The nature of business online is always changing. Just like voice assistants like Alexa or Siri are disrupting what we know about how users search online, chatbots are changing how we interact with customers and make sales.
Conversational AI is becoming a massive part of everyday life, so it’s not surprising that conversational sales are increasingly valuable as part of an eCommerce business. But what, exactly, is conversational sales, and why should you use it? Let’s take a closer look.
Conversational sales is the practice of driving sales through dialogue with the customer. If you think about it, it’s really going back to how business used to be done before people could communicate via the Internet. So, instead of using product descriptions, content marketing, and other channels to help direct customers towards a sale, you’re using good old-fashioned conversation.
Well, we say that, but the reason why conversational sales are making such a comeback is because of AI chatbots.
Until only a few years ago, it was unheard of for websites to use chatbots for anything but directing customers to the right department for their enquiry. Primarily in the realm of customer service, AI chatbots couldn’t do much more than a simple conversation.
Now, however, chatbots are a lot more sophisticated. While they can’t exactly emulate a conversation with a real human being yet, they can recognise things like user intent and offer some rudimentary help without needing to get a business representative involved.
That’s not to say that chatbots will replace the need for your customer liaison and customer service teams. Rather, they offer a significant benefit through beginning the conversation sales pipeline and handling your lead generation process.
In today’s modern shopping environment, it’s very easy to feel isolated from the business you’re buying from. With platforms like Etsy and eBay easily facilitating sales without the need for a single conversation, and eCommerce platforms becoming increasingly affordable for small businesses, it’s easy to buy anything you want without having to talk to a single human being.
The problem is that humans are, inherently, social creatures. While it’s been easier for younger generations to adapt to shopping online, given that it’s all we’ve ever known, the older generation who are used to visiting showrooms and shopping centres to talk to sales assistants are suffering for it.
Conversational sales benefit businesses because it brings back that element of human connection. Not only that, but it gives customers an avenue through which they can ask questions or voice concerns that might not otherwise be addressed on the business’s website.
With a traditional sales method, the only way customers can contact a real person is through an impersonal form and wait for a response. Otherwise, they’re left trying to find the right product for them with very little help from a brand or product expert. However, with conversational sales, your business can offer greater help to customers simply by talking to them, understanding their needs, and recommending what you think is the best solution for them.
The result is a customer that’s received a more personalized sales experience, and one that’s facilitated by meaningful conversations. If they make a purchase following the conversation, then they’re more likely to have a product that’s tailored to their needs than if they were left to their own devices.
And, even if they don’t make a purchase, chances are that the connection with another human will make your brand more memorable, so the customer is more likely to choose your business over your competitors.
The biggest issue with conversational sales is that it often comes at a significant cost. After all, if you think about a traditional car dealership - an industry that thrives on conversational sales - you haven’t just got the cost of staffing to think about, but also the cost of ongoing training.
That’s one of the many reasons why chatbot AI is a brilliant way of using conversational sales in your business.
Like we mentioned earlier, chatbot AI has come a long way since it was first introduced a few years ago. Unfortunately, it still has a long way to go, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a valuable tool at the start of the conversational sales pipeline.
AI chatbots are a brilliant tool to start conversations with customers, which is why they’re increasingly being used in the SaaS, tech, and marketing spheres. In the B2B sphere in particular, chatbots allow customers to begin conversations about a product without necessarily needing to get a business representative involved.
That’s not to say that chatbots can handle the entire conversational sales process - and, until they become more sophisticated, they definitely shouldn’t. Instead, they help businesses like yours save a fortune in both time and money by pre-qualifying leads.
Not only that, but chatbots have the potential to offer an accelerated customer experience by helping potential customers get in touch with human agents as quickly as possible if they need extra support. Or, they can be used to answer simple questions about a product or service that otherwise would have to be answered by your customer service teams.
This is a win-win for both you and your customers. You get to save money by having your teams only handle the important conversations, and with the information your chatbot gathers, you can have more meaningful interactions with your leads. Your customer can also access support when they need it, and if the chatbot can’t help, they’re quickly directed to someone who can.
Not only that, but AI chatbots are brilliant for offering support when you or your teams aren’t available. After all, unlike a showroom, it’s not like you can close down your website at the end of the business day. This means that customers can still get their pressing questions answered, and you can continue generating leads outside of business hours.
AI bots are brilliant for introducing conversational sales to your eCommerce or tech business. Conversational sales can help you to stand out from your competitors by offering a more meaningful and personalized sales experience to your customers, which is a vital part of generating sales in the B2B sphere. Not only that, but AI bots offer significant savings on staffing costs because they allow your team to focus only on the conversations that matter.
If you’re looking to use conversational sales to accelerate your lead qualification process and provide a better experience for your customers, Botgate AI can help. Our AI-powered conversational sales platform makes it easy for customers to find the information they’re looking for, book meetings, or connect with your customer services team, all in a slick, modern interface.
It’s easy to build a bot customized to you, your business, and your customers too. Whether you know your customers tend to have a certain issue they need fixing, or you want to offer exclusive discounts to people who have visited a certain page, Botgate AI can handle that for you.
Want to learn more about how Botgate AI can enhance your conversations? Drop us a line - we’d love to hear from you!