How is marketing technology supporting inbound sales?

If you’re exploring inbound marketing, you’ve no doubt read about the power of marketing technology to support inbound sales. In this chapter we’ll take you through the steps that are necessary to optimize your inbound sales strategy.

Marketing automation

Marketing automation is all about using software to automate marketing activities. Often this is about repetitive tasks such as email marketing, social media, and ad campaigns. This way, you can provide a more personalized experience for your customers. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier. It is central to any successful inbound marketing strategy because it engages with buyers at every stage of their buyer’s journey. Why is it essential? We’ll sum up the benefits:

  • Engage with your customers: you can automatically send emails that help to further the buyer’s knowledge
  • Nurture your prospects: inbound automated marketing is designed to nurture leads into customers with helpful and relevant information
  • Guide them along the buying journey: marketing automation is key to inbound marketing because it automatically guides your buyer personas along the buying journey

Automated marketing systems are key to inbound marketing. Nurturing your potential customers, following the inbound methodology, offers higher results compared to outbound methods. Did you know inbound leads have a close rate of 14.6% according to Digital 22? Outbound leads only have a rate of 1.7%.

Marketing strategies to increase inbound sales

Now let’s take a look at which marketing strategies you can implement to increase inbound sales. At Whisbi, we break our sales process into three main steps, which roughly reflect the stages in the buyer’s journey that most customers progress through on their way to making a purchase. We’ll go through every step and explain how these techniques can be used by each stage of connecting with your audience.

The first step is implementing a live broadcast with our Engage solution: this is a great marketing strategy to increase inbound sales. That’s because the live video broadcasts we provide, allow you to educate and inform multiple customers at once about your products with dynamic video content. This way, you can encourage questions and have your presenters interact with viewers in real-time. It allows you to connect with your customers from the very beginning – forging a bond and setting the stage for your future relationship. This solution works very well for B2B companies: Kirsten Selvage, the Marketing Director at ShopPros says that by endeavoring to make sure all prospective customer questions are answered, they’re able to augment their MRR. 

“We believe that live demos are key. We have always utilized online learning and virtual meetings to grow our SaaS company”

They have found that teaching their clients how to jump online and meet with them face-to-face to experience screen share, and practice using their software vastly enhances their retention rate and gives their customers familiarity with their product offering.

Messaging tools for lead qualification

Following up on the Live Broadcasting solution, we’re now going to talk about messaging tools for lead qualification in the inbound sales cycle. Let’s take a look at unassisted chatbot solutions that are able to filter and qualify leads. This is the middle part of the sales funnel and here we’re literally guiding customers towards the sale. Chatbots are a powerful tool at this stage. You can use bots to guide, inform, and convert your visitors into customers. Chatbots are increasingly popular and effective tools and allow you to open interactions with customers without the need for a human staff member. Chatbots can also help minimize lead response time, which has huge implications when it comes to qualifying leads. According to the Harvard Business Review: “Brands who respond to online leads within the first couple of hours are more than 60 times as likely to qualify them as potential customers than those who wait 24 hours or longer.”

The popularity of video as a way to interact with brands has skyrocketed in 2020. According to the Global Customer Engagement Landscape Report by Vonage:

“Since January, globally, there has been 140% growth in the number of people who prefer to connect with businesses via video. Video chat has also become a mainstream addition to people’s everyday lives, and U.S. adoption has experienced four years of growth in just seven months, with 43% of Americans now video chatting with businesses regularly.”

How to lead the way to the sale

The final stage of the process, and perhaps the most important, is the sale. This is where good sales chatbots really come into their own. Whisbi’s sales chatbots can quickly qualify whether or not a lead is ready to be referred to a member of your sales team, simply by asking some basic questions. The chatbot filters between sales and support leads, so only the hottest and most relevant leads are redirected to the SDR team.

If the lead is ready to talk to an expert to get a demo in real-time, it’s simply a case of connecting them to a human sales rep to complete the sale. Our Sell solution also makes it easy to carefully track and report at this stage, which is crucial to understand why customers are behaving the way they do and make changes to improve your sales process and generate more revenue. Within this solution there’s a lot of features to benefit from, such as:

  • Make a phone call
  • Share your screen
  • Use live video to show visual products
  • Live chat to exchange personal information (email address, phone numbers etc.)
  • Transfer files

For customers, it’s important to feel like a salesperson really understands their needs. At Whisbi, we like to give our customers a special treatment. How? We’ve integrated a service which enables clients to customize chatbots related to their business. The chatbots are powered by AI to provide a greater experience to the end customer. If a hot lead comes in through the website, we connect them directly with our sales team – in real-time.This way, you can create powerful routing rules and deliver the most qualified leads to the right salesperson. You can route your leads based on location, availability or even the sales agent’s performance. With this IBM Watson integration, we’re able to iterate your conversational forms and dialogues with your customers and go live with the changes immediately.

Why your SDR team should be able to give real-time demos

It’s very easy for SDRs to be connected to the website leads with our solution. What’s more, they can give demos in real-time to shorten the sales cycle. This way they are able to fully qualify a lead before sending it to the AE. The SDRs are available during office hours, and when they are offline the chatbot is scheduling callbacks in their agendas. At all times the SDRs can fulfil the prospects needs.