Conversational MarketingHow the World's Fastest Growing Companies Use Chatbots to Generate Leads 24/7/365 (and How You Can Too)
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.
Introduction: The Shift from Supply to Demand xi Today, Customers Have All the Power xi Winners and Losers: Why Companies Need to Adapt xiv Amazon vs. Borders xv Netflix vs. Blockbuster xvi Uber and Lyft vs. Yellow Cabs xvii Why I Wrote This Book (and Why Now) xix Part I: The Rise of Conversational Marketing and Sales 1 Chapter 1: your website is leaking revenue (here’s how to fix it) 3 58% of B2B Websites Are “Empty Stores” . . . Is Yours One of Them? 4 90% of B2B Companies Don’t Respond to Leads Fast Enough. . .Do You? 581% of Tech Buyers Don’t Fill Out Forms . . . Are You Still Using Them? 7 Using Real-Time Conversations to Achieve Hypergrowth 10 The Conversational Marketing and Sales Methodology 12 Chapter 2: The rise of messaging 17 The Three Waves of Messaging (and How the Third Wave Changed Everything) 18 Why 90% of Global Consumers Want to Use Messaging to Talk to Businesses 24 Using Messaging to Capture and Qualify Leads in a Single Step 27 But . . . How Does It Scale? 29 Chapter 3: the rise of chatbots 31 Chatbots: They’ve Got Our Backs 32 A Brief History of Chatbots 33 Chatbots and Humans: Finding the Perfect Balance 38 How Chatbots Enable a Better Buying Experience 41 How a Single Marketer Can Book Meetings for Dozens of Sales Reps Using Chatbots 45 Chapter 4: Replacing lead capture forms with conversations 47 The Problems with Lead Capture Forms 48 How the #NoForms Movement Got Its Start 52 Rethinking Our Content and Lead Generation Strategies 57 Replacing Marketing-Qualified Leads (MQLs) with Conversation-Qualified Leads (CQLs) 59 Chapter 5: Ending The Family Feud Between Marketing And Sales 63 A Flawed System: The Ongoing Battle Over Leads 64 Streamlining the Marketing/Sales Handoff with Artificial Intelligence 67 The End of Business Development Reps (BDRS)? 69 Sharing the Most Important Metric: Revenue 72 Part II: Getting Started with Conversational Marketing 75 Chapter 6: Step One: Add Real-Time Messaging To Your Website And Start Capturing More Leads 77 Replace Your Forms or Add a “Second Net” (Don’t Worry, It Takes Five Minutes) 78 Put Up a Welcome Message 83 Set Expectations with Online/Off line Hours 86 Show Your Face 87 Create Separate Inboxes for Sales, Support, Success, Etc. 89 Know Your Stuff (and Use Tools That Can Help) 91 Capture Leads (Without Using Lead Forms) 93 Chapter 7: Step Two: Give Your Email Marketing Strategy A Real-Time Makeover 95 Email Isn’t Dead (You’re Just Doing It Wrong) 96 The Problems with Traditional Email Marketing 97 A Few Simple Tweaks for Bringing Your Email Marketing Strategy into the Real-Time World 100 Why Replies Are the Most Important Email Metric 105 Chapter 8: Step Three: Master The Art (And Science) Of Qualifying Leads Through Conversation 109 So, Uh, What Do I Say? 110 The Best Questions to Ask Your Website Visitors 112 Use Data to Have Better Conversations 114 Score the Leads You Talk to (and Send the Best Ones to Sales) 118 Chapter 9: Step Four: Filter Out The Noise And Target Your Best Leads 123 Where to Start: Targeting the High-Intent Pages on Your Site 124 Targeting Visitors Based on Their On-Site Behavior 125 Targeting Visitors Based On the Sites They’re Coming From 126 Targeting Visitors Based On the Companies They Work For 128 Other Targeting Options for Increasing Conversion Rates 132 Chapter 10: Step Five: Build A Lead Qualification Chatbot (Without Writing A Single Line Of Code) 137 Coming Up with Questions and Responses for Your Bot 139 Deciding On a Call-to-Action (CTA) 147 Five Tips for Making Your Chatbot Conversations More Engaging 148 Part III: Converting Conversational Marketing Leads into Sales 151 Chapter 11: How To Put Your Sales Funnel On Autopilot 153 Set Up Routing Rules So Leads Always Are Connected to the Right Sales Reps 154 Use Chatbots to Schedule Sales Meetings 24/7 155 Have Your Website’s “Contact Sales” CTA Trigger a Real-Time Conversation 157 Have Sales Reps Create Digital Business Cards 158 Get Real-Time Notifications When Leads Are Online 159 Say Goodbye to Manual Data Entry 162 Chapter 12: How Sales Teams Can Create A Better Buying Experience With Real-Time Conversations 165 Ask for Permission Before You Start Asking Questions 167 Let Your Sales Reps’ Personalities Shine Through 168 Use Empathy Statements to Show You’re Listening 170 Show the Value of Your Solution 173 Use a Video Call to Personalize the Final Ask 176 Chapter 13: How To Send Sales Email Sequences That Buyers Will Actually Engage With 177 The Days of Spray and Pray Are Over 178 Using Artificial Intelligence to Unsubscribe People Who Aren’t Interested 184 Customizing Your Sales Emails with Calendar Links 185 Creating Personalized Welcome Messages for People Who Open Your Emails 188 Chapter 14: Conversational Account-Based Marketing (Abm) And Selling (Abs) 191 What Is ABM? (and Why Should You Care?) 192 How a Real-Time Approach Can Solve ABM’s Biggest Problem 193 Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Your