Are your customers Telegram users? If so, you’re probably interested in learning how to sell on Telegram. This blog post will introduce you to the benefits of using Telegram as a sales channel. What’s more, we’ll guide you through some key respond.io features that will shorten your Telegram sales cycle.
Telegram Sales vs Selling Over Traditional Channels
Conversational sales are quickly taking over traditional sales channels such as email, website chat or phone calls. The reason behind this? Traditional sales channels present two severe limitations.
First, none of the aforementioned channels supports chat history overview. And second, it’s very easy to end up with scattered conversations. These limitations are critical for salespeople, who need to identify customers and their needs to handle them correctly.
Website chat conversations are untraceable once page visitors leave the website, so sales agents may lose valuable leads. As for sales phone calls, many customers consider them pushy and intrusive, as they are often urged to take action immediately.
Email is not an ideal choice either, as it is too formal and slow at collecting customer information. Besides, it isn't very secure with limited or no encryption, exposing users to data leaks or security threats.
Benefits of Telegram Sales
Instant messaging channels such as Telegram are better for sales agents since the conversation history is always clearly and chronologically displayed. But Telegram has more to offer.
From the beginning, Telegram branded itself as a secure, privacy-conscious messaging app. Telegram conversations are server-client/client-server encrypted and are stored within the Telegram cloud for the secure exchange of confidential information.
This encryption model comes with an important advantage: Your Telegram chats across desktop and mobile are synced in real-time. What’s better, the app doesn’t impose a limit on the number of devices you can simultaneously connect.
The Telegram app is a good choice for small businesses. However, it is not connected to a central messaging inbox, which may cause issues for managers in terms of supervising conversations and losing clients to agents who leave the company.
Telegram auto-reply is not available in the app either. To get rid of these limitations, you should connect Telegram to respond.io. But first, let us guide you through some native Telegram features that help sales agents shorten their sales cycle.
Telegram Sales: What You Should Know
To sell on Telegram, sales agents need to be familiar with how the platform works. Although Telegram has plenty of interesting features, we will introduce you to the ones that we deem important for sales:
- Telegram bots
- Telegram bot payments
- Telegram 1:1 conversations
Small businesses might get along using the Telegram app. But, what about medium to large-sized businesses? Is there any option with more advanced features similar to WhatsApp Business API or Facebook Messenger for business? The answer is yes, kind of.
How to Sell on Telegram: Telegram Bots
In short, Telegram bots can function as Telegram Business accounts. However, you’ll be surprised that your sales team can’t message customers with only a Telegram Bot account.
To answer and send Telegram messages, businesses need to connect their Telegram Bot account to a messaging platform like respond.io. In addition, this will allow them to manage and track conversations, integrate with external CRMs for sales, and more.
As shown above, Telegram Bots have other applications beyond business accounts. Since the Telegram Bot API is accessible to everyone, Telegram users have created thousands of bots with multiple purposes over the years.
Some Telegram bots have been made specifically for sales. We’ll tell you more about this in the next section.
How to Sell on Telegram: Telegram Bot Payments
Telegram supports in-app payments via Bot Payments, allowing businesses to integrate payments in any chat without requesting approval from Telegram.
With Telegram Bot Payments, salespeople can send invoices with a product photo, description, price and a Pay button. Then, customers choose a third-party payment provider from a list before checking out. There’s even an option to leave a tip!
Lastly, the Telegram Payment Bot sends the customers a receipt after the purchase is complete. Telegram doesn’t charge any commission and payment information is only shared between customer and merchant.
Telegram Bot Payments are an alternative for businesses that don’t have an e-commerce website and prefer to process payments from the Telegram app itself.
How to Sell on Telegram: Telegram 1:1 Conversations
Businesses that use messaging apps for conversational sales spend a big part of their time nurturing leads, so they need to choose a messaging app with good 1:1 messaging capabilities. Let’s see what Telegram has to offer in terms of personal messaging.
