Marketing

Conversational Growth Strategy

Last modified on:

March 8, 2024

Has your CEO ever asked you, "what is our conversational growth strategy?"

It's a question I received as the VP of Marketing at our venture-backed SaaS company. And at the time, we didn't have one. So overtime, we integrated conversational marketing into our overall marketing strategy because our CEO believed it was important.

This article will discuss our learnings and explain the following:

  • What is a conversational growth strategy?
  • How conversational marketing works
  • Benefits of conversational selling

What is a conversational growth strategy?

A conversational growth strategy is the purposeful use of live chat/messaging apps, voice/video calls, or real-time chatbots to nurture and convert leads in a casual, conversational manner.

More generally, it's about offering personal, one-on-one communication with your company at all times — like the moment users land on your website from an inbound marketing source.

It's another way to meet your buyers where they are in their buying journey and give them an opportunity to engage with you via another channel (chat) if they prefer this method of communication.

When implemented effectively, it can help you: 

  • Build immediate trust and create meaningful relationships with your buyers.
  • Help your sales and marketing teams better understand buyers’ needs, from their own mouths.
  • Boost conversion rates of traffic coming to your website from multiple channels.

A conversational growth strategy and the associated tactics is now defined as, “conversational marketing”.

Drift (a software company) really coined this term and did a remarkable job at educating the market on this new way of thinking, which I'll get into next.

As you think about conversational marketing, think about how it fits into your overall demand-generation strategy, rather than a siloed initiative. If you need help with this, you can use our demand-generation template below.

{{cta-demand-generation="/cta-components"}}

How conversational marketing works

Conversational marketing encourages buyers to talk with your company as if you’re there in front of them, listening and responding to their problems and questions in real time or, at least, as close to real time as possible. 

A sense of conversational flow is what defines this approach and gives it its magic.

One example is offering live chat on your website, where users can type a message and easily engage in a chat with a relevant team member, whether sales or support. 

It could also include an automated prompt, such as with a chatbot, that users can interact with to get the answers they need to inform their buying decision. Sometimes, all it takes to make the sale is answering that one quick question the buyer has that instant, and it's not always necessary to have a human deliver that answer. 

Conversational AIs trained on your knowledge base, for example, can be a great asset in your overall conversational growth strategy.

Here are some key steps to follow when planning your conversational growth strategy:

  1. Define your personas well and craft an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) so you can align your messaging and tone appropriately.
  2. Map your buyer's journey and identify common questions, objections, challenges, and other pain points.
  3. Create ready-made responses to deal with these when they pop up, to make the conversational sales process seamless.
  4. Ask buyers for feedback on your conversations and collect opinions on how to improve.
  5. Track interactions and their results at different stages of the buying cycle, and use that data to optimize.

Essentially, instead of booking an 'appointment', or 'consultation', you want to tone down the formality and offer prospects a conversation.

How you spark that conversation and how you turn conversations into conversions is all part of refining your conversational growth strategy over time (which might be different for different industries).

Benefits of conversational selling

By talking leads through your sales funnel as and when they approach you, based on a deliberate conversational marketing strategy, your teams may convert sales faster and with less effort, lowering your overall CAC and raising your Customer Retention Rate in the long term. No guarantees though.

We implemented our conversational growth strategy with Drift, an AI chat bot for our website. We had varying success. Here are my key takeaways: 

  • We had to staff the chat bot to answer questions that AI couldn't handle, which consumed internal resources.
  • Yes, we captured leads from the website, but maybe those would have come in anyway via our contact sales form.
  • The code you add to your website, slowed our website speed down slightly.
  • I think people are getting chat fatigue and are now getting annoyed by popups that they have to close to get out of their way.
  • And lastly, it wasn't cheap. We were paying close to $20K / year for their software + the headcount cost to manage the software.

That was our experience. There are many customer testimonials that suggest companies have been wildly successful implementing a conversation growth strategy.

I'm still not entirely convinced.

I would suggest you follow the steps outlined above and if you believe it's how your buyers want to be able to interact with you, then great! Integrate it into your overall demand generation strategy.

Again, you can download our demand-generation strategy template here if it would help.

SaaS Marketing Case Study
Conversational Growth Strategy

Ian Frameworks

Sales and marketing executive at a venture backed, product-led, B2B SaaS company.