Digital Sales Transformation Has Accelerated:
There is no debate that COVID-19 accelerated the digital transformation in the B2B world. Businesses that pivoted their Go-to-Market strategy to changing customer demands thrived while laggards were left behind waiting for the dust to settle. Resources were constrained, and in many cases, cut significantly. With visions of a “new normal” on the horizon with growing vaccine availability, expectations from the street and the board have returned, with anticipations of “bounce back” and “boomerang” years in 2021.
The pandemic favored organizations that proactively evolved their strategy, and similar tailwinds have emerged as we transition to recovery. As B2B so often does, trends from B2C are becoming more and more prevalent. One that many sales leaders are capitalizing on is the use of chatbots. What once may have been reserved to consumer sales, 75% of customers message businesses to make a purchase.
Inefficiencies in GTM models were exposed over the past year. With the increase in technology and access to content, Buyers across industries have increased expectations of a seamless end-to-end customer experience with their vendors. A report from Drift Insider, in collaboration with SBI and Heinz Marketing, released a report highlighting this:
- 42% of sellers report their buyers are frustrated most when they have to repeat the same information to multiple team members.
- 41% of sellers report their buyers are frustrated most when asked to schedule a meeting before they’re ready to have one.
- 37% of sellers report that their buyers are frustrated by having to fill out repetitive online forms to get the resources and content they need.
- 36% believe their buyers are frustrated by a lack of digital self-service options available to them.
- And 28% believe that slow responsiveness or poor sales follow-up further impedes success.
How have Sales leaders changed their service approach to accommodate this demand from customers and prospects? The implementation of chatbots is one component of their digital selling strategy. When done effectively, chatbots can drive incremental productivity yields from the sales organization. In the same study referenced above, 65% of respondents believed their sales productivity increased with the improvements of their organization’s digital channels.
3 Ways Chatbots Can Increase Sales Productivity:
- Increased selling time and coverage: Chatbots can accelerate the amount of time reps spend selling versus time spent preparing for client conversations. 45% of surveyed respondents were able to learn more about their buyers in less time. Automating customer preparation helps minimize lag time from call to call, and minimizes the human error of not recording client detail into CRM.
- Focused qualified leads: A common refrain from Quota Carriers relayed to Sales Leaders is that the leads passed to them are a time suck and rarely materialize. As a result, reps lose confidence in MQLs that are sourced and passed to the field altogether. This can be mitigated using chatbots properly routing customer and prospect inquiries to the appropriate channels. Unclog your top-of-funnel by having chatbots act as your first line of qualification and restore sales reps’ confidence in Marketing sourced leads.
- Increased deal velocity: An additional benefit of chatbots is the capturing of key client information that can be passed to the sales team. This enables the rep to have contextual conversations with the prospect, knowing their title, industry, and challenges they are inquiring about.
Time is your sales team’s most precious asset. The use of chatbots will provide more time back to your team while enhancing the quality of that selling time. In the age of digital transformation, market-leading CROs are adopting chatbots to give their team a competitive advantage by ensuring they are efficiently connecting with potential buyers in a meaningful way. Unsure if implementing chatbots would be impactful for your sales team? Download our Chatbot ROI tool to ask your org how much time chatbots can return back to selling activity and the potential impact. Best-in-class sales teams have their primary quota carriers spending 60-65% of their time selling. If your team is losing time to any of the items highlighted in yellow in our tool, consider adopting the use of chatbots.
Want to learn more about emerging digital selling trends in 2021? See here for Drift Insider’s 2021 State of Conversational Sales: Selling in an Age of Digital Transformation for more insights.