Do you know the feeling of forgetting to respond to an important email?

Of course you do, it’s something everyone has encountered at least once; either from the customer side or the business side of things.

During these moments, you might have had a thought that went somehow along the lines of “I wish they could have just sent me a text instead”.

In the modern sales world, “sending a text” is a legitimate sales strategy being implemented by many companies. Even by your competitors.

Instant messages boast a 60% click-through rate, more than double that of the 23.9% rate emails average.

Read this article to find out how to implement a messenger-based sales strategy and start selling through messenger apps.

What is messenger-based selling?

Messenger-based selling is an approach that uses popular messaging platforms to conduct sales processes and forge long-term connections with potential clients and customers.

Critical messaging platforms involved in messenger-based selling are…

  • WhatsApp: Proudly holding the title as the top messenger in 63 countries since 2022
  • Facebook Messenger: Ranking second in popularity, with the number one position in 16 countries
  • Telegram: Emerging as the top pick in 10 countries, securing its status as the third most popular option
  • Instagram
  • Viber

It's important to note that these messaging platforms' preferences can vary across countries. In their home nations, certain messaging services, such as WeChat in China and Kakao Talk in South Korea, enjoy unparalleled popularity.

Most popular messaging apps by country
Most popular messaging apps by country

🗣️ SimilarWeb

How to use messenger apps for B2B sales: A step-by-step guide

Messenger-based selling really is a big deal. If you want to get started with it, look no further! NetHunt CRM has got you covered with everything you need to start using messenger apps for B2B sales.

Step 1: Set B2B messenger-based sales goals

When looking to start selling using messengers, it’s important to know exactly what you’re trying to achieve by adding a new communication channel.

Some goals that you could be setting for messenger-based selling are…

You might ask yourself - “but how do I find out what goals I should be setting?”.

Well, to ensure you’re setting the right goals, it’s best to follow this framework…

  1. Determine your ideal B2B customers and their pain points
  2. Ensure your objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound
  3. Regularly review and adjust your goals based on the outcomes of your sales processes

Step 2: Define your buyer persona

It is crucial to know your customers if you want to make sure the sale is a success. A buyer persona is the tool that can help you gain more insights into your customers.

A buyer persona, or a sales persona, is a fictional profile representing your ideal target audience. A well-crafted buyer persona significantly enhances your sales team's effectiveness.

A comprehensive buyer persona includes details about your main audience, like…

  • Age
  • Location
  • Challenges
  • Professional responsibilities
  • Purchasing habits
  • Job role and description

This enables sales reps to tailor their engagement methods and pinpoint challenges that may act as conversation starters with prospects.

Read our article about defining your buyer persona — with buyer persona templates!

In short, this is how you create a buyer persona…

  1. Identify common traits linking your customers; age, expertise, or location
  2. Understand customers' shared challenges and how your product solves them
  3. Recognise what motivates prospects and anticipate potential objections
  4. Analyse current client commonalities using CRM data and support interactions
  5. Give your buyer persona a name and story to help sales reps visualise prospects

Step 3: Choose the right messenger app(s) for your business

Choosing the right messenger app(s) is critical for your messenger-based strategy.. Customers from different demographics tend to prefer different messaging apps.

For example, a young person might prefer Telegram or Instagram, while an older customer might prefer Facebook Messenger or Viber as their primary communication channel.

The same goes for where customers are based.

Clients from Korea will most likely prefer Kakao Talk, and clients from China will almost definitely prefer WeChat.

To determine what messengers your customers prefer, try the following…

  • Gather feedback from existing clients about their preferred messaging platforms
  • Investigate popular messengers used in your target industry and among competitors
  • Assess platform functionalities like automation, CRM integration, and analytics
  • Monitor customer conversations and engagement on various platforms
  • Observe discussions to identify popular messaging apps among your target audience
  • Explore platforms favoured by industry professionals for communication

To gather feedback from your clients, you can…

  • Create a web form either with the help of your CRM’s web form builder, or with a web form builder tool such as Google Forms or SurveyMonkey
  • Email customers directly. Ask them about their messenger preferences.  Your customers will gladly provide you with their preferred messenger, as it will increase their own comfort when interacting with your business.
  • Utilise platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter to create polls asking customers about their preferred messaging apps
  • Train your support team to casually inquire about customers' preferred messaging platforms during routine conversations

Step 4: Set up your business account

Set up a business account on your chosen messenger platform! Business account options will vary considerably depending on your chosen platform.

