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How to Use Chatbots for B2B Lead Generation (Including 5 Examples)

B2B Lead Generation- short for Business to Business Lead Generation is a topic you are going to find huge literature already written on. Now while I say that, no one ever is going to tell you that B2B Lead generation is easy. But is there a way to make the process easy and at the same time super engaging. You bet there is! Heard about B2B Lead Generation Chatbot?

In this post, we are going to cover possibly everything you should know about lead generation using chatbots. But before that, back to basics.

What is Lead Generation?

What is lead generation in B2B marketing? Lead generation is defined as the process of attracting and converting prospects into someone who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service. This is generally done through some form of an online offer like ebooks, blog subscription, free trial, and research reports in which you (the marketer) will offer a prospect some kind of value in exchange for their email address (and consent to email). The goal of lead generation is to attract enough people to your brand, and further entice them with content to gage their interest in your product or service. Once you’ve collected their data and gathered some level of interest, you then pass it over to your sales team so they can follow up and convert them into customers. Thus, the process is complete from attracting, nurturing to converting.

Inbound vs. Outbound Lead Generation

Let’s take a look at the different types of lead generation, from inbound to outbound and how it’s evolved over the years by comparing traditional vs. modern lead generation. See the tables below comparing the two to see how tactics differ and have changed over the years.

Inbound Lead Generation

Outbound Lead Generation

Leveraging your content as the foundation to attracting visitors to your website

Actively pushing your messaging to a target audience 

Employ an information exchange: your piece of content for their contact information

Highlight your core value and what pain points you solve to build trust

Buyers control the time and place of the information exchange

You determine the time and place of the interaction

Includes: Content Marketing, blogging, SEO, social media marketing, chatbots,  email nurturing, and etc.

Includes: Paid display, paid social media, sponsored emails, cold calls, direct mail, and etc.

Lower cost than outbound tactics

Higher cost compared to inbound tactics

Campaigns are more long term

Campaigns are more finite and shorter in length

 


Traditional vs. Modern Lead Generation

 

Traditional Lead Generation Examples

Modern Lead Generation Examples

Cold Calling

Buyer intent

Email Marketing

Chatbots

Direct Mail

Organic and Paid Social Media

Blogging

Paid Search, Paid Listings, and SEO

Methodology: Outbound lead generation methods

Methodology: A mix of inbound and outbound   lead generation methods, but highly targeted

Deciding which lead generation method to employ depends heavily on your target audience and your business. Oftentimes, the best strategy is a combination of both in coherence with one another.

Introducing Chatbots for Lead Generation

When you think of B2B lead generation, you often think sales, cold calls and emails. But, with the recent shift in technology and the adoption of buyer intent and AI powered chatbots, we fail to realize that chatbots are a largely missed opportunity.

Why Chatbots and Chat Platforms?

The modern consumer’s way of communication is ruled by the likes of WhatsApp, Slack, and Facebook Messenger. They are accustomed to this real-time, instant communication at work and at home, and now B2B tactics need to evolve to meet their always-on communication in their B2B buying journey, and B2B tactics need to change to keep buyers tuned in because they are in control.

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As a marketer, you spend an enormous amount of time, effort and money trying to get your audience’s attention by creating content and getting busy people to click on something. But then what? What do you do with the clicks you generate? How do you hold on to that attention and turn it into real-time conversations?

With ranging use cases, chatbots aren’t just meant for lead generation, they can accelerate your lead qualification workflow, move deals across the pipeline faster, and even support your internal support arm.

However, in this particular scenario, chatbots can be your best friend in turning anonymous website visitors into leads. They help you create a frictionless buyer journey that is able to target active leads on your website, engage them with contextual data and then seamlessly shift the conversation from bot to live agent in a matter of seconds.

How you convert these active website visitors into leads via chat lies in the art of personalization. Today’s chatbots are powered with NLP, NLU and machine learning (ML) abilities, and can easily engage website visitors with a personalized touch.

How Can You Personalize Chatbot Conversations?

Contextual data such as recent website visits, marketing engagement, persona type, browser cookies, geographical location or even company demographics are valuable data that can be leveraged as a conversational hook by the chatbot. Depending on the chat platform you use, this can be done through UTM query strings or even better, strong integrations with your existing CRM and marketing automation platform.

Let’s break down the following ways chatbots can be used for lead generation:

1. Engage Visitors in Real-Time Conversations

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to capturing your prospects attention. You want all your interactions to happen in real-time so that you spend more time conversing and engaging with your leads than wasting time having them fill out long web forms or exchanging emails.

