March 21, 2019

How to use Chatbots Effectively for your B2B Business

Call an Uber, order from Amazon, book a hotel… You can do all of these things instantly—even at 4 AM. People today want commodities quickly and with round the clock access. Believe it or not, your B2B buyers are also people, and they probably want the same. Now, most businesses can’t man their websites 24/7 (unless you’re shelling out for night shift employees or lots of coffee)—this is where the chatbot comes in. But there’s an art to the bot—they shouldn’t replace humans, but should help facilitate conversations with customers. Proper use can result in tremendous boost to lead generation, and can radically speed up a company’s growth.

Dave Gerhardt, co-author of Conversational Marketing and VP of Marketing at Drift, joined RTU for a chatbot chat, and really digs into the value, and ideal usage, of these automated critters. Beyond that, Dave touches on a few broader subjects, including how marketing efforts need to be rooted in empathy and humanity. After all, you’ll always be marketing to people.

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What You’ll Learn

Conversational marketing: why you should nix your lead form

When Drift nixed its own lead form, they did so to teach the market about conversational marketing! Drift needed to practice what it preached. Drift utilizes bots to capture leads. Instead of a form submission, there is a conversation with a potential customer. Dave shares that a form is binary while a chatbot allows a conversation to occur. Today’s technology is so good that from a single email address, your company can get ample information. Because of this, companies should feel free to focus on the conversation.

Why chatbots?

Chatbots work 24/7. You can get leads while you are sleeping, and no matter when a customer is on your website, they can get help. Consumers do not want to wait for information, and bots allow access to it at any time. Humans are used to instant gratification, and it has been proven that if you can respond to a new lead in 5 minutes, the chances of getting into contact with them goes up 10x. Astonishingly, over 90% of B2B companies are not replying within 5 minutes. But, a bot service can help them do just that! Your company can look to chatbots to facilitate conversations as a helper of humans.

The need for empathy in sales conversations

Dave defines marketing as helping people to buy, and empathy as the ability to put yourself in others’ shoes. He explains that it is necessary to have empathy in good sales conversations. It changes how you approach sales by trying to understand how to best help the customer by understanding their point of view. It is a give-to-get economy, so if you want to build trust, you must give! Bots can answer questions and get information to buyers. Chatbots are a great way to give customers back their time, and time is one of the most valuable commodities.


  • [2:40] Get to know Dave, and why he was first attracted to Drift
  • [6:15] Information from his book, Conversational Marketing
  • [11:11] Is there every information on a website worth gating?
  • [14:03] Why chatbots
  • [20:20] Embedding a calendar-like function to a chatbot
  • [25:20] The point of moving from a chatbot to livechat
  • [28:16] Why speed matters!
  • [31:37] The importance of empathy in sales conversations
  • [35:40] Using chatbots for customer service and post sales
  • [39:35] CQL’s and why they will save the world

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Resources & People Mentioned

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