For example, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp allow you to create accounts for your business, giving salespeople the ability to communicate with customers under your company's name.

The closest you can get to this type of business account on Telegram would be to create a chatbot. Bear in mind this process is time-consuming and prone to occasional glitches. Therefore it’s logical for salespeople to create individual accounts and link them to the CRM integration with Telegram.

We also can’t provide you with an exact step-by-step guide on creating a business account. The process varies from platform to platform and based on the device you’re using. Usually, however, it’s no more complicated than registering to use the messenger apps for personal reasons, so you’ll have no trouble figuring it out.

Here are some tips for what to include in your business account for messenger-based selling…

A professional and engaging profile

To make sure that your customers can trust your sales representative when they message them is to make sure that their profile is professional and engaging. The same methods that salespeople who sell through LinkedIn make their profiles engaging and professional should be applied to messenger-based business profiles.

Here’s how to make your profile professional and engaging…

  • Use a high-quality logo or professional image representing your business
  • Mention awards, certifications, or milestones to build credibility
  • Maintain a professional,  friendly voice that reflects your brand identity

Adding relevant information to your account

Another thing you need to make sure you do, is fill up your account with information that would be relevant to your account. Here are some tips on ensuring your account is filled with relevant information…

  • Write a brief and informative description highlighting your company's purpose, services, and unique selling points; explain your position
  • Specify your business hours and typical response time to manage expectations
  • Summarise services, expertise, and unique selling points
  • Provide an email address, phone number, and website for accessible communication
7 ways to use social proof to boost your sales [+ Examples]
After reading this piece you’ll know how, when, and what social proof to use during your sales process to boost your performance astronomically.

Step 5: Integrate messenger app(s) with CRM

Bringing all of your communication channels together is a significant step to optimising your sales representative’s workflow. The same applies to messengers.

With more and more CRM providers offering messenger integrations, it would be unwise not to use them to their full potential.

You can reap big rewards using NetHunt CRM’s messenger integrations

  • Effectively add customer details to the CRM system by promptly generating records from chats across multiple messengers
  • Effortlessly link chats to the relevant CRM customer entry, guaranteeing a fluid communication experience
  • Never overlook a message; respond directly from CRM records or the user's Timeline
  • Safeguard personal conversations by employing whitelists and blacklists to stop them from being imported into the CRM

Following the example of NetHunt CRM again, here’s how to set up your messenger integrations…

  1. Go to your NetHunt CRM workspace settings from either your Gmail tab or the NetHunt CRM web app
  2. Go to the “Chats” tab under “Integrations”
  3. Click on “Connect chat”
  4. Follow the instructions displayed on the screen, and your chat integration is now connected
How to connect integrations with messenger apps in NetHunt CRM
How to connect integrations with messenger apps in NetHunt CRM

For more information regarding connecting NetHunt CRM with messengers, check out our Help Center article collection.

Step 6: Plan for your first messenger-based campaign

When implementing messenger-based sales, you need to clearly define the processes and procedures for salespeople to follow when speaking to prospects through that channel.

These processes and procedures might include…

  • The number of touchpoints before contact
  • The number of follow-ups and the interval between each follow-up
  • The format of messages you'll share with leads and customers: will you send voice notes? Videos? Images?  
  • A set response time target, ensuring prompt and attentive communication
  • Aligned messenger-based sales with ongoing marketing efforts, promoting a cohesive brand experience across channels
  • Ongoing training and available resources for sales reps to stay up-to-date with best practices and platform updates
  • Guidelines for message personalisation and communication style

Your messenger-based campaign is almost ready to go. All that's left to do is craft messages and watch the results start coming in!

Step 7: Craft personalised and relevant sales messages [+ templates]

Whilst communication channels such as emails, calls, and LinkedIn are expected of a formal-ish communication style, messengers are more relaxed and allow for a more semi-formal communication style.

In order to make an impact with your messenger-based sales, you need to ensure that all of your messages are personalised, relevant, and easy to understand.

💬 “Hey [Prospect's First Name],

Hope you're doing well! I stumbled upon [Prospect's Company] and noticed your work in the [Industry] area. I'm [Your Role] at [Your Company], and we've been assisting companies like yours with [Specific Solution or Service].

