Lead scoring is a notoriously fragmented science. Eighty percent of new leads don’t translate into profits, and a further 50% evaporate due to sloppy follow-up procedures. Nurtured leads spend 47% more money than non-nurtured ones. Too many businesses treat the discipline as a numbers game, so the statistics aren’t surprising. It’s time franchisors shifted their focus. The solution? Today’s brand giants are using conversational artificial intelligence (AI) to ramp up lead quality.
How Conversational AI Lead Scoring Works
Conversational AI has climbed to impossible heights in recent years. Chatbots have learned to mimic human interactions so well that it’s become tough to tell the difference between men and machines. Virtual sales staff wow millions of buyers every day. Still, most businesses rely on conversational AI to nurture leads, not to score them. This is a gross oversight. The technology has become powerful enough to qualify leads before passing them onto human salespeople. It analyzes consumers’ emotional states and gauges buyer-readiness based on virtual interactions. That means you have an army of lead scorers at your side.
AI can use sentiment analysis in increasingly complex ways. Nothing escapes today’s machines. They draw insights from premature responses, interruptions, and pace. They recognize conversations that feel out of sync and pick up on indefinable qualities like empathy and tone. Diluted leads lists are becoming a thing of the past. Today’s brand experience is consistent across all franchises.
Succeeding Where Old Lead Scoring Strategies Fail
Lead scoring teams spend an inordinate amount of time on nurturing emails. They also waste an untold number of hours coping with bogus contact information. Add data capture to the list, and you have little time left to make profitable sales. Unqualified prospects are a time drain that keeps franchisees from more important work, but that’s easy to fix.
Conversational AI lead scoring technology can meet website visitors as they arrive online, transforming missed opportunities into qualified leads. Machines, it turns out, are gifted at winning trust. They have the power to convince site visitors to part with precious contact information. They can even become a core part of your conversion machine, sorting names into target personas so that your franchisees always have a head start.
The Bots of Today
Natural language understanding is more intelligent than ever before. Forget the shoddy bots you find on Facebook pages. Modern conversational AI is difficult to tell from humans, so it provides a spectacular brand experience. It can also draw users’ buying history to deliver a more personalized experience. That doesn’t mean franchisors should automate all of their user interactions. The digital future is a collaborative one, with bots acting as virtual assistants to human sales teams. AI agents can certainly qualify and prioritize leads, but they needn’t nurture them.
Conversational AI as A/B Testing
Conversational AI is particularly talented at A/B testing, so it can measure engagement at a deeper level than you might think. It’s putting rules-based lead scoring to bed in favor of a more predictive model. It looks into the future of every potential client by assessing historical, geographical, and firmographic data. Then it feeds that information into prescribed suggestions that add value to sales calls.
Machine learning is racing into the sales landscape at a dizzying pace, unblocking data congestion as it goes. Sales-ready leads are worth their weight in ones and zeroes, particularly in the franchise industry where a consistent voice is needed across hundreds of branches. The future is digital, automated, and revolutionary.