The internet is a fast-paced whirlwind of information.  Your prospective customers surfing for information online have short attention spans, and their buying impulse can disappear in an instant.  Capturing their attention and developing a relationship at every stage of the sales funnel can be challenging in this rapid, 24/7 information overload environment.

Fortunately, there are innovative tools to help your business navigate the process.

WSI Blog

According to Forrester, consumers are 66 percent to 90 percent of the way through their buying decision before they ever speak to a salesperson because they have completed the majority of their research online.

However, just because these prospects have autonomy online, doesn’t mean you should ignore them.  In fact, it is an opportunity to guide them through their purchasing journey.  The key is to engage at the right time, with the right message.

There is a lot of noise on the internet, so you need to stand out and demonstrate why your solution is the best fit for their problem.

Helping is the new selling.  Your business needs to focus on what you can give the consumers, not what you can get immediately.

Solve Problems

86 percent of American adults want to be able to ask questions about what they are buying, according to a Pew Research Center study.

“Which product/model is best for me?”

“Is it in stock?”

“When can I make an appointment?”

For interested customers, the beauty of the internet is that they can conduct research when it’s convenient for them.  But, it may not be the most convenient time for your business.

The prospect’s highest point of interest is immediately after they ask for information.  Eliminating any lag time in responding to their question results in an increased probability of a sale. This is not easy. Consumers expect you to be open 24/7 and available to respond instantly, but your business is not open 24/7.

The solution is an intelligent messaging platform.

Intelligent messaging combines artificial intelligence (AI) and human intelligence to streamline the sales process from a multi step approach, with missed calls and unanswered emails, to just two steps. The prospect finds your business online, the intelligent messaging platform greets them, asks qualifying questions, provides information, converts them to a hot sales lead, and directs them to the right sales representative.

Intelligent messaging platforms can help capture leads, qualify interest, book appointments, check inventory, and serve consumers 24/7, without taking a sick day. For example, Accenture reported that chatbots could solve 80 percent of customer queries.

Make Their Lives Easier

89 percent of consumers prefer messaging versus phone or email, as discovered by Twilio.

Why not proactively nurture your online leads in a communication method that is better suited to their style and can provide more detail? By leveraging the power of chatbots, you’ll have their attention at the right time during the buying journey and be able to highlight value.

Intelligent messaging technology uses AI to engage your prospects in conversations on your website, Facebook Messenger or text messaging – – including those that find your business on Google. Consumers hate filling out web forms and don’t have time for phone tag so opening your business to the channels prospects prefer, instantly improves the customer experience.

As chatbots answer customers’ questions quickly, customer satisfaction scores increase and salespeople gain efficiency. Opening the right communication channels and providing instant response can be the difference between closing a sale and losing a prospect to a competitor.

Add the Human Touch

Across all generations, people prefer messaging three times more than face-to-face or phone communication. U.S. adults spent an average of 10 minutes a day on mobile messaging apps in 2017, according to Statista.

Chatbots empower and assist people to provide online service to consumers. Once a chatbot gives your online prospects the quick answers they need, it’s time to involve a salesperson to close out the deal.

In the landscape of the impersonal internet, it’s necessary to give prospective customers a personal experience through human contact. By jumping in at the right moment and taking over from the chatbot, salespeople can relay a more personal message and respond with complex details about the product or service that provides that extra push the customer needs to complete a purchase.

No more annoying contact forms, missed phone calls, or unreturned emails.

What do you think? Reach out to us at

About the author – Erica Sietsma

Erica Sietsma is the senior vice president, Consumer Engagement & Product Strategy, at Digital Air Strike. With 16+ years of retail technology experience, her product and industry knowledge position her as a subject matter expert on the topics of social media, reputation management and digital consumer engagement.

This article was originally published in