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How small businesses are embracing

Messenger-Based Sales to generate
more leads, nurture more relationships
& keep more customers

Jacqueline Phillips
How small businesses are embracing 
Messenger-Based Sales to generate
more leads, nurture more relationships
& keep more customers 

Jacqueline Phillips 
Julia Kovaleva 
Irene Kvashali 
Leo Korneev 

Edited by Julia Kovaleva

Copyright © 2019 QSOFT LLC
Cover design © 2019 Thomas Zeiter 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced 

of used in any manner without the written permission of 
the copyright owner except for the use of quotations in a 
book review. 
With special thanks to all those Messenger-Based Sales 
believers who have helped along the way:  



CHAPTER 1 What you thought you knew  11 

about B2B buyers is wrong 
The Internet takeover 
Unsubscribe, block, ignore, delete 
Who’s really holding the cards?  

CHAPTER 2 Diagnosis: Customers have  21 

wised up… 
You have been conditioned  
The era of customer empowerment  
Hunting for reviews 
The promise of inbound 

CHAPTER 3 Escaping the predator-prey  41 

The chase continues 
Backlash against the old mentality 
Time for a new perspective 

CHAPTER 4 Embracing the new era of  55 

The instant messaging craze 
The aftermath 

CHAPTER 5 Messenger-Based Sales  64 

What is Messenger-Based Sales? 
The benefits of MBS 
What's next? 

CHAPTER 6 How to deliver the message  76

Phase one: MBS pilot program 
Phase two: Scaling MBS 
Closing thoughts 

References  92 

Index  103

The rise of 
Messenger-Based Sales 

Ever been to Iceland? During the spring up north, if you 

stand in one spot long enough, the scenery around you will 
change almost entirely. The ice and the sky melt together, 
glaciers move, break and disappear from sight, giving space 
for something else.  
Similar to the constantly shifting Icelandic landscapes, 
sales are about to meet the most considerable change in 
recent history. There is a perfect storm coming, and B2B 
businesses should prepare. But if you are ready to ride the 
wave, you will be rewarded with loyal customers who keep 
buying more because they want to. In this book, you will 
❏ How B2B sales got to where it is now, and why a
revolution is brewing
❏ Why the reign of calls, emails and live chat should be
❏ Why using conventional sales approaches actually
sabotages relationships with leads
❏ What the modern lead really thinks about your sales

❏ Why messengers and chatbots should be added to your

Who are we? 

amoCRM the world's first messaging-powered CRM. It's 
built on the principle that enabling conversations with leads 
is the single most effective tactic that sales teams can 
And now we are on a mission to prepare you, the 
entrepreneur or sales manager at an SMB, for the inevitable 
changes you are about to start seeing. We always keep an ear 
to the ground in anticipation of the coming trends, and this 
one is so big that we could not keep silent. 
Revolution is heading your way. Do not be fooled by the 
calm-before-the-storm tranquility. We are standing at the 
precipice of something new, something huge — something 

Still living under a rock? 

Messaging is a huge part of our daily lives and it has been for 
a while. Billions of people use chat apps now. Take a second 
to think about how you reach out to the people in your own 
circle. How do you get in touch with your friends, family, 
colleagues or anyone else you talk to on a regular basis? If 

you are like most people, you send them a message using a 
chat app like Facebook Messenger, Skype, WeChat or
The way we communicate with each other has changed 
fundamentally — from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, to 
handwritten letters, to crafted emails, and now, to 
emoji-filled chats. We fight, we share news, we flirt, we brag 
and we even break up through our favorite messaging apps. 
It is time to adapt to the bright light outside and take a 
good look around. Everyone is glued to their smartphones. 
Some restaurants have even banned the use of mobile 
phones while dining in an attempt to encourage customers 
to interact with each other. 
In fact, a recent study by the global tech company 
Asurion discovered that the average American checks their 
phone 90 times a day and every 12 minutes while on 
vacation!​1​Plus, 62% of the sample surveyed stated that they 
would rather go a week without chocolate than lose their 
phone for a single day.​2​ If that is not a strong enough 
attachment to your device, then what is? 
Whichever way you look at it, we are hooked. Our 
phones are not just phones anymore. No one is working 
hard to improve the calling app or to improve the quality of 
phone calls — it has already been done and it is not what is 
hot anymore. What is hot is messenger apps. Why? Because 
that is where everybody is.  

Considering how frequently we are all pulling out our 
phones to shoot a quick question to a friend, how likely is it 
that people want to communicate with companies in the 
same way? Pretty likely! Rapid responses are not just for 
friends and family. Businesses can benefit from this kind of 
connection with their customers as well.  

Facts on messaging 
According to market research company Emarketer, 1.4 
billion people around the world send more than 50 billion 
messages every day. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and 
WeChat have around 3 billion active monthly users in total. 
Let that sink in — that is double the population of China. 
And you can be sure that the numbers will keep on 
growing. By the end of 2018, 78% of the world’s 
smartphone users were sending at least one message per 
month.​3 Facebook

forecasts a further increase of the global 
user base for mobile messaging apps to rise by an additional 
23% by 2021.​4 That

just leaves one question — who won’t 
be using messengers? 
So the reality is that you have a communication channel 
with 3 active billion users that you can connect with for 
business purposes, regardless of which industry your 
company is in.  
According to Facebook, 91% of users are more likely to 
shop with brands that remember them and send out 

relevant offers. Savvy companies have already figured this 
out — more than 8 billion messages are exchanged between 
businesses and individuals every month.​5 And

let’s keep in 
mind that any B2B buyer is first and foremost, an 
Simply put, the era of convenience is here. Like it or not, 
communication is now short and quick, and the tool of 
choice is messaging apps. 

We put our money where our mouth is 

We know the messaging revolution is coming. Our team at 
amoCRM believes in it so strongly that we have completely 
pivoted our product to focus on messaging-based sales. We 
have poured months of hard work into preparing our CRM 
for this totally new way of selling. 
Messenger-based sales is not a trend. It is the new wave 
that is crashing down on the previously established shore of 
communication. And it is big. We have shown you the 
numbers, but you have most likely also looked around 
yourself, and the fact is that everyone is using messengers. It 
is merely a matter of time before businesses cannot imagine 
not using messengers in their sales strategies. 
It was like that with email. Tools for automation allowed 
marketing and sales teams to totally redesign their strategies, 
sending out “email blasts” to a massive amount of people. 


And despite the ongoing battle to outsmart email providers 

and avoid landing in the spam folder, email remains the 
lynchpin in the average sales strategy. 
It was like that with calling. From contact list building to 
automatic dialing to pre-recorded voicemail messages — 
countless tools that enabled cold calling centers to 
effectively reach out to a great number of prospects for a 
low price were developed. And again, calling is one of the 
activities sales teams spend the most time on every day. 

It is just not working anymore 

Emailing your prospects is waning in efficiency, as open 
rates across all industries are in decline and the 
click-through-rate averages at 2.4%, according to 
MailChimp.​6 You

are literally spamming 100 people to get 2 
clicks. Unless you have an amazing content machine and 
droves of excited customers, running an email campaign is 
becoming tougher and tougher.  
What about calling? As a prospecting tool, it is one of the 
least effective ways your sales representatives can spend their 
time. On average, only 1% of calls result in a later 
appointment or meeting.​7 
Because of this low conversion rate, many companies 
turn to automated robocalling, where bots dial and deliver 
pre-recorded messages. And people hate these. The number 


of complaints to the Federal Trade Commission's 

DoNotCall list has more than doubled since 2015. And in 
2017, more than half of the complaints were attributed to 
robocalls.​8​ Using this communication strategy simply 
reinforces the vicious cycle: if you are surprised by a 
spammy robocall or telemarketer enough times, you just 
stop answering calls from unknown numbers, decreasing 
the conversion rate even further. 
And even when they do strike gold and reach that elusive 
ready-to-buy decision maker, outbound sales callers are 
often unqualified for what comes next. In fact, 70% of 
executive level buyers report that salespeople are incapable 
of answering their questions during calls.​9 When

sales reps spend the majority of their time just trying to get 
on the phone with decision makers, that is what they 
become good at. It should not come as a surprise that when 
they finally hook someone, they might not have the skills to 
reel them in.  
All of this translates to work hours on your dime, and it 
is not very effective. 
So it is time to throw the reign of email, phone and live 
chat into question. A great new change is on our collective 
doorstep. And it is not spammy like automated emailing nor 
is it intrusive like cold calling.  
Messaging puts communication on the customer’s terms. 


After all, many chat apps such as Facebook Messenger 

protect their users by prohibiting companies from sending 
the first message. They also allow the user to delete the chat 
or block future messages. That is critical. It means that the 
conversation takes place entirely based on how and when 
the lead or customer wants.  
This, we believe, is the most powerful change to sales in 
the coming future. The customer feels in control. The 
brand truly serves the customer. Perfect harmony of 
effectiveness and convenience — a modern way to 
communicate. A total win-win. 
Aided with multimedia capabilities of chat apps...the 
possibilities are boundless.  

Is this book for me? 

Changing the status quo is not easy. We get it. 
Sometimes the predictability of a 2% conversion rate is 
reassuring. It is hard to take a risk to invest in new tools, 
rebuild a process or retrain a team that has been educated to 
approach sales a certain way.  
But if you are fed up with a strategy built on repetitive, 
demotivating tasks...  

❏ If you are tired of getting feedback like “Stop 

spamming me” or “Leave me alone!”... 


❏ If you are struggling to respond fast enough or hook 

the leads that are interested… 
❏ If you are unable to scale up because you just cannot 
seem to balance lead quantity and quality... 

Then it should be pretty clear by now that your current 

strategy puts your sales team in an uphill battle. You have to 
look for a new, more effective way to engage. 
People like talking to people. Wouldn’t you like your 
B2B buyers to connect with you just as easily? 
Let’s make it happen! 


What you thought you 
knew about B2B buyers 
is wrong 
In past decades, salespeople were taught that in order to 
make their customers happy, all they had to do was deliver 
the perfect pitch. Advertising was responsible for making 
sure that buyers were aware of the brand, but ultimately, the 
persuasive power of the salesperson was considered the real 
reason for the purchase.  
Long after online shopping took off, many people still 
preferred to trust in brick-and-mortar stores because they 
believed that a professional salesperson would know the 
product (and their needs) better than they did themselves.​1 
It does not sound too unreasonable, but visualize this 
model from a business perspective: customers (people just 
like you) are dropped down to the bottom as just another 
conquest to “win.” Customers became nothing more than a 
number to add to the monthly quota. In fact, the 
fundamental goal of sales was to push as many individuals 
through the sales pipeline as possible.  

