Integrating WhatsApp with your sales platforms? Here’s what you need to know
Instant messaging is a vital part of our daily lives, and WhatsApp is definitely at the forefront of it. WhatsApp has 2 billion monthly active users. It is also the messaging app of choice for many countries worldwide, with 850 million downloads in 2019 and over 80% market penetration in countries like Germany, Malaysia, and Switzerland.
Besides communications, WhatsApp is also a vital tool for many businesses. Many retail stores are using it to better connect with their customers and aid their commercial activities. If you want to forge deeper relationships with your customers more efficiently as a business owner, using WhatsApp for sales is something you should consider.
Why should you use WhatsApp for sales?
At first, using WhatsApp for sales may seem like an unusual proposition for some. But it actually makes a lot of sense. In fact, 100 billion messages or more are sent every single day. Integrating WhatsApp for sales and commercial activities helps build a personal connection with customers. When customers reach out to a shop for information, they usually encounter a customer-service email or hotline, which may take hours or even days to answer their questions. But with instant messaging systems like Whatsapp, they can communicate with the business in the same way they would talk to a friend.
Let’s put yourself into your customers’ shoes for one second. Imagine you’ve found a very nice pair of shoes in an online store, or you’ve found a shop you’d really like to visit. Naturally, you’d want to ask more about the offers. Without instant messaging, you’d probably need to email them or find the “contact us” page and perhaps wait for a few days.
Here comes WhatsApp messaging. With that, you can now send a text to your shop of choice instantly, and you can expect an answer in hours or even minutes. What’s even better is having chatbots. Simply by typing in the store’s or product’s name, you might even get an answer instantly. And for business owners, you can know that someone has contacted you straight away, so you can reach out to them easier than ever.
With this human touch, customers will feel less defensive and more willing to engage while being more receptive to you as a business. Given that people spend three and a half hours on their mobile phones on a daily average, integrating WhatsApp as a sales communication channel is a great way to sell.
However, companies often face four common issues when integrating WhatsApp and scaling its use.
Limited log-ins at a time
Sales team members may often have only one set of log-in details, meaning only one person can log in at one time. One extra person can technically work on WhatsApp’s web version, but that still limits the number to two.
Manual customer management
Team members need to reach out to customers manually. It may take someone to manually mark customers’ birthdays and then copy-and-paste messages for them. This is not only very cumbersome but also very error-prone. Imagine the shock for you and your customers if you send a message to the wrong person or at the wrong time.
Quality control issues
Managers and business owners are often unable to monitor conversations to ensure quality. Since instant messages are part of a business’ official communications tools, getting basics right, like tone and spelling, is crucial. But scrolling through plethoras of messages and making sure everyone uses the same tone can become overwhelming and complicated.
Retention of customer lists
Since contacts are mostly saved in the salesperson’s mobile phone, companies may find it hard to retain customers. When a salesperson leaves, they can take all the contacts with them.
How to drive sales with WhatsApp?
Despite the challenges, using WhatsApp for sales activities can help you communicate your promotion and offer plans, list out service options and increase your visibility. The level of clarity from segmentation and selective broadcasting will be a great addition to your sales and engagement. In fact, platform integrations like WhatsApp Salesforce and WhatsApp Hubspot have profoundly impacted small businesses.
To make WhatsApp for sales viable, companies need an all-in-one platform to handle their customer base and messages. SleekFlow can do just that by helping businesses manage conversation workflows with intelligent routing rules. With our platform, your sales teams send and manage your messages from all your channels in one place and automate your marketing and sales, so you can create personalized touchpoints and grow revenue more easily. We will also provide important information in the form of insights and analytics to always know what your customers need.
How does it work exactly?
Let’s revisit the four bottlenecks. Companies cannot fully integrate WhatsApp with their sales platform because of log-on constraints, manual works, quality assurance, and customer retention issues. SleekFlow can help you solve all these problems. First, you can manage unlimited messages from all your retail and online shops on one centralized platform. Second, you can set your team structures to manage access for your members and oversee their work in an unambiguous and organized manner.
But what makes SleekFlow stand out are three functions: routing and assignment, integration, and internal collaboration.
Routing and assignment
SleekFlow’s platform design allows you to set intelligent routing rules. No matter where your customers come from, our chatbots can lead them to the sales team responsible or answer their inquiries based on their keywords. For example, customers wishing to ask about an offering at the Mong Kok shop can press “1” or press “2” for the Tsimshatsui shop. Or suppose they are asking about birthday promotions or pickups. In that case, they can type these keywords, and the chatbot can assign them to the right customer service team member.
