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Introducing the real-time sales rep

Introducing real-time sales reps to accelerate growth

SVP of Sales & Support, Intercom

LB Harvey

@Intercom

Main illustration: Judson Collier

Customers today enter the sales cycle full of knowledge, opinions and feelings about your product and your company.

In most cases, your buyers have already educated themselves. They might have even played around with freemium versions of your product. Personally speaking, this is how I purchase software.

“In most cases, your buyers have already educated themselves”

You want to catch me when I’m most interested – clicking around your website and investigating your offering and pricing. This is the best time to catch my attention and if the purchase is straightforward, push me across the line to start a trial. If the purchase is complex, this when I’m ready to start a strategic conversation about what your solution will do for my business.

Creating a real-time sales team

We have created an entire team dedicated to helping buyers take the next step in real time. They connect with prospects over live chat at the exact moment the prospect is ready to learn more.

Our real-time sales reps focus on our smaller accounts, the ones in between our self-serve and mid-market prospects. Their mission is to convert these smaller accounts by first, getting them to start a trial while they’re on our website and second, once the trial is over, helping them select a paid plan.

Real-time sales rep conversation for free trial
Our real-time sales reps have a hybrid role that mixes the responsibilities of an SDR and an AE. Along with qualifying leads and doing a light discovery, they’re getting prospects into the product, helping them see value and closing them. Their biggest challenge is ensuring by the time the free trial is over, prospects are sufficiently persuaded to hand over their credit card.

Real-time sales should be accretive

When you are first implementing real-time sales, I recommend running an A/B test. That’s what we did to ensure our real-time sales reps were adding value, not just doing more work, by spending time with these smaller accounts. We found that smaller accounts who had engaged with our real-time sales reps not only paid us more but also were less likely to churn.

“Accounts who engage with our real-time sales team not only pay us more but are also less likely to churn”

The point is that when implemented correctly, real-time sales is a strategic initiative that can and should be accretive to your business.


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