In other words, the metric of success was simply to 
persuade individuals to consume more, regardless of the 
product’s quality or whether or not it matched the 
customer’s needs.  
But the traditional sales approach has reached its 
expiration date. It simply cannot accommodate the needs of 
the modern day customer, whether that means buying one 
pair of headphones as a birthday gift or 50 pairs of 
headphones for a small business.  
Over time, as the internet continued to give customers a 
louder voice, trust in companies gradually eroded. As a 
result, expressions of bitterness over feeling “sold” are no 
longer limited to the attentive eyes and ears of friends and 
family since it is now possible to share discontent with 
anyone who has internet access.  

The internet takeover 

The real turning point came with widespread internet 
access. Now most consumers cannot go a day without it. 
Every year, the number of internet users increases by 
approximately 0.2 billion, reaching a whopping 4.1 billion 
in 2018.​2 
This has totally changed the way we do business. 

When it comes to reaching consumers, you can forget 
about billboards, in-store displays or glossy magazine ads. In 
2017, more than 41% of all ad spending went to digital 
advertising. Not only is that already more than any other 
type of promotion (including TV), but it is expected to 
keep growing!​3 
Nearly $200 billion is spent on advertising attempts to 
target you based on your likes, dislikes, recent life events, 
and more. It is impossible to deny how much of an impact 
these changes are making, and they are all part of a 
momentous trend toward total personalization. 
Imagine that you want to sell an HR tool to affluent 
30-something year olds who are fresh out of elite MBA 
programs and looking to start their first business and hire 
their first teams.  
Sure, you could buy ad space during the TV shows that 
they are likely to watch, but that is child's play compared to 
what a digital marketer is capable of. On the internet, you 
could target them directly based on the keywords they 
search for, their buying preferences or even recent life events 
such as graduation from an MBA program. And that is just 
the tip of the iceberg.   
ProPublica has identified more than 50,000 targeting 
categories on Facebook alone. Of course, everyone knows 
that marketers can target you by demographics like age and 
location. But did you know that you can also target 

frequent business travellers who use iPhones? French expats 
living in New York City? Or single women who are friends 
with a newlywed couple?  
On top of all that, you can also retarget people who have 
taken specific actions such as engaging with your ads, 
visiting your website or making a purchase. That is why you 
Google a blender once and cannot escape the blender ads for 
a month. It might seem annoying, but it is ultra-effective. In 
fact, it increases the chance that a viewer will click your ad 
by ten times.​4 
Altogether, this means that before a lead has even 
touched your website, you have engaged them numerous 
times with targeted, personalized messages, banners and 
videos. By doing so, you get closer to your goal and create a 
positive association with your brand, increasing your 
Thanks to the internet, the buyer’s experience is 
becoming increasingly personalized once again. And as 
much as we complain about targeted ads “tracking” us, no 
one really wants to go back to those unsophisticated, 
irrelevant ads (“You’re a woman. Here’s an ad for 
diamonds”). There is really no turning back. 

Start paying attention 

Technological advancement has altered the 
consumer-company relationship forever. Customers no 

longer need to enter brick-and-mortar stores to buy items or 
meet face-to-face to purchase goods or services. RIP Borders 
Bookstore and so many other fallen soldiers like you... 
The ability to buy in a single click means that 
expectations are only going up. Customers will accept 
nothing less than easy and convenient purchase options, and 
they want everything delivered asap. If you think your 
salespeople have any chance of getting away with replies like 
“We will get back to you within 24 hours”, then do not say 
we did not warn you when your sales plummet.  
Today, brands have no choice but to pay attention to 
how customers prefer to do business and to offer them a 
sales process that fits their expectations.  
The fact is, no matter what a great fit your product might 
be, if you don’t respond quickly and offer the perks your 
customers have grown to expect, your competitors are only 
a click away. 

Unsubscribe, block, ignore, delete   

The demand for quick response has led to a change in the 
way we communicate. Admit it — nowadays, it is totally 
normal to ignore emails as well as phone calls. Before, 
“checking your email” used to be a common 
first-thing-in-the-morning ritual.  

Today, having to deal with spam emails is not only 
time-consuming, but it is also a nuisance. Our inboxes are 
overflowing, we procrastinate with our replies, and let’s be 
realistic — who has the time to sit down and clean out their 
inbox? All of this causes extra stress.  

Quick tip: If the amount of messages in your inbox has 

hit the triple (or quadruple) digits, type “unsubscribe” 
into the search bar and start mass deleting if you are brave 

Hope you are not still trying to prep for millennials 

because Generation ‘Z’ (i.e. individuals born in mid 1990s)​5 
is already entering the workforce. And it is no surprise that 
they prefer social media and messengers over traditional 
email. According to Pew’s, 95% of teenagers have an active 
online presence, 81% visit social media frequently, and only 
6% of them use email. Other studies demonstrate that 
young adults do not even bother to sign up for email 

Please stop calling me 

Although your intuition may tell you that hopping on a call 
is easier than composing an email, phone calls require more 
effort. When we are on the phone, we tend to avoid 
awkwardness, uncomfortable pauses and silence in general. 

Instead, we try to fill it. But this does not happen as much 
when we use messengers and text.  
Taking your time to reply is normal, although you can 
ask any teenager about how much time is allowed to pass 
after a message is marked “read” and you will discover that a 
whole new etiquette is emerging. In general, we can take as 
much time as we need to analyze the message and respond 
when we want to. We now have exactly the amount of space 
and power that we need to feel that we can make decisions 
on our own time.  
The dusty, old-fashioned approaches to sales do not 
work anymore. People do not want to be harassed with 
phone calls. Do you? Doubt it. Cold-calling is dead, and 
even back in 2015, Business Harvard Research found that it 
does not work 90.9% of the time.​7 To ​
respect people means 
to respect their time, so it is essential to understand that if a 
customer is interested in your product, then they will make 
it known.  

Who’s really holding the cards? 

Today, if you want to watch ​F.R.I.E.N.D.S.​ for five hours, 
Netflix has got you covered. If you want to listen to Lana 
Del Rey’s latest album, there is Spotify, Google Play Music 

or countless others. Want a new printer delivered to your 
office tomorrow? It only takes one click on Amazon.  
The power between the customer and company has 
shifted, leaving the cards in the hands of the buyer. Rather 
than viewing customers simply as “consumers”, savvy 
companies view them as informed consultees. Customers 
today are not willing to simply be driven by ads. Instead, 
they do their own in-depth research, share opinions about 
products and services online and even snub companies that 
do not meet their expectations. One of the most memorable 
examples is the storm of bad publicity that United Airlines 
faced after mishandling musician Dave Carroll’s guitar. The 
fiasco resulted in the viral song “United Breaks Guitars”, 
which is blamed for United’s stock price plummeting 10 
This revolutionary shift in power has not only been 
evolving in B2C companies — it is also prevalent in the B2B 
sector. The software company Cision provides PR services 
to businesses using a cloud-based model to offer social 
media monitoring and engagement. In 2015, the company 
launched the #pitchPRomise campaign that asked PR 
specialists to sign a promise emphasizing the importance of 
focusing on building relationships with customers instead 
of allowing technology to take over the entire process. The 
problem was that Cision itself heavily relies on technology 
to provide the services it offers to other PR firms. The 

backlash occurred when Joel Landren wrote an article 
criticizing Cision’s reprehension of its own target 
customer.​8 This

led to Cision’s promise campaign to making 
the company look tactless and hypocritical and that is not 
the type of reputation damage that a B2B company can 
bounce back from easily.  
There is simply no use living in denial or trying to avoid 
customers voicing their opinions. Instead, this is an 
opportunity for companies to boost their customer’s 
satisfaction in a way that was not possible before. Be the one 
who is there for your customers, be the one who is really 
listening, and you will be miles ahead of the competition. 


Diagnosis: customers 
have wised up… 
What is the biggest difference between customers today 
and customers 20 or 30 years ago? Is it their ability to reach 
into their pockets, pull out their phone and find everything 
they need to know about your company, product or service 
within minutes? Or perhaps it is their unwavering 
confidence in the validity of the reviews left online by 
previous customers. Either way, the reality is that consumers 
these days are not the same as they were before. So the real 
question is, “Why are most businesses still applying old sales 
techniques and methods to generations that have outgrown 

You have been conditioned 

As the second oldest profession in history, sales is one that 
has seen it all and continues to mold to the shape of its 
characters. Buying and selling is what makes the world go 
round, and as long as humans are buying, sales tactics must 
adhere to the vacillation of consumer behavior. 
Historically, salespeople progressed from offering a 
product that the consumer either desired yet knew nothing 

about, had a dire need for or simply had no choice but to 
purchase something of its kind at that specific moment to 
becoming aggressively invested in pushing products onto 
customers. Each historical period had its own sales 
approach and as people and technology evolved, so did the 
sales tactics. So then how come we are still seeing companies 
offering their customers what they want but making it 
nearly impossible to get in touch to actually make a 
purchase? And why are companies still training sales reps to 
“sell Raid to a bug” or “water to a well?” 
It is clear that there is an imbalance when it comes to 
how B2B companies are used to selling and how their 
consumers want to be sold to. The solution is quite simple 
but it must be done correctly, and most importantly, it 
must be done now. If it seems intimidating at first, keep in 
mind that all sales strategies were at one point introduced 
and completely new. Some were ridiculous, such as Ford 
Motor Company’s sales training advice of “Sell the vehicle 
according to the shape of the prospect’s head.​1​ High 
foreheads leave room for larger development and indicate 
people who are less likely to resist new ideas.” But some 
actually changed the world of business entirely. 
The past several centuries have seen a steady progression 
of sales methods that adapted to the needs of consumers. 
The procession from Benjamin Franklin’s insurance 
company and subscription tactic, to the less-than-honest 

methods of the snake oil salesmen, to Dale Carnegie’s 
AIDCA approach introducing the concept of 
customer-relationship focus, to SPIN selling (which led to 
Solution Selling or Consultative Selling) exemplifies just 
how much the sales game has changed. 
Then, at some point during the last decade, it was 
established that businesses and salespeople were spending 
too much time searching for new prospects and were not 
able to meet their sales targets. When the internet began to 
offer both businesses and consumers the opportunity to 
connect to each other from any location at any moment, it 
became easier than ever for a business to see a consistent 
stream of new sales leads, but not all of them were qualified. 
In 2011, Aaron Ross pointed out this inefficiency and 
insisted that the only way a business could see a significant 
growth in sales was if there were constant qualified leads and 
the way to achieve that was to delegate a sales rep to focus 
on lead generation, another on closing and another on 
account management.​2 
The issue that most sales reps face is the fact that as the 
sales methods have changed, so have the consumers. They 
have been informed of how salespeople used to treat their 
ancestors and they will not allow themselves to be 
The key concept for businesses to comprehend is that 
just because customers have wised up does not mean that 

