We've seen live chat in action as the customer service and support tool.
But lately, it’s evolved and grown.
Other than connecting with users and engaging them in real-time conversations, it can also capture qualified leads and increase conversions.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Live chat leveraged as a sales tool not only improves conversion but also simplifies and shortens the sales funnel.
And that’s what we’ll focus on - how a live chat sales funnel works, how it’s different from the traditional one, and how to optimize it.
Live Chat Sales Funnel: How it Works
You’ve all seen lead forms, they pop up as you’re leaving a site, or when signing up for a webinar for instance.
The lead forms just capture leads, they don’t result in any engagement.
Now keep in mind that the lack of engagement leaves you guessing which leads are high-value and which are not. What’s worse, you work towards nurturing those leads even when they do not respond to your freebies or offers.
Unfortunately, that’s not getting you anywhere.
But things can be different with a live chat sales funnel.
After the visitor fills in the pre-chat form, you capture details such as the department they’d like to connect with, their name and email address. And unlike other forms, it helps you connect and engage with those visitors instantly. Thanks to these customer engagements, your operators can see whether they have qualified leads for the business or not. They even get answers to questions like:
- Is the visitor interested in our solution?
- How did the visitor solve this problem so far?
- What are their goals and objectives?
- What concerns or questions do they have about our solution?
Such an in-depth interaction helps you improve live chat sales funnel because you get to actively engage with the visitor and understand their visit intent.
As you can see in the image above, the engagement with visitors helps you move faster through the qualification process. If anything, a live chat enabled sales funnel helps you identify prospects and market qualified leads (MQL) in the first stage itself. That’s the impact your active engagement can have on your sales funnel process.
This also leads to another question.
What else separates traditional sales funnel from this one?
You’ll find the answer in the section below.
How is the Traditional Sales Funnel Different?
Unlike a live chat enabled funnel, the traditional sales funnel process has more layers to it. That’s why it takes more time to close a deal.
After submitting a query form, prospects experience a communication delay. And it’s one of the reasons why traditional sales funnel ends up looking like this:
But understand that if your business doesn’t reach out to the lead, you’re likely to miss out on the sales opportunity.
According to Harvard Business Review, firms who tried to contact a lead within an hour of receiving a query were almost seven times more likely to close the sale.
While live chat enables you to connect with a prospect and understand if it is a potential market qualified lead for your business or not, the traditional sales funnel does the opposite.
You will first attract the visitors on your website. Based on their browsing patterns (tracked on analytics tool) you’ll identify if they are potential prospects for your business. Then you will store their data as leads based on how specific their search was on the website. Once you gather lead data, you’ll see which of them are market qualified leads. This helps you nurture leads as you finally know where their interest lies.
Here we do not imply that those working through live chat funnel successfully acquire sales whenever they connect with a lead in real-time. But they definitely cut the time between initial contact and sale by a few days, if not weeks.
If that doesn’t widen the gap between the two approaches, then what you’ll read next will.
Unlike live chat sales funnel, the traditional funnel doesn’t offer you the following options:
- The ability to loop in another knowledgeable member from your sales team in real-time to make sure the session leads to a sale.
- The ability to answer customer’s questions in one go and help them arrive at a decision faster.
- The ability to gather more information on your prospects while they explore your services and disqualify or qualify them based on their purchase intent.
All this sets the live chat enabled sales funnel apart from the traditional sales funnel.
That said, adopting and managing a live chat sales funnel isn’t enough. You’ve got to understand the techniques of building a sales funnel for live chat too.
How Live Chat Optimizes Your Sales Funnel
If your biggest challenge at the moment is not having enough sales operators to manage all your leads, there is a possibility that sales operators may miss out on a few while having a conversation with other potential customers.
And honestly, this may repeatedly happen if the right measures aren’t taken to improve your sales efficiency.
The question is, what can you do to curb this situation?
1. Route Visitors to Right Department
The first step towards improving your sales efficiency is to route visitors to the right department. This will help:
- Visitors get instant answers to their query
- Visitors arrive at a decision faster
- Operator avoid burnout due to uneven chat distribution
- Operators free up their bandwidth to manage relevant chats faster
2. Monitor Timesheets
Another way to improve the sales efficiency of your team is to monitor their timesheet. You can monitor:
- The number of days they’ve been active in a month
- The number of hours they’ve logged in
- The efficiency percentage (percent of the active time out of total login time) of every operator
These numbers will help you learn which sales operator is performing well and which one needs to go under training.
