Salesbot: Advancing sales using chatbots

Why is sales evolving?

With ever-evolving technology, communicating between two ends has become one of the fastest jobs one can do. Communication remains the key factor that helps in the growth of businesses.

Today, customers wish to contact the businesses directly with a response expected within 24 hours. The observed trend is that lower the response time, higher are the chances that the products get sold. 55% of the world’s businesses fall behind because of minimum five-day response time (on an average) to the customers. The correlation between response time and sales and the fact that sales directly contributes to a business’s profit or loss, making response rate a metric to focus on.

The performance of the employees working in the sales team partially depends on the data available to them, and, this data that they have, is not always measurable to be taken care of. This calls for the complete exploitation of the available technologies to increase sales through better data interpretation.  

How do chatbots come into sales?

Today’s customers are not satisfied unless every query of theirs is answered immediately and when feedbacks are not taken or addressed as soon as possible. It has compelled businesses to provide customers with constant access to the sales team. This lowers the performance of the sales team as the time devoted to core tasks decreases or the business has to invest more in human resources.

Here is where chatbots come in. They do the human administered jobs as instructed by humans and communicate with the customers. Ever since businesses have started adopting chatbots as a part of their businesses, they have contributed a lot in the growth of their profits. These join the dots between the customers and the sales teams to facilitate better communication.

How can bots boost sales?

Today, more than 48% of the businesses use bots to communicate with their customers, and the sole reason behind this is because of their contribution to increasing the sales. The wide adaptation of technology among the majority of the society has made the customer-provider interaction easier through chatbots. This has resulted in quite impressive results in elevating sales. Bots do not just enhance the relationships in businesses, but also maintain data and provide personalized marketing strategies.

Bots help in reaching a wider community with low cost online marketing strategies, and also play a key role in streamlining business operations to not just increasing the number of customers, but also not losing old customers. The responses generated by the chatbots are based on the customer input. Not to forget, bots do the tedious job of the employees, leaving them the time to recreate things and come up with better ideas to improvise the sales revenue.

The sales process:

A sales process is the journey where the salesperson accomplishes his task from making a prospective buyer aware of the service/product to finally selling it.

This entire procedure can be broken down into seven stages:

  • Product knowledge
  • Prospecting
  • Approach
  • Needs assessment
  • Presentation
  • Close
  • Follow up

Where a bot steps in

The job of the sales person revolves around the steps of the sales process. More than 50% of the functioning in these stages can be done through bots, which give the employees scope to expand the business. Understanding the sales process gives a better understanding on how the bots help in the process.

  1. Product knowledge: This is the first stage of the sales process where the sales person describes the functioning and features of the product and letting the customers know how they benefit by purchasing it. One most important aspect is to distinguish the features and advantages of the products, while the consequences of purchasing the product are also clearly explained.
  2. Prospecting: It involves narrowing down who the potential customers are, searching for new customers and figuring out where to find the customers. The art of prospecting customers lies in the salesperson having a clear idea of how to distinguish between a lead, prospect and a qualified prospect. Prospecting is not only about finding new customers though, but it also involves creating profiles for existing customers and finding ways to serve them better.
  3. Approach: This is the stage where the salespersons get in contact with the customers. It could be a face-to-face meeting or online. There are three common approach methods:
    1. Premium approach: This is often associated with gifting the clients in the beginning approaches.
    2. Question approach: This involves questioning the prospects to make the approach interesting.
    3. Product approach: This approach involves giving the clients a few samples or a free trial in order to evaluate the product/service being sold.
  4. Needs assessment: This is the most important phase of the sales process. It majorly affects the rate at which the salespeople sell the services or products. As a part of this, the salesperson evaluates the prospect’s needs and wants through enquiring him his interests and requirements. Most of the intelligence gathering is done in this step.
  5. Presentation: The presentation stage reflects the functionality of the previous stages. According to the evaluated results from the previous stage along with keeping in thought the benefits of the products rather than the features, the salesperson demonstrates the working and other information about the product.
  6. Close: this phase is all about discovering the obstacles that restrict the prospects from purchasing the products and try to ultimately sell it. There are three different types of closing choices based on the type of businesses involved:
    • Alternative choice close
    • Extra inducement close
    • Standing room only close

In all of the above phases, bots can be used to make the jobs of the employees easier and productive.

What can a sales bot do?

sales bots have numerous functions in the functionality of the businesses. The sales pipeline explains us better on what a sales bot can do:   

  • User acquisition
  • Lead generation
  • Lead qualification and closing
  • Sell to qualified leads
  • Achieve a sale or deal
  • Contact or client support post sale

Advantages of a sales bot

Until this point, we’ve always mentioned that sales bots “help” a lot in the growth of businesses, but have never explicitly stated the reasons behind it. The edge of a chatbot is what makes it a success in sales:

  • Allow separate conversation inboxes for different domains: Bots can take care of the information transfer from one end to the other. They directly forward information or text through unqualified leads and send them to the right destinations.
  • Virtual sales assistant: The sales bot can send periodic alerts to the teams regarding the revenue, product performance and market movement.
  • Handling administrative tasks: A sales bot not just serves as virtual assistants but also perform administrative tasks like the record preparation and keeping of existing and old customers.
  • Providing information when needed: Sales bot can retrieve information from the company’s database whenever and wherever.
  • Round the clock availability: Irrespective of the presence of humans, bots are capable of providing services 24/7, 365 days.
  • Reduced maintenance cost: When updated regularly, sales bots help businesses reduce a lot of maintenance costs.
  • Save time: Sales bots effortlessly answer the redundant queries and predefined frequently answered questions (FAQs) to the clients and employees.

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