How to Use Chatbots to Improve Sales Automation

Illustrator: Jana Pérez
chatbots for sales automation

The advancement in artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing has led to a new service provider: chatbots. These are humanized interfaces that help you offer 24/7 support while automating critical areas of sales or service operations. 

According to recent industry reports, over 80% of businesses plan on integrating chatbots into their workflows over the next five years. Many businesses are already using chatbots to service routine customer service issues. However, most chatbots deployed focus today on sales automation and cost savings to reduce the need for human involvement. 

The real value of chatbots lies in the multiplier effect they provide to your sales and customer support teams. Chatbots can even influence customer preferences and triggering purchase decisions. This article will guide you through the process of using chatbots to improve sales automation effectively. 

What is Sales Automation?

Sales automation is a customer-centric service that uses technology to automate operations and workflows. By automating your sales processes, you can address customer issues quickly. That means you can deal with queries faster and increase the number of queries handled. 

improve sales automation with bots

Sales and customer service automation can help you decrease your service costs by 30% while increasing customer satisfaction by over 39%. This gain has a positive effect on sales and profitability. By 2022, over 70% of initial customer interactions with a brand will be done through chatbots, an increasingly popular form of sales and customer service automation. 

Businesses use chatbots to implement customer-centric strategies that provide consistent service and build customer loyalty. Chatbots are invaluable customer service and sales tools for businesses that can’t afford the cost of running massive customer service teams. Automating customer service frees up valuable time for the business to focus on business development and growth strategies. 

Let’s look at the six ways that chatbots can help you amplify your sales. 

6 Ways Chatbots Can Boost Your Sales Automation Strategies

Here are the ways to increase your sales with the automation potential of chatbots:

1. Customize Your Chatbots for a Humanized Interface

Chatbots are often your customer’s first touchpoint with your brand. To build engagement, you want the chatbot to have the two capabilities that allow it to converse with humans:

  • Turn-taking
  • Context management

Let’s look at the two in greater detail.

Turn-taking: A turn is one interaction between the customer and the system. The most basic conversation requires at least two turns: a question and an answer. The example below shows a basic turn:

chatbot sales automation

In the first half of the turn, the user chooses between two options presented. When the user chooses the first option, the chatbot sends an automated reply that gives the best available answer.

This interaction is considered one turn. Most conversations go beyond one turn, especially if the question or query is complicated.

Context management: Context is the ability of the chatbot to undertake more than one turn while remembering the context of the previous turns. Google Voice Search does an excellent job with context management.

Let’s say your voice search asks, “Who was Oscar Wilde?” This is what GVS would return.

oscar wilde

Now let’s add another turn to the conversation and ask the question, “Tell me more about Oscar Wilde.” 

oscar wild

GVS clearly understands that the second question is in regards to the context of the first turn.

This is exactly how a human would react to a conversation. Ensure that the chatbot you use is capable of multiple-turn conversations. The chatbot must be able to manage the context of the conversation.

2. Tap into the Upsell Potential

A humanized chatbot can help you build solid and trustworthy brand relationships, thereby increasing the potential for upselling. The graphic below illustrates the value of humanized chatbots.

chatbot upselling

Customers visiting a car rental website were twice as likely to upgrade their rental when chatting with a more humanized chatbot. 

The upsell potential increases with more personalized interfaces that tap into key consumer traits. Consumers prefer to buy products from chatbots that offer a customized buying experience. You can see the correlation here that enables companies to better monetize their website.

Chatbots also help in accelerating the customer’s journey through the sales funnel by simplifying the sales process. For example, a chatbot might not be capable of closing a deal, but it can arrange calls for clients with your salespersons.

The quicker you can schedule a call, the faster your team can close the sale.  

Using a chatbot to automate routine queries allows your sales and customer service team to focus on value-add tasks. For example, the salesperson can focus on lead conversion for business growth and loyalty programs to cut the customer churn rates

3. Better Lead Generation

Chatbots can help you to shorten the sales conversion cycle. Chatbots can help to identify qualified leads that can be passed on to the sales team for conversion. A qualified lead is a visitor who has shown an interest in the brands’ products or services and has taken the first step towards conversion. 

