O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Conversational Marketing

Book Description

Real-time conversations turn leads into customers

Conversational Marketing is the definitive guide to generating better leads and closing more sales. Traditional sales and marketing methods have failed to keep pace with the way modern, internet-savvy consumers purchase goods and services. Modern messaging apps, which allow for real-time conversations and instant feedback, have transformed the way we interact in our personal and professional lives, yet most businesses still rely on 20th century technology to communicate with 21st century customers. Online forms, email inquiries, and follow-up sales calls don’t provide the immediacy that modern consumers expect. Conversational marketing and sales are part of a new methodology centered around real-time, one-on-one conversations with customers via chatbots and messaging.  By allowing your business to communicate with customers in real time—when it’s most convenient for them—conversational marketing improves the customer experience, generates more leads, and helps you convert more leads into customers.

Conversational Marketing pioneers David Cancel and Dave Gerhardt explain how to:

  • Merge inbound and outbound tactics into a more productive dialog with customers
  • Integrate conversational marketing techniques into your existing sales and marketing workflow

Face-to-face meetings, phone calls, and email exchanges remain important to customer relations, but adding a layer of immediate, individual conversation drives the customer experience—and sales—sky-high.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Introduction: The Shift from Supply to Demand
    1. Today, Customers Have All the Power
    2. Winners and Losers: Why Companies Need to Adapt
    3. Amazon vs. Borders
    4. Netflix vs. Blockbuster
    5. Uber and Lyft vs. Yellow Cabs
    6. Why I Wrote This Book (and Why Now)
  3. PART I The Rise of Conversational Marketing and Sales
    1. Chapter 1 Your Website Is Leaking Revenue (Here’s How to Fix It)
      1. 58% of B2B Websites Are “Empty Stores” . . . Is Yours One of Them?
      2. 90% of B2B Companies Don’t Respond to Leads Fast Enough . . . Do You?
      3. 81% of Tech Buyers Don’t Fill Out Forms . . . Are You Still Using Them?
      4. Using Real-Time Conversations to Achieve Hypergrowth
      5. The Conversational Marketing and Sales Methodology
    2. Chapter 2 The Rise of MessagingA Real-Time Lead Generation Channel
      1. The Three Waves of Messaging (and How the Third Wave Changed Everything)
      2. Why 90% of Global Consumers Want to Use Messaging to Talk to Businesses
      3. Using Messaging to Capture and Qualify Leads in a Single Step
      4. But . . . How Does It Scale?
    3. Chapter 3 The Rise of Chatbots Personal Concierges for Your Website Visitors
      1. Chatbots: They’ve Got Our Backs
      2. A Brief History of Chatbots
      3. Chatbots and Humans: Finding the Perfect Balance
      4. How Chatbots Enable a Better Buying Experience
      5. How a Single Marketer Can Book Meetings for Dozens of Sales Reps Using Chatbots
    4. Chapter 4 Replacing Lead Capture Forms with Conversations
      1. The Problems with Lead Capture Forms
      2. How the #NoForms Movement Got Its Start
      3. Rethinking Our Content and Lead Generation Strategies
      4. Replacing Marketing-Qualified Leads (MQLs) with Conversation-Qualified Leads (CQLs)
    5. Chapter 5 Ending the Family Feud Between Marketing and Sales
      1. A Flawed System: The Ongoing Battle Over Leads
      2. Streamlining the Marketing/Sales Handoff with Artificial Intelligence
      3. The End of Business Development Reps (BDRS)?
      4. Sharing the Most Important Metric: Revenue
  4. Part II Getting Started with Conversational Marketing
    1. Chapter 6 Step One: Add Real-Time Messaging to Your Website and Start Capturing More Leads
      1. Replace Your Forms or Add a “Second Net” (Don’t Worry, It Takes Five Minutes)
      2. Put Up a Welcome Message
