around those findings.

 

Choose the Right B2B Sales Experts to Enhance Your Business

 

Outsourcing sales operations can be hugely beneficial if you know what you are looking for and understand how it can enhance your bottom line. But there’s another key aspect to the process that needs to be considered: The need to find a partner who is responsive to your needs, will implement your plans faithfully, and who has the skills to deliver. Not all outsourcing companies meet those criteria, so be sure to research your partner thoroughly.

Ideally, both you and your outsourcing provider need to have a complete understanding of the task in hand. For example, if you take qualifying leads out-of-house, the external sales representatives need accurate information about your products and how the sales funnel works following initial contact. If not, as customers move on to Account Executives to close the deal, misunderstandings could develop, resulting in poorer lead conversion rates.

Everything has to work together, or as closely as possible, making it vital to provide outsourcing companies with high-quality briefs. And your partner needs to be honest about any difficulties that arise. Outsourcing is a process, not a magic spell, and teething problems usually arise. So both sides need to have a strong working relationship.

 

Revolutionize Your Inbound Marketing Systems with Strategic Outsourcing

 

By now, you should have an idea about whether your business meets the criteria for outsourcing sales operations or not. If your sales figures are stagnant, you need to expand confidently, your lead qualification systems are dysfunctional, or you just want to try something new, Upcall could well supply the perfect solution.

Upcall specialize in providing teams of “Upcallers” who are experts in handling inbound marketing challenges. As a first point of contact between clients and companies, our teams can field calls and draw customers into sales funnels, qualifying leads diligently before handing them on to your own executives.

At the same time, Upcall’s service provides real-time data regarding contacts and leads, while delivering efficiency gains below the cost of a full-time sales employee. Whether you need a temporary solution or a long-term replacement for your sales staff, help is at hand. Outsourcing could be the way forward, and Upcall are ready to help you take the first steps.

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.