the sales game is over. No, it is really not like that at all! 
Customers are now on the same playing field, and if your 
business can find the right approach to your specific 
purchasing audience, then you can both win.  
By now, the flourishing generations have heard the 
stories, seen the movies and have read the books and they are 
well aware of what happens to folks who get tricked by 
salespeople. That is why businesses have no choice but to 
adapt their sales tactics to those that will not make the 
customer feel like he or she is being chased, cornered and 
captured. There is no straighter road to distrust, general 
dissatisfaction and ultimately, bad reviews and negative 
opinions of your company if you continue to treat your 
consumers like something you need to catch for your own 
Several years ago, we began to see how innovations such 
as email, text messaging, telephone marketing, and now, 
messengers, have broadened the abilities of companies to 
reach their customers, both potential and existing. The 
problem is that companies are trying to adapt old sales 
techniques to the new mentality of the modern day 
consumers. This is what led to managers demanding that 
their salespeople make hundreds of cold calls per day or 
sending out a vast amount of emails into ultimately, 
emptiness because less than 24% of sales emails​3​ are even 
opened and it takes approximately 18 dials to connect with a 

potential decision with call back rates being less than 1%.​4​ So 
by now, you can probably see for yourself just how much 
money a company loses when it has sales reps on the phone 
day in and day out trying to find a needle in a haystack.  
Ideally, salespeople should be making 60 calls per day if 
they want to have conversations meaningful enough to lead 
to a successful deal, but that’s provided that prospects can 
be reached.​5​ That is why dialing automation was the 
number one buying priority for sales development in 2015.​6 
Despite how inefficient and time-consuming cold calling 
can be for businesses, it is still a critical touch point when it 
comes to client outreach.  
But as most business owners now already know, people 
do not want to be interrupted by a sales call, spammed by 
unwanted emails, or worse, constantly chased by a 
salesperson who was convinced that all leads must be 
captured. Consumers have developed a sort of immunity to 
the traditional sales tactics and will no longer be valuable to 
a business if the business does not make itself appear 
valuable to the public.  

The sales resistance situation 

Despite the fact that the modern day person entirely 
depends on goods that he or she is used to obtaining only 
through the process of purchasing, only 18% of buyers trust 
salespeople.​7​ This raises the question of, “Why are we so 

skeptical when we come across someone who is committed 
to providing us with something we want?” 
Due to the painful aftermath of traditional sales 
methods, the majority of us have now developed 
unconscious psychological responses to being sold to, and 
this type of sales resistance is expressed by prospects in the 
form of either objections or obstacles, or sometimes even 
Objections are sincere or insincere reasons a buyer may 
express against the salesperson’s attempts to sell a product or 
service. For example, a buyer may have a sincere objection 
that he or she does not believe in your product and may 
need more information and a patient approach from the 
salesperson in order to help them make the decision that is 
best for them. On the other hand, a buyer may have 
insincere objections and may try to discourage the 
salesperson as a result of increased sales resistance.  
Something that many salespeople have to deal with on a 
daily basis is reactance, a strong resistance to the sales 
process itself. It is the subconscious refusal of buyers to have 
their time wasted and to be manipulated by anyone who is 
trying to gain from their loss. Often, buyers will feel 
placated when the salesperson addresses their concern 
directly and applies reverse psychology. For example, if a 
buyer does not have faith in the newest technology for their 
office because it is expensive and it will cause him to spend 

time and money on training his sales reps, a salesperson can 
address this concern by saying something like, 
“Look, I know you’re probably thinking that this is 
going to cost you more than it is worth and that it’ll take 
your employees weeks of paid overtime before they’re able 
to really use this software, but I can assure you that the 
results you’ll see will really surprise you… Our experience 
shows that it takes a person 3 full working days to really 
grasp how to use this program. There’s no additional 
training required as we provide all of the instructional 
videos and all of the necessary information. You won’t have 
to have spend money setting the equipment up because we 
don’t have an installation fee. We also provide a 1 year 
guarantee which means you or your employees can call us at 
any time and we’ll help you.”  
Obstacles are revealed when the prospect expresses either 
real or apparent reasons he or she cannot make a purchase. 
The role of the salesperson in this case is to really gain some 
perspective as to whether or not the obstacle can be 
overcome. If the prospect says that he or she is currently on 
too tight of a budget, perhaps the salesperson can offer a 
payment plan that would fit the prospects financial 
opportunity. Obstacles can be different — sometimes it is as 
simple as a prospect and a salesperson just not seeing eye to 
eye on anything and just getting off on the wrong foot right 
from the very start. In this case, it is up to the salesperson 

how to proceed. If he or she feels that the prospect would 
rather speak to someone else about the deal, perhaps there is 
an option for another salesperson to handle the sale.  
Overcoming these issues brought on by sales resistance is 
one of the things that salespeople spend a lot of physical and 
mental energy on throughout their days. The underlying 
problem is that most buyers are so skeptical about being 
tricked that they are ready to come up with obstacles, 
objections, and any other reason they can think of not to 
give the salesperson what he or she wants, which is to make a 
sale. But once again, if it is the buyer who is in need, and the 
salesperson who has what the buyer needs, can they not find 
a way to work together and both benefit from their 
partnership? That is what B2B is, really, when you get down 
to the bottom of it — a partnership.  
As we move further into the switched — on digital 
century, we question how businesses can succeed by 
dropping all those classic, wasteful methods that the buyer 
hates. Even if some sales tactics worked in the past, today 
they have no positive impact on brands. Today’s customers 
are busy people and just like you, they’re drowning in work, 
are bombarded with emails, receive or make dozens of calls a 
week and have hours of unplayed WhatsApp voice messages 
they need to catch up on.  
The issue of sales resistance and buyers’ existing and 
growing distrust in salespeople, when combined with the 

way that the internet provides consumers with all of the 
information they need, is the reason that selling can no 
longer be anything but customer—centric. Anyone 
involved in making a B2B purchase decision is not going to 
fall for the same sales tactics that they most likely implement 
in their own sales strategies. What they will do, however, is 
spend days or even weeks researching your company online 
and making sure that your company not only suits their 
needs, but is also credible.  

The era of customer empowerment 

The more salespeople pushed customers to buy, the more 
customers pushed back. But refusing to make purchases at 
all wasn’t an option in yesterday’s world, and it certainly 
isn’t one today. So consumers slowly, but surely, starting 
taking their power back. Their demands grew, their 
expectations in terms of quality and customer support 
increased, they became more knowledgeable and most 
importantly, they began to depend on one another for 
valuable information instead of turning to salespeople for 
help. This left salespeople with no other choice than to meet 
the standards that the consumers were setting. And those 
standards keep getting higher even today.  
The way that customers seek out information has 
changed and it is up to the companies and their salespeople 

to adapt. It is not a secret that social media is big these days. 
There are 3.48 billion social media users in the world at 
this point. And while you may still be sticking to the belief 
that social media is for teenagers and sharing cat videos, the 
reality is that 95% of online adults age 18—34 are most 
likely to follow a brand via social networking. If your target 
audience is a bit older, 92% of 35—44 year olds, 85% of 
45—54 year olds, 74% of people aged 55—64 and 71% of 
people aged 65 and older said that they follow brands on 
social media.​8 
So if you’re not present on social media, then how are 
empowered customers supposed to revel in their experience 
with your brand? Being present on Facebook, for example, 
allows you to not only generate valuable content, but to 
include the magical Share and Like buttons under your 
posts so that your customers don’t have to keep their great 
experience with your company a secret. It is so simple to 
make it easier for your customers! Not to mention 
incredibly cost-effective! No wonder 81% of all small and 
medium-sized businesses are on social media.​9 
Another way to look at it is that despite customers’ 
feelings of empowerment due to easy access to vast amounts 
of information about products, services, companies and 
customer experiences, they are feeling overwhelmed! They 
no longer want salespeople to sell to them. They want 
salespeople to help them make a choice.  

One of the simplest ways to help your customers is to let 
them know you’re there for them and that you can be 
reached whenever they want to reach you, however they 
want to reach you.  
So let’s take a look at what we have got: empowered but 
overwhelmed customers with high expectations who are 
almost always connected to social media and prefer to 
communicate via messaging. Are you starting to see the 
The initial motive for businesses to implement messaging 
into their sales strategies would be to simplify the processes 
of all of the stages involved in the business deal. This means 
just being available at all times and being easy to reach. The 
majority of consumers are using social media and 90% of 
business leads would rather receive a message than a phone 
call and more than 50% of consumers would rather receive 
customer support via text than on the phone.​10​ When it 
comes to receiving information about appointments, 
deliveries, prices, and possible deals, 75% of all Millennials 
would rather communicate via text.​11 
And who can blame them, right? Most of us are so busy 
all the time that picking up the phone to make a phone call 
means that you have to find a quiet and isolated place where 
you can focus on your voice, your tone, your words, your 
thoughts and everything else that could affect your future 
relationship or partnership with the person on the other 

line. Who has time for that these days? But writing a quick 
message is easy to do anywhere and doesn’t require you to 
step away, to allot a certain amount of time (10—30 
minutes) or to polish up your fake voice and hope that no 
one you know can hear you. And not to mention, 
sometimes you don’t want anyone to know what you’re 
calling about.  
When it comes to customer empowerment, it doesn’t 
matter if your firm is B2B or B2C, because the general 
approach that you should be taking is B2P — Business to 
People. Whether you’re selling to one person or selling to 
business, the decision to purchase your product or service is 
made by people. And these days, all people are consumers. 
B2B companies can no longer use the hard “strict 
guidelines” approach to selling because the people buying 
aren’t going to be swayed by it. 
The empowered customer isn’t something to fear. The 
empowered customer is someone to care for. Because as 
much knowledge as they now have and as much 
information that’s available to them, they still need help 
making the right choice for their company. Letting your 
B2B buyers know that you’re there to help every step of the 
way should they need you is the secret to winning the 
empowered customer’s heart.  

Hunting for reviews 
The internet is a vast plain that invites each and every 
person to spend hours browsing pages of stories of how 
customers were tricked by salespeople, how companies lose 
millions of dollars due to the ineptitude of their business 
partners or suppliers, how customers were lied to, ridiculed, 
and cheated by companies and any other 
customer—business relationship story you can possibly 
In short, buyers now have unbounded access to 
opinions, ratings and reviews. 
Nowhere is this more apparent than software. Let’s say 
you’re a marketer looking for a Search Engine Optimization 
tool. With so many SEO options to choose from, would 
you risk signing up for the first one you come across?  
That’s just too big of a gamble. Instead, most people 
consult the general consensus first. That’s why ranking 
websites like Capterra, TechnologyAdvice and GetApp are 
growing explosively. 
After all, time is money, so buyers want to alleviate their 
doubts before investing. They need plenty of reassurance 
that your business has been beneficial to others in the past 
before they decide to cooperate with you. 

