Most businesses struggle to accurately and efficiently qualify their leads. If you’re not qualifying them, you’re wasting your sales team’s time. If you’re taking too long on each lead, you aren’t using your marketers efficiently. 61% of B2B marketers send leads directly to sales, even though only around a quarter of those leads are qualified. How much time does your company spend on lead qualification and lead scoring? If you’re striving for growth, would your current process be sustainable at 5x, 10x, or 100x the current number of leads?
At high-growth companies, or any company that needs to qualify leads at scale, lead qualification is going to become an issue, and traditional systems can’t keep up. Fortunately, with the advent conversational AI tools like Exceed.ai, lead-scoring through conversational marketing can be easier than ever. Companies like Exceed.ai offer AI assistants that can engage your customers through natural conversations, qualify leads at scale, all at a fraction of the costs of hiring another human.
The what and why of lead qualification
Lead qualification is the process by which you determine whether or not a lead is worth your sales team’s time. According to MarketingSherpa, 57% of B2B companies view converting qualified leads into paying customers as the most important funnel priority, but actually getting these qualified leads can be tricky.
A common misconception about sales is that the only important thing is getting to a yes—and while yesses are obviously important, it’s just as important to get to a fast no. Slow nos are the death of efficiency for your team, not only due to the time and people costs they eat up, but because of the opportunity cost of all of the missed sales that might have happened with better prospects.
With 79% of leads never converting to sales at most companies, conversational lead qualification through AI assistants has a compounding benefit. Not only does it save the time it would take your marketers to chat one-on-one with each customer (nurturing leads), ask the necessary questions, and gather data needed to decide whether to pass the lead onto sales. It also makes sure that the sales team will only be working with the best leads, meaning that they can focus on getting those yesses instead of wasting time on bad prospects.
A better, faster way to qualify leads
Thanks to innovations in machine learning, AI can now perform certain cognitive tasks better and faster than humans, and this includes vetting thousands of customers via conversations. AI sales and marketing assistants can engage in conversations where they happen, on the website, via text, or via email. They can also continue a conversation via email that may have started on a website chat.
“You can only truly understand a customer’s needs by engaging in conversations with them.” – Yaron Ismah-Moshe, Exceed.ai Co-Founder
Not only can AI assistants have thoughtful one-on-one conversations with as many customers as you need, they can also draw on and update customer data profiles effortlessly.
The conversations aren’t the stilted, confused gibberish of chatbots past. These AIs use natural language processing engines that are 97% accurate in understanding a lead’s responses, and are constantly learning. These assistants can understand intent and can handle objections like “This is too expensive” or “I’m not the right person,” which means better lead qualification. With Exceed.ai, business saw up to 39.5% increase in qualified leads from the same marketing efforts they were already undertaking.
Seamless integration with your team
Using conversational marketing through AI assistants means less work for your team and fewer headaches. Your AI assistant essentially becomes a super-powered team member.
With playbooks, your AI can act autonomously, handling objections, answering questions, and asking lead qualifications on its own, all while updating your CRM with any important data. But, like any good member of your team, it knows when it needs some help. If it thinks a human should jump in, it can execute a handoff or ping the right person to step in. Plus, it can adapt based on responses sent by sales and marketing teams as well, not just from the customer’s messages.
More importantly, it can automatically schedule meetings between qualified leads and your sales reps, which means they can spend more time connecting with potential customers, and less time on scheduling, non-essential email, and admin.
Get better results and let your team focus on what matters most
Lead qualification is an essential part of the marketing and sales pipeline, but can be incredibly cumbersome and expensive. With AI assistants that use conversational marketing, you can supercharge your process and give your sales reps a steady flow of the most qualified leads. AI-based conversational marketing tools let you qualify and nurture leads at scale while keeping your company lean and efficient. Ultimately, this means a better bottom line and a happier team. To learn more about how AI can improve your marketing and sales, visit Exceed.ai