You can also create team access to the WhatsApp platform to cover these functions or assign conversations to specific team members. Here’s how you do it:
First, view the customer conversation list on the left, customer details on the right, and the conversation in the middle.
Then, you can type your reply or add templated responses in “Reply.” You can also send internal notes and tag specific teammates in “Note”.
If you need to, you can assign the conversation to another teammate via the drop-down button on the top right-hand corner.
Integration with other platforms
You can integrate SleekFlow’s WhatsApp sales function with a range of existing CRM and e-commerce platforms. Information from various programs like HubSpot, Salesforce, Calendly, and Google Sheets is fully compatible with our platform, so you can capture all the customer information you need.
Once you add a new contact on these platforms, it will also be added to your WhatsApp list. You can then send welcome messages to these customers from different platforms, assign them into tiers, and start interacting with them. You also access information and analytics, such as response times and conversion trends, so you can always have a clear view of your performances and find ways to improve your services.
A sales platform will not be effective without supporting collaboration. SleekFlow helps you add internal notes on WhatsApp conversations to give heads-ups to other team members managing these accounts. This feature allows multiple team members working on the same accounts to have the necessary clarity and respond with the same ideas and tone.
SleekFlow can also help you with team administration. Staff can indicate their availability on the platform, and if one team member is not available, the platform can automatically reroute the account to other members. Or, if today is a customer’s birthday, you can blast a note to all team members so they will be aware when they are following up.
Combined with the integration with other platforms, you can create a seamless WhatsApp for sales experience that no other businesses can produce.
If WhatsApp for sales is something for you, download the WhatsApp for business app and set up an account. Once you are ready, speak with our representatives today and integrate your WhatsApp with SleekFlow, the official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) assigned by Meta.
Social CRM – Never miss this strategy
Social CRM is a shortened form of Social Customer Relationship Management, meaning the integration of social media and instant messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat. Since customers can interact with businesses in whatever way they like, you open the door for them to initiate conversations with you, thus, boosting the customer base.
Compared with traditional email marketing, Social CRM outperforms in terms of engagement rate – social media and instant messaging gain 6x more open rate and 8x more click rates. Not to mention that customers are more willing to reply to messages directed to their phones.
Examples of successful CRM marketing
1. Automated customer support – Hello Chatbot
It is a chatbot created by Hipmunk, a travel site to scour deals on flights, hotels, and more.
With an aim to reduce response times, Hello Chatbot is capable of answering general FAQs 24/7, preventing the loss of customers due to delayed customer service. Moreover, the bot can be integrated with various applications like Facebook and Skype, making it more convenient for customers.
2. Continuous engagement – Sephora
Maintaining seamless engagement with your customers can be a bit overwhelming. Still, it is crucial to customer satisfaction.
Sephora has therefore introduced a marketing CRM to handle this daunting task. Not only can the software automatically send a thank you email and an invitation to review, but it can also cross-sell or even upsell the products via personalized content. The program is a huge success in that Sephora has acquired 17 million more loyal members, and members account for almost 80% of its annual sales.
How can SleekFlow help you in CRM marketing?
As an integrated omnichannel customer communication platform, SleekFlow is able to merge social profiles such as Facebook, WeChat, and WhatsApp into one platform for teams to better support and engage customers. Apart from that, SleekFlow also offers a wide range of functions:
Multi-login to ensure the team can actively and simultaneously work together, providing instant customer service and support
Segment, filter, and label customers by robots
Deliver personalized messages to target groups so as to keep them in the loop
Able to connect with e-commerce platforms and other software
There are 2 features especially worth highlighting: Campaigns and Automation.
Users can send broadcast messages to various channels with a targeted list of customers with just a click.
Simply fill in the campaign title, channels for disseminating your messages, the recipients, and content, and the messages will be ready to send out.
You can use it to send status updates, broadcast promotions, birthday messages, and regathering campaigns. Generally speaking, it is similar to eDMs but with more personalized features and higher instant reply rates.
You can check the response rate and export a CSV file on the same portal.
SleekFlow helps you to simplify the workflow by eliminating manual activities. You can determine under what scenario the system should send personalized auto-replies.
You can also distribute different conversations to a specific person by queue or leave them as unassigned.