For instance, a chatbot that engages visitors and gets them to subscribe to your newsletter has created a qualified lead. 

Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp for Business are prime examples of chatbots that secure qualified leads. If you visit Hubspot’s Facebook Page, the chatbot helps you get started.

imporve sales automation

When you click on the “Get Started” option, you are automatically directed to actions like subscribing to their blog posts and information on their free-to-use tools. This process is quicker and simpler for the user than manually entering their details.

Once the chatbot captures the lead’s details, the data is immediately sent to the CRM, the user is added to the mail list, and the sales team gets the details. The lead will now start receiving messages from your email marketing campaigns. 

Aside from lead generation marketing applications, you can also use your chatbot for branding activities. For example, you can boost customer engagement and increase conversions. 

chatbot sales automation dominos

Domino’s Pizza Tracker is an example that meshes branding with detailing to keep the customer engaged. It informs pizza-lovers of their exact meal status and entertains them with jokes while the customer is waiting. Adding these fun elements to your chatbot helps in increasing the popularity of your brand in the marketplace. 

4. Provide Round the Clock Customer Support

Chatbots offer your audience 24/7 customer support. If you serve customers across different time zones, you don't need to worry about working odd shifts or operating customer service teams in other geographies. 

Using chatbots to offer round-the-clock support increases customer satisfaction and helps improve the chance of a conversion occurring. A human operator only needs to intervene if a customer asks a complicated query that the chatbots cannot solve. 

The transition from chatbot to live support is often seamless, and if the integration is done right, customers won’t be able to tell between a chatbot and a customer support agent.  

When your support channels are open every day of the year, you gain a reputation for providing excellent customer service. You can also redeploy your human resources to more complicated tasks, leading to cost savings and higher employee satisfaction.

5. Use it for FAQs

One of the most common issues faced by sales representatives is the number of repetitive questions they have to answer daily. This takes a lot of time that could otherwise be allocated to actual revenue-generating activities, such as following up on leads or creating product packages to attract potential customers.

Chatbots can free your sales team from the drudgery of answering routine questions. Suppose you have an existing knowledge base consisting of frequently answered questions (FAQs). In that case, you can program your chatbot to search your database for the appropriate answer whenever a customer asks a question on the list. 

Another advantage of using chatbots to respond to FAQs is that users can get the answers they need without leaving the page they’re on. Instead of using your site’s search function, they can instead stay on the same page and get the answer through the chat window. The user no longer has to sift through different search results to find the correct answer. The chatbot does it for them instead.

Because your leads already have the information they need at their fingertips, they will find it easier to make purchasing decisions. You may also program the chatbot to offer a product that will help the user solve the problem at hand, which increases the probability of a sale.

6. Act as Persuasion Agents

With the rapid advancement in AI, we can expect chatbots to become more intelligent and predictive in the future. Chatbots will soon become more than a digital marketing channel or cost-saving tool. They have the potential to build customer engagement across different touch points as they can recognize the same user, regardless of the device or platform they use. 

For example, when a user logs into an ecommerce site using a laptop, the chatbot will greet the user and present them with a series of choices based on their previous searches. As the customer browses through product pages, the chatbot can offer promotional discounts, attractive payment terms, or free items to accompany the main product, all designed to get the user to click on “Buy Now”. 

Aside from leading directly to sales, chatbots are also valuable for building customer engagement. A chatbot can accompany the user as they navigate the site and give valuable suggestions for the next page to visit by detecting usage patterns. If the user keeps hovering their mouse or zooming in on a specific area of the screen, such as the price quotation, the chatbot can direct the user to a page that explains that part of the screen in greater detail. 

By responding to customer behavior, your chatbot can help you build strong customer relationships and engage your customers in a way that your business has never done before.

Summing Up

Sales automation is crucial for generating qualified leads, solving routine customer issues, and building engagement between your customers and your brand. With automation, you create a win-win situation for both the sales support team and customers. When you handle both simple and complex issues with the same efficiency and quality, it boosts the overall customer experience. 

Sales automation with chatbots saves you plenty of hours every week and gives you relief from complicated, time-consuming tasks while helping you improve your customer support and deliver high-quality 24/7 service. Start using chatbots today and start increasing your sales while providing a better customer experience.