Having extensive discussions with clients in the last days, I realize how much work still needs to be done to let marketing teams understand the potential of digital solutions so they can augment their customer reach.

I take an example where a company needs to have physical resources (call center or field sales) to qualify and convert leads. A company having that kind of sales model mostly has a product / service which can be complex, is a significant investment, is very emotional, is life changing or requires to make appointments.

Until recently, it was possible to handle incoming leads via a sales or customer service center, answering requests incoming from different channels like phone, sms, messenger, live chat, social media messaging. It always required a person to handle it and therefore was expensive, conflictual as sales team would handle all the leads directly, the good ones like the bad ones.

As a marketeer there was a lot of pressure around the generation good enough quality leads to make sure that the cost of acquisition of the new client is not too high ( cost of marketing, plus cost of resources to generate a new customer) eating into the margin and profit.

How about to replace people with automation to guarantee that marketeers deliver to the sales teams good enough quality leads  and at the same time expand the customer reach?

there are different ways to qualify leads with automation before you hand them over to your sales teams, they can differentiate per channel, and here are a few examples:

using a chatbot to ask a few questions and qualify a lead via instant messaging channels. Depending on the answer, you can route them directly to a sales team or put them into a an automated nurturing stream to qualify them more over time. By the way, as studies say, chatbots are more and more considered as acceptable way of communication or even as shopping assistant.

Using inbound or outbound calling systems with natural language processing to make sure you get to the right elements you need to qualify a lead further. If the system cannot interpret the language, you can still route it to your call center…. but you will have saved easily 70% of resources here. Here is an example of a solution existing in the market which you can use . The solutions in the market can be plugged into a marketing automation solution without code knowledge… making it very accessible! You can plug-in into amazon alexa voice service and the google contact center ai

Why not use a lead scoring model and incremental forms with a marketing automation solution? You can start asking just two informations of your leads to get the larger volumes in, and after, push these leads into a nurturing stream ( via e-mail, sms, inn app notification, voice-calls) At every engagement you will ask for more infos, until you get to the point where your leads are qualified enough to be pushed to your sales teams. This is a great way to turn the lead volumes up and expand the customer reach, while still keeping the quality element in the funnel.

Technology enables the creation of very smart sales funnels to maximize your ROMI, make sales teams happy (as they will only work on qualified leads) and as an end point, make your company more successful through more sales generated at a lower cost!