How to Incorporate Live Chat Into Your ABM Program
Eight in ten customers say they’re satisfied with live chat.
The same proportion of B2B sales teams say account-based marketing (ABM) improves customer lifetime value, while 86% say it boosts win rates and 76% believe it delivers a higher ROI than traditional go-to-market strategies.
In other words, customers love live chat, and sales teams love ABM.
So wouldn’t it be great if you could combine the two? Think of the results you’d see!
Well, with a bit of planning, you can. Here’s what it looks like, and the actions you need to take to start doing it yourself:
What happens when an ideal prospect visits your site at the moment?
Chances are, not much. Maybe there’s a degree of personalization on the landing page that you’ve built, but beyond that, it’s more or less the same as when any other person – a competitor, someone who’s a bad fit for your product, your mom – comes calling.
Well, wouldn’t it be great if you could instead engage those ideal prospects with a live chat function that’s personalized to their interests and pain points?
Think about it: when you’re doing account-based marketing, you already know who you’re trying to speak to, and you’ve likely spent a good deal of time and money trying to attract their attention.
If they’re actually on your site, you want to treat them like long-awaited guests, not complete strangers. You want to greet them and strike up a meaningful conversation, rather than letting them click around aimlessly in the hope that they’ll end up converting on their own.
That’s the intersection of ABM and live chat.
Sounds good, right? Now I’m going to show you how to make it happen.
A high-value prospect visits your office.
You’ve been chasing them for months, so naturally you’re thrilled at the chance to impress them in person. At the very least you’re going to offer them a comfortable seat and make them a drink. You definitely wouldn’t just treat them like every other visitor.
In the same way, it makes sense to roll out the red carpet when a prospect visits your site.
Automated live chat can help you do that by providing a personalized greeting and introducing relevant, targeted benefits.
For instance, let’s say your prospect is an account executive. Because you’ve done your research, you know the company they work for, and you understand their career goals and the things that keep them up at night.
Maybe one of their biggest pain points is that they aren’t hitting their numbers because they don’t spend enough time actually selling. Your product automates a bunch of time-consuming sales activities, so you craft a personalized live chat greeting that spells out how you’ve helped companies like theirs save a ton of time and money.
That’s really engaging and compels them to respond.
However, one word of warning: a prospect visiting your site isn’t quite the same as a prospect visiting your office. Sure, you want to add some personal touches to engage them. But you don’t want to creep them out.
A little personalization goes a long way; too much makes you look like a stalker!
Automated live chat is amazing.
By answering basic queries, pointing people in the right direction, and only passing people through to a "real person" when it’s completely necessary, they save your teams a lot of time and effort.
But when that visitor is a valuable target prospect, you want to get them in front of a real person as soon as possible.
Here’s a clever example of how Nextiva is encouraging website visitors to engage with their live chat, by adding a CTA below the pricing module on their business phone system page.
Once your chat bot has struck up a conversation – using a personalized greeting, as mentioned in the previous section – it’s time to introduce them to a dedicated account manager who owns the whole relationship.
That one point of contact will handle everything from the first visit through to the product demo and (hopefully) the sale, and will also be on-hand down the line for cross-selling, upselling, and retention.
This way, whenever your most important leads visit your site in future, they’ll be directly connected to someone who knows their communication history and understands the context behind their queries.
You’ve probably seen a bunch of statistics that speak to the effectiveness of live chat in closing deals and making your customer interactions more valuable. I included a couple relevant stats at the start of this article, but there are a whole lot more out there.
But live chat isn’t a silver bullet. You can’t just plug it in, switch it on, and dream about swimming in a big pile of cash like Scrooge McDuck.
In particular, unpersonalized live chat has some pretty significant limitations. Sure, it’s great for striking up a conversation, but it can quickly turn into a tedious sequence of discovery questions that don’t add any real value to your sales team, while leaving your prospects frustrated.
When live chat interactions force potential customers to jump through seemingly endless hoops, no one wins – not your sales team, and certainly not the prospect.
It should be extremely simple for your ABM targets to bypass all that noise and leap straight through to the high-value conversations that will have a positive impact on their buying decision. Things like:
- Booking product demos
- Downloading an ebook
- Requesting one-on-one chats with business development agents
- Speaking to a dedicated account manager
You might even choose to take things a step further and only use live chat for accounts that you’ve targeted through your ABM strategy. That way you can be super intentional about exactly who sees them, which means all your CTAs can point toward high-value, high-touch interactions.
Alternatively, your live chat interactions and CTAs can be personalized based on the qualification level of the user in question. On an extremely simple level, that could look like this:
- First-time visitor, not part of ABM program: Greeted and asked follow-up discovery questions to establish whether they’re a good fit for your product.
- Return visitor, signed up to your mailing list: This user already knows about you, and cared enough to give you their contact details, so you can guide them further down the funnel with CTAs geared toward sector-specific case studies.
- First-time visitor, part of ABM program: Receives a personalized greeting and a CTA to book a product demo or speak to a dedicated account manager.
As you can probably see, this stuff requires a little thought.
Live chat can be your sales team’s best friend, and a super helpful part of the ABM process that guides your targets smoothly down the sales funnel.
But it can also be their worst enemy, bombarding your top prospects with irrelevant questions that mean they run a mile before they ever get to speak to a real person.
Personalization is the real difference-maker here. Personalize your live chat interactions intelligently and you’ll reap the rewards.
What are you most looking forward to about integrating your ABM and live chat strategies? Let me know in the comments below!
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