How to Use WhatsApp for Sales to Nurture Leads and Improve Conversion Rates

Illustrator: Adan Augusto

Struggling to understand how to nurture leads and achieve more meetings for the Sales team without your Marketing team losing their mind? Maybe the solution is closer than you think. Selecting the right channels, for example, can be a turning point when it comes to improving the experience of your leads throughout the funnel and achieving a positive outcome at the end of it. 

In a previous article, we discussed some of the main issues organizations need to deal with when implementing a lead-generation strategy. In this article, we will answer some questions about what happens after a lead is generated, how to move prospects through the sales funnel, and how to automate part of the process by implementing a WhatsApp chatbot. 

What is Lead Nurturing, and How It Can Help You Improve Your Conversion

Let’s imagine you have already completed one of the most important steps when it comes to selling your product: getting leads. Leads are contacts who have the potential to become customers. To be considered qualified leads, they should meet your sales criteria, whatever those might be (industry, company size, budget, etc.).

Getting leads to share key information with your brand is crucial to creating a successful and effective lead-nurturing strategy that will result in conversion.

In the end, conversion refers to the act of guiding someone to take a desired action. That action will depend on your value proposition, industry, type of business, etc. A conversion can mean an appointment booked, a call with your sales team, a purchase of your product, a contract signed, a form, something downloading—anything important in your sales funnel. 

Lead nurturing is not just about educating about our company and products or services; we should try to comprehend the needs and pains of our leads, provide them with the information they might need, and answer any questions they might have. The whole experience should be adapted to the specific situation of the lead, taking into account aspects such as their role, language, use case, and stage in the sales funnel. You don’t want to scare them away by being too pushy or sales-oriented if they’re still not ready to buy! 

If done correctly, a lead nurturing strategy will provide potential customers with a tailored and insightful experience that helps them overcome their challenges. According to Adobe Marketo Engage, companies that follow strong lead nurturing plans generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost. 

How to Nurture Leads With WhatsApp for Sales 

You’ve probably heard at some point that, in order to get more customers, you should be where they are present. WhatsApp has over 2 billion users, but not only that, it outstands email marketing when it comes to performance as well. According to Meta, WhatsApp's open rate is around 98%, whereas email marketing barely gets to 20% as a result of full inboxes or spam filtering. 

Apart from being the most popular messaging app in the world, WhatsApp offers many other benefits. Conversations between leads and companies can be automated and in real-time, reducing response times without compromising your sales teams’ schedules. Also, prospects feel familiar with WhatsApp; it’s a channel they know and use daily, so it’s easier to build one-to-one communication, benefiting from the sense of immediacy and intimacy that brings. 

Adding AI capabilities to the formula can make communication feel even more natural and human-like, breaking the language barrier (since it’s available in more than sixty languages). AI also makes the chatbot smarter and fosters advanced comprehension thanks to large language models (LLMs) that can understand and generate human language text.

Infographic that shows how WhatsApp for Sales can be used to nurture leads through the sales funnel
Illustrator: Adan Augusto

As the diagram shows above, WhatsApp for sales is a cross-funnel strategy. WhatsApp can be the perfect channel for our potential customers to get a meeting or an appointment scheduled, improving the show rate in that meeting thanks to personalized reminders. Regardless of the outcome, a WhatsApp chatbot can be used to nurture leads, whether they’re ready or not to move to the next step, keep them in the loop, or detect upsell or cross-sell opportunities. What’s more? WhatsApp chatbots can be used to answer FAQs at any point in the customer journey. 

One thing to keep in mind when using WhatsApp for sales, though, is that you can send two types of WhatsApp messages to your leads using WhatsApp API Client integration: Session Messages and Message Templates. 

Session Messages are responses to customer requests and can only be sent within a 24-hour Customer Care Window.

Message templates are ready-made message formats employed by brands using the WhatsApp Business API to communicate consistently with customers. These templates must be approved by WhatsApp before they can be used, so it’s worth knowing the content and formatting rules you need to follow

Now that we have uncovered how WhatsApp for Sales message templates can be used, let’s explore each of its applications in more detail. 

How to Have Your Leads Opt-in on WhatsApp

First things first, you cannot start your lead nurturing strategy on WhatsApp if your prospects have not agreed to receive messages from you via that channel. This is called the WhatsApp opt-in

To get that permission, users should give their explicit permission to receive messages from your business on WhatsApp. Below you’ll find an example of this, where the website visitor opts in to receive reminders about an upcoming meeting they’ve scheduled on WhatsApp by adding their phone number (which is optional):

Screenshot that shows a WhatsApp opt-in process to establish a WhatsApp for sales strategy

Once the lead has provided their contact details and the appointment has been booked, they will receive a WhatsApp message with the confirmation as a way of also corroborating the opt-in like the example you see below. 

Screenshot that shows the WhatsApp opt-in confirmation message

If you need more information about how to ensure a smooth opt-in process for your leads, watch the video below. 