It is for this reason that online reviews have become one 
of the most powerful devices you can use to boost your 
brand and attract more customers. Although they are 
challenging to drum up, using the right strategies can get 
you all the reviews you need to leave a lasting impression. 
At the heart of this increasing demand for reviews is the 
issue of trust. Before investing in your services, buyers want 
to know that you’re somebody that they feel safe doing 
business with. After all, B2B buyers know that advertising 
copy is written explicitly to motivate them to buy, so 
checking out what past customers have to say seems more 
Need proof? Data from 2015 illustrates that in order to 
trust your business, 85% of B2B buyers need to read up to 
10 reviews about your company.​12 
And while B2C shoppers also use reviews to make 
informed decisions, one bad review of a B2B company 
(usually by another B2B firm) is much more damaging than 
one negative review of a customer buying from a B2C 
The purchasing process in B2B sales, which may take 
months or even years, is complex and costly. The B2C 
segment, on the other hand, has a short process of buying. 
These buyers can get away with purchase decisions sparked 

by emotional wants rather than needs. Instead of months, 
the choice to buy is made in days or even on impulse. 
However, the decision to buy in a B2B space is generally 
fuelled by needs and constrained by budget. B2B buyers put 
forth a lot of effort into making rational decisions. Buyer’s 
remorse isn’t something that is condoned in the B2B 
workspace. The swipe-first-ask-questions-later approach 
won’t get you anywhere you’d like to be if you’re working 
for a B2B company.  
When working with B2B buyers, companies take time to 
cultivate close, long—term relationships with customers. 
There’s really no room for mistakes when you have 
businesses depending on you to be there for them. If 
something should happen and a mistake is made, the 
relationship must have a foundation that is solid enough to 
withstand disturbances without causing significant damage 
to the reputation of the company. 
So while it might be enough for a B2C business to have 
reviews about how their shoes arrive on time, B2B 
consumers have higher expectations that involve an entirely 
different spectrum of nuances. They are experts who are 
aiming at the best investment for their budget, and the 
wealth of information available on the internet has changed 
their research habits. They search for proof and make up 
their minds before they actually engage with a vendor.​13  


“The truth is that B2B buyers are just like you and me. 
They use Uber, they love their Apple products, they use 
Google, they use Netflix, they shop Amazon and then 
they go to make a B2B purchase and the sales process is 
horrible.” — Blake Morgan, author and futurist 

B2B customers also demand that the purchase experience 

is intuitive, accessible and easy. In fact, nearly 70% of buyers 
claim that convenience is essential. It is obvious: the longer 
and more complex the buying process is, the fewer people 
will buy.​14  

The Promise of Inbound 

We are beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel. 
No more chasing customers nor begging. We are finally 
liberated from the tyranny of old-school sales rules and 
distracting customer’s lives. Thanks to inbound marketing, 
brands have been able to attract customers, earn their 
respect, “love and attention.”​15 Also,

this has been done not 
via expensive campaigns nor powerful or creative TV ads, 
but by generating exciting online content that engages, 
educates and entertains the readers. According to marketing 

literature, online sales approaches don’t work when 
companies firstly produce general content and secondly, 
when they generate a set of the same texts that originally 
would only address specific audience.​16 
Before anything else, we must keep in mind that our 
potential customers are a group of individuals who already 
have specific expectations about the brand. Many sales 
experts assert that we must appeal to the customers directly 
and relevantly. And this is what inbound marketing 
dictates. To create and maximize customers’ experiences 
with companies, they must be spoken to in such a way that 
would connect them with the brand’s vision. If the messages 
are communicated successfully, then it may lead to 
increased communication and sales. But how exactly has 
this been achieved?​17 

Personalization drives results  

With the introduction of inbound sales in our increasingly 
connected world, we have realized by now that the 
connection between customers and the brand is essential. 
We must be focus on our customers and this is something 
that should be our priority. To achieve this, companies 
started generating highly personalized messages and content. 
Interestingly, research explains that once the buying journey 
becomes personalized, customers — aside from feeling the 
connection with messages — feel understood.​18​ To illustrate 
this, let’s think of Amazon’s personalized shopping 

experience. Thanks, again, to the digital age, Amazon 
presents customers with products that they would most like 
and possibly purchase next based on their shopping history 
and page per visits. This is because today’s personalization 
technology automatically takes into consideration the 
buyer’s ratings, purchases and viewing habits. Even if 
customers spend time browsing on Amazon, being 
presented with individual recommendations saves their 
time. Hence, as customers, we start to feel understood by 
the company. This creates a better overall user experience, 
and for this reason, personalization has become increasingly 
We have outlined the benefits in the B2C segment, but 
you are probably wondering about the B2B world. B2B 
customers have also been expecting their buying processes 
to be as personalized and seamless as possible. Precisely the 
same way that a B2C consumer who enters a retail store 
doesn’t want to be treated as just another customer, a B2B 
buyer doesn’t want to be dumped with a one-size-fits-all 
solution. In fact, Forrester Consulting on behalf of 
Accenture Interactive, part of Accenture Digital, and SAP 
Hybris conducted a study based on 2,000 B2B sellers and 
customers.​19​ The data revealed that regardless of the 
medium or device, customers’ expectations for personalized 
content have constantly been evolving.​20 

From greeting the customer to providing the best 
product advice and offers to creating a strong connection, a 
B2B consumer’s buying journey also needs to be customized 
at every step. Hence, by using machine learning, 
automation, and other technological innovations — such as 
chatbots — in the B2B space, inbound has become 
particularly effective. 
Whether your company is big or small, inbound has 
proved that by delivering highly personalized experiences to 
today’s customers, brands have the potential to drive 
themselves to new heights. Product advice, for instance, aids 
Amazon in driving its sales. Infosys research finds that 86% 
of customers state that personalization affects their 
purchasing decisions.​21​ And McKinsey discovers that by 
meeting individual requirements, a company can bring 
about “five to eight times the return on investment on 
marketing spend and lift sales 10%.”​22​ The new approaches 
to sales methods seem sound, and it looks like sales problems 
of the past are finally being addressed. But not everyone 
agrees with this. In fact, it often falls short of many brands’ 
expectations, and businesses don’t reach the standard that 
they hoped for. This is still quite a common occurrence in 
the B2B sector seeing as how many companies are finding it 
difficult to stick to the old while bringing in the new. There 
are reasons behind this struggle and there are also solutions 
which we will address in the next chapter. 


Escaping the 
predator-prey mentality 
As we have already seen, the inbound approach has been 
instrumental to the success of many brands. Yet for other 
companies, it has failed to increase lead volume or 
conversion rates. Inbound enthusiasts are quick to point 
out that the method isn’t a silver bullet. It can take several 
months before a visible return-on-investment.  
But what about when you’ve poured all your efforts into 
a content strategy, hired a team of writers, gone through a 
website audit and optimized for SEO? What about when 
you see some growth, but not enough? Months have gone 
by, but you don’t have the traffic you were expecting and 
your sales haven’t increased. 
It is not just hypothetical. According to Hubspot’s State 
of Inbound 2018 report, 61% of inbound marketers say that 
generating traffic and leads is their biggest challenge.​1 
According to the same report, sales people say that getting a 
response from prospects and closing deals has gotten even 
harder over the past few years. 
Does that mean inbound doesn’t work? 

Not at all. Done right, inbound is one of the most 
effective approaches to sales and marketing out there.​2 
However, if you look closer, you’ll see that there are two 
widespread problems that tend to sabotage the results. 
Chapter 4 will describe the second problem — that you’re 
forcing leads to connect with you on the platforms that you 
want, which, in turn, adds friction to your interactions.  
But before jumping into that, this chapter will uncover 
the first and most pressing issue: despite adopting a new 
customer-centric approach, you haven’t changed the way 
you treat leads. You’re still in the classical sales mindset. 
You’re still treating customers like prey. 

The Chase Continues 

Sure, you’re no longer outright chasing them. Instead, 
you’ve become a venus fly trap. Your personalized content is 
designed to look like valuable expert knowledge that you’re 
sharing for free. It is disguised to look like an independent 
opinion from a thought-leader.  
You don’t attract. You ​lure​. You’re still catching leads, 
but you’re doing it covertly. 
In all likelihood, this is done unconsciously. After all, 
treating leads like prey is what salespeople have been told to 
do again and again, decade after decade. 

Inbound was actually created in direct opposition to 
hunting down and capturing leads. It was developed as “a 
method of attracting, engaging and delighting people to 
grow a business that provides value and builds trust.”​3 
If you’re using this method in a way that fundamentally 
contradicts its core values, you won’t get the results you’re 
expecting. It is like trying to fit a square peg into a round 
So, what am I doing wrong? The main reason why this 
approach may fail lies in the way the company uses inbound 
instruments. Let’s take a look. 

Gated content 
The lifeblood of any inbound strategy is gated content. 
Materials such as webinars, demos, and newsletters are made 
“gated” when a lead must fill out a form in order to access 
them. In other words, in exchange for assets that belong to 
the brand, users are obligated to provide personal or 
organizational information such as name, phone number, 
email address, job title or company size. The potential 
customer gets access to something interesting, and the 
company collects their information with the plan to start 
nurturing a relationship with them. 
It has become a favorite tool among many companies 
because it offers an abundance of information that can be 
mined in order to personalize the buyer experience and 

increase sales conversions. The idea goes a little something 
“Go ahead and read our report for free. If you like us, 
you’ll be back because this is only one interaction in a 
long-term relationship. From this, we’ll understand what 
you like and send you more of that. Eventually, if you like 
and trust us enough, you’ll probably share our ideas with 
other potential customers, or better yet, buy our product.” 
If users believe that your company’s content is valuable, 
informative or unique, then they’ll be more willing to 
provide their personal information in exchange for it. But 
this exchange is only sustainable as long as customers trust 
you. People are always wary of falling into yet another sales 
trap, and they’ll stop coming around if you abuse their 
Abuse 1. The “I didn’t sign up for this” 
How often do you find your inbox cluttered with 
newsletters that you have no recollection of signing up for? 
Entire start-ups such as and Organizer have 
emerged because of the massive demand to unsubscribe to 
unwanted newsletters. Email providers have even begun 
automatically sorting promotional messages into folders 
separate from the main inbox.  

