It seems like every time people think they have inbound marketing figured out, the environment shifts and it’s time to rethink strategies again. In past years, the conversion path for web visitors was pretty straightforward. It looked something like this:
- The lead goes to a website.
- Whether directly, or by clicking around, they end up on a landing page with an offer.
- They fill out the form for that offer, providing their email and other information.
- A salesperson emails them back to continue the sales conversion process.
Simple and easy, right? The problem is, buyers increasingly want more options in how they communicate with the brands and sellers they’re working with.
Email is starting to become a less-reliable form of communication, simply due to the sheer bulk of emails most people have to deal with. That’s not to say that email is dead, far from it, but simply that diversification in your communication strategies is called for.
You and your partners should be looking into giving leads more ways to communicate with sales, and get more information about your products. The more options you give them, the better it’s likely to be for your ecosystem.
So, what are some of the alternatives?
I’ll be honest, this one took me totally off-guard. If you’d asked me a couple years ago whether buyers would be happy chatting online with a salesdroid, I’d have said “no way.” But, that’s exactly what’s happening. More and more brands are implementing AI-based chatbots to handle routine inquiries, gather customer data, and get information to pass on to human staff. And it’s working. Apparently, buyers simply want to feel like someone is listening to them – even if that someone is a heuristic AI.
For indirect sale ecosystems, this could be particularly useful in helping to standardize service across your many outlets if you could standardize the chatbot system used. Of course, having real-live people answering the chats is nice as well, but expensive to do.
2. Phone calls
Here’s one that seems so simple, yet oddly, a lot of brands don’t implement it. When a visitor has filled out a form on the website indicating they want more information, give them a phone number and encourage them to call. They might not want to wait for a salesperson to get back to them!
For vendors, this would require some scripting to figure out the lead’s location (or just ask for it) and supply the proper local sales number, but it would be well worth the effort.
3. Appointment scheduling
There’s a rule of thumb that says your best chances for getting a lead to stay on the hook is to call them back within five minutes of their contact. Of course, this doesn’t always happen. A lead may not even plan for such rapid contact, since it happens so rarely.
Give them an option to schedule a callback at whatever time is convenient for them. This would require a system tied into the sales staff’s agendas, but properly implemented, it would make leads feel that their needs are truly being considered. Rather than “We’ll call you back when we get around to it,” they can simply set up a call for a convenient time like civilized people.
Centralize Your Vendor-Partner Communications
Any sort of standardized systems implemented across an entire ecosystem need a single hub of communication and information – and that’s where LogicBay comes in. Contact us today to learn more about how we can centralize all your partner interactions!