As a startup founder and small business owner, you can’t afford to take your time filling your sales pipeline. You need leads and customers now so you can begin generating a return on investment (ROI) right away.
But how can you scale customer acquisition quickly without hiring a huge sales team?
Easy: sales bots.
Sales bots are easy to set up and optimize so your sales team can get the boost it needs. Find out how they can drive the results you want for a price that won’t break your budget.
What Are Sales Bots?
Bots are simple software programs that can complete a wide range of tasks automatically. Startups often use chatbots for sales and lead generation tasks because they’re ideal for starting conversations, asking questions, and collecting contact information.
Because they’re so versatile, sales bots can operate across your existing channels, where your prospects already are. That means you can seamlessly connect with potential customers on your website or on select social media channels.
5 Reasons Why Your Startup Needs A Sales Bot
Is it really worth investing in a sales bot? Let’s look at some of the biggest benefits for startups and small businesses.
1. They’re Low Cost
Bots don’t have to be expensive, especially compared to the cost of hiring a human to manage similar tasks. In fact, a basic bot can be completely free. All you need to set it up is a little time and some technical knowledge.
Even if you need a more advanced bot, your only cost would be a monthly software fee starting under $100. For a completely customized bot, pricing for developers generally begins at a few hundred dollars per month.
2. They Save You Time
Whether you run a startup or a small business, there’s a good chance your team is tiny. There are tons of valuable tasks your team could be doing—such as figuring out how to get investors or drafting a winning marketing strategy.
Whenever you automate a simple task, you save time and allow your team to focus on what really matters. Sales bots excel at automation and are designed to help your team work more efficiently.
3. They Help You Scale
Do you need to reach ambitious goals quickly? If you have an accelerated timeline, you’ll need to scale operations and improve customer acquisition practically overnight. A team of employees may take weeks or months to train and scale effectively.
However, sales chatbots can handle any number of prospects simultaneously, whether you have one or 1,000 site visitors. That means you can scale acquisition instantly, without having to ramp up hiring significantly.
4. You Can Customize Them
Sure, most sales bots can handle at least a few common tasks. But that doesn’t mean that they’re all cookie-cutter copies of each other.
There are countless ways to make yours unique. For example, you can program it to do the exact tasks you need, including aligning it with your lead qualification process. You can also put your brand’s stamp on your bot by giving it a name and an avatar.
5. They Support Your Human Sales Team
Sales bots can do a lot. But few businesses use them to automate the sales process completely.
Instead, bots integrate easily with skilled sales teams, balancing automation with a personal touch. For instance, they can pass qualified leads along so your sales team can seal the deal.
4 Tasks To Assign To A Sales Bot
How helpful can a bot really be? A sales bot can take tons of tasks off your plate and free up valuable time for your team.
1. Answer Questions
Do your prospects tend to have a lot of similar questions about tiers, pricing, or processes? You can create a sales chatbot that can understand these questions and provide straightforward answers.
Why it’s awesome: You can ensure prospects have the data they need before getting your sales team involved.
2. Provide Resources
Have you found that your sales cycle is a bit longer than you’d like? You can develop a bot that can learn more about website visitors and encourage them to check out resources to guide their research.
Why it’s awesome: With the right resources, you can lead customers through the customer journey more efficiently.
3. Collect Information
Do you want an easy way to follow up with potential customers after they leave your site? You can design a sales bot to collect and process contact details like names, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Why it’s awesome: You can stop losing prospects and start nurturing leads more effectively while increasing your conversion rate.
4. Qualify Prospects
Does your sales team spend a lot of time nurturing leads manually? You can program a sales bot to ask key questions and confirm whether site visitors are actually a good fit for your business.
Why it’s awesome: Your sales team can stop wasting time on prospects who won’t convert and start getting more value from sales-qualified leads (SQLs) instead.
3 Ways To Set Up A Sales Bot
Creating a sales bot is easier than you might think, especially if you want to develop a basic version. Choose one of the three options below to get started.
1. Use Your Existing Toolset
If you want to keep costs low and streamline your toolset, use a platform that’s already part of your marketing stack. Many customer relationship management (CRM) tools for startups have simple sales bot options that easily integrate with your site.
You don’t have to be a programmer to go this route. But you do need time to learn the tool and set up and test the bot.
2. Invest In DIY Software
When you want something a bit more advanced, consider a dedicated chatbot builder instead. Some of these tools even have specialized options for sales bots so you can easily create a funnel.
If you use a DIY chatbot builder, you’ll need some technical expertise. However, you won’t have to build anything from scratch or be fluent in any programming languages.
3. Hire A Chatbot Developer
When you need a completely custom sales chatbot or you want functionality that the simpler tools don’t provide, hire a developer instead. An experienced chatbot developer can create something that meets your needs perfectly, including setting up actions, creating libraries of information, and developing successful funnels.
Developers tend to be much more expensive than DIY tools. But they handle the entire process from beginning to end, saving you time and hassle.
5 Tools To Get A Sales Bot
If you have limited resources or tech skills, you can still easily get a sales bot for your site or social media pages. Take a look at some of the best resources:
- ChatBot: This tool schedules sales calls, qualifies leads, and integrates with your CRM. It can also work with your team in real-time to provide a human touch.
- HubSpot: With this CRM, you can choose from dozens of prebuilt bots or create your own custom sales bot for your site or social channels.
- Intercom: This tool initiates conversations based on site visitors’ actions. It supports complex routing rules and easily integrates with your sales team.
- MobileMonkey: With this tool, you can capture and qualify leads in seconds. You can also set up drip campaigns to nurture prospects automatically.
- ZoomInfo: This tool creates tailored chat experiences based on users’ actions. It also schedules meetings and demos to save your team valuable time.
Ultimately, the more you free up your team’s time to focus on strategic activities, the more value you can generate for your business. With sales bots, you can automate simple tasks, scale outreach, and fill your sales pipeline more efficiently at a price that works for your business.
Editor’s Note: The article is part of the blog series Grow Your Business, brought to you by the marketing team at UniTel Voice, the virtual phone system priced and designed for startups and small business owners.