The COVID-19 pandemic has established a new normal in the way customers interact with brands. With the dramatic increase in online shopping and rapid digitization, customer expectations have pivoted drastically. Customers now want brands to engage with them across multiple devices and channels while upholding the need for a personalized, contextual experience at every touchpoint.
In line with changing customer expectations, brands have adopted AI-powered chatbots to deliver the personalization customers wish for, drive loyalty and retention, and boost revenue.
Research by Inside Intercom found that sales are the most common use of chatbots, with 41% of respondents saying they use their chatbots for sales activities. 67% of respondents in the retail industry claimed they were satisfied with their chatbot investments. Chatbots increased sales by an average of 67%, with 26% of all sales starting through a chatbot interaction.
Indeed, chatbots boost revenue by automating every stage of the sales funnel, generating overall business value, streamlining activities across sales and production, and helping sales personnel deliver seamless customer engagement throughout their journey with the brand.
Moreover, bots help the sales team simplify operations and increase productivity. Sales chatbots ingest data from various LoB systems, interact with the sales team using a conversational interface, and quickly provide the most relevant information for faster decision-making. Moreover, they can push alerts regarding business-critical KPIs such as revenue, stocks, etc., to help the sales team streamline sales-related activities and boost revenue.
Research by Mckinsey showed that 75% of people using digital channels for the first time will continue to use them when things return to “normal.” Consequently, organizations worldwide have started adopting sales bots to boost revenue.
Let’s explore further.
There are many ways chatbots help sales teams improve customer-centricity and increase revenue.
Sales chatbots can act as the first line of communication between businesses and their customers and offer personalized, engaging content in multiple languages, turning customers into delighted brand advocates and allowing the sales team to focus on pertinent issues requiring immediate action.
Let’s have a look.
Chatbots embedded on your brand’s website can engage with visitors, ask a predefined set of questions, understand the prospect’s intent, and collect demographic information such as name, email, phone number, etc., to qualify leads for further nurturing.
Furthermore, they can trace website visitors’ browsing patterns and search history to understand their profile and needs and decide if they could be potential customers.
Based on the information collected and the browsing history, sales bots can push suitable products, guide users to the specific product pages, blogs, and videos, and offer detailed information about the purchase process.
Proactive engagement with potential customers saves time finding the required information and leads to a positive customer experience that can convert to a sale.
Global analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2025, proactive customer engagement interactions will outnumber reactive customer engagement interactions.
A sales bot never sleeps. Users can interact with these bots 24X7, raise service requests, and find answers to mundane, repetitive queries in a few minutes.
A single sales bot can answer an unlimited number of queries simultaneously, in multiple languages and time zones, while still maintaining a personalized touch. This allows customer support agents to focus on high-priority customers or tasks that add business value.
Prompt and excellent service enhance brand perception and improve sales and customer retention.
Sales bots can retain customers by sending meaningful recommendations and relevant messaging to them.
As a customer interacts more and more with the sales bot, data collected by the bot can help marketers get a deeper insight into customer preferences and needs and refine engagement.
Predicting customer needs saves costs as organizations spend less time and resources developing products that customers won’t like. The bot can then proactively inform customers about upcoming sales and latest offers and upsell/cross-sell products to increase revenue.
Sales bots can build customer loyalty by curating tailored loyalty programs comprising freebies, offers, and discount coupons sent through email and social media apps.
Additionally, the sales team can use bots to collect customer feedback, understand pain points, and resolve them through suitable engagement.
Building customer loyalty enhances customer satisfaction (CSAT) and improves the Net Promoter Score (NPS) – both of which help boost revenue.
Let’s take a real-life example.
Otis, Quaker Oats’ Facebook Messenger bot, sets reminders for overnight oats, helps customers with online shopping, offers delicious recipes, and supports any queries they raise
Users may type in a food emoji or choose from some of the seasonal recipes available, and the bot can gauge customer preferences to recommend suitable products and ingredients.
Post implementing Otis, Quaker Oats’ customer engagement has increased 13% year-on-year without any marketing support.
Sales bots help sales personnel access all sales data on a unified platform and track business-critical KPIs such as revenue, market share, best and worst-performing quarters, etc.
Moreover, sales bots can notify sales team members if they are off-track meeting targets or fail to meet their KPIs. In short, such bots can improve employee productivity and boost revenue. The sales team is responsible for ensuring top-line growth; consequently, they must track several key performance metrics, including OTIF (On-time in full), Opportunity win rate, average deal size, must stock list (MSL), etc.
At times, they must access information from multiple back-end systems and interact with LoB systems simultaneously.
Sales bots can process large amounts of data in real-time. They can generate reports every quarter on best and worst-performing products, best quarter, individual members’ performance, stock across various locations, etc.
All the sales team has to do is ask natural language questions like “What were sales of Product X in Q2-20,” and the bot will fetch information from the backend, even from multiple systems, if needed. The sales bot will then leverage its conversational interface to analyze and generate key information and respond in natural language for quicker decision-making. Sales bots can also push alerts to sales personnel while on the field, based on location and the customer they are interacting with.
Moreover, the sales bot works 24×7. This means the sales bot can ask questions and get answers when and where they want.
At Acuvate, we developed a sales bot named “Lucy” for a leading FMCG brand. As the largest supplier of branded still soft drinks, the number two supplier of branded carbonated soft drinks in Great Britain, and the industry leader in Ireland and France with operations in Brazil too, the company found it challenging to obtain a consolidated view of data across production, inventory, and sales, often relying on manual reporting to combine sales and production data.
With our enterprise bot-building platform called BotCore and advanced technologies like Microsoft Azure and .net framework, we built Lucy to help our client overcome the above challenges.
Lucy helped the sales team obtain immediate, easy, and anywhere access to data. By connecting to various LoB, reporting, and CRM systems, the bot enabled the sales team to query sales and ops-related metrics on a unified platform, such as net revenue, trading contribution, stocks, etc. Lucy eliminated the need to view offline reports or log in to siloed systems to get essential information.
The company experienced a slew of benefits, including the following –
We at Acuvate help clients build intelligent sales bots with our enterprise bot-building platform called BotCore.
Minimalistic coding requirements and a visual design interface allow clients to deploy customer-facing chatbots within weeks. We leverage the best of AI, ML, and NLP technologies to build bots.
Our bots are multilingual and support various almost all popular enterprise messaging apps and social media platforms.
Additionally, we leverage Microsoft’s low-code bot-building solution, Power Virtual Agents (PVA), to help clients build bots as needed with little or no coding knowledge.
To know more about BotCore and Power Virtual Agents, please feel free to schedule a personalized consultation with our experts.