Messaging For Sales – A Getting Started Primer


It’s no secret that messaging has exploded in the last few years. Slack, Spark, Whatsapp, iMessage, Snapchat, etc. When was the last time you actually used the phone app to talk to friends or family? 

Businesses are starting to take notice. More and more companies are looking to implement a live chat solution for their sales teams to better communicate with their customers. For a sales person, this is welcome news. Traditionally relying on phone and email, sales pros are always hungry for new ways to find and qualify leads.

Email Spam is BadAnd for the customer this makes sense too. Think about when you are researching a new product or service online. If you have a quick question, you don’t want to have to pick up the phone and wait on hold while you are transferred to a call center. And you don’t want to fill out a form only to get blasted by a 100 marketing emails.

This is where timely, helpful, and relevant messaging comes into play. The first experience a new buyer has with your company can go a long way in making that person both a customer and an advocate for you down the road.  

As a sales person, it is important to remember a key point: When messaging with a new lead that is on your website, YOU ARE NOT SELLING. The majority of people that will ask questions are still in the research phase of their buyer’s journey and will quickly be turned away if they sense your sales hat is on. Picture yourself as a high-end concierge; guiding them to the right pages and resources they need in order to keep them engaged. Your goal is to provide a great first impression of your company so that they will want to learn more.

Once the initial questions are covered off is a great time to ask one or two follow up questions that will help you qualify the person a bit further. Specific to your company/sales process, these questions can vary along the lines of: “do you have a current solution in place for XYZ, or looking to implement a new one?” “What sort of timeline do you have for making a decision?” “Are you considering any other vendors in your decision process?” Whatever are the first few important questions you need in order to turn this person into a qualified opportunity, start there and see how far you can get before additional resources are needed.  

Not sure where to start? Find one of your tenured sales reps, buy them a coffee and pick their brain on what is the most important info they need in order to close a deal quickly.

The following are a few additional best practices for getting started with messaging as a sales tool:

Leverage the data

If you are using a tool that provides insights into the customer journey, use it! At Altocloud we show in real time the journey of each visitor, so while chatting with the person you can use this context to better assist (proactively offer a customer success story targeted at the product page they are viewing for example).

Via our Live Now feed you get a snapshot of every visitor that is on your site. See a company that is on your target outreach list, or even better, a company that isn’t but should be? Great! You can either proactively chat with them live, or add their journey to your notes in order to follow up.

Human-to-human interaction is still super important

Even though so much of our day-to-day lives continue to race towards automation, in sales you cannot underestimate the power of human-to-human interactions. People buy from people. And people buy even more from people they like and trust.

Your goal with messaging should be to add a human element to the customer’s initial experience of your company. Show some personality and make them want to learn more about how you can help them.

Remember, your crack marketing team has already done the heavy lifting in getting these people to your site. You are the friendly concierge ready to route them to the right next step in their journey (and have fun doing it!).  Think about the types of companies you like to do business with or can’t live without their product / service (Spotify and Slack immediately jump out to me). There is no harm in borrowing a page from their customer interaction playbook.


Initial Outreach

We recommend coming up with three different versions of a greeting, try them all and iterate based on the feedback you get. If they are on the homepage, keep it generic. Product page? Get specific on how you can help. Pricing? Get ready to talk numbers, licensing, etc.

Remember your overarching goal: friendly and helpful, with a goal of discovering a few key pieces of info that will help you drive this person into their next buying phase, all the while getting them more and more excited about becoming a customer.

With the explosion of messaging apps already taken the consumer world by storm, the business world is quickly catching up. Click here to learn more about how Altocloud can help supercharge your messaging efforts for sales and help you communicate the way your customers want.