Utilizing live chat can be a groundbreaking strategy for your sales organization. With live chat, you can increase efficiency, give sales reps more time to talk to prospects further along in the pipeline, and generate quality leads.

As you're reading this blog, there are potential customers on your site right now who have questions. Is your sales team enabled to answer those quickly?

According to data from Intercom, website visitors are 82% more likely to convert to customers if they've chatted with you first. Plus, Intercom's data shows those accounts are worth 13% more than customers who didn't use live chat before signing up.

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Live chat enables your sales reps to address the right questions at the right time, ultimately increasing your sales.

1. Research and choose a live chat software

There are plenty of tools which allow you to chat with potential customers online, including HubSpot. Your first step is to decide which features you want in a live chat software and then begin researching.

The best live chat tools include features such as:

  • Snippets or templates: Snippets (as HubSpot calls them) or templates are short, reusable text blocks that can be saved to use in chat conversations. Canned responses save your sales reps time when they're answering frequently asked questions.
  • Chat tags: Chat tags allow you to label a chat so sales reps can easily find it. For example, you can tag a chat as a “warm lead” or “deal closed.”
  • Archived chat history: Archives are a history of your chat with a prospect. These are important because potential customers might chat with you several times. It's helpful for your sales reps to understand that context.
  • Integrates with your CRM: Combining live chat with your CRM makes it easy for sales reps to chat with prospects in one place, instead of alternating between pages.
  • Customizable design: Your live chat should have a similar design to your website including colors and logos.
  • Automatic greetings: Automatic greetings show up on your live chat before a visitor clicks to have a conversation with you. These encourage visitors to talk to you — see examples below.
  • Reporting: Reporting, or gathering visitor tracking information, allows you to understand your audience including who chats more, returning, or potential customers.

If you don't know where to start with your research, we've rounded up the best live chat tools here.

2. Install it on your site

Once you've chosen your software, setup should be a breeze. Typically, the live chat software you've chosen will give you a piece of code to copy and paste to the backend of your website. Most live chat software will have step-by-step instructions you can consult as well.

After installation of your software, customize the look and feel of the chatbox so it matches your website and is visually appealing. You can also customize different greetings depending on the web page the chat is on — more on that later.

3. Strategically place the chat on the right web pages

Once you customize your live chat, it's time to think about your sales strategy. Do you want live chat on your blog and your pricing page? Or do you want it to pop up when someone has been on a page right away or for a certain amount of time?

You can place your live chat on every page of your website with custom greetings. For instance, your greeting on the pricing page would be different than the greeting on your contact us page. Those potential customers are at different stages of their buyer's journey and will want to have a different conversation with your sales team.

See HubSpot's greeting for our home page versus our contact us page below.

hubspot live chat          Home page | Contact Us page

By customizing your strategy depending on where people are in their buyer's journey, you will increase the efficiency of the live chat and your sales team.

4. Integrate the chat with your CRM

When you're researching live chat software, notice if it integrates with your CRM. For example, HubSpot's live chat integrates directly with the HubSpot CRM, so your sales reps know exactly who they're chatting with (prospect, long-time customer, or a new contact) and see their history with your company.

Using the chat directly within your CRM will also be more convenient for your sales reps and increase their efficiency (you can tell, we like efficiency here).

5. Add sales reps to your chat

An important part of your process should be adding your sales reps to your live chat. When your live chat is set up, it will automatically assign chats to your sales reps. Once your sales reps are incorporated, it's time to teach them how to use the software and how leads will be routed through live chat.

6. Plan your sales conversation flows

Once your live chat software is integrated with your CRM, plan the conversation flows your sales reps will have. Your live chat should automatically assign a conversation to reps.

In fact, you can use a chatbot at the beginning of the live chat to gather information about the prospect that lightly qualifies them for a specific territory or rep designation.

Armed with this information, your sales reps will begin to ask questions to solve for the customer. Templates and snippets can speed up this discovery process. Then, your sales reps can follow up with their new leads.

7. Gather and analyze feedback

After your prospects use your live chat, send a follow-up survey to your new contacts. Did they enjoy using live chat? Did it help them in their decision-making process? Use live chat to learn more about your potential customers and how to make their buyer's journey as seamless as possible.

Implementing a survey will help you continuously iterate on your live chat sales strategy. See Slack's chat feedback below.

Slack live chat

Image source: NPMJS

Difference Between Live Chat a Chatbot

So what's the difference between live chat and a chatbot?

A chatbot is an automated bot that can talk to visitors on your website using planned or AI-driven conversations. On the other hand, live chat takes place between the customer and a human representative from your company.

Both live chat and chatbots have their place in your strategy, and it's best to find a software that can do both. These strategies often work in tandem. You can have a chatbot gather information from visitors and send those leads to a live chat agent who can answer your visitor's questions.

Live chat is a great sales strategy to put in place so you can generate new leads for your sales reps. Sales reps can answer questions quickly, while also having more time to talk to deals that are further along in the pipeline.

Want to learn more about using live chat in sales? Check out our ultimate guide.

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Originally published Sep 6, 2019 7:30:00 AM, updated September 06 2019

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Sales Live Chat