The fact is that when prospective customers sign up for a 
piece of gated content, many companies still automatically 
tick the newsletter subscription box. Leads would need to 
actively unclick this box in order to avoid the weekly emails. 
And marketers didn’t design it that way by accident — it is a 
well-known conversion booster. In fact, according to 
behavioral psychologist Dan Ariely, pre-selected default 
choices explain why 99.98% of Austrians consent to organ 
donation (the default is opt-in), while only 12% of Germans 
do (the default is opt-out).​4 
Likewise, gated content forms are designed, optimized 
and A/B tested to get more email sign ups, whether you 
meant to subscribe or not. 
Trust broken.  
This isn’t using inbound methods correctly. Using tricks 
based on the old mentality, you won’t win customers’ trust 
nor boost sales, bringing you back to square one.  
Abuse 2. The “Stop spamming me” 
But what happens when leads actually do subscribe? It is 
important to acknowledge that gated content also has issues 
when sign-ups were made proactively and by choice. People 
still unsubscribe for an infinite amount of reasons.  
Prime among those is sending messages too frequently. 
Yet so many companies shower their users with emails, and 

they wonder why so many people unsubscribe (and even 
block them). It is crucial to understand what users expect 
and then adapt to it. Maybe a bi-weekly email is perfect in 
your mind, but your readers feel bombarded. 
Abuse 3. The “Why the heck are they sending me this?” 
As we mentioned in the previous chapter, personalization is 
one of the best ways to increase your brand’s appeal. Your 
messages should be tailored to the lead’s preferences and 
interests. Likewise, personalization extends to cover what 
you shouldn’t send. If someone subscribes to notifications 
about new web design blog posts, don’t send them your 
newsletter about how to manage a team. Signing up for one 
thing does not give you free reign to send every piece of 
content you produce.  
It should be obvious, but sometimes it is hard to force 
yourself to organize your email lists… it is easier to just send 
it to everyone. Fight this temptation. The more targeted you 
get with your content, the more value your messages will 
carry. Sending irrelevant emails is just another way you’re 
abusing their trust and chipping away at your own 

Contact info for sale 

Another dirty trick that is rarely talked about is when 
personal data is bought and sold. As a SaaS company, our 

team inbox is constantly filling up with offers to sell us lists 
of our competitors’ users. This is one of the worst practices 
you can participate in, so the only thing worth saying here is 
don’t do it. Don’t buy it. Don’t sell it. It is as simple as that. 
That is personal information, and those people did not sign 
up for that. 

Annoying pop-ups 
Another instrument of inbound is the ever-present pop-up. 
Research has shown that they irritate and frustrate, 
regardless of size.​5​ Perhaps one of the main reasons is that 
pop-ups (along with other digital marketing tools) have 
been abused. They are intrusive, they appear suddenly, they 
are usually irrelevant to the content and they’re often hard 
to close... Basically, all they do is scare, disrupt and annoy.  

Sponsored content & influencers — you’re being 

One of the main ways buyers have empowered themselves is 
by skipping the ad copy and the sales pitch, and instead 
consulting sources they trust. However, what they may not 
know is that many independent publications allow brands 
to run articles that look identical to their own stories for 
cash — the only difference being the word “Sponsored” 
written in fine print.  
Native advertising is a form of promotion where ads are 
designed to blend in as seamlessly as possible with other 

content. According to the popular marketing blog 
Convince & Convert, “It is so closely incorporated into 
outside websites that the user can hardly tell they are 
looking at a brand message.”​6​ This includes everything from 
those first few Google search results (which are actually ads) 
to articles in Forbes to videos from your favorite Youtube 
Living in the age of information overload and distractors, 
it becomes harder and harder to recognize which content is 
independent and which is a sneaky promoted post or a paid 
ad. In one Boston University study, less than 10% of readers 
recognized sponsored news articles as advertising.​7 
But people do feel that something has changed. They 
intuitively sense that they are being deceived for the sake of 
gaining more sales. And when a customer catches wind of a 
company trying to trick them, they lose all trust in the 
company and in the independent research sources they once 
relied on.  

“Trust in media is at an all-time low…. I’m not suggesting 

it is only from native advertising, but I think it is a 
contributing factor. A lot of people equate this to fake 
- Michelle Amazeen, Assistant Professor at Boston 


It is a tough pill to swallow, but the truth is that many 

customers still see marketers and salespeople for what they 
are — people whose income relies on making that sale. And 
that’s acceptable.  
Trust is crucial, and it is difficult to build. Skeptical B2B 
buyers are out shopping for brands that not only meet their 
needs, but also operate with honesty. Would you want to 
work with a company that you didn’t trust to: 

❏ Describe their products/services accurately? 

❏ Tell you honestly when something is wrong? 
❏ Protect your data? 

In B2B especially, establishing a trustworthy relationship 

with customers is essential because relationships between 
customers and companies tend to be long-term. So when we 
collectively lose customer trust, aren’t we back in the same 
situation we were in before?  

Backlash against the old mentality 

As marketers and salespeople continue to capture and 
deceive their prey under the guise of inbound, more people 
have taken a stance against sales tactics that use their data 
against them.  

The issue has raised so much concern that the European 
Union has introduced a set of laws have that sent 
shockwaves of panic across marketing and sales teams 
worldwide. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 
and the ePrivacy Directive give consumers more control and 
clarity about how their data is being collected and used.​9 
Essentially, they detail what companies can and can’t do 
with the personal information of EU citizens, fining deviant 
companies up to $22 million or 4% of their annual turnover, 
whichever is greater.​10 
These laws cover a lot of bases, but there are a couple of 
rules worth looking at closer. Under GDPR, silence or a 
pre-ticked box no longer signals consent — a person must 
actively opt-in to email newsletters. Similarly, the ePrivacy 
Directive can’t install and track cookies in a website visitor’s 
device unless they first obtain informed consent.​11 
On the first day of GDPR being in effect, Google and 
Facebook were sued for a collective $8.8 billion. Examples 
like this made marketers and sales teams everywhere were 
shake in their boots.​12​ It totally disrupted the philosophy for 
inbound that they had come to rely on: grab all the data you 
want, sign everyone up — if they’re not interested, they’ll 
Good thing you’re not in Europe, huh?  
Actually, more than 100 countries have passed legislation 
to protect consumer privacy and data.​13​ In fact, California 

recently launched its own law like GDPR called the 
California Consumer Privacy Act that will go into effect in 
There’s obviously a reason that consumers have 
demanded a law to protect them from the big bad 
businesses that are buying and selling their personal data, 
hunting them down, trapping them, or attempting to 
manipulate them to part with their hard-earned dollars.  
These days, damaging your potential and existing 
customers’ trust is a risk that no business can afford to take. 
The only way to create a process where trust can thrive is to 
change your mindset. If you want to continue seeing your 
customers as prey, then don’t bother with inbound 
marketing because it’ll only push them away. If you want to 
adjust to the desires and expectations of the modern 
consumer (B2B consumers especially), then get ready to 
make some changes to your sales approach.  

Time for a new perspective 

It is ironic that we’re still on the same old page, looking at 
the same old problem: locked in a battle of Spy vs Spy. ​15 
Does this mean that the relationship between the 
customer and the company hasn’t changed at all? Or that 

the power shift toward buyer empowerment was nothing 
more than an illusion? 
It doesn’t have to be. We can transform our relationships 
with customers from an obstacle into a competitive 
advantage. But in order to make this change, we need to let 
go of our fears. 
When you put the power into the hands of leads and 
customers, how do you make sure they come back? How do 
you plan and forecast when what’s on the horizon is in the 
hands of someone else? We’re desperate not to lose control, 
and this fear is what keeps taking over our decision-making 
The solution to such a complicated problem is actually 
not difficult at all.  
Give your customers the freedom and the flexibility to 
choose what they want, when they want it — and make sure 
you’re there to listen and engage. By giving your customers 
this power, you’ll both win.  

“Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough 

anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have 
to create raving fans.”​16 -​ Ken Blanchard  

Letting leads take control of how and when you 

communicate will actually make your communication more 

worthwhile, bringing you more sales in turn! You both have 
the same endgame, after all. You want to provide something 
valuable that keeps them coming back, and they want to 
stop searching, stop looking over their shoulders and start 
feeling confident that they chose the best option when they 
picked you. 


Embracing the new era of 
With the empowered customer gaining more and more 
control over the purchasing process, inbound sales seems to 
be the only viable strategy. While it is good, inbound is 
often a one-way street. Social media, website content and 
email subscriptions can only deliver something, but these 
methods do not offer customers a way to respond. 
Especially in a way that is convenient for them. 
Even if your customer subscribes to your newsletter, 
emails can be classified as spam and be filtered out — and 
this is quite a common occurrence. Also, if a customer is 
intrigued by your newsletter content, then how is he or she 
supposed to get in contact with you? Via email? Sure, that is 
an option, but considering that the average response time is 
over 12 hours, emails are not satisfying most consumers’ 
need for the here-and-now reply.​1​ And to be quite frank, 
most consumers are not all that surprised when they do not 
receive an email response at all, seeing as how 62% of 
companies do not respond to emails at all.​2​ All in all, there 
are plenty of gaps along the way for your message to fall 
through and remain undelivered.  

So what can you do about it?  
The customers are coming to you, and they will only play 
the game on their own terms. This means that you need to 
have a sales channel that supports the relationship between a 
customer and a business according to the new rules where 
responses have to be immediate, at any time of the day or 
night on any day of the week and last but not least, using the 
communication channel that is most convenient for the 
It is time to get the most out of inbound marketing if you 
want to truly connect with your consumers and build 
business relationships that will last. Your customers are no 
longer just consumers — they are advocates for your brand. 
If you treat them right, they will spread the word and your 
reputation as a business will prosper. ​Give to get, right?  

The Instant Messaging craze  

Think back to the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, when 
everyone was chatting with each other using instant 
messengers. ICQ, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN 
Messenger (later renamed Windows Live Messenger and 
finally, Skype) — these programs were such a huge part of 
our daily lives. We revelled in the fact that we could sit 
down at our computers, wait to connect to the internet, 
open up the program, see if someone was online, write a 

message, and wait for them to respond. We were ecstatic 
from the feeling of freedom that instant messaging gave us.  
These companies quickly saw the end of their reign, 
however, when the same concept was applied in a way that 
accommodated the desires and lived up to the standards of 
the consumer world. The 2010 and 2011 saw some of the 
greatest changes (which are still affecting our lives today) 
when Whatsapp was launched, Apple introduced iMessage 
and Snapchat pioneered the disappearing message.​3 
Most consumers and businesses are familiar with 
Facebook Messenger. It has been around for over a decade 
and it has 1.3 billion active users. This number will only 
continue to increase as businesses around the world are now 
including Messenger in their sales strategies.​4​ Companies 
like Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Icelandair, Coca-Cola and 
others are embracing this communication trend between 
consumers and businesses, both B2C and B2B.​5 
The reason? Well, people like to use Messenger because it 
coincides with their expectations. As forward-thinking 
businesses have been making an effort to accommodate the 
needs of their consumers, people fairly recently began to 
prefer using messengers above all else when it comes to 
making purchases, business deals or appointments. 
It is the simple and natural process of communication 
evolution — people became hooked on chatting when it 
was introduced and the popularity of instant messaging did 

not wane over the years. It actually became more 
Instant messaging went from computer-based to 
handheld once messengers became available on mobile 
phones. Do we still send regular text messages? Sure! But 
how much information can a text message provide a 
customer about a business or the other way around? Not so 

