Understanding Conversational Sales: What it is, How to Master it, And How it Can Benefit You

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Today’s customers expect to interact with businesses on their terms. They want personalized service and meaningful conversations about their needs and pain points. They also want answers immediately, without complicated forms or waiting for a call back. For instance, 37% of sales reps say having to fill out online forms frustrates their buyers.

Conversational sales techniques solve the issues with traditional marketing by giving customers the human interaction they crave. And it works: 9 in 10 B2B sellers believe in the value of a conversational sales solution. So, in this article, we’ll look at what conversational sales is, how to master it, and how it can benefit your business.

What is conversational sales?

Conversational sales is an inbound marketing technique that focuses on having meaningful conversations with customers. The aim is to give customers value by providing support and answering questions. Then, when the customer is ready, you can guide them through the buying process.

Conversational sales involves talking to customers on the channel they choose – whether by email, chatbots, hosted phone solutions, or social media. To be effective, you should think about the who, what, where, and why of your customer.

  • Who are they? Are they already a customer, or are they a stranger?
  • What problem are they trying to solve? For example, is there an issue with your supply chain process that’s holding up orders, and the customer wants to know when they’ll receive their order? What are the possible solutions?
  • Where are they in the buying process?
  • Why have they contacted you?

By answering these questions, you can give customers a relevant, personalized experience and land more sales.

Conversational sales tools

Conversational sales can take place on any channel, from email to social media and live chat. But the most important conversational sales tools are chatbots and CRM software.

Chatbots

Nowadays, chatbots are a common business tool. In fact, 80% of customers have interacted with them at some point. Chatbots allow businesses to be there for customers 24/7. This makes them popular with customers: 68% say they like that a chatbot answers them quickly.

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There are many ways a chatbot can help your business, such as:

  • Answering customer questions.
  • Qualifying leads.
  • Promoting products, helpful content, and events.
  • Booking phone calls and meetings.
  • Getting customer feedback as part of a feedback-driven work culture.

A word of caution, though: 60% of customers say a chatbot hasn’t helped them as they need to speak to a person. So you should always give customers the option of talking to a human agent.

CRM software

Customer Relationship Management software is an important business tool that stores customer data. This includes details about customer conversations.

Conversational sales relies on your team having access to customer information as and when they need it. After all, 42% of sales reps say buyers are most frustrated when they have to repeat the same information to several team members.

CRM software can also track metrics like sales performance and customer satisfaction. This helps you optimize the customer experience.

Key components of conversational sales

A conversational sales strategy consists of five key components:

  1. Flexibility.
  2. Scalability.
  3. Context.
  4. Convenience.
  5. Relevance.

1. Flexibility

Conversational sales is customer-centric, so conversations should happen on the customer’s terms. That means having the flexibility to interact with customers in real-time 24/7. It also means allowing customers to pick up where they left off without repeating information. This is where tools like chatbots and CRM software can help.

2. Scalability

You also need to have the capacity to interact with tens, hundreds, or even thousands of customers at once. After all, any delay in response can harm the customer experience.

A cloud contact center is a great way to make your business scalable and unify your customer communication channels. Plus, you can link it to your CRM, so you always have the right information on-hand.

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3. Context

Another important component of conversational sales is context. As you gather more information about a customer, your future conversations should reflect that. If a customer places an order and then calls about it a week later, they expect you to have the details in front of you. This saves time for both you and them and reduces customer frustration.

4. Convenience

As we’ve said, conversational sales is about interacting with customers how and when they want to. If a customer wants to talk via Facebook, you should enable it. The more convenient the interaction, the greater the customer satisfaction. This can ultimately lead to more sales and higher revenue.

5. Relevance

Conversations with customers should be relevant and personalized. That way, the customer feels valued as it shows you’re paying attention to their wants and needs. It also leads to better, more satisfying conversations for both parties.

How can conversational sales benefit your business?

With conversational sales, you can:

  • Increase customer engagement
  • Get to know your customers
  • Build lasting customer relationships

Increase customer engagement and revenue growth

42% of sales reps saw more engagement from buyers when using conversational sales software. Chatbots give customers answers to their questions quickly and conveniently. Whilst channels like email and social media enjoy some of the highest engagement rates. They also offer the greatest return on investment.

For instance, the ROI of email marketing can be as high as $36 for every $1 spent. It’s well worth investing in a custom domain email address and other sales channels as a way of interacting with customers.

If you plan on expanding your business to other countries and using conversational sales with a wider audience to grow your revenue, it’s worthwhile purchasing relevant domain names, for example, Australia domain names. This would allow you to tailor your website’s content to each country.

Get to know your customers

Conversational sales is also the best way to get to know your customers. For example, 45% of businesses say conversational sales software helped them learn more about their customers in less time. You can record data in your CRM to inform and optimize future interactions.

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The data you gather doesn’t only inform conversations. You can use it to:

  • Send personalized offers and discounts.
  • Identify and address common pain points.
  • Identify cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
  • Target surveys at a particular customer base, for instance, to figure out how to get more sales on eBay.

Build lasting customer relationships

Conversational sales strategies help build lasting customer relationships based on trust and loyalty. In fact, nearly 50% of businesses say conversational sales improved customer lifetime value.

Automated customer service software helps you collect information throughout the customer journey. It also builds relationships by answering customer questions and guiding them to people who can help. Plus, your sales channels are ideal for showcasing your brand’s ethics and personality.

Best Practices to Master Conversational Sales

Now, let’s discuss some best practices to help you master conversational sales. These are:

  • Ask questions
  • Be authentic
  • Give value

Ask questions

When you first meet someone, you introduce yourself and ask questions to build rapport. It’s the same for conversational sales, whether you’re using live chat or a virtual business phone system. You should ask questions to qualify leads and see if they’re a fit for your product or service.

Open-ended questions are great for finding out about a customer, while yes/no questions are good if you want to learn specific information. Straightforward questions work best, especially for live chat or chatbots. Your aim is to get customers talking about their problems and what matters to them.

Listen

There’s no point getting your customers talking if you don’t listen to their answers. Listening shows the customer you care about them as a person and that what they’re saying matters to you. Listening is a vital conversational sales skill that makes the conversation mutually beneficial.

As a general rule, you should spend twice as much time listening as talking. You might pick up clues about how the customer feels about your business and their likes, dislikes, and pain points. Such information is crucial if you want to land a sale.

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Be authentic

It’s important to humanize your brand by telling customers your story and what makes you different from other brands. Also, to succeed in building trust, you need to be authentic. For instance, nearly 50% of sellers think their authentic customer experience is what enables their success.

Customers can tell when you’re only interested in selling to them. To encourage them to open up, you need to communicate naturally and honestly. This is especially important if you’re looking to build a business relationship. After all, would you choose an outsourcing partner that only talks about themselves?

Give value

Lastly, it’s important to use conversational sales to give value to customers. This means being helpful even when a prospect isn’t looking to buy from you. If you solve their problem quickly and in a friendly manner, they’re more likely to buy from you in the future.

In fact, almost 60% of sales reps think their helpful and friendly responses made their conversational sales strategy a success.

Takeaway

Conversational sales is an important business strategy that caters to the modern customer. Today’s customers expect to interact with businesses on their terms on the channel of their choice. Conversational sales enables this by using chatbots, email, and other channels to interact with customers 24/7.

A good conversational sales strategy is flexible, scalable, convenient, and relevant to customers. It focuses on asking questions and listening while being authentic and giving value to customers. That way, brands learn about their customers and build lasting relationships that benefits everyone.

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Published on: 2nd August 2022


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