What Is Conversation-Qualified?

Conversation Qualified is a new, breakthrough funnel approach helping innovative businesses improve efficiency in the buyers’ journey in a way that was simply not possible before Conversational AI. Conversation Qualified is a step-change in how revenue teams do business and the biggest funnel change in the last 20 years. Now Conversational AI and Intelligent Virtual Assistants empower companies to participate in a wide range of two-way, human-like conversations that simply wasn’t feasible before; although the aspiration has always been there.

  • Moving prospects and customers down the funnel thanks to two-way interactions that delight and drive revenue
  • Creating handraisers rather than waiting for them
  • Empowering revenue teams with new technologies that ensure great customer experiences while escalating Sales and Customer Success opportunities
  • Transforming your business at scale and maximizing revenue opportunities for your Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success operations
  • Driving industry-leading 8x engagement with your prospects and customers over traditional methods
  • Deliver the iconic experience you want to instill in your customers at scale

This new approach already has real-world impacts. Byron O’Dell, Head of Corporate Marketing and Executive Director at IHS Markit says, “We’ve been able to touch nearly every inquiry that comes into the business with an Intelligent Virtual Assistant. And that’s uncovering incremental, high-quality leads to support the Sales team. We are making rapid and thorough first contact, and we are doing it at scale.”

Similarly, Carrie Watson, Director of Customer Success at OEConnection, says, “We have thousands of customers. But what we needed was a way to identify which customers were ready to talk to us. Our AI Assistant got dealers to raise their hands and helped increase and
improve retention.”

Let’s take a deeper look at how Conversation Qualified works and how it helps revenue teams do what they do best.

How Conversation Qualified Works

Conversational AI empowers revenue teams to automate human-like outreach that drives two-way engagement. Intelligent Virtual Assistants, for example, offer different skills that map to specific use cases. Couched under these skills are a myriad of conversations that the AI solution can autonomously craft and deliver to leads or customers. During its two-way interactions with a contact, the Intelligent Virtual Assistant understands incoming messages, decides on the best course of action, and acts on it. This includes identifying handraisers and passing them along to a Salesperson or Customer Success Manager.

This is different from linear email automation or even simplistic, rules-based chatbots because Conversation Qualified signals far deeper readiness than opens, clicks, or downloads. A Conversation-Qualified prospect has had an entire back-and-forth conversation about their intent, meaning they’re truly ready for the next step in the customer journey.

Conversation Qualified works differently for different teams:

  • For Marketing , this means a new approach to sorting through leads that surfaces the highest priorities faster but also nurtures the supposedly lower-quality leads in a way that actually works. The result is both an increase in the number and quality of leads moving to the next stage of the funnel.
  • For Sales , this means scaling outbound lead outreach, getting passed the best leads because they specifically requested a meeting, and augmenting teams with virtual team members so they can focus on the most likely inbound leads.
  • For Customer Success teams, this means proactively reaching out to every customer to motivate engagement, retention, product adoption, and expansion through back-and-forth dialog.

Let’s explore the transformation Conversation Qualified brings to Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success teams.

Conversation Qualified for Marketing: A Better Way to Qualify and Move Leads Down Your Funnel

What if you could deliver tailored and meaningful recommendations to thousands of leads, eliciting two-way dialog to progress a lead faster through the funnel? Research shows that 80% of customers are more likely to buy when brands offer personalized experiences. Businesses must be able to deliver those stellar experiences quickly and consistently or risk losing opportunities to their competitors.

To maximize their funnel, smart companies are going beyond traditional marketing actuation by leveraging Conversational AI technologies. Intelligent Virtual Assistants engage prospects in two-way conversations that accelerate opportunities and serve your prospects’ needs, no matter where they are in the funnel. This level of personalization and exchange creates handraisers—rather than waits for them—by keeping up a dialog with leads until they self-identify as ready to move on to the next step in their journey, whether that takes one message or a dozen.

Traditionally, the measure Marketing uses to determine if inquiries are ready for a sales touch is the MQL. An MQL is an educated guess—based on demographics, firmographics, and digital activity—about how likely a lead is to convert based on their interactions with your brand. For example, if a lead is highly engaged with your content, attends webinars, and opens your newsletters, they might be an MQL. But again, it’s just a guess; some seemingly very interested leads might turn out to be curious tire-kickers, while others with low engagement might very well be ready to buy right this minute.

Although MQLs were a critical step-change two decades ago, they are very inefficient. MQLs are an indicator that a lead might be ready for a Sales touch. But it is not a guarantee that they are a handraiser. Truth be told, companies were forced to take this approach because they did not have the human power to directly connect with leads at scale. Fortunately, companies leveraging Conversation Qualified via Intelligent Virtual Assistants see triple the conversion rates of MQLs and more systematically serve their lead stock.

