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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistTue, Nov 19, 2019 11 min read

The Secret Ways Chat Can Get You Sales-Ready Leads Tomorrow

Chat Technology Drives Leads

There Is A Potential Customer On Your Website Right Now — And You Don’t Know It

Chat Technology Drives LeadsApproximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy it’s a stat you see frequently when you troll the web. But that doesn’t mean the people visiting your site are unqualified.

What it means is you should have more ways for these people to ask questions, interact with your company and start the process of getting to know, like and trust your brand.

People make purchase decisions emotionally first and then rationalize those decisions. Know, like and trust are emotional words. The better you treat your visitors, the easier you make it for them to get to know you. The result is you’ll generate more leads, create more sales opportunities, shorten your sales cycle and improve your close rate.

Chat checks all of the boxes required to deliver an upgraded website experience.

Here’s how to use chat to drive leads, sales opportunities and new customers.

Instant Access

When you have a question, don’t you want it answered immediately? Millennials (people 23-37 years old) are used to getting responses immediately. Personally, any waiting aggravates me these days. It’s a microwave economy, and everyone has very short attention spans.

Yet most of our websites are designed to make people wait. Fill out a form on our site and we’ll get back to you. Even if we’re great at getting back to you, first you get a thank-you page, next you get a confirmation email and then you get what you wanted.

If you want a meeting or a call with someone, you have to go into their schedule and pick the date and time. Then you get another confirmation, and you’re still waiting for the call or meeting.

You can see this is not optimal. What if we just let people talk to us? Chat allows anyone on our website to instantly talk with our company. No waiting. There doesn’t seem to be any downside here.

Friendly Face (Voice)

GettyImages-1097051900We do our best to weave our own personalities into our websites. We try to build personal characteristics into our brands. Some brands are serious, while others are charming. But regardless, a website can be a pretty cold and detached experience. No matter how many pictures you have of you and your team, it’s a one-sided conversation.

Until now.

When people land on your site, they are wary. People have their defenses up when introduced to new situations, new people and new companies. Today, your prospects have higher expectations about what their initial experience will be with your company.

From Salesforce research, 64% of consumers and 80% of business buyers said they expect companies to respond to and interact with them in real time.

The research went on to show that 80% of consumers report that immediate responses to requests influence their loyalty to a given brand. 

You can give your brand a friendly voice, help prospects feel safe quickly and allow them to get to know, like and trust your company immediately with an active chat experience on your website.

Answer Questions

Whether you’re in marketing or sales, you have the same objective grow revenue for the company month over month. The best way to do that is to optimize every single prospect who ends up on your doorstep (on your website). If people make purchase decisions emotionally first and then rationalize them afterward (and they do), then your goal is to get prospects to be emotionally connected to your company.

The best way to do that is to answer their questions. This isn’t a secret. Marketers have been creating content that answers prospects’ questions since content marketing was first introduced.

What they might not have understood is how answering questions actually triggers the human brain to release a chemical that tells human beings, “Everything is OK, relax; it’s safe.”

The same exercise happens when you meet a stranger at a cocktail party. The more they ask you and seem interested in you, the more you are going to like them, open up to them and respond to them.

So while marketers have used content to answer questions, now you should start using chat to answer questions, too. Yes, you can use the chat bot to automate this, but you can also use real people to answer questions, too.

Our research has found that a combination of bot answers and live human interaction produces the best conversion rates and the best experiences.

Bot answers help do initial qualification, scoring and routing. The best opportunities get handed off to sales, and then the personal interaction takes prospects the rest of the way there.

This optimizes the rep’s time and puts just the best leads in front of them.

Qualify Opportunities

You like the idea of using chat to qualify opportunities and then only engage sales with those leads that are sales-ready. But how do you qualify using chat?

First, you can create a lead-scoring model that uses onsite behavior to create a numeric score. Website page views, interaction with onsite content and form fill data can drive an initial score. This score can be delivered to the reps.

But progressive profiling via chat can also be added to the scoring model, so based on their answers to questions the chat bot asks, their score can go up or down.

Think Like A Prospect (Visitor)

Chat To Drive Sales LeadsDuring the course of this article, I’ve been doing a fair amount of research that required me to visit a number of chat-enabled websites.

Interestingly enough, some of the “experts” don’t get it. Here are a few things to NOT do when you’re considering adding chat to improve the visitor experience and drive qualified leads for sales:

  • Don’t put your chat box over the information your visitors are there to consume.
  • Don’t ask me a question when I’m there to read an article.
  • Don’t think you’re slick by hiding the “close the box” button.
  • Don’t think everyone wants to talk with you via chat.
  • Don’t keep asking me to chat as I work my way through your site. (I know you have a chat feature; it’s painfully obvious. If I need to use it, I’ll use it.)

One of the superpowers the team at Square 2 has is the ability to think like your prospects. You must try your best to think like your prospects and your visitors. When they arrive on your site, do they want to be bombarded by messages to chat, or do they want to look around and then engage with chat should they want or need help? Makes sense when you say it here, but not many sites are doing it in that way.

Engage Sales

This can’t be a marketing initiative. This has to be a Revenue Growth initiative that includes sales. This has to be a joint marketing and sales effort. Sales and marketing alignment is mandatory for chat to work. It’s nonnegotiable.

Sales has to participate. Sales needs to:

  • Help with the questions and answers
  • Monitor the site
  • Engage with people in the way designed by the team
  • Participate in the creation of and accept any lead-scoring models that put leads on their screen
  • Understand how to interact with prospects
  • Provide feedback to marketing based on their conversations with people from chat

Marketing then has to take feedback and use it to continually upgrade the chat experience. Marketing needs to:

  • Show sales the data behind the conversion rates, lead scoring and contribution to revenue goals
  • Continually update the lead-scoring model based on sales feedback
  • Track visitor interactions with chat and the site
  • Know the distribution of leads from form fills and leads from chat conversations

All of this should be done in full transparency and with full cooperation from the entire revenue team (marketing and sales).

Generating leads is challenging. One of the secrets is to use every tool in your tool kit. Today, people are used to instant gratification. So why not give them the chance to ask questions, engage with your company or speak to a rep immediately?

Forms are great, but not everyone wants to fill out a form, wait for a response and then wait a little longer to get what they requested. As your prospects get younger and younger, they are going to expect a more immediate response option.

Skipping the form while improving the visitor experience and giving reps a chance to directly and quickly connect with qualified sales opportunities increases the speed of your revenue cycle. It also can become one of the major tactics to scalable, repeatable and predictable revenue growth.

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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.