Timpani Sales and Marketing platform shortens sales cycle by 48% and generates 500% ROI
With more than one million monthly visitors, the company’s main obstacle to growing online revenue was not increasing traffic, but converting more visitors to buyers. Hoover’s needed an efficient way to seamlessly identify the visitors most likely to become paid subscribers, qualify potential leads and initiate a sales dialogue. Prior to the chat implementation, a system of online web forms funneled prospects to outsourced call center agents, who called the visitor within 15 minutes of receiving the form, and then transferred qualified calls to skilled in-house sales representatives.
"Even within those 15 minutes between submitting the form and getting a callback, there’s a very large attrition rate. We were looking for a way to not lose that connection with the customer," said Marybeth Gavin, Sr. Marketing Manager, Hoover’s.
Gavin’s team wanted to implement a tool that would allow outsourced agents to contact and pre-qualify visitors quickly, before their interest waned. The agents’ role in pre-qualifying visitors was vital to internal sales representatives, who needed to focus their limited resources on leads that represented the highest-value online subscriptions.
Hoover’s conducted a three-month pilot with LivePerson’s Timpani Sales and Marketing solution to test whether instantaneous online chats could deliver better results than phone calls.
The intelligent, rules-based platform enabled the company to identify potential subscribers based on their browsing behavior and offer an immediate, text-based chat with a live representative.
The timing of the chat invitations was a critical component of engaging leads that might otherwise be lost in the previous web form/phone call process. The invitations needed to appear at just the right time to engage visitors interested in a subscription, without being obtrusive or annoying.
To develop and test this new sales channel, Hoover’s adopted LivePerson's domain methodologies and Timpani platform to:
Identify Purchase Intent And Abandonment Indicators
Leveraging the platform’s business rules, specific visitor actions and behavior triggered proactive chat invitations. The rules engine limited chat invitations to one per person, per visit, and only offered the channel to visitors who didn’t successfully complete the registration process on their own.
Engage Visitors At The Right Time, In The Right Place
Hoover’s tested chat on pages where visitors were most likely to consider purchasing a subscription: the Hoovers.com homepage, the subscription options page and any page with a web form. LivePerson’s automated application tracked browsing behavior on these pages and invited visitors who triggered business rules to chat live with a business consultant.
Seamlessly Transfer Qualified Leads
During initial chat conversations, outsourced agents pre-qualified visitors and then handed off qualified leads to Hoover’s sales representatives. Automatically fed into the company’s CRM system, the information collected via chat was immediately available to sales reps. The outsourced agents sent complete chat transcripts upon hand-off, allowing the Hoover’s in-house team to continue the conversation seamlessly within the visitor’s current chat window.
Proactive chat on Hoovers.com allows agents to qualify prospects immediately while their interest is hot. Chat invitations are offered to visitors based on browsing behavior and site activity.
At the conclusion of the three month pilot, Hoover’s expanded LivePerson’s chat functionality throughout Hoovers.com as a standard feature.
Chat has become one of Hoover’s primary conversion vehicles: 30% of visitors who chat are passed along as leads to the sales team. Closure rates nearly doubled, and subscriptions generated through chat have boosted average order value 11%.
Due to the high sales value, the chat implementation paid for itself in the opening month. The return on investment from LivePerson’s technology is 500% – the highest of any previous marketing project.
Additionally, the chat option has allowed sales representatives to close 51% of subscription sales within 8 days and 50% of those are completed in 1 day or less, a significant reduction from the previous 25-30 day average sales cycle.
Gavin notes that the sales staff is just as happy with the system as the marketing group. Senior sales reps have even joined junior members of the sales team in fielding online chats.
"Offering chat, email and self-service addresses the fact that our customers take a multi-channel approach to interacting with us and learning about our products and services," said Gavin. "With the LivePerson solution, we are able to provide multiple options to our customer base and qualify each lead so our representatives can concentrate their efforts on the highest-possible engagements. This implementation has been a win-win for our customers and Hoover’s alike."
LivePerson makes life easier by transforming how people communicate with brands. Our customers use our conversational commerce solutions to orchestrate humans and AI, at scale, and create a convenient, deeply personal relationship — a conversational relationship — with their consumers.
Published: Friday, September 14, 2007
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