Our [Product/ Service] has made a significant impact, providing perks like [Key Benefit 1] and [Key Benefit 2]. I think it could be an excellent match for [Prospect's Company], especially with your focus on [Prospect's Goal or Challenge].

Are you up for a casual chat about how we can help your company achieve more?

Looking forward to chatting, [Prospect's First Name]!

[Your Name]"

💬 Hey [Prospect's First Name]!

Just wanted to reach out and share something exciting. At [Your Company], we're experts in [Industry] and we've got an incredible [Specific Solution or Service] that can make a real impact.

Our clients rave about the benefits they've gained from our [Product/Service], like [Key Benefit 1] and [Key Benefit 2]. Given your focus on [Prospect's Goal or Challenge], I think we could be a perfect fit.

Can we have a quick chat about how we can help you reach your goals?

[Your Name]"

💬 Hey there [Prospect's First Name],

What a fantastic job you're doing at [Prospect's Company]! I'm [Your Name] from [Your Company], and we've been making waves in [Industry] with our [Specific Solution or Service]. I'm super excited to chat about how we could help you reach [Prospect's Goal or Challenge].

When's a good time for you?

Can't wait to chat,

[Your Name]"

Step 8: Measure your messenger-based sales success and adapt and refine your strategy accordingly

Creating a successful messenger-based selling strategy requires you to track the success of your processes and revise them constantly.

To measure the success of messenger-based sales, you need to know what metrics you will be tracking and why. Here are the steps to take to refine your messenger-based sales strategy…

Identify KPIs for messenger-based sales

Different metrics will be more important to you depending on your current business goals.

For example, suppose your business mainly uses messenger-based selling for upselling or other retention activities. In that case, the retention, churn, and upsell/ cross-sell rates will be more important metrics to track than leads generated.

Some other KPIs that you might consider essential to tracking your messenger-based sales strategies success are…

  • Number of Active Conversations: The total number of ongoing conversations with potential customers
  • Lead Response Time: The average time it takes for your team to respond to a new lead or inquiry
  • Conversation Duration: The average conversation length from beginning to end
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of conversations that lead to a sale or desired action
  • Customer Engagement Rate: The number of messages each potential customer sends
  • Sales Cycle Duration: The time it takes from the first message to closing a deal
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): Feedback score given by customers based on their interaction experience
  • First Contact Resolution Rate: The percentage of customer issues that are resolved in the first interaction
  • Upsell/ Cross-Sell Rate: The frequency with which your team is able to sell additional products or services to existing leads or customers

Tracking and analysing data from your messenger app

Most messenger apps on the market offer analytics you could use if you have a business account registered on the platform.

However, Meta-owned platforms, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram direct messages, are the only platforms that offer comprehensive analytics directly through the app. Services such as Telegram and Viber require you to rely on your chatbot to collect analytics for you, rather than an in-app process.

This increases the costs of implementing them as channels.

Here are some examples of data to look at when analysing messenger-based sales performance…

  • Monitoring the number of messages sent and received can help gauge the breadth of conversations and assess overall reach
  • Tracking both response rates and response times can provide critical insights into the efficiency and promptness of your team's customer interactions
  • Evaluating how many conversations progress beyond the initial contact can serve as a performance indicator of your engagement strategies
  • If links to resources, products, or services are shared, measuring click-through rates can demonstrate the effectiveness of these shared materials for customer engagement.
  • Specific platforms offer users the option to rate their experience with a business helping measure your customer service quality and overall customer experience

Adapt and refine your strategy based on performance insights

The culmination of tracking and analysing your messenger-based sales metrics is taking those insights to adapt and refine your sales strategy.

This iterative process is essential for continually improving and growing your sales performance.

To begin, assess the metrics that reflect your sales goals. Identify areas of strength and weakness. If your lead response time is lengthy, consider adding more staff or implementing automated responses to improve this metric.

Here are some steps to consider when refining your strategy…

  • Concentrate on the metrics that directly impact sales goals. If customer retention is a primary focus, closely examine metrics like upsell/ cross-sell rate and first contact resolution rate
  • Make necessary alterations in your sales process. If your conversion rate is low, perhaps your sales pitch needs tweaking, or your sales team requires further training on product knowledge
  • Keep an eye on the metrics post-implementation of the changes. This allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your modifications
  • Refining your strategy is an ongoing process; keep assessing, adapting, and improving

For example: You're a SaaS company and you notice a high click-through rate on links shared via messenger but low conversion rates. This could mean that while your content is engaging, the landing page or the offer itself might not be compelling enough. In this case, you want to revise landing page design, offer details, or pricing.

