B2B Articles - October 30, 2020

The Secret to Accelerated B2B Lead Generation: Chatbots

The number one job of a B2B website is qualified lead generation. Unfortunately, many companies don’t maximize the value of this digital powerhouse. Instead, they use it as a static brochure that drives all visitors (qualified or not) toward a sales conversation. That means the pipeline gets cluttered with contacts who probably won't become customers.

Instead of relying on this single-note strategy, chatbots can accelerate qualified B2B lead generation by automatically providing the right touch points at each stage of the buyer’s journey, thanks to AI capabilities. When these resources are gated behind qualifying questions, it helps companies learn who's landing on their site and which content impacts purchases.

What is a Chatbot? A chatbot is an interactive window that uses AI to respond to prospect interactions. Depending on who the lead is and how much a business knows about them, the chatbot will respond differently. It can even pull in a live salesperson if the lead meets key criteria.

Here are four reasons every B2B company should be investing in chatbots to increase their lead growth.

1. Bridge the Gap Between Marketing and Sales

Chatbots can give visitors the educational material they need to understand company services or book a meeting with sales teams. By bridging the gap between marketing and sales, chatbots can increase B2B lead generation and bring in prospects faster, with fewer resources.

Automated marketing, actual people, or a combination of humans and computers can operate chatbots. To illustrate the hybrid approach, imagine a user is interacting with the automatic prompts a chatbot generates. 

As they ask and answer questions, the chatbot can assess whether they are an interested, qualified lead based on “chat flow logic” or a list of key criteria. If the system determines they are a qualified lead, it will quickly connect them with a salesperson.

2. Offer 24-Hour Communication

Not only is communication with a chatbot easy, it’s available 24/7 without human oversight. This capability is critical because both Boomers and Millennials surveyed in the “State of Chatbots Report 2018” expected instant answers from chat features. In fact, the survey indicates an intergenerational desire for 24-hour service, immediate responses, and answers to simple questions.

To respond to all these inquiries, repurpose the great content that’s been created as part of an inbound strategy. Also, consider using the most common questions as research to support a content strategy that gives buyers what they need. 

3. Gather B2B Lead Data

Chatbots can engage website visitors who would typically bounce off a webpage by asking a simple question, like their name. Instead of pushing the lead toward sales, this conversation can direct them toward a blog or content offer, giving the company an opportunity to showcase their value. 

Here is one example of a simple chatbot we created for a client. Normally, this website visitor would have passed anonymously through the site, but now, we can start building a contact record.

If the user wants to continue their chat conversation, businesses can build it out into multiple levels. For example, this same pricing page chatbot has other questions that lead visitors to download an ebook from within the tool without leaving the page they are on. 

4. Interactive User Engagement

A chatbot gives website visitors the ability to interact and select a resource that’s relevant to what they want. When the website visitor is in the driver’s seat, they’re more likely to convert than someone who is pushed through a one-size-fits-all path. If you know the high-intent pages within your website, they could be a great place to start using a chatbot. 

Previously, we set up a chatbot on a client’s pricing page because it's a high-intent area for potential customers. To make sure we converted those prospects, we connected with sales to discover common questions. Our goal was to meet these high-intent leads where they are and engage them without cold calling.

We also allowed users to schedule meetings within the chatbot, so salespeople don't have to take calls on the fly. This is how chatbots provide more valuable communication and waste fewer resources.

Chatbots are the Future of B2B Lead Growth

Chatbots are a living, breathing part of a content marketing strategy. After all, to turn website visitors into leads, businesses must update chatbots with new resources and create solutions to common problems. 

B2B companies that don't use chatbots are missing a huge opportunity to convert website visitors into leads. Especially since they can move prospects down the pipeline with qualifiers that identify them as an MQL or SQL.

By creating personalized experiences and reaching high-intent users, businesses will be able to accelerate B2B lead generation.  

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B2B Marketing and Growth Agency.

Grow your B2B business boldly. Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency. We build growth engines for marketing and sales success. We drive demand generation campaigns, ABM programs, B2B content, sales enablement, qualified leads, and B2B marketing efforts. 

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