3. Offer Solutions Anytime, Anywhere
Your efforts to improve sales efficiency shouldn’t be restricted to monitoring your operators' performance or by connecting them to the right visitor. Let’s go one step ahead to ensure that your sales operators never miss out on sales qualified leads for your business.
With the use of a responsive live chat app, your sales operators can:
- Reach visitors and even initiate a conversation instantly
- Monitor visitors browsing behavior and offer solutions
- Manage multiple visitors and use canned responses to speed up the response time
- Supervise and intervene a chat to help visitors make a decision faster
Consider using ProProfs’ live chat mobile app. With it, you’ll successfully avoid missing out on sales opportunities and improve your business conversion rates.
4. Add Live Chat Widget at Strategic Places
Adding a live chat to your home page sounds like a great idea. But remember, that’s not the only page your visitors might land on.
That’s why adding a live chat to pages that are more likely to convert or even at check out pages will help you optimize your sales funnel.
You can add chat triggers or automatic chat greetings that pop up once certain browsing behavior conditions are met on such pages.
Chat greetings enable your sales team to initiate a conversation with potential customers at strategic moments. These efforts result in:
5. Build a Greater Understanding of Your Customers
The previous strategy definitely helps you learn how to build a live chat sales funnel.
But is it enough?
While you do know places where customers are likely to convert and adding a live chat will increase your chances of conversion, it still doesn’t guarantee the fact that they’ll complete their purchase.
That’s why once you engage them in situations where they are confused or need help, you need to tread carefully. You see, it is a crucial moment, a deciding factor for customers. Try focusing on being helpful rather than salesy.
Think from the customer’s point of view here. Your product is an answer to one of their challenges, and if you try to push them into buying something, they’ll end up having a bad image of your brand. What’s worse, they may end up buying once but may never return.
In short, be empathetic. Understand your customer. Learn why they were seeking this solution and if they’ve been on your website before but left due to the same persistent confusion.
Important Reminder - While you chat, take down notes in your customer relationship management (CRM) software for future reference.
Alternatively you can integrate your favorite CRM tool to the live chat platform. Your sales team could easily avoid so much manual work and save customer history, purchase decisions, and chat transcripts automatically. And they can always come back to this data once the customer returns.
Shorten Your Sales Funnel With Live Chat
Our traditional sales funnel is effective. But it is long and takes too much time to qualify leads on the basis of marketing and sales signals. This can make your leads impatient and eventually look for other options that fulfill their needs.
To avoid multiple qualification steps, you can implement live chat into the sales funnel for your online business to reduce the qualification steps and close a sale faster. A simple four stage sales funnel can help you yield better results than the traditional one.
But to do that, you need the right live chat software in place.
Try ProProfs Chat. It is fast, responsive, supports amazing features and integrations, and most importantly it is a perfect fit for all business sizes.
Let us know how your sales funnel works in the comment section below and if the use of live chat has improved or cut down a stage or two in the sales funnel.
How to use live chat for sales?
There are six live chat sales techniques that you can use from the point of connection to ending the conversation. These techniques are:
- Being proactive since the time a visitor lands on your website
- Add a personal touch to the chat by trying to understand the visitor
- Do not forget to be friendly and empathetic to their concerns
- Be patient and listen to every detail
- Be open to all perspective and make sure that you do not sound salesy
- Be open to learning while maneuvering through the visitor’s communication behavior
How live chat on your website can maximize conversions?
There are seven ways through which live chat on your website can maximize the conversion effectively. These are:
- Making your operators available 24x7
- Making the use of canned responses to reduce response time and reaching faster to a conclusion
- Collecting qualified leads for your business with pre-chat form
- Using the right chat triggers on your website to keep the visitor engaged
- Implementing chat routing to improve response time
- Thinking from the customer’s point of view while having a chat with them and offering product solutions
- Taking feedback once a chat ends to improve the overall experience for the visitors on their next visit
How to escort a visitor through the sales funnel via live chat?
We already know that a sales funnel has four stages namely awareness, interest, decision, and action. And the use of live chat can fit among all these four stages. You can use live chat to create awareness among the visitors. Let them know about new updates or sales that can help them reduce their purchase cost.
You can build interest in them for your products as and when you start the conversation with them. Although, do make sure that you don’t sound pushy. You can even use a live chat in the decision making process by triggering it at strategic moments like at the checkout page and moving them into action.
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