ABM Prospects 195 Mining for New ABM Prospects on Your Website 199 Part IV: After The Sale 203 Chapter 15: Continuing The Conversation 205 Creating an Incredible Brand Experience 206 Staying Close to Your Customers (Through Continuous Feedback) 208 What to Do with Customer Feedback Once You Collect It 213 Chapter 16: a conversational approach To customer success 219 Overhauling the Traditional Approach to Onboarding 220 Opening a Fast Lane to Your Customer Success Managers 223 Using Real-Time Conversations in the Battle Against Churn 225 Conversational Upselling 101 228 Chapter 17: Measuring Conversational Marketing and Sales Performance 231 Sales Meetings Booked 232 Opportunities Added 233 Pipeline Influenced 235 Closed/Won 235 Conversation Metrics 235 Team Performance Metrics 240 Final Thought 242 About the Author 245 Index 247
DAVID CANCEL is the co-founder and CEO of Drift, the world's leading conversational marketing and sales platform, named to the Forbes Cloud 100, LinkedIn's Top 50 Startups, and Entrepreneur's Top Company Cultures. Cancel is also a serial entrepreneur, podcast host (Seeking Wisdom), angel investor, and advisor. Cancel has been featured by media outlets including The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Wired, and Fast Company, and has guest lectured on entrepreneurship at Harvard, Harvard Business School, MIT, MIT's Sloan School of Management, and Bentley. In 2017, Harvard Business School named Cancel an Entrepreneur in Residence at the School's Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship. Cancel's blog davidcancel.com has been read by more than a million entrepreneurs, while his Twitter account @dcancel has more than 60 thousand followers and is considered a "must-follow" for entrepreneurs and executives. DAVE GERHARDT is VP of Marketing at Drift and a passionate advocate of building brands around compelling stories that connect with customers. Since joining Drift in 2015 as employee #6, Dave has helped to create the category of conversational marketing and get 150,000+ businesses onboard with Drift, and Drift has been profiled in more than 100 publications, including The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, TechCrunch and the Harvard Business Review. Before joining Drift, Dave worked at some of the fastest-growing SaaS and B2B marketing companies in the Greater Boston Area, including HubSpot and Constant Contact.
In the past twenty years, there has been a radical shift in the way consumers buy goods and services. Today's customers buy on demand and in real time. They expect answers now. The traditional way of marketing and sales has lost touch with the way consumers want to buy. Conversational marketing gives companies the power to grow their business by connecting now with the customers who are interested now—not later. The book explains how to create compelling, real-time conversations that will engage customers, shrink the sales cycle, and improve bottom line results. For those new to sales and marketing, Conversational Marketing explains what it takes to capture, qualify, and connect with leads on their websites through real-time conversations, and why this approach creates happier customers and generates more revenue. More experienced professionals will gain a deeper understanding of how today's customers prefer to buy and will discover new strategies and tactics that have been missing from traditional marketing and sales approaches. Author David Cancel, CEO of Drift, explains how to merge inbound and outbound tactics into a more productive dialogue while generating quality leads and shorter sales cycles. He also shows how to integrate conversational marketing techniques into a company's existing sales and marketing workflow. Conversational Marketing is filled with the innovative tools and proven approaches that marketers and salespeople need to succeed in an increasingly dynamic business environment. The era of following up later in sales and marketing is over: welcome to now.
“There is no one who understands the needs of modern marketers and salespeople better than David Cancel.” —MIKE VOLPE, CEO, Lola.com and Former CMO at HubSpot “[Conversational Marketing] is a must-read for all software-as-a-service (SaaS) and business-to-business (B2B) companies, as well as for anyone who wants to stay on the cutting edge of marketing and sales, and bring their business into the now.” —HITEN SHAH, co-founder of Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics and FYI “For marketing and sales teams looking for a faster path to revenue, this is the modern playbook to follow.” —JEANNE HOPKINS, CMO, Ipswitch “The future of marketing and sales will be about making customers deliriously successful, and this book provides the tactical advice businesses need to make that happen.” —PAT GRADY, Partner, Sequoia Capital “David’s book should be required reading for anyone in marketing and sales today.” —MARK ROBERGE, Senior Lecturer, Harvard Business School, Former SVP of Sales and Services at HubSpot
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