If selling goods and services over the phone or email isn’t cutting it anymore and you want to try a new approach using LINE Sales, welcome! In this post, you’ll learn about traditional commerce methods, LINE for sales and how to sell on LINE with respond.io to shorten your sales cycle.
Instant Messaging vs Traditional Methods for Sales
Phone calls and emails have been used in sales for decades but recently, businesses have started using instant messaging as well. Instant messaging solves the downsides of calling and emailing while introducing its own benefits.
Firstly, phone calls require a lot of effort to take place. Both parties have to be in conducive environments and available at the same time to communicate. Voice calls aren’t normally recorded, leaving room for things to be forgotten or misinterpreted.
Phone calls can also be costly, especially if they are international and these days, people prefer texting over calling. Emails solve the issues above but have downsides of their own. For example, spam filters often misplace emails, causing people to miss them.
People open their email far less frequently than instant messengers to check for new messages. Additionally, emails tend to be more formal, making it harder to foster trust and relationships between both parties quickly.
Furthermore, email threads have a tendency to disperse. When clients forget to reply all or reply to the latest email, it leads to confusion and missed messages. Customers sending emails from different addresses also create issues with contact identification.
Let’s not forget the difficulty of locating information because of repeated text in drawn-out email conversations! It’s no surprise that their open rates are 600% lower than instant messages.
This brings us to instant messaging. Why should businesses use instant messaging channels like LINE to improve the results of their sales?
Why Use LINE Official Account for Sales
With over 182 million monthly active users globally, LINE is one of the most popular instant messengers in the world, especially in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand or Indonesia. If your customers are based there, LINE would be the best way to reach them.
Chatting with customers through an app they are active on increases their responsiveness and, in turn, moves the sales process along faster. The conversational nature of instant messaging also makes it great for building partner-like relationships.
To distinguish personal accounts from business ones, LINE has Official Accounts for businesses to use. This way, regular customers know they are chatting with a recognized business, which builds your credibility and earns you their trust.
LINE Sales: LINE Official Accounts
LINE Official Accounts function similarly to personal accounts but with extra features. You can use them to send broadcasts, rich messages and coupons, in addition to regular content like text, images, videos and audio.
Since engaging messages are better at capturing your audience’s attention, it increases the odds of them responding favorably. For example, if you’re selling a home, sharing a video tour of the property with prospective buyers heightens their interest.
Speaking of messaging, one of the main benefits LINE Official Accounts has over other channels like WhatsApp is that when a contact has added you as a friend, you can reach them anytime. There are no message type limits or messaging windows to act upon.
Lastly, if you’re in a region like Thailand, Official Accounts have access to services such as LINE SHOPPING which lets you set up an online store for customers to access within the LINE app. Let’s go over the different ways to manage your LINE Official Account.
LINE Sales: LINE Official Account Messaging API on respond.io
Your LINE Official Account can be operated through the LINE Official Account Manager or by connecting the LINE Official Account Messaging API to a central messaging inbox like respond.io.
LINE Official Account Manager is straightforward to use and suitable for small businesses that don’t require advanced automation. However, its features are limited when it comes to handling large-scale sales operations.
For those with larger businesses and many salespeople, connecting your LINE Official Account Messaging API to respond.io unlocks its full potential. You gain access to advanced automation features like Workflows and Reports to monitor your agents’ efficiency.
With respond.io, all your business' contacts and conversations are stored in a central database. This allows salespeople to easily identify customers, trace chat history and resume conversations where they left off, regardless of the device they use.
Another benefit of a central database is that your business retains customer contact info and conversation history even when an agent resigns. Managers can also monitor the conversations of agents in case they need to intervene.
However, before we start using LINE Official Account for sales, there are some things you should know about the channel.
How to Sell on LINE: What You Should Know?
To reduce spam, LINE requires customers to send the first message to open a conversation with a LINE Official Account. You won’t be able to import existing contacts to your Official Account. This means you’ll need to build up a contact list from scratch.
Luckily, LINE provides useful tools and features to make getting new contacts easier. Place these with your promotional content for customers to get in touch with you:
- Chat links
- QR codes
- Website buttons
- In-app search
- LINE ads
Once you get a contact list going, you can start sending messages to contacts. Keep in mind that the cost of your messages depends on the region and your subscription plan.
Each account can send a set amount of free messages monthly, with each additional message costing extra. Do note that free accounts won’t be able to exceed this limit, so make sure you’re on a Light or Standard plan if you plan to send a lot of messages.
Now let’s see how we can take advantage of respond.io with the LINE Official Account Messaging API to elevate your sales operation.
How to Sell on LINE Using respond.io: Quick Wins
Respond.io has a number of powerful tools to improve how your business carries out sales on your LINE Official Account. Let’s run through some examples of how you can achieve that.
Shorten Your Sales Cycle with Automation
With Workflows, you can automate repetitive processes, freeing up manpower and resources that can be better spent on critical tasks.
Since customers communicating with businesses on instant messengers expect fast replies, they move on if they don’t hear back from you quickly. You can manage their expectations with up auto-replies to greet them or inform them when you’re away.
Automated Workflows can be used to determine which sales funnel or route a contact falls into by automating lead qualification, routing and assigning customers to the right salespeople.
Integrate LINE Official Account Inbox With Your Sales CRM
Another use for Workflows is integrating respond.io with your existing sales CRM to facilitate information exchange between them. Doing so allows you to:
- Qualify contacts with data enrichment tools such as Clearbit
- Calculate the price quotations for a custom plan during client consultations
- Generate sales deals in a CRM such as Hubspot or Salesforce
Respond.io’s integrations let you can carry out the functions of other apps without leaving the platform. This reduces the number of errors that could be introduced when reentering data, removes redundancy and improves the efficiency of your agents.
Get a Complete Overview of Customers with Contact Merge and Tags
Most messaging app users have more than one messaging app on their phones. They may have used other messaging channels to reach you previously, which leads to siloed conversations.
Merging contact details and conversation history across multiple channels allows recognizing an existing customer, regardless of the channel used to approach you.
You can also use Tags to build complete profiles of your customers to better understand them. For example, you can tag your customers according to their preferences, budget or company size so salespeople immediately know the best way to approach them.
Mobile App for Agents on the Go
Respond.io’s app allows agents to answer customer inquiries and follow up on leads from LINE on their mobile phones. The app has all the features available on the desktop, such as Dashboard, Contacts and Messaging.
Agents will receive a push notification whenever they receive a new message or are assigned new Contacts. With the respond.io app, agents have the convenience of answering messages on the go, wherever they are.
To get the respond.io app, download it from Google Play Store for Android and Apple App Store for iOS.
Now that you know how to use LINE Official Account to improve your sales process go out there and close some deals! Don’t have a respond.io account yet? Sign up for a free trial.
If you found this helpful, here are some additional articles to prepare you for your sales journey on LINE: