How to use a Chatbot to automate sales

What if you could manage your sales as large enterprises do within the snap of a finger? Chatbots can help you automate sales more effectively, and round the clock. Chatbot when well-trained can help owners of small-scale business to close the gap caused by lack of adequate staff. 

In the last five years, chatbots have served people on the internet. It is the one-stop choice for communicating with customers in the absence of a human agent. 

Imagine you visit your favourite online store, and a message pop out; asking you what you would like to do? With either option of what to select or it responds based on the keywords in your reply. You probably have been chatting with a well-trained chatbot. 

A chatbot is excellent for customer service. However, this is not all its benefits. It can help you with the essential part of business, sales. This article aims to demystify why chatbots are imperative today and how you can effectively use them to automate sales for your business. 

We will dwell a bit on understanding chatbot, its types, benefits, and how you can use it to automate sales

What is a chatbot? 

A chatbot is a software with a chat function. It can be integrated into SMS, Facebook Messenger, website chat and other messaging platforms to allow easy interaction between customers and prospects. If one knows how to handle it correctly, it can be a beneficial tool in moving people down the sales funnel.

Types of chatbots

  • Standalone Chatbots

 There are several types of chatbots you can use to automate sales, but if you’re new to these things, this may be your first option to try out. Its primary use is for answering queries from customers. While you can easily integrate it into your chat funnel, it’s launched from a separate app. 

However, since the bot is not popular on social media and other platforms, it is difficult for customers to access the chatbot and use them. Instead, they may end up dialling the customer care lines and defeating the aim automating the sales process. 

  • Messenger Chatbots

 These are typical chatbot and can be found on messaging apps like Telegram, Slack, etc. When customers use platforms like this, they can easily find the bot and make their enquiries or place orders.

According to statistics from Hubspot, there is a higher number of customers enjoying this bot on social media platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Viber 260, Telegram, etc. 

  • Voice-Enabled Chatbots

The most typical example of these chatbots is Alexa and Siri. You can use this every time you ask them questions or request they do something for you. Most times, these bots will even call you by name to provide the super-personalised experience. 

  • Context-Enabled Chatbots

These are chatbots that develop memory over time. It is like the smartest available since it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning. As you imagined, it relies on context. With its information on the previous conversations, it can recall, analyze, and predict the possible future outcomes. Google assistant is an example of a context-enabled bot. 

  • Service/Action Chatbots

These bots work with contextual information (about the service) before taking any action. It is designed for a specific purpose and has limited functions. For example, your airline bot can schedule or cancel your flight but cannot schedule your meeting with a client. 

Understanding the chatbot sales cycle 

A chatbot can help you automate your sales. Depending on the case, it can close your sales too. In another case, you can also use a chatbot to organize appointments, with your qualified sales lead.

If you want to provide easy access to further information about your business and services to prospects, a chatbot is for you.

When they log on to your website, the bot will welcome them and notify them and notify them to ask questions if they have any. When they do, the church but to provide them with the information they need. When they schedule an appointment, your chatbot will notify you of the date and time.

It will help your prospects understand what you offer and how you can be of help to them before they even set an appointment. On the other hand, will also know who they are, their businesses, and the problem they have and how you can help and how you can help them solve it.

Benefits of using a chatbot to automate sales

  • You quickly engage customers without delay

With a chatbot, you can quickly grab the attention of a prospect to your website or messaging app. You can also ensure the customers do not just digest random information but the right one about your product or services.

  • You develop the “need” in them and help them decide

People do not buy things until they know why and how it can help them. The chatbot can speak on your behalf and help them realize why they need your product. If they do not need it, the bots can develop a need for the product through the questions and information they received. 

  • It instigates action

The chatbots can quickly guide the customer to take action about buying the products or finding out more information about the products before buying. Painful as it might sound, not every decision lands in taking actions since something may get in the way of the customer. But, the chatbot can prompt the user to complete the steps as quickly as possible.

The other benefits are:

  • A chatbot can help you eliminate unqualified leads
  • With the data you get from a chatbot, you can read how people feel about your product or services. Here, it would help if you looked for recurring questions. Depending on the problem, you can know if your sign is providing the relevant information for the users.
  • Staying on the trend is comfortable with a chatbot. Since everyone is linking up with the rapid technological advancements, meeting up with it can help you beat the competition.
  • The chatbot does not only work during working hours. So, you can improve your capacity and get your bot conversing with your prospect day and night with you asleep.
  • Personalised customer experience: This increases the selling point since almost every customer in 2020 wants to feel like the seller is very committed to meeting his or her needs.
  •  Though the chatbot cannot wholly replace human agents, it can reduce the pressure mounted on humans and make them more useful.
  •  It provides an immediate answer to customers query
  •  The chatbot can learn and improve the way it addresses your customers.

How to design your chatbot for sales

  1. Know what you want

Your chatbot should be designed to suit your needs. So, write down your goals for getting a chatbot. Consider your business, its nature, products and services you want to sell when setting the objective.

If you are into high ticket services, it will be difficult for a chatbot to close your sales for you. People prefer to talk to a human first before making transactions. However, a chatbot can lead the customer down the sales funnel and help you schedule a meeting or phone call for a salesperson to continue the transaction. It can also help you sell a low-cost introductory offer.

Before counting on the chatbot to schedule an appointment for you, ensure you get a third-party scheduling app and integrated with the chatbot.

  • Prepare your questions

Your chatbot should gather information for you, and it does this with qualifying questions that will sound like they are coming directly from you. From these questions, you should be able to tell where the prospect is suitable two benefits from your products or services.

When working with a good chatbot, you should be able to train it to provide different offers depending on the answers provided by the prospects. 

  • Have a follow-up plan

Not everybody feels comfortable chatting with a chatbot. At first, they could become distracted by anything or lose interest automatically.

However, you should schedule a follow-up later as the chatbot tries to start up a conversation with them again. This should be within 24 to 48 hours after the first attempt.

If they seem like a significant prospect, you can enter a manual conversation yourself and follow them up.

  • Aim to make the conversational experience great

There are many things to be wary of while  trying to create a great conversational experience for your prospects. You should not be overconfident in yourself and your suspicion of how you would speak to the prospects yourself. You need to ensure that you sound as though you are communicating with them through a messaging app.

Let your conversational style be with short messages. Messenger only requires short messages, unlike email that can go a long page.

Also, it must be a two-way thing. So, ensure your chatbot is not the one talking alone. Allow a chance for the person at the other end to talk and ask him questions.

  1. Find the leads

Although your chatbot can chat with your prospects, fix an appointment and even close your deal for you, it will not search for them for you.

So, you can refer people to your profile or page on any messaging app were your chatbot can continue the conversation for you. This is not so difficult to do. You can also share a link online to direct people to your chatbot for sales. Emails, Facebook pages or Ads, and websites are great places to share the link.

Common mistakes to avoid when using your chatbot for sales

When using the chatbot for your sales, ensure you avoid the following common pitfalls:

  1.  Not testing:  since AI powers the natural language processing (NLP) of a chatbot, it is easy to launch yours without testing, hoping everything will be fine. However, several things can go wrong.
  2. Not creating and linking a landing page to it: without a landing page, the work done by your chatbot is almost wasted. Customers will prefer to buy products and services that are easily accessible.
  3. Using a generic name or no name at all: there are many chatbots online, and using a word common to some of them can make it difficult for customers to find them. Let the name of your chatbot be simple and easy to pronounce.

Conclusion

Sales bot present a more accessible and economical way of running a business while increasing sales. Its 24/7 availability makes it a lot better than the services of a human agent. 

Small business can now enjoy the benefits that were once only available to large enterprises. It is pretty easy to design a technical assistant for yourself. 

However, when using your new chatbot to automate sales, do not forget to consider the common pitfalls presented here and more.