Chatbots offer the perfect opportunity to complete the bot to sales handoff in real-time. It takes away from the friction of the buying journey and instead presents your visitors with the impression that a human is available to chat right this moment when they’re ready for the next step.

People always prefer to interact with a human when they need to discuss their pain points; not only is it more efficient but it becomes more of a genuine conversation. Take a hold of this chance to make a personal connection with your visitors, leverage context in your conversations and maintain friendly, casual language so they feel more confident in moving forward in their decision-making process.

 

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2. Advance Buyer on High-Value Website Pages

Placing your chatbot on specific pages (ie; your high intent pages) such as Pricing, Product, Contact/Demo or FAQ can create a sense of comfort with your visitor. How so?

Let’s consider this example:

A visitor is browsing your pricing page. They’re intrigued by what they see but they’re not getting all the information they need. These pages imply that they’re highly interested and are in the consideration stage of the buying process. Unfortunately, the sense of ambiguity can deter them from pursuing your product or service further because of the lack of information.

But when you place your chatbot on your specific page, you can have your chatbot greet them to make that first impression. Automatically, visitors will know that they can get more information by clicking on the bot and speaking to your sales team.

This way, they’re more inclined to engage with your bot and in return your sales team can collect valuable information to help close the deal later.

3. Grow Your Email List With Subscriber Bots

Every piece of content you produce (blogs, newsletters) is intended for the purpose of maximizing your reach and content loyalty among your audience. To keep the wheel churning, you want to keep reeling in new readers.

By configuring your chatbot to understand your prospect’s reading intent, you can offer them a chance to sign up for more content. With this simple button, you have now collected the visitor’s information for your sales team to act on plus convert your blog visitors into possible regulars. It’s a win-win.

4. Generate More Leads With Content Offers

The right piece of content can attract a visitor immediately and even turn anonymous visitors into known leads. Make your content appealing yet informational. When you catch a visitor on your company’s website more than once, it’s often an indication of their interest in your value or solution.

Leverage this and generate leads by engaging with your content bingers. Use your chatbot to ask your visitor if they’re interested in a particular topic or if they want to see your other content pieces (blog posts, webinars, newsletters, and etc..) If they’re interested, get them to leave an email and contact information.

Now that you’ve captured the visitor’s information, you can nurture and engage them with the relevant content via email.

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5. Drive Event or Webinar Registrations

Webinars and events, in general, are the ultimate hub for prospective lead generation. Every prospect that signs up for more information regarding the event or actually moves forward with the registration process is ultimately interested in solving a problem, learning more about your category, or better yet—evaluating your product or service. This is their chance to learn more about you and vice versa. Therefore, you need to integrate your registration process into your chatbots for optimal reach and engagement.

With landing pages or long forms, on average webinars get 36% of pre-registrants to attend their event. These numbers vary due to the type of webinar the attendance goal you have set for your event. Let alone the percentage of people that choose to skip the long forms altogether. The key is speed and simplicity and this is where chatbots take the win.

With the added bonus of hyper-targeting, you can choose who you want your chatbot to appear for. This will take you the extra mile to drive the right audience to your event or webinar. For example, offer a promo code to your attendees from last year’s conference. Easy. Target them via chatbot and the next time they’re on your site, this offer will appear for them. Little steps to retain attendees and increase loyalty play a huge opportunity in the long run.

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Booking Meetings

This is the final step and often the most important use case for chatbots. Chatbots are increasingly popular because they exist in the perfect parallel of automation and human-first conversations. Once prospects on your website have met an engagement threshold (that you choose), you can offer to connect them directly with sales and get a meeting booked in their calendar. Or even better, when your website visitors make their way to your Contact or Demo Page, you can integrate chatbots into your forms so that it will alert your sales team simultaneously so they can engage in a real-time conversation while the lead is hot and on site.

Chatbots are extremely versatile, and with the added bonus of integrating your existing forms into your chatbots, you can generate leads and engage with your visitors simultaneously. With a simple greeting and message, you can give the visitor the information they need about the event or webinar and then easily register them using visitor intelligence and other contact information collected during the exchange.

For instance, lead generation is effective when your sales team is online to engage with the leads and answer any questions. But what happens when they’re offline? Your chatbot’s automated abilities allow it to engage with the website visitor and push for a meeting. With a simple calendar integration, your chatbot can turn a tedious job into a simple step. Visitors can also easily book a meeting with your SDR and or AE with a few clicks. You never have to worry about losing a lead again. On the plus side, your team can reach out to the visitor when they’re available to answer any questions they may have had.

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Aatharsha Jey

Aatharsha is the Digital Marketer at Insent. She loves creating B2B marketing experiences that help marketers stand out from the crowd and fill their funnel with qualified buyers.

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