Many organizations have struggled to capitalize on the power of chat, but Amir and Tom share the struggles they’ve had using chat and how we can overcome them.
Tom Jenkins and Amir Reiter help companies scale their workforce without having to get offices, pay insurance and taxes, or worry about hiring and training.
Instead, they offer technology and strategy.
At CloudTask, they provide sales development reps, they manage account executives and they manage the customer success/account reps responsible for renewals and upselling to existing customers.
They comprise one office. If someone wants to hire five sales reps, five account executives or five support reps, they will all be in office and managed so that the customer gets what they want – representation and results.
By specializing in sales, customer success and customer support, CloudTask is the best of the breed. [00:51]
The power of chat
One of the biggest issues surrounding the use of chat is a lack of clearly defined ownership. If you look at our partners at Drift.com for instance, their ability to work as a bot or as a human can confuse whether chat is owned by marketing or by sales.
Marketing is typically used to drive traffic to forms, to blogs and to sign-ups. As such, marketing tends to prefer automation.
Sales, however, relies on people first, so deciding who owns chat is often a hurdle.
Failure to assign ownership then creates a failure to act or a failure to implement correctly. [02:19]
We manage a lot of cloud chat programs and have noticed that many people view chat as just another tool for the reps to use in addition to calling, emailing, LinkedIn, etc.
Rather, with a high volume of web traffic, chat is a key tool in the generation of qualified leads.
In fact, because chat allows you to respond quickly with the right answers and in the right way, it can be your number one lead generation tool. [03:17]
People today want answers now. They expect to be able to go onto a website and to be able to chat. It has worked well in the B2C world but is really moving quickly into the B2B world as well.
We are finding that an MQL (marketing qualified lead) or SQL (sales qualified lead) that chats with a member of the sales team is 2-3 times more likely to close versus one that goes through the process of filling out a form. It makes sense. A form is stationary and available to anybody.
With chat, you are able to quickly let people qualify themselves with a friendly discussion.
For example, suppose someone wants to hire a sales rep. Within a few moments, we can discuss salaries and budgets and determine right away if it is something to pursue, or not. [04:54]
Chat does not replace cold calling or emailing but it does allow the person who visits your website to have a conversation with you and determine for themselves if they want to move forward.
The desire to engage is up to the visitor. As the sales rep, you increase the level of engagement with your replies. Consider “I’m here to help sales leaders every day, how can I help you?” instead of “How are you?”
People want to work with companies that can fix their problems. Target the message to visitors as much as you can in order to increase engagement with them.
You will receive visitors who want to know more about the topic rather than starting from scratch.
You don’t want to write too much in a chat forum, of course. Start by keeping the conversation focused on the problems you are trying to solve for your prospects. [06:48]
The initial engagement is absolutely key but response time is just as essential. Buyers are conducting research and they want answers.
It is imperative to be super sharp and to answer quickly. [08:10]
When you give visitors the information they want to the questions they ask, they begin to ask the more sales-related questions themselves.
Knowing how to give people the right amount of information so as to pique their curiosity without being overly aggressive is a skill.
For example, the best way to answer many of the questions about a technology product is with a demo. An aggressive tactic might be “this is the best product and it will solve all your problems.”
“We want you to get your eyes on this to see what you think about it” is a better approach, however. It allows the buyer to have ownership in the decision.
Chat also identifies return visitors so that you don’t have to start all over from the beginning each time. [09:42]
Sales or marketing
When Sales and Marketing are aligned as a team with the common goal of getting customers, ownership of chat is less important.
When Sales and Marketing are not aligned, better results occur when chat ownership is with the sales team. Sales speaks to people and that brings results.
It is really important that everyone involved be 100% clear on which team does what so that each can grow and build expertise. [11:27]
Decide first if you will make your own chatbot or use a company like Drift or Intercom.
Many such companies have partner systems that can help with deployment. They are also set up to support the user and the sales cycle. It can be a big jumpstart toward a successful launch. [13:30]
Some companies rely on too much automation. We’ve seen companies who don’t get the results they want right away so they just scrap the whole thing versus A/B testing people.
Everyone wants leads. It is the goal of every company but people make the chatbots and automation too much about themselves.
They try to get contact details and meetings rather than making the initial interactions about web visits. They aim to fulfill their own needs rather than the needs of potential customers. [14:25]
Chat gives buyers the ability to raise their hand, to tell you who they are and where they are in the sales cycle. It gives them the ability to get what they want now instead of going through the standard sales process. [15:28]
We have an interesting case now with a client who had used chatbot before but didn’t get the results they had hoped for. They weren’t particularly sold on the idea but were willing to give it another try.
We were able to successfully implement a program on Drift consisting of a training program, as well as the addition of five sales development reps.
As a result, they realized $3.5 million in opportunity and $1 million in closed within eight months.
They appreciated our complete focus and specialization. We also provided them with quality assurance teams that checked in on the chats, and we worked really well together. [16:17]
We represent your company and do what needs to be done, just like employees.
The main difference is that instead of getting one new employee, our client gets a whole team. We are remote to you, but not remote. It is like having multiple offices or a satellite office.
We check on everything. [18:28]
Don’t blind yourself with the idea that you can’t use chat for enterprises.
Even if your sales process has you on flights to Hong Kong, or spending nine months working a deal, it can still start with a chat.
Don’t consider chat as a replacement but rather as an extra channel that gives people the ability to communicate with you faster.
It can be such a cool tool to add to your cause, to your social network, and to your social ads.
When used correctly, chat will deliver results. [19:59]
“Power of Chat” episode resources
Visit Tom and Amir at Cloudtask.com or through their partners at Drift.com. Allison manages their chat and is always more than happy to help everyone. Experiencing their services first-hand is the best first step.
This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.
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