When we made the decision to get rid of our lead forms last year, we knew we were heading into unchartered waters.
After all, lead capture forms have been powering inbound marketing and content marketing for the past decade.
But we were committed to the #NoForms movement.
We were convinced that by using live chat to communicate with potential customers in real-time, we’d be able to deliver a better experience as well as drive better business results.
After a year of tinkering and experimenting, we’re ready to share v1 of the methodology we’ve been using to put these ideas into practice.
Introducing the Drift Real-Time Selling™ Methodology:
For the full breakdown of how you can use our methodology to capture, qualify, and connect with leads in real-time, check out the SlideShare below (or just keep on scrolling ).
How to use live chat and bots to capture leads without lead forms
If you’re just getting started with live chat, we recommend putting it on your website’s high-intent pages first. (e.g. your pricing page)
From there, you’ll be able to gauge how much chat volume you’re getting and make adjustments accordingly.
Low chat volume? Make your targeting conditions less restrictive to optimize for more leads.
High chat volume? Adjust your targeting so live chat only appears to leads from your named accounts.
With Drift live chat, an email address will get stored automatically as soon as the person you’re chatting with enters it.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to be online 24/7 in order to capture leads with live chat.
You can set up targeted bot campaigns that capture leads for you, just like the one our pals at Perfecto Mobile have on their “contact us” page.
Instead of replacing forms, Perfecto Mobile added live chat to their site as a “second net” for capturing leads.
Within 3 months of using live chat, Perfecto Mobile saw their visitor-to-lead conversion rate grow from 6% to 10%.
After 6 months, it had climbed to 20%.
Think in terms of somebody coming to a website, and having a question, and ﬁlling in a contact us form. And they’ll hear back in 24 hours, or two days … that problem might not be there anymore. If they’re able to initiate a conversation, so skip the form, and have a conversation in real-time, we’re seeing that move very quickly.
-Chris Willis | CMO, Perfecto Mobile
How to qualify leads in real-time using targeted bot campaigns
Research shows that ideally you should respond to new leads within 5 minutes of them reaching out.
After the first 5 minutes, there’s a 10x decrease in your odds of making contact with a lead.
Meanwhile, responding in 10 minutes vs. 5 minutes results in a 400% decrease in your odds of qualifying a lead (Source: InsideSales.com/Harvard Business Review).
When we surveyed 433 B2B sales teams earlier this year, we found that just 7% responded within 5 minutes. 55% took 5+ days to respond or never responded at all.
By using live chat to engage with leads in real-time, you can always respond within that magic 5-minute window.
And with LeadBot™, you can qualify leads in real-time even when all of your sales reps are asleep.
You just need to take the qualifying questions your sales team are already asking and turn them into a script.
To make sure your LeadBot script has a clear objective, we recommend using this structure:
- Question 1: What? (What brought you here?)
- Question 2: Who? (Who are you? What company do you represent?)
- Question 3: How? (How can I help you use our product?)
- CTA (book a demo, leave an email, start a trial, engage with human)
(Note: For a deeper dive into using LeadBot, check out my post “3 Ways You Can Use LeadBot to Capture & Qualify Leads.”)
At Drift, the first LeadBot campaign we ever created is still running on our pricing page.
63% of visitors who click on it end up starting a conversation with one of our sales reps.
How to connect the right lead with the right rep at the right time
Once a lead has been qualified, there’s no need to wait: With live chat, sales reps can reach out instantly.
Reps can even set up push notifications so they’re alerted when a qualified lead is live on their website.
And with intelligent routing, you can have a bot connect leads to the right reps automatically based on sales territory.
For teams where you have multiple reps operating in a single territory, the bot can assign leads on a rotating basis.
In order to give leads a place where they can message reps directly, all of our reps have created Drift Profiles.
Each Drift Profile has a unique URL (perfect for email signatures) and comes with a built-in scheduling bot.
The bot lets leads pick from available times on a rep’s calendar, and then takes care of sending invites to both sides.
Note: You can also use this scheduling feature as a CTA for a LeadBot campaign, or you can drop it into any Drift conversation by clicking the calendar icon.
After 3o days of using Drift, RewardStream was booking 25% of their demos using our scheduling bot.
After 45 days, they were booking 30% of their demos with it.
We were bringing a lot of people to our site who were reading our content but not converting, and we felt that we should engage people in the moment … These days, people hate the idea of picking up the phone to take a call with a salesperson. They want to drop into the site, get their questions answered and form their own opinions about the product.
-Neil Parker | VP Marketing, RewardStream