Using Chatbots to Qualify Leads 

chatbots on a cell phone

One of the biggest buzzwords in B2B marketing is “conversational marketing.” This term refers to a marketing strategy that focuses on engaging website visitors while they’re still actively engaged with your site. This is typically done with targeted messaging on the site itself and AI-driven chatbots. This makes it easier for potential customers to engage with your business and speeds up your conversion rates. 

In fact, according to a study by Drift in 2020, 55% of businesses that use chatbots generate more high-quality leads. “That’s great,” you say, “but how do I even start qualifying leads over chat?” The answer’s simple: ask the right kind of questions!  

But First, Avoid Common Mistakes of Chatbots

Whether your chat is AI-based, human-driven, or a mixture of both, it’s important that you use it correctly. Or else you’ll find that it drives potential away from your site rather than towards your solutions. Here are a few common pitfalls you should avoid:  

1. Humanizing Your Chatbots

Many companies think this is a great idea, that it adds a friendly face to a rather impersonal interaction. But most of the time it backfires. Because everyone knows Jerry, your VP of Sales, isn’t up answering chats at midnight on a Wednesday. It comes off as disingenuous.  

So, let your bots be bots. Most clients are perfectly happy interacting with a bot outside of business hours. No need to pretend they’re receiving human support. 

2. Refusing to Use Pop-Up Chatbots

Website visitors rarely open chatbots on their own. This is why it’s essential that your chatbot opens automatically after a certain period. Perhaps with a warm prompt like “Hello there! Anything I can help you with today?” This draws the visitor’s attention to the chatbot and the prompt and can spark a discussion. Some chatbots allow you to write different prompts for different pages. “What kind of quote are you looking for” on your pricing page, or “Can we offer you a free demonstration?” on a particular product page etc. 

3. Being Overly Pushy 

Asking questions doesn’t always mean a website visitor is ready to purchase your product. Oftentimes, they’re just researching their options or trying to get some additional information. Selling too early can interrupt their process and even annoy them enough to drive them away from your brand.  

Step One: Begin with the Broad, Unless Otherwise Indicated 

This is especially important for businesses who have a large portfolio of products. Many website visitors are just browsing your services and often need to be guided to the information they need. Some examples include: 

“What questions do you have?” 

“Is there something specific you’re looking for?” 

“How can we/I help you today?” 

If you see that a visitor has been lingering on a particular page for a while, skip the broad questions and get down to specifics. Narrow the topic down to that particular page or product.  

“What interests you about [product]?”  

“Is there anything you’d like to know about [product]?” 

Step Two: Follow that With Qualification Questions 

Once you’ve determined the lead’s “Why” (ie why they reached out to you) it’s time to determine the “Who.” Who is this lead, what are their needs, what kind of solutions have they been looking for? These are all examples of qualifying questions – figuring out who the lead is so you can better meet their needs. Some common examples include: 

“Do you currently have a provider for [solution/product]? If so, why are you looking elsewhere?” 

“What are your current concerns?” 

“What’s your top priority right now?” 

“What’s your current budget for the project?”  

“How soon are you looking to get started?” 

If they answer any of these questions positively – they’re looking for a solution, your solution looks promising, and they’re interested – it’s time to move onto the final type of question.  

Step Three: Complete the Qualification Process with Buyer Intent Questions 

Buyer intent questions are an excellent way to get the visitor to take the next step in the sales process. After all, they’ve expressed interest in your solution. Now’s the time to recommend a meeting, a demonstration, any additional touchpoint to demonstrate your product’s value. Some good examples of buyer intent questions are: 

“Would you like to schedule a free demonstration?” 

“We’re hosting a webinar in a few weeks. Would you like to join us and learn more about [product]?” 

“Can I walk you through a few key features right now?” 

After these questions are answered, you’re ready to move this lead down the funnel and on to the sales team. 

Make the Most of Your Chatbots with GreenStar Marketing 

If you’re looking for more ways to optimize your chatbots, GreenStar can help! From generating leads to qualifying them, our chat-based solutions are designed with your business in mind. Reach out to us today to see it for yourself

Stephanie Benzik

Stephanie Benzik

Stephanie is the Senior Director of Marketing at GreenStar Marketing. She started out studying Interior Architecture and Design, but found her true passion in Marketing. Stephanie has been working in the Telecommunications industry since 2013. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and dogs, and binge-watching Netflix.
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