The Aftermath 
The IM boom gradually conditioned people to accept 
nothing less than instant responses whenever they had a 
question, and businesses had to keep up! Getting a lead 
from the awareness stage to becoming a loyal customer 
became more and more difficult as people were expecting 
“answers now!”, but most businesses were only capable of 
providing “answers later!”  
Enter in Live Chat, a website plugin (a pop-up) that 
allows customers to chat with a member of the support 
team while both are online at the same time.  
Now, anyone who has ever worked on the other end of 
live chat knows exactly what it is like — it is usually a 
complete and total mess. The original idea behind it was to 
provide customers with instant support and assist them 
with their purchases throughout the entire time they are on 

the website. It was a great theoretical application of 
providing consumers with instant gratification, but there 
were many important details that were overlooked. 
However, at some point, it was as if everyone 
simultaneously agreed that live chat was the end-all-be-all 
customer communication tool.   
When live chat was introduced, businesses jumped on it! 
It seemed like the perfect solution — any customer 
browsing the company’s website was able to connect with a 
manager at any moment if he or she needed assistance. Well, 
provided that the customer had a question during the 
manager’s work hours. If there was no representative on the 
other end of the chat, there was no point to having live chat 
installed. The customer would just feel abandoned and 
annoyed. And 24% of consumers say that what frustrates 
them the most is long wait times and 1 out of 5 customers is 
willing to stop using a product or a service due to slow 
response times on live chat.​6 
This led to businesses pressuring their representatives to 
answering any customer within the first 30 seconds and any 
follow up response could not exceed several minutes. That’s 
easy if there’s only one customer, but what if there are 5? Or 
10? Or 15? Unfortunately, struggling to deal with such an 
onslaught is reality. It happens every day and it leaves the 
customers extremely dissatisfied and the representatives and 
the managers at a loss when they do not meet their KPIs due 

to missed chats. Now when it comes to B2B buyers, most 
likely you will not be seeing 15 at a time, but who knows? 
Industries are different and buyers are different as well. One 
thing is for sure — no B2B buyer is going to take your 
company seriously if you are offering live chat without a 
representative to actually chat in live time.  
Businesses who could afford it were able to hire support 
managers to work different shifts day and night, weekdays 
and weekends, so that customers could always talk to a real 
person online. This was great for those firms that were 
interested in selling their product or service to countries in 
other time zones. This was not great, however, for the firms 
that could not afford to hire an around-the-clock team of 
Another issue that was overlooked was the fact that 
customers are often referred to email or calling. There are 
many reasons this could happen and that’s why it is so 
common. “Please send us an email with this information.” 
or “Please let us know when a sales representative can call 
you.” or the worst one imaginable, “There is no 
representative available at the moment. Please send us an 
email, call us at ###-#### or please come back during office 
First of all, the customer contacted your company via live 
chat because he or she did not want or was unable to call 
you or send an email. By referring customers to these 

methods of communication, you are disrespecting their 
choice and that’s not what the empowered customers of 
today will accept.  
Secondly, you are literally losing the customer! There is 
really no way to reach out to the sender of a “missed chat” 
because you do not have any of his or her contact 
information. And just imagine, this could have been your 
next loyal customer! Small business owners cannot afford to 
take such risks when it comes to filtering out potential 
quality leads simply because they missed them knocking or 
sent them away.  
There are actually numerous other ways you could lose 
your leads, and they are beyond your control. The potential 
customer may accidentally close the tab with your website 
and have to open it up again and start the chat from the 
beginning. If the customer does this right away, you may 
still have the chat open and will not ask him or her to 
explain the problem or ask the question again. But if they 
come back a bit later and reach a different manager or sales 
rep, they are going to have to start at the very beginning. 
Over half of consumers state that they hate repeating 
themselves, whether to a salesperson or to a customer 
support manager.​7 And

who can blame them?  
Live chat had a lot to offer in theory, but when it came to 
its application, it failed to provide customers with instant 

replies 24/7 and the opportunity to return at any moment 
and not have to repeat themselves.  
The era we’re welcoming to sales is one where 
communicating with businesses is instant, seamless and on 
the customer’s terms. Messengers are the very best way of 
accomplishing this. That’s why including these humble 
apps into your strategy is one of the easiest and most 
effective ways of working with empowered buyers. 


Messenger-Based Sales  
As the B2B buyer demanded more of a B2P sales approach, 
customers became extremely expectant of service that fits 
their needs, their schedules, their demands and their 
standards and delivers promising results and meaningful 
The methods of doing so are vast and that list can go on 
forever, but what is at the forefront of it all is 
communication. Any content that your business is creating 
and publishing, any sales and marketing tactics that your 
firm is employing — it is all meaningless if there is no way 
for your customers to be able to reach out to you quickly 
and easily.  

What is Messenger-Based Sales? 

This is what makes Messenger-Based Sales come in. MBS 
means recognizing the trend of messengers as the next major 
sales channel and taking steps to incorporate them into 
communications with leads and customers as the main way 
of communication. The world is ready — people are using it 
in their personal lives, marketing and support are using it. 
Now is the time for sales. 


Messenger-Based Sales (MBS) is the concept of 

prioritizing messengers as the main communication 
channel between a buyer and a company throughout the 
sales process.  

Adding messengers to your sales strategy does not mean 

you need to suddenly dive head first into chatbots and AI. 
In fact, the next chapter illustrates how you can get started 
with an Messenger-Based Sales strategy in only a few 
The philosophy of MBS is shaped around three main 

❏ Establishing presence on the platforms that your leads 

and customers prefer 
❏ Giving a real-time, personalized experience (the best of 
email and phone in one scalable platform) 
❏ Automation only as you need 

MBS is an evolved way of communicating that 

recognizes the autonomy and empowerment of customers, 
as well as the need to close the communication gap across 
You probably already have email and calling as the main 
touchpoints for communication throughout the whole sales 

process. New lead in the pipeline? Send an email. Time to 
get in touch? Give them a call. We are all used to it, and it is 
hard to picture it any other way.  
It really is hard to imagine that whenever we think about 
adding messaging to the process, we construct it as a 
marketing method or support method that has impeded on 
the sales process. When you read about messaging or 
chatbots in sales, they are used almost exclusively in the 
discovery process: it is used to qualify and schedule 
appointments. Then the lead is routed to the right person, 
the data is pushed to the CRM and that is it — now it is 
your turn, sales. Time to call or email the prospect. Forget 
answering back via messenger since that is a marketing tool. 
After all, messenger channels are often accessed via your 
company’s page on a social network like Facebook, and 
usually these are handled by a social media manager (SMM) 
or a support representative. The sales team does not even get 
access. Why is that? 
People do ask sales related questions to your companies 
via messengers, but sales is usually the last to know about it. 
Maybe the SMM spews out a template message with the 
sales email or phone number. Maybe the query is forwarded 
to the sales team or the manager is savvy and goes ahead and 
schedules an appointment. If it had been an incoming 
phone call or email it would have been easy: just transfer it 

or forward it. With messengers, the chain of 
communication gets broken because sales is not included.  
So a warm, engaged lead is left waiting or given the 
burden to connect with sales on another platform.  
From the customer’s perspective, it is a quick and easy 
way to get in touch with your business, as easy as it is to 
write to a friend. The obvious expectation is that the 
business should be able to reach back just as easily, yet it is 
not the case because of this entanglement between 
departments and communication channels.  
The line between different departments should be 
blurred. Transferring a lead from one department to 
another should be a seamless experience both for you and 
your customer. 

The benefits of MBS 

A huge benefit of using messengers to connect with your 
clients is the offer of asynchronous communication. Calling 
and live chat are great “instant” communication tools, but 
only if both parties are on the phone or online at the same 
time. As soon as one of them leaves, the connection is lost. 
Emailing allows for asynchronous conversation, but as we 
mentioned before, the waiting period can be extended up to 

days or even weeks, and nobody wants to sit and wait 
around for a reply.  
There is also the matter of feeling pressured to answer 
within a certain time frame and in a certain manner. This is 
something that neither a customer nor sales rep wants to 
experience, especially when the task at hand is to build 
meaningful and strong customer-business relationships.  
This is the fundamental difference between messaging 
and other sales communication channels. Messengers 
address all of these issues and offer a solution. They allow 
consumers to be where they want to be, when they want to 
be there and to do everything on their terms. The chat 
history is always available to all parties involved, and most 
importantly, no one is losing anything and everyone is (and 
feels like) they are winning.  
Since messengers are standalone apps, they are designed 
for ongoing conversations, unlike live chat which is a 
program integrated into your website. This means that the 
history of the conversation can be saved and accessed from 
any device. 42% of researchers use a mobile device during 
the B2B purchasing process, and realistically, it is easier for 
buyers to open up an app that is already installed on their 
phone if they want to send you a message.​1 They

can do this 
at any moment of the day or night and it does not mean that 
they have to entirely drop what they are doing. They can do 
this while they wait in line, while they are drinking a cup of 

coffee or while they are on their way to a meeting. And if we 
have learned anything, it is that buyers these days are busy 
people who value convenience and speed in everything that 
they do.  
Another advantage to messengers is that they offer 
salespeople the opportunity to assist more than one 
customer at a time. A sales phone call requires a salesperson 
to focus on only one customer for a certain amount of time, 
meaning that not only is time lost, but customers may be 
left on hold or may be unable to reach the salesperson at all! 
The asynchronous nature of chatting via messengers allows 
sales representatives the chance to assist a countless amount 
of customers simultaneously as they type out a quick 
message, provide a detailed answer, outline the specifics of a 
certain product or proposal or send the customer any 
requested information quickly and easily.  
Messenger platforms, among numerous other benefits, 
have one unique trait in common: the ability to be a 
medium for marketing, sales and customer support all at the 
same time. No other sales channel comes close in terms of 
As a marketing automation platform, messengers have 
been used for a while now. Sending out promotions, 
discounts and other marketing news has been a big part of 
the big brands in ecommerce and fashion for the past few 

years. And it is easy to see why! Messengers now gather a 
huge amount of users and followers.  