      3. Set Expectations with Online/Offline Hours
      4. Show Your Face
      5. Create Separate Inboxes for Sales, Support, Success, Etc.
      6. Know Your Stuff (and Use Tools That Can Help)
      7. Capture Leads (Without Using Lead Forms)
    2. Chapter 7 Step Two: Give Your Email Marketing Strategy a Real-Time Makeover
      1. Email Isn’t Dead (You’re Just Doing It Wrong)
      2. The Problems with Traditional Email Marketing
      3. A Few Simple Tweaks for Bringing Your Email Marketing Strategy into the Real-Time World
      4. Why Replies Are the Most Important Email Metric
    3. Chapter 8 Step Three: Master the Art (and Science) of Qualifying Leads Through Conversation
      1. So, Uh, What Do I Say?
      2. The Best Questions to Ask Your Website Visitors
      3. Use Data to Have Better Conversations
      4. Score the Leads You Talk to (and Send the Best Ones to Sales)
    4. Chapter 9 Step Four: Filter Out the Noise and Target Your Best Leads
      1. Where to Start: Targeting the High-Intent Pages on Your Site
      2. Targeting Visitors Based on Their On-Site Behavior
      3. Targeting Visitors Based On the Sites They’re Coming From
      4. Targeting Visitors Based On the Companies They Work For
      5. Other Targeting Options for Increasing Conversion Rates
    5. Chapter 10 Step Five: Build a Lead Qualification Chatbot (Without Writing a Single Line of Code)
      1. Coming Up with Questions and Responses for Your Bot
      2. Deciding On a Call-to-Action (CTA)
      3. Five Tips for Making Your Chatbot Conversations More Engaging
  5. Part III Converting Conversational Marketing Leads into Sales
    1. Chapter 11 How to Put Your Sales Funnel on Autopilot
      1. Set Up Routing Rules So Leads Always Are Connected to the Right Sales Reps
      2. Use Chatbots to Schedule Sales Meetings 24/7
      3. Have Your Website’s “Contact Sales” CTA Trigger a Real-Time Conversation
      4. Have Sales Reps Create Digital Business Cards
      5. Get Real-Time Notifications When Leads Are Online
      6. Say Goodbye to Manual Data Entry
    2. Chapter 12 How Sales Teams Can Create a Better Buying Experience with Real-Time Conversations
      1. Ask for Permission Before You Start Asking Questions
      2. Let Your Sales Reps’ Personalities Shine Through
      3. Use Empathy Statements to Show You’re Listening
      4. Show the Value of Your Solution
      5. Use a Video Call to Personalize the Final Ask
    3. Chapter 13 How to Send Sales Email Sequences That Buyers Will Actually Engage With
      1. The Days of Spray and Pray Are Over
      2. Using Artificial Intelligence to Unsubscribe People Who Aren’t Interested
      3. Customizing Your Sales Emails with Calendar Links
      4. Creating Personalized Welcome Messages for People Who Open Your Emails
    4. Chapter 14 Conversational Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and Selling (ABS)
      1. What Is ABM? (and Why Should You Care?)
      2. How a Real-Time Approach Can Solve ABM’s Biggest Problem
      3. Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Your ABM Prospects
      4. Mining for New ABM Prospects on Your Website
  6. Part IV After The Sale
    1. Chapter 15 Continuing the Conversation The Importance of Talking to Your Customers
      1. Creating an Incredible Brand Experience
      2. Staying Close to Your Customers (Through Continuous Feedback)
      3. What to Do with Customer Feedback Once You Collect It
    2. Chapter 16 A Conversational Approach to Customer Success
      1. Overhauling the Traditional Approach to Onboarding
      2. Opening a Fast Lane to Your Customer Success Managers
      3. Using Real-Time Conversations in the Battle Against Churn
      4. Conversational Upselling 101
    3. Chapter 17 Measuring Conversational Marketing and Sales Performance
      1. Sales Meetings Booked
      2. Opportunities Added
      3. Pipeline Influenced
      4. Closed/Won
      5. Conversation Metrics
      6. Team Performance Metrics
      7. Final Thought
    4. About the Authors
    5. Index