Chatbots and B2B marketing make for a winning combination, considering that the preference of customers goes to live chat services because of their real-time nature.
Among the different types of chatbot services, AI chatbots seem to be particularly appealing: they can not only solve many of the problems of traditional automated chatbots, but they also bring new business patterns, the chat-driven business models.
The coupling of Facebook Messenger and AI chatbots through live-chat services seems to be especially promising in B2B marketing.
In 2018, the estimated number of chatbots on Facebook Messenger exceed 300.000, according to Venture Beat. And this trend is on the increase.
But the big deal for B2B companies with B2B chatbots stays more on the opportunity to exploit some features of AI B2B chatbots, like data mining, high productivity, and 24/7 availability, than on the mere presence in social networks.
These features are not possible in conventional live chats with human operators. Chatbots are intrinsically different, they offer something new, at the point that today we speak of Bots As A Service (BAAS) to point to a totally different experience.
So, the question is now not whether B2B chatbots are useful, but how B-to-B marketing organizations can make the most of them.
I summarized the more rewarding ways to employ chatbots in the six following points.
B2b chatbots power the communication with your clients
“Markets are conversations”, they wrote on the Cluetrain manifesto in 1999. Especially in a B-to-B, sales occur when a conversation takes place and reaches a happy end.
B2b chatbots can be incredibly helpful in powering communication with your clients. The first application of chatbots is to fasten the sales process by answering clients’ questions, and so reducing the time a client spends on searching news and information by himself.
Consider that in a digitalized world speed is all. If your sales team is too slow to answer, your lead will close your webpage and jump to your competitors’ ones and that is over. B2b chatbots save daily thousands of leads by delivering the fast answer at the right moment.
But what is really at stake with chatbots is not speed, but conversational marketing. It has become essential for any business in the age of super-connectivity, as conversational marketing gives your organization the ability to listen to clients’ needs and personalize the service or the product, in order to deliver your customers the correct information at the right moment.
Among the information, comparisons among different kinds of products are particularly delicate, as they constitute an important step in making customers’ decisions.
Here, AI b2b chatbots beat humans again: they can understand your leads’ preferences and tastes in a second through data mining and then serve immediately the most appropriate answer or content.
B2b chatbots can be great salesman assistant
Another way a b2b chatbot can be immensely helpful is in closing sales.
This happens in several ways:
- Nurturing the lead. This implies a set of routine activities (like sending emails and messages with your best offers) that can be automized.
- Lead qualification and valuation: AI can discover unexpected and hidden facts and attitudes of your leads through data mining. This superpower is unknown to humans.
- Scheduling meetings with your human sales staff. This is another routine activity that can be easily outsourced to an AI chatbot.
In other words, B2B chatbots can take care of the annoying and monotonous tasks of selling, so that your team can focus on more interesting and rewarding activities.
A B2B chatbot can help manage your Facebook community
In 2016, Facebook announced that chatbots would be made available for its app Messenger, which means that a developer can create his own bot inside the app.
To understand the impact of this decision, consider that Facebook is more and more relevant for business-to-business marketing. 74% of people state that they use Facebook for professional purposes, according to HubSpot.
There are several ways to exploit Facebook in B-to-B marketing that go over the mere answering customers’ calls. We will explore them in our next posts.
B2B chatbots can create the best customer support ever
In a world where speed and easiness are essential, AI b2b chatbots can make a difference in your customer support.
For example, they can answer your customers’ questions in fast real-time and avoid them searching for an answer through a long and boring list of FAQs.
But the most important point is that chatbots do not sleep or eat, they are available 24/7, speak different languages, and solve most routine problems, as users can ask directly to the bot.
Consider that many B-to-B companies are intrinsically technical, and their customers need to have an answer to any possible issue at any time.
A B2B chatbot can easily take care of the most common technical issues, with the consequence that the members of your technical team are alleviated from dozens of small hassles. They can so devote their time and resources to deal with what really matters.
Another advantage of chatbots is that there are no mood sinks. While a human employee can get annoyed and then overreacts to a difficult customer, a chatbot assures a uniform treatment of customers without mood swings.
AI chatbots and B2B: they do the best marketing research
Sometimes, business-to-business organizations have an urgency for updated marketing data even stronger than B-to-C companies. Technologies, prices, competitors, and clients’ needs can change lightning fast.
An AI Chatbot has the ability to drill data through billions of documents and conversations through the social networks, at a pace that is impossible for human teams and at a cost that is nearly zero.
Moreover, they can discover hidden patterns of behaviors or trends that are difficult, not to say impossible, to detect by humans.
So, getting information is the reason number one to employ AI chatbots, both in B-to-B and in B-to-C marketing. This can be then helpful in a huge variety of applications, from email automation to content creation and native advertising.
An interesting example of the results that a company can have through AI chatbots is affiliate marketing. A b2b chatbot can hand off content with tips and suggestions on any topic that embody links to specific products that an organization is an affiliate to.
B2B chatbots help customers in searching
Every designer well knows that the secret of good e-commerce is to make categories and product details easily reachable and navigable. This is not an easy task, and organizations devote much time and money in the attempt to optimize their websites every year.
Bots can be helpful even in this field. For example, they can search for your customer the exact product even on the basis of a quite vague query. Vocal research can be implemented. More in general, artificial intelligence can easily guess your customers’ needs and serve the most appropriate contents, no matter whether it is a product query or a technical information request.
Some examples of chatbot B2B
This popular platform uses a b2b chatbot to help users to browse the contents of its website. In this way, the UX is greatly improved and customer satisfaction as well.
They are in information management in the insurance and banking sectors. They connected their chatbot to their API so it can help a salesperson to find the right argument to convince prospects
They are an interface design and UX company. They use their chatbot to gather visitor’s questions and contact information.
Are you interested to build a chatbot for your B2B company?
Chatbot B2B and marketing: conclusions
The use of B2B chatbots in marketing is simply one of the many possible uses of Chatbots in business.
In fact, the advent of the digital world has established the centrality of conversations in any kind of industry, and consequently set the ground for the growth of chatbot technologies and applications in any sector, independently from their natures.
In other words, it is digitalization that brings chatbots and the consequent processes of automation that chatbots allow. This will not automatically imply a process of replacement of humans, as in most cases the relations between bots and humans are more of a type of win-win than win-lose.
To conclude, I remember that B-to-B marketing is only one of the possible fields of application of b2b chatbots.
Another promising field is management and HR chatbots. A virtual assistant can help your HR team get rid of menial tasks and set them free to devote their time to more crucial, interesting, and profitable tasks, with gains in personal happiness for HR team members and monetary savings for the organization.