How companies are using messengers to thrive 

Are messengers as popular as people claim them to be? Yes, 
they are. They are booming with popularity and their 
growth is only expected to continue increasing from the 2.5 
billion people chatting every day, as reported by 
messengerpeople.​2​ Digital Strategy consulting also agrees 
and states that by 2021, 32% of the global population will be 
using messengers to chat.​3 
Facebook Messenger is the top mobile app by number of 
downloads with 8 billion messages exchanged every day​4 and 

it is actually used more by B2B professionals than any other 

channel according to a study from ComScore.​5 On ​
top of 
that, 150 million people talk to businesses each month 
through Instagram Direct, as Instagram (one of Facebook’s 
apps) adds yet another new dimension to shopping.​6  
In B2B, there are many decision makers involved in the 
process. Apart from the individuals comprising the business 
decision-making unit, there may also be a procurement 
process in larger B2B organizations. The complexity of the 
sales process requires quick access to information about the 
One company that is really taking the messenger trend to 
the next level is WeChat, the most popular messenger app in 

China. It has over 900 million users and it dominates almost 
all of human communication as it is used at home, at work, 
for shopping and for business. It has replaced email and 
calling since it is now easier to find everyone you need all in 
one place, either in a private chat conversation or all 
together in a group chat. The additional multimedia 
exchange features such as sharing songs, videos, large files 
and video calling make WeChat superior to any other means 
of communication, eclipsing any rival that tries to compete.  
WeChat is great for business as well. Instead of asking for 
a business card, you can simply scan someone’s QR code to 
automatically add their personal information to your 
contact list.  
Many bloggers and businesses in China are now using 
WeChat as their main channel of content distribution, 
taking advantage of instant delivery straight to the 
customer’s smartphone. This means that customers do not 
have to wait for an announcement to receive news of any 
other engaging content and can see updates on their phones 
Yet another bright addition to WeChat’s arsenal is its 
brilliant payment system which began to replace the use of 
cash and credit cards altogether. WeChat Pay helps you 
make a purchase in any physical or online store. Vending 
machine snacks, cinema tickets, food delivery, taxis, clothes 
— you name it. WeChat produced a User Report in 2017 

which indicates that approximately 90% of the app’s users in 
China pay for offline purchases using WeChat Pay.  
Even high-end purchases can be made through WeChat. 
The most expensive being cars. Some of the purchases made 
go up to $80,000.​7​ And thus, almost the entirety of a 
person’s daily online routine can fit into his or her pocket, 
even when it comes to buying a car. If that is not 
convenient, then what is?  
Messengers are beginning to look more and more like 
simplified browsers that are specifically designed to fit the 
shopper’s needs. For instance, within a messenger’s 
interface, a shopping carousel can help choose different 
items without having to launch your browser. Additionally, 
a payment interface means there is no need to leave the 
messenger’s interface to make a purchase. 
1-800-FLOWERS.COM is a popular flower delivery 
service in the US that offers customers the opportunity to 
place orders and make purchases using Facebook 
Messenger.​8​ By doing so, the company gives customers full 
control of the purchasing process straight from the interface 
of their smartphone, from beginning to end.  
All in all, one thing is perfectly clear: if your audience 
uses messengers, you want to use messengers too.  

What’s next? 
A lot of B2B content is often focused on the customer, and 
there’s not much out there about the actual B2B business 
owner — the one who has just taken the plunge into the 
deep end with the sharks, the one who barely has time to 
worry about the product and the service, let alone customer 
If we take a look at the evolution of communication 
platforms that have been offered to customers throughout 
the recent decades, it is clear to see how everything is being 
done with the customer in mind. In our previous chapters, 
we have elaborated on what caused consumers to be driven 
to where they are now — empowered, in control and last 
but not least, demanding nothing less than instant 
gratification of their high standards.  
That is quite a lot to live up to if you are a small B2B 
owner who is just now getting in the game. Or even if you 
have been on the market for decades yourself, chances are 
that you are still thinking, “So how am I supposed to 
incorporate all of this into my current sales strategy?”  
The good news is that you have a lot of options, and 
getting started is not going to be difficult. Thanks to all of 
the gradual changes that have been happening in consumer 
behavior, it is fairly simple to predict what customers want 

to see from you, the B2B owner, in the nearest future and 
most importantly, how to act on it.  


How to Deliver the 
Sales has always been conservative. There are a lot of great 
ideas floating around, but when it comes to actually 
executing them, it is something that is usually added to the 
“I’ll get around to it eventually” list. We are caught in this 
vicious cycle of knowing that something needs to change, 
and never having the time or energy to make it happen. We 
are always behind on our quotas, behind on our analyses, 
and when we finally do get on a roll, the last thing you want 
to do is overhaul a process that is working — even if that 
process is less than ideal. ​Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. 
The great thing about Messenger-Based Sales is that 
adding it to your strategy does not have to be complicated. 
You can get started in a few minutes and scale it up 
gradually to fit your needs. 

Phase one — pilot program 

Don’t worry about growth just yet. Instead, focus on 
offering a better experience to the leads and customers you 
already have. Your pilot program will give them the 

opportunity to engage you on a whole new communication 
channel and reveal whether messaging fits their needs. 
You do not even have to involve the whole sales team. It 
is possible for a single sales rep to “alpha test” adding a 
messenger to their current sales channels. The key here is to 
just to take the first step, no matter how small. 

Scenario 1. Your company already uses 

Do other teams at your company already have a presence on 
messengers? Let them in on your plan and work out a 
system for notifying you when sales should jump into 
conversations. It could be something as simple as sending 
you a message like “Hey, I have a lead on WhatsApp named 
Sophie Nielsen, and she could use some help from sales. 
Want to take over?” 
Alternatively, if you have an existing brand account (​e.g., 
SEO Emporium) and the team responsible does not want to 
share access, you can create a new account just for your 
team (​e.g.,​ SEO Emporium Sales). Then whenever a 
conversation is relevant for sales, the lead can be given the 
link for messaging the sales team. Most marketing and 
support teams already use a similar logic in their chat 
Sure, our sales team would be happy to give you a demo. 
Just write to 

However, if they can include a link to messenger instead 
of email, it eliminates platform switching. The only 
downside of having a separate account for the sales team is 
that it is not seamless. The onus is on the lead to click and 
start up a conversation with the sales team. Ideally, sales 
could just take over the conversation. The good thing? 
When you are ready to scale up, there are tools for that. 

The main challenge at this point is figuring out how to 

work with other teams. We suggest sitting down and 
brainstorming a list of topics that indicate when the 
conversation should be passed over to sales. Think about 
the moments that indicate opportunities or signal sales 
readiness. Every business is different — you may be ready 
to pass it to a sales rep at the first mention of pricing, or 
you may require criteria like Budget, Need, Authority & 
Time (BANT). Do what feels right for you, and do not 
be afraid to experiment! 

Scenario 2. Your company does not yet use 

If messaging apps are totally new territory for your business, 
fear not! Sometimes it is even better to start with a blank 
canvas. First, you need to determine which messenger app 

to start with. We recommend using the most valuable focus 
group you can imagine: your current customers.  
Set aside a couple of days to gather feedback. The aim is 
to just get a feeling about the general consensus, we are not 
looking for statistically significant results. You can add a 
question to your usual call script or email template. If you 
are into social media, you could create a poll. Something 

Our company wants to make it easier for you to get in 

touch with us, so we are launching a pilot program to 
test out messaging apps. Vote on the app that you 
would most like us to adopt! 

Once you have the results, get started! For Facebook 

Messenger, it is as simple as heading over to your Facebook 
page’s settings, clicking “Add a button to your page” and 
selecting Messenger. Whatsapp, Telegram, Viber and 
WeChat each have their own unique procedures, but 
overall, getting set up is really fast, and there are countless 
resources to help you if you hit a snag.  
If you are feeling the pressure because you cannot 
monitor the chat 24/7 — there is no need to. Many 
messaging apps are come equipped with the feature that lets 
you set up business hours and an away message. 

Hooray, you are online! Now what? 
The next step is the most crucial: let the your customers 
know. Mention it every chance you get and make sure 
everyone else does too.  

❏ Add it to your next newsletter: Big news, we are now 

available on WhatsApp! 
❏ Put a link in your email signature: Prefer to chat? Send 
us a message on Telegram! 
❏ Offer it during your next call: “So, is the phone the best 
method for staying in touch? We can also chat via 
Telegram if that works better for you.” 

In addition to announcing your presence on your new 

communication channel, you should start using it too.  
Basic use cases that you can easily start on day one 
include sending a personalized follow-up message, 
scheduling a meeting, collecting feedback or creating a 
group chat between the people you would normally CC in 

Evaluating phase one 

After a month, you should evaluate the performance of 
your Messenger-Based Sales pilot program. At this point, 
the key indicators to pay attention to are customer 
satisfaction and engagement. The precision of your 
evaluation is up to you — it can be as simple as asking the 

team for their impressions or if you are into analytics, you 
can measure the growth with more accuracy.  

At amoCRM, our own team makes a weekly report to 

track all our sources of leads, and our favorite 
performance indicators to monitor for messaging apps 

❏ Total conversations with existing customers 

❏ Total conversations with new leads 
❏ Messenger app conversion rate (total purchases via 
messenger apps/total conversations with new leads) 
❏ Average response speed 

You want to look for improvement over time and 

compare messengers against your other channels. 

Our recommendation is to roughly gauge the volume of 

conversations and either keep the current pace or scale up. 
If you have only gotten light engagement​, no problem. 
We suggest extending your pilot program for one more 
month, and at the end, deciding whether it is worth it to 
keep that communication channel open. As long as the app 
is set up to notify you of new conversations, it is easy to 
keep it up and running indefinitely. On the other hand, if 
you decide that the particular messenger is not for you and 

your customers, no harm done. The main point is that ​now 
you know​. Ready to try another messenger?  
If customers are engaging you, congrats! The messaging 
trend is growing, and you will continue get more 
engagement over time, particularly the more you can refine 
it. Wanna go ahead and get your hands dirty? You might 
consider more advanced use cases for messaging apps. 
Creating a broadcast  
This feature goes by many names — it is called a Broadcast 
on Whatsapp, a Channel on Telegram, Subscription 
Messaging on Messenger. It is a chat where you can push 
out news, announcements and offers to anyone who is 
subscribed. Essentially, it is a replacement for your email 
newsletter minus the html hassle and plus the emojis and 
Sending and processing invoices 
Built-in payment processing is coming soon to messengers. 
It is already being beta tested around the world. In the 
meantime, there are a number of third-party tools that 
already allow you to collect payments, making messengers a 
platform capable of completing a full sales process. 
Attracting leads with Messenger ads 
If your marketing team is running ads on Facebook (or 
planning to), there is a new type of ad you might consider. 
Instead of sending leads to a landing page, the “Messages” 

objective sends anyone who clicks right into a chat on 
Messenger. It is perfect for those hot, ready-to-talk leads. 
Adding Messenger to your Website 
Facebook recently rolled out a feature called the “Customer 
Chat Plugin” that allows you to add Messenger to your 
webpage like a live chat. What is even more awesome is that 
it is a great experience for the customer: they can start the 
conversation on your website and continue it the Messenger 
app or in Facebook. 

Phase two — Scaling MBS 

As you start to see growth, you may want to think about 
expanding to multiple messengers, automating with 
chatbots or using other tools. When you decide it is time to 
scale, your focus should be twofold. First, multiple 
communication channels means app-switching, which is a 
major drain on your productivity. That means you need to 
find a way to centralize your communication into a single 
Second, messaging apps are not really designed to 
accommodate teams. They are limited when it comes to 
assigning a responsible user to the conversation and saving 
information about the lead or customer. Their interfaces 
were created for light collaboration. When your inbox is full 
and multiple people are working there, it is easy to lose track 

of who is working with whom. Translation: a workflow that 
does not actually flow. 

