A visitor on your website is mesmerized by your web content and excitedly completes a lead form or phones your sales or support team. They almost certainly have the "I want it now" or "I want an answer" mindset and, from a sales perspective, are about as 'hot' as they will get. So what tools and processes exist to take advantage of this key moment in the sales cycle? As it turns out, very few!

The ultimate goal for any sales team is to respond while the visitor is still on the website. Of course, this is where chat works well, both before and after form submission. Text-based chat software can be independent, like ActivEngage, or can work from within your CRM, like Live Agent for Salesforce. The latter has the advantage, as the chat conversations are more easily tied to the CRM record, which adds considerably to your sales intelligence.

In general, chat is a very good idea however some companies consider it to be interruptive and complain that key members of the sales team get tied up with the low value and prank chats that inevitably occur. One remedy, particularly for support calls, is enabling chat only after form submission. This ensures the quality of the inquiry is higher as the prospect is already engaged.

Another challenge is using email to communicate with hot prospects. It is very difficult to invigorate and excite your hot prospect by email. It is also difficult to know if a remote server has blocked your email response, perhaps because of attachments or some other perceived issue. You may be emailing nobody!

Strike

An option that avoids chat, and emailing, is to engage prospects using web controls. For voice inquiries, the process goes like this (using Sitecore and Salesforce as examples):

  1. Visitor phones your company using the published telephone number on your website
  2. A sales rep asks the visitor to click a unique code in your website footer
  3. Clicking the code sends it, and the web session details, to Salesforce
  4. In Salesforce, the rep can then do the following:
    • view a list of recently clicked codes
    • click the relevant code to create an empty lead record
    • populate the lead record by asking the visitor for the required personal information
    • push any contract or help documents, links, and chat text to the visitor in Sitecore. The visitor sees this appear in a nominated web control
    • switch the content of page sections to better suit the needs of the visitor
    • personalize Sitecore so the visitor is shown specific content

This "speech plus" approach augments real-world conversations with a range of tools designed to close sales.

A similar process is followed when a visitor completes a web form:

  1. Visitor fills out and submits a web form
  2. The form details are pushed to a lead in Salesforce along with a unique code that identifies the web session
  3. The sales rep can then do the following:
    • push any contract or help documents, links, and chat text to the visitor in Sitecore. The visitor sees this appear in a nominated web control
    • switch the content of page sections to better suit the needs of the visitor
    • personalize Sitecore so the visitor is shown specific content

This process lets the sales rep communicate with each hot prospect immediately, and in real time. It has the advantages of email communication but conversations are in real time so the relationship can be strengthened gradually and with purpose. Complex sales, like those requiring document exchanges, can be completed quickly and without annoying file size constraints. Visitors who prefer to talk can choose either chat or a phone call.

Because the connection is in real time, Sitecore personalization can be "driven" by setting values in the prospect's Salesforce record. The current, and any future visits, to the website will result in a tailored experience.

In the coming months, we are extending our Sitecore to Salesforce integration, S4S, to support these ideas and features. We are keen to hear of your ideas or use cases so we can create a better product.