How to Use Conversational AI to Nurture Leads That Are Not Ready for a Meeting

Illustrator: Adan Augusto
lead nurturing conversational AI

Today's digital era has made it so that businesses need to continually seek out new and innovative strategies to captivate their audiences and turn potential customers into paying one. However, as traditional lead nurturing methods gradually lose their effectiveness in the face of evolving consumer behaviors and expectations, companies are turning towards more dynamic approaches to stay ahead of the curve. One such method is conversational AI

In this article, we'll explore the advantages of conversational AI and understand how it can be applied to nurture leads, and guide them towards readiness for a sales meeting.

Understanding the Lead Nurturing Process

Lead nurturing is a key aspect of any successful sales process, serving as the backbone for building and maintaining relationships with potential customers. It involves guiding leads through your sales funnel by providing them with relevant information, resources, and support tailored to their needs and interests. 

The goal is to cultivate relationships over time, including with those who are not yet ready to book a meeting with you or make a purchase right away. In doing so, businesses can keep leads engaged and gradually move them closer to making a buying decision.

The stages of lead nurturing typically involve a series of carefully planned interactions designed to move leads through the sales funnel. 

Typically, these stages are:

  • Awareness: leads are introduced to your brand through social media, blog posts, or other resources;
  • Consideration: in this stage, leads receive more targeted content such as case studies, recorded product demos, or other personalized messages tailored to their specific needs and pain points;
  • Decision: the final step, where leads get tailored pricing information, testimonials, or special offers to help them reach a purchase decision. 

It’s worth noting, however, that even though these are the common stages, there’s no one-size-fits-all lead nurturing solution. For it to be successful, it requires a deep understanding of your prospects and their preferences. 

The Role of Conversational AI in Lead Nurturing

If you think of your past and present lead nurturing strategies, they probably include email as the main channel for sending educational content to prospects. Not to say that email isn’t a good lead nurturing tool; however, it might no longer fulfill all of your customers’ expectations and fail to meet your goals. 

There might be a few reasons why this happens:

  • One-way communication: although leads can reply to your emails, many email nurture campaigns lack an interactive element, presenting content links without fostering reciprocal engagement, potentially diminishing success rates despite taking a personalized approach.
  • Insufficient tracking & lack of qualitative data: scoring leads solely based on behavior towards and engagement with an email presents challenges as these actions may not provide deep enough insights into prospects' identities or needs. Consequently, tailoring relevant follow-ups becomes difficult. 
  • Disorganization & lack of data synchronicity among systems: finally, the persistent issue with email nurture campaigns is the disjointed system, causing information loss and leaving sales reps uncertain about prospects' positions in the sales funnel and the appropriate timing for follow-ups.

This is where Conversational AI can step in as a way to improve customer interactions and make your lead nurturing efforts more effective. 

One of the key benefits of conversational AI is its ability to enhance lead engagement by offering instant responses around the clock. Unlike other channels, like email, that may have limited availability or that don’t incentivize leads to write back, conversational AI fosters a dialog between your business and your prospects, which is essential to building relationships.

By engaging leads in meaningful conversations during the different lead nurturing stages, businesses can address their concerns and provide relevant information, which helps establish trust, demonstrate value, and lay the groundwork for future conversions. 

Even leads who may not be ready for a meeting can benefit from personalized interactions with conversational AI, since it allows businesses to stay connected with leads until they are ready to buy. 

Let’s have a closer look at how conversational AI can help with lead nurturing. 

Two-Way Communication & Personalized Interactions

As mentioned above, one of the ways that your email nurturing campaigns may fail is because communication flows in just one way — from you to the prospect. 

While that might still work, depending on the business and each individual lead, chances are your prospects expect something different nowadays. Personalized customer journeys are no longer just a nice-to-have, with 80% of people saying they’re more inclined to make a purchase from a business that offers tailored experiences

Conversational AI allows businesses to connect with leads in a more personalized way. Not only does it allow for leads to reply back and get an answer on the spot, conversational AI can also tap into prospect data and past interactions during the conversation to tailor the interaction to match their preferences. This type of approach to lead nurturing allows for the delivery of targeted messages that cover the lead’s specific needs, which ultimately brings them closer to being ready for a sales meeting. 