Additionally, Conversica customers find that 1 in 20 dormant leads are willing to talk if you persistently pursue them with an Intelligent Virtual Assistant. That’s great news for Marketers who can better engage all those dormant leads at scale, and find more opportunities without having to chase these leads themselves.

new technologies like Intelligent Virtual Assistants

Now that new technologies like Intelligent Virtual Assistants are here, Marketers are adopting Conversation Qualified as a more efficient funnel model.

  • Accelerate handraisers
  • Nurture lukewarm leads until they self-identify for a handoff
  • Save time and resources chasing the non-buying contacts
  • Scale personalized outreach for promptness, persistence, and performance
  • Ensure 100% follow-up; no lead left behind

Yes, the MQL has been the standard. But fortunately, something better can take its place. Cut the guesswork and choose Conversation Qualified instead!

Conversation Qualified for Sales: Scale Outreach and Accelerate Opportunities

Conversation Qualified can similarly transform the productivity of Sales teams. The Business Development function in organizations has made massive strides to personalize their outreach, but to truly attack the broad funnel is impossible with these human-only models.

While it’s simple for one Sales Development Rep (SDR) to offer a personalized experience to a handful of prospects, when there are hundreds or even thousands of leads, it becomes impossible. After all, Salespeople only have so much time to reach out to contacts in hopes of getting a response. So without innovative technologies like Intelligent Virtual Assistants, Conversation Qualified becomes a Herculean task.

Luckily, Intelligent Virtual Assistants can act as your own augmented Sales Development team. By enabling conversations with those prospects to develop two-way conversations in real-time or on the customer’s time, Intelligent Virtual Assistants help Sales teams to scale their efforts. This includes taking on prompt and persistent lead outreach, autonomously crafting high-performing personalized messages, and identifying and accelerating hot opportunities. Yes, Intelligent Virtual Assistants make the impossible possible.

Intelligent Virtual Assistants are a robust solution, deployable across a number of applications. For instance, companies can use Intelligent Virtual Assistants to support their targeted account strategies and signal early intent that might be coming from ABM platforms.

Additionally, many companies assume they have opportunities hidden among their cold leads. This is another area where Intelligent Virtual Assistants can make a difference. By automating two-way, human-like conversations, Intelligent Virtual Assistants can wake up and warm up slow or sleeping opportunities. This means more revenue without a lot of effort on behalf of your Sales team.

Yes, it is possible to touch every lead with a personalized, two-way experience that motivates them to take the next best action. Maybe the next best action is booking a Sales meeting, sharing more educational content, or opting out the uninterested party. In any case, the best opportunities are accelerated and the bad opportunities are weeded out—all without occupying your staff.

Conversational AI helps Sales teams:

  • Scale their prospecting activities
  • Supplement existing SDR teams where capacity is always an issue
  • Support target account outreach or ABM programs
  • Re-engage slow or sleeping opportunities

Conversation Qualified for Customer Success: Retain and Grow Customers

What if you could engage every single customer to proactively motivate product usage, boost retention rates, and grow your base?

Businesses strive to give customers as much personalized care as possible. But human limitations force CSMs to be reactive rather than proactive. Considering that 96% of buyers say customer experience is their primary consideration in their brand loyalty, it’s crucial to nail these interactions. In order to catch these customers and push them towards greater things, Customer Success teams ought to invest in Intelligent Virtual Assistants.

Intelligent Virtual Assistants work alongside CSMs to motivate product adoption and drive customer health in a proactive and scalable manner that people simply cannot. That’s because Customer Success teams are similarly hampered by capacity issues—resulting in inconsistent customer experiences. These capacity challenges force CSMs to prioritize a minority of highest paying customers while a longtail of customers is left with impersonal touches—usually around renewal time.

Businesses understand the risk that comes with being passive or over-occupied. Namely, that they will miss opportunities or even lose unhappy customers. Only 1 in 26 customers will complain about their experiences with a CSM—and many of these customers will churn. Conversational AI empowers Customer Success teams to proactively reach out to customers to keep them happy, healthy, and spending.

Conversational AI helps Customer Success teams:

  • Proactively address customer health and product usage
  • Scale personalized outreach for consistent customer experiences
  • Automate renewals and collect customer feedback
  • Suggest relevant upsell or cross-sell opportunities

The Shift to Conversation Qualified

Scaling two-way and personalized interactions simply weren’t possible before the introduction of Conversational AI. But now—thankfully—Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success Teams can benefit from this transformative technology’s ability to intelligently automate human-like interactions that discover revenue and delight customers. This means a differentiated brand experience to potential buyers and better, more efficient handoffs to revenue-generating teams.

Are you ready for the Conversation-Qualified Era?

Want more information about the power of Conversational AI? Explore our eBook, The Future of Work Is Now: New Research Shows the Benefits of an Augmented Workforce.