Similar to using Facebook Messenger for sales, contacts are required to send you the first message on Telegram to have a conversation with them.
To reduce spam, Telegram has taken the following measure: Only the username passes through the Telegram Bot API to your messaging CRM — no phone number and no ID. Because of this, exporting contact lists via CSV files is not an option.
This means creating complete contact lists from the beginning is impossible. While this may be a limitation, we have outlined several recommendations on how to get customers to message you first.
Here’s the good news. Telegram doesn't have a messaging window, which offers salespeople flexibility in communicating with customers as they don’t have to worry about being restricted by message templates or Message Tags to reopen a conversation.
If you want to use Telegram for sales, remember to connect your Telegram Bot account to a messaging inbox. Let us explain why respond.io is the right choice for you.
How to Sell on Telegram with respond.io: Quick Wins
Now that you know the basics, we’ll give you five reasons to sell on Telegram using respond.io as a messaging inbox.
How to Sell on Telegram with respond.io: Automate Your Sales Cycle with Workflows
Workflows is respond.io’s Workflow builder for task automation. Companies use it to automate support, marketing and sales processes. Here is a simple example of how to use this feature in your sales cycle.
Build a Workflow that qualifies leads by asking questions to determine the sales funnel they fall into. Then, implement routing logic that routes leads by priority access, deal size, region or more, and auto-assign them to a sales agent accordingly.
This is just a suggestion on how to build a basic sales qualification Workflow, but the possibilities are endless. Workflows are highly customizable, allowing companies to automate their sales cycles and save their sales agents valuable time.
How to Sell on Telegram with respond.io: Get a Holistic View of Your Contacts
The same customer might contact you via different messaging channels like WhatsApp or Messenger if you are in a country where these chat apps are popular. As a result, you’ll end up with siloed conversations across channels.
To address this, merge two or more Contact profiles for an accurate overview of a Contact and their interaction history to create a single customer story. Sales agents can view past interests or purchase inquiries to better understand the customer's needs.
How to Sell on Telegram with respond.io: Funnel Leads to Your Inbox
As mentioned, businesses aren’t allowed to send the first message to customers, but Telegram makes it easy for customers to contact you. Respond.io gives you access to these features in the Settings Module.
Click on your Telegram Channel and select Scan Code to generate a QR code. Paste it on your website or your physical store to drive conversations with your sales teams.
You’ll also find a Telegram click-to-chat link, which you can embed anywhere on your website or share across your social media platforms to encourage inbound conversations on the channel.
Alternatively, add a Telegram widget to your website to give page visitors a way to contact you via Telegram.
How to Sell on Telegram with respond.io: Integrate Your Existing Sales CRM
Medium to large-sized businesses should use a Telegram inbox that can be integrated with their sales CRM like Hubspot or Salesforce. Respond.io works in conjunction with your sales CRM, allowing you to seamlessly exchange information between both platforms.
Build Workflows to create deals in a sales CRM or qualify leads on data activation platforms like Clearbit. Then, launch them with just a click of the Shortcuts button in the Messaging Console.
Thanks to this convenient feature, sales agents can carry out sales-related tasks while chatting with a customer, eliminating the hassle of going back and forth between respond.io and third-party platforms.
How to Sell on Telegram with respond.io: Mobile App for Agents on the Go
Sometimes sales agents are required to attend to important customers, even when they are not at their desks. Fortunately, respond.io is cross-platform, meaning that it’s available on PC and phone devices.
In sales, time is a valuable asset. With the respond.io app, sales agents can ensure customers always receive quick responses. To get the respond.io app, download it from Google Play Store for Android and Apple App Store for iOS.
Telegram offers some unique benefits for conversational sales, which make it an interesting alternative to WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. If you’re ready to use Telegram for sales, sign up for a respond.io account and connect your Telegram business account today!
Want to learn more about conversational sales on messaging apps? Here are a few articles for you to check out.