How to Get Your Leads to Schedule a Meeting With WhatsApp

What about allowing your leads to book a meeting directly on WhatsApp? In this example, the WhatsApp chatbot is directly connected to your calendar and availability, allowing the lead to choose the more convenient time slot, as you can see in the video below. 

If you also add an AI layer to it, you can improve the quality of conversations, respond in the lead’s preferred language and tone, and schedule appointments on WhatsApp around the clock (even while your Sales team is asleep). 

That’s what the Sales Team at Choices, a leading UK Real Estate agency, did. They implemented an AI WhatsApp for sales chatbot to automate the scheduling system, improve efficiency, and significantly reduce no-shows, thanks to tailored and personalized meeting reminders for the leads. 

Apart from improving the show rate, the AI WhatsApp chatbot enhanced the quality of the sales meetings since both prospects and sales reps now attend them with the correct documentation and a clearer understanding. All this thanks to the chatbot's 24/7 availability to answer leads' FAQs. 

Today, their process is faster, and the conversations between leads and sales representatives are more worthwhile. They’re seeing how this translates into an increase of 9% in the conversation rate from a lead generated to an appointment booked with the landlord.

How to Keep Your Leads in the Loop After a Meeting With Sales

Picture your sales strategy as a garden and your leads as newly planted flowers. After all the effort you have put into planting these flowers, you wouldn't let them wilt because you didn't water them enough, right? The same happens with leads. 

Even if the outcome of the meeting with your sales team is not what you expected because they might not be ready to buy yet, you need to make sure they continue to feel heard and understood. How can you do that? By sharing meaningful content, such as how-to guides, tutorials, event invitations, etc., to keep them interested, positioning you as a credible and reliable expert for when they are ready to make a purchase. 

It’s crucial to keep the conversation rolling. Maybe some aspects were not fully understood during the meeting, and some questions may arise. Or perhaps your prospects tell you that they’re evaluating other options. 

Here’s an example of how this nurturing strategy could look at this point: 

By using WhatsApp in our lead nurturing strategy at Landbot through the Ungated Conversations Channel, we achieved a read rate of 51% and a response rate of 15% as a result of this nurturing campaign on WhatsApp. The read rate on WhatsApp can be compared to the open rate on email (averaging 20-25%), and the response rate can be compared to the click-through-rate for email (averaging 2-3%), according to “Email Marketing Benchmarks (2023)” by Campaign Monitor. 

Nurture Your Deal to Get to Upsell or Cross-sell With WhatsApp for Sales

You made it! Your potential lead has become a new customer, which is great news, but the journey doesn’t end there. All the time and resources spent throughout the process will pay off if you can make the customer loyal. Keeping them happy is key, and this involves follow-ups, proactive customer support, and recommendations, not to mention the possible upsell and cross-sell opportunities. 

Have you ever thought about how WhatsApp for Sales could help you at this point?

As we’ve also seen in previous steps of the journey, instant and around-the-clock communication and availability can foster a deeper and more natural connection between the brand and the lead.

That’s actually FASTA’s case, a South African online consumer finance business that was struggling with customer service. They faced several challenges, such as delayed response time due to insufficient resources, which affected service quality and led to customer frustration. 

To enhance the process while being conscious of the limited human resources, they wanted their customer support to become more responsive, accessible, scalable and available 24/7 every day of the year. 

They decided to implement a WhatsApp chatbot with an extra layer of AI to provide a conversational self-service customer support solution that was available 24/7.

What were the results? Apart from helping FASTA reduce support request resolution times from hours to minutes, they’ve also seen how this WhatsApp chatbot has become an efficient new channel for the loan collection process, seeing an increase of 4,000% in customers opting to pay their accounts through WhatsApp, after implementing it in a different environment. 


Improving lead nurturing strategies can be a great challenge for Marketing and Sales teams, but it’s also a crucial step in the journey, especially ​​nowadays that customers have a wide range of possibilities and options to choose from. It’s important to make your lead heard and supported and build trust all the way to build a strong relationship. 

Implementing WhatsApp for sales as part of your lead nurturing strategy can become a key differentiating factor for your business, whether you decide or not to add the AI layer for more flexibility and personalization. The WhatsApp chatbot can automate repetitive and manual parts of the process as well as personalized messages, n, ensuring timely, relevant, and engaging communication with your leads. This helps to improve the overall customer experience and positively impacts conversion rates.

WhatsApp’s extensive user base and real-time messaging capabilities make it ideal for reaching and nurturing potential leads. No need to reinvent the wheel with this messaging app! We’ve seen how it can streamline and enhance every step of the sales funnel, from handling FAQs and scheduling meetings to providing post-meeting follow-ups and identifying upsell opportunities. 

The future of sales is conversational. Are you ready to begin the journey with a WhatsApp chatbot to lead the way?