Continuously aligning your approach with performance insights ensures your messenger-based sales strategy is always optimised for success.

Integrating messenger-based selling into an omnichannel sales strategy

The messenger-based channel really shines when integrated into an omnichannel sales strategy.

An omnichannel sales strategy is a friendly and seamless approach where your business interacts with potential clients across multiple platforms. This provides them with a consistent and personalised experience, no matter on which channel they choose to engage with you.

Incorporating messenger-based selling into your omnichannel strategy offers a unified customer experience. Here's how you can make it happen…

  • Keep your brand voice and messaging consistent across all channels, including your messenger platform
  • Seamlessly integrate your messenger platform with other channels like email, phone, and social media to provide a unified customer journey
  • Centralise customer data from all channels, ensuring a 360-degree view of customer interactions
  • Utilise chatbots to respond instantly and guide customers to relevant information or personnel
  • Leverage customer data to personalise conversations on messenger platforms, enhancing customer engagement

Coordinating efforts with email, phone, and social media campaigns

Coordinating efforts with email, phone, and social media campaigns is crucial for omnichannel communication. Here's why...

  • Provides a unified brand experience for customers, reinforcing brand identity and values.
  • Each channel can play a different role in the customer's journey. Social media might create awareness, email might nurture the relationship, and phone might close the deal. Coordinating these efforts ensures a smooth journey for the customer.
  • Each channel provides valuable data about customer behaviour. By coordinating efforts, you can collectively gather and analyse this data for more comprehensive insights.
  • Coordinated efforts allow you to personalise your messaging based on the customer's engagement with various channels, enhancing their experience and improving conversion rates.
  • It's more efficient to create a campaign that is deployed across multiple channels rather than creating separate campaigns for each channel. This coordination can save time and resources.

With the help of NetHunt CRM, you can integrate your customer's emails, instant messages, call recordings, and any other form of communication into a single unified customer card.

In NetHunt CRM, information  is reflected through the timeline feed in the client card. Depending on the channel you’re using, you can also respond to the customers messages directly through the timeline without having to switch tabs.

Utilising omnichannel marketing strategies for seamless customer experience

Omnichannel marketing is crucial because it places the customer at the centre, providing them with a unified and seamless experience across all touchpoints. This strategy builds strong customer relationships, improves customer retention, and ultimately drives revenue growth. It reflects the modern customer's desire for flexibility, convenience, and personalised interactions, fostering loyalty and enhancing brand reputation.

Here's how you can utilise omnichannel marketing strategies for a seamless customer journey

  • Map your customer's path to purchase across all channels and optimise accordingly
  • Identify the preferred channel of your customers and make sure to provide superior service on those platforms
  • Launch campaigns that run simultaneously across all channels, offering a unified customer experience
  • Provide real-time, personalised interactions based on a customer's activity on any channel
  • Use customer feedback to refine and enhance the omnichannel experience continuously

Common mistakes when implementing messenger-based selling

Roy H Williams once said…

“A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether”

With this in mind, here are some mistakes that businesses often make when implementing a messenger-based sales approach.

❌ Being too formal over instant messages, as it defeats the purpose of opting to use instant messaging in the first place
❌ Bothering your customers with spam campaigns; it’s the fastest way to get blocked, harming the reputation of your business
❌ Failing to deliver personalisation will push customers away from your business.
❌ Ignoring other communication channels will lead your business to miss out on a lot of revenue that could have come in from the other channels
❌ Not integrating messengers with your CRM is a mistake because it adds another bothersome process into your salespeople’s workflow, increasing the strain on the salespeople themselves as well as the chances for a potential mistake to occur

Adopting a messenger-based sales approach in a B2B setting is not just innovative, but highly effective.

It personalises the sales process, fosters efficient communication, and integrates seamlessly into an omnichannel strategy.

By defining clear processes, choosing the right messenger platform, and continuously refining your strategy based on key metrics, your business can significantly boost its sales potential and customer satisfaction.

Remember, the key to success in messenger-based sales is a customer-centric approach that values prompt, personalised, and consistent interaction across all channels.

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