Additionally, AI sales assistants can effortlessly score and qualify leads based on the conversation they’re having. In doing so, they can further personalize how they reply and which content they deliver in a way that speaks directly to each lead segment’s specificities. 

Content Delivery

In a recent episode of Ungated Conversations, Jeff Sauer, founder and lead coach at Profit Pillars, mentions the importance of providing value while nurturing leads. So it’s not just a matter of sending them content at regular intervals, but making sure that content provides some kind of value, like showing them how your product or service can fix a problem they’re having. 

Providing valuable content is essential for building trust and credibility with potential customers, which we’ve already mentioned serves as a base for a good relationship that, hopefully, leads to a closed deal. 

With conversational AI, businesses can deliver timely and relevant content to leads through various channels, including web chatbots and WhatsApp. As opposed to email, with conversational AI you can tailor the flow of the conversation to how the lead responds, and deliver different content pieces — blog posts, case studies, white papers, etc. — depending on the lead’s reactions and replies to the AI chatbot. 

This kind of approach guarantees that you’re positioning yourself as helpful and knowledgeable, which will improve your lead nurturing efforts and lay the foundation for a sales meeting.

Addressing Common Questions & Concerns

If your leads are not ready for a meeting, chances are they might still have questions related to your product or service, pricing options, and many other things. Addressing these questions is an integral part of the lead nurturing process; however, it’s one that can take up a lot of time from your sales reps. 

Conversational AI can take over that task and answer FAQs in real-time, ensuring that leads are getting their doubts answered and that sales reps are focussing their time and efforts on closing deals. Having someone (i.e. an AI chatbot) available 24/7 to address common concerns in real-time not only makes leads feel attended to, but also builds trust and credibility in your business by showing them they’ll be supported in every step of the way. Proactively answering prospects’ questions brings them closer to being ready for a meeting, and ultimately closing a deal, by clearing their doubts with virtually no waiting time. 

Additionally, conversational AI is able to not just answer FAQs, but also, based on the interaction it’s having, provide additional information that can further help leads become more informed about your product or service. By providing them with extra resources, you’ll be empowering them in relation to your business, and helping them become more sure that buying from you is the right decision. 

Sales Flows Automation

Perhaps the biggest advantage of conversational AI is that it allows you to automate a series of sales workflows that free up your sales reps’ time to focus on closing deals. 

Lead nurturing is no exception, and with conversational AI, businesses can streamline it by guiding leads through predefined steps, depending on which stage of the buying journey they’re in. 

As a first step, you can have your AI sales assistant score and qualify leads. Based on its interactions with leads, the AI can identify the most engaged or potentially interested leads, and take them down a specific lead nurturing flow, and take the ones that are not yet ready for a meeting down another flow that will bring them closer to a readiness point. Each automated workflow will, of course, have tailored messaging and content delivery to enhance your lead nurturing efforts. 

Whether it’s qualifying leads based on predefined criteria or sending personalized recommendations, conversational AI simplifies the lead nurturing process and helps ensure that leads receive the right message at the right time in an optimized way to push them towards booking a meeting. And by automating these workflows, you can save your sales reps’ time and optimize resources, while effectively nurturing leads towards conversion.


Conversational AI enables businesses to implement progressive engagement strategies that gradually increase prospects’ level of interaction with them over time, and guide them towards being ready for a sales meeting. This happens by delivering personalized content and experiences via an AI chatbot that guides leads through the sales funnel and towards conversion. 

By gradually building a relationship and fostering trust with leads, businesses can increase the likelihood of converting them into meeting-ready prospects.

As you can see, leveraging conversational AI for lead nurturing is a powerful strategy in today's competitive business landscape. By understanding the stages of lead nurturing, tailoring conversations, providing valuable information, and automating sales workflows, you’ll be able to effectively nurture leads not initially ready for a meeting into a stage where they are ready for it.