A modern inbox 
Your instinct is probably telling you: time to brace for the 
CRM pitch. Well, the fact is, you do not need a Customer 
Relationship Management solution to take advantage of 
Messenger-Based Sales. If you already have one, that is fine 
as long as you are happy with it. But if after reading this 
book, you are not convinced that it is flexible enough to 
accomodate the MBS strategy you want to put in place, 
then maybe it is time to head back to the drawing board.  
CRMs are complicated. They require you to identify and 
commit to a clear sales process and corresponding 
workflow. You need to implement it and get the whole team 
onboard. It takes money, resources and effort. To build this 
type of a workflow is incredibly difficult — that is why sales 
process consulting and CRM implementation is a 
multi-million dollar industry.  
The myth is that CRMs are supposed to solve your sales 
problems, and when they do not, it is incredibly 
disappointing because of sunk costs. And in the end, 99% of 
the CRMs out there are not equipped for MBS. 

Instead, we propose a new approach. 
Focus on opening up the communication channels that are 
clearly trending and invest in the tools that help you to do 
so. Later, you can establish the processes. The main features 
you need are:  

❏ A modern inbox to centralize conversations from ​all 

your channels (messengers, phone & email) 
❏ Profiles where you can see all your conversations and 
the lead’s details 
❏ The ability to assign responsibility to different users 

We had this in mind at amoCRM when we pivoted our 

product to focus on Messaging-Based Sales. There just were 
not many good options for salespeople to add messaging to 
their communication touchpoints.  
And it’s no wonder.  
When we set out to do this, we realized some 
fundamental design obstacles that we had never even 
noticed before. Case-in-point: the lead’s interaction feed. 
In pretty much every CRM, each lead has a profile that 
contains a history of all your interactions. It looks like the 
newsfeed on Facebook or Twitter. Whenever you get a new 
phone call, get a new email or write a new note, it lands at 
the top. 

Have you noticed the problem yet? 
In chat apps, the newest message is at the bottom of the 
screen. It is intuitive. It follows the way most cultures read 
text: from top to bottom. Should you miss a couple of 
messages, you simply scroll up and read them in the usual 
order, from top to bottom, and that makes sense. It follows 
the orientation of other content you can find on the web: 
articles, lists, spreadsheets — all go from top to bottom. 
CRMs, on the other hand, were designed like email, putting 
the most recent events at the top. Everyone builds their 
CRM like this. We did too. How could we possibly 
integrate messengers into that? Our users would be sending 
and receiving messages within a feed that feels upside down.  
This was a painful realization because we knew it would 
take us months to reverse the feeds in our lead profiles to 
accommodate messengers. However, it was a necessary first 
step to putting the ability to message into the hands of sales 
Once you start thinking about messaging, you start 
seeing the signs everywhere. This trend is coming. We are 
prepping for it and building amoCRM around it because 
we think it is inevitable. On your side, you do not have to 
make a big splash. It is still early. Just take the first few steps 
and you will already be head and shoulders beyond most of 
your competitors. 

There is (not) one channel to rule them all 
Throughout this book, we have made it clear that other 
communication channels are losing their effectiveness for 
sales. However, they are not going away any time soon. 
Everything has its purpose.  
When email came along, we did not stop calling. In a 
pinch, a call is faster and more convenient than anything 
else imaginable. 
Emails also have their place. They are still a fantastic way 
to distribute well-prepared content, and they are also the 
best way to establish formal communication. For regular 
communication, it is just a much slower type of tempo. 
And that of live chat? Well... live chats are now 
attempting to integrate messenger platforms and perform 
the very same thing messengers do. They are definitely 
moving in the right direction.  
Every channel has its advantages and disadvantages, with 
some more appropriate to certain situations than others. 
Our point here is that messaging overcomes a lot of the 
limitations that afflict other communication channels and 
provides a basis for automation that they simply cannot. 
Who knows what the next big platform will be in 10 years, 
but for now, it is safe to say that messengers are the channel 
that best put communication on the customer’s terms.  

Not to mention that if you are not present on 
messengers, then you are losing out on a lot of valuable 
conversations that your business could be having. Especially 
because a lead that has contacted your business through a 
messenger is already interested, by default.  
In the end, it is not one channel that rules them all, but a 
combination of multiple channels used for maximum 
efficiency. With messengers, you are prepared to use of the 
most effective ones out there, and be on the top of the wave 
that is shaping the world of sales right now.  

Closing Thoughts 
Having travelled the landscapes of Iceland and witnessed 
the ever-changing sceneries (that is indeed so akin to what is 
happening in the world sales) you have now learned what is 
there to come, and how to be prepared for it. 
Let’s step back and take a look at the full picture for a 

❏ The history of sales transformed the buying process 

from seller-centric to customer-centric. 
❏ Email, phone calls, live chats are still viable channels of 
communication, but the modern customer demands 
more than that. 

❏ Conventional sales wisdom now hurts instead of 
helping — you need to build a relationship with the 
customer instead of just trying to sell. 
❏ The new generations have already made sure that 
messaging is the communication channel that will 
dominate all other channels in the future even more. 
❏ A combination of a thought-through sales workflow 
augmented with messengers is the easiest and most 
effective first step you can make toward boosting your 

The game of cat and mouse is at an end.  

You no longer need to chase wildly after your prospect, 
raising hell in your wake. The game is about attracting now. 
With the evolution of inbound marketing, many different 
strategies and tools are emerging that support this new 
method of attraction: transparency in content marketing, 
achieving the best customer experience, focusing on loyalty 
and word of mouth and many others. It is the era of the 
empowered customer. And a happy customer is a returning 
That is why we believe in messengers, and that is why we 
have invested in this belief so much. Our whole product is 
based around the idea of making it easy for the sales 
representatives to communicate with their prospects, and to 
deliver a solution to a problem in the most efficient way. 

It is not about just the technology or the method 
anymore, it is about building a simple human connection. A 
connection that should have been there all along.  

Let’s get ready to rumble 

It is time to stop waiting for fate to decide the future of your 
business. The coming storm is on the horizon, and you 
should be prepared well if you want to ride it.  
Close this communication gap between a business and a 
customer. Get on the same level. Speak the same language. 
Go out there and deliver your message.  




1. ​“Are You Addicted to Your Phone?"
2. Nashville, TN,​ “Americans Don’t Want to Unplug from 
Phones While on Vacation, Despite Latest Digital Detox 
Trend,”​ May 17, 2018,
3. ​“​Why Messaging Businesses Is the New Normal​,” 
Facebook IQ, June 14, 2018,
4. Ibid. 
5. Ibid.  
6. ​“Email Marketing Benchmarks,”​ Mailchimp,


7. Emma Brunder, ​“16 Compelling Statistics That Prove 

Cold Calling Is Dead,”​ April 15, 2016,​. 
8. ​“Do Not Call Registry Data Book 2017: Complaint 
Figures By Year,”​ Federal Trade Commission Protecting 
America’s Consumers,
9. Brunder, ibid.  

Chapter 1 

1. Hitesh Bhasin,​ “Customer Empowerment and the Rising 

Power of Consumers,”​ May 4, 2018,​. 
2. Simon Kemp, ​“Digital in 2018: World’s Internet Users 
Pass the 4 Billion Mark,”​ January 30, 2018,
3. Peter Kafka & Rani Molla, ​“2017 Was the Year Digital 
Ad Spending Finally Beat TV,”​ December 4, 2017,
4. ​“Is the World of Advertising Moving Away From 
Cookies?”​ Retargeter, 

5. ​“Definition of Generation Z,”​ Collins,
6. ​ “Social Media User in 2018,”​ Pew Research Center, 
March 1, 2018,
7. Lynette Ryals and Iain Davies,​ “Vision Statement: Do 
You Really Know Who Your Best Salespeople Are?” 
December, 2010,
8. Joel Andren,​ “Why is Cision Telling PR Pros How to Do 
Their Job?”​ December 1, 2015,

Chapter 2 

1. Ford Model T Manual Collection,​. 
2. Carey Davis,​ “History of Sales: 6 Things You Should 


3. Bryan Gonzalez,​ “Sales Development Technology: The 

Stack Emerges,”​ TopoBlog,
4. Ibid. 
5. Michael Pedone,​ “How Many Dials Per Day Get the Best 
Sales Results?” ​Online Sales Training, January 22, 2018,
6. Gonzalez, ibid. 
7. Julia Manoukian, ​“Only 18% of Buyers Trust And 
Respect Salespeople,” ​September 15, 2017,
8. ​ “MarketingSherpa Consumer Purchase Preference 
Survey: Demographics of Customer Reasons to Follow Brands’ 
Social Accounts,”​ MarketingSherpa, November 24, 2015,
9. Kurt Wagner, ​“LinkedIn: 81% of Small and 
Medium-Sized Businesses Use Social Media,”​ Mashable, 
February 13, 2014,
10. Kenneth Burke, ​“Crucial New Study Brings Light to 
Franchise Texting,” ​February 29, 2016, 

11. ​“ERetailers: Text Consumers or Risk Irrelevancy in 
2017,”​ Mobile Marketing Watch, November 11, 2016,
12. ​“Local Consumer Review Survey Online Reviews 
Statistics & Trends,”​ BrightLocal,
13. Vinay Bhagat, ​“Why B2B Marketers Should Welcome 
Online Reviews,” ​April 4, 2014,
14. Mikita Mikado,​ “Why B2B Is Really Becoming More 
Like B2C,” ​, February 22, 2017,
15. Rand Fishkin and Thomas Høgenhaven,​ Inbound 
marketing and SEO: Insights from the Moz Blog ​(John 
Wiley & Sons, 2013). 
16. Bryan Adams and Dave Hazlehurst, ​Getting 
Goosebumps: A Pragmatic Guide to Effective Inbound 
Marketing: Emotionally Connect with Your Audience and 
Achieve Your Business Objectives​, (Wordscapes Ltd, 2015). 
17. Ibid. 


18. Oeds J. Postma and Marlon Brokke, "Personalisation in 

practice: The proven effects of personalisation,"​ Journal of 
Database Marketing & Customer Strategy Management 9​, 
no. 2 (2002): 137-142. 
19. ​ “Omni-Channel Experience Is Critical to Fueling B2B 
Customer Engagement, Finds Accenture and SAP Hybris 
Study,”​ Business Wire, November 5, 2015,
20. Ibid.  
21. ​"Rethinking Retail: Insights from Consumers and 
Retailers into an Omni-Channel Shopping Experience," 
Infosys Case Studies, 2014,
22. Andrew Pickersgill, Brian Gregg and Wouter Maes, 
“Marketing’s Age of Relevance: How to Read and React to 
Customer Signals,”​ McKinsey, August, 2014,

Chapter 3 

1. ​“State of Inbound 2018,”​ HubSpot,​. 


2. Chaviva, Gordon-Bennett,​“The Evolution of Inbound 

Marketing,” ​October 16, 2018,
3. ​“What Is Inbound Marketing?”​ HubSpot,​. 
4. Dan Ariely, ​“3 Main Lessons of Psychology,”​ May 5, 2008,
5. Susanne G. Bahr and Richard A. Ford,​ "How and why 
pop-ups don’t work: Pop-up prompted eye movements, user 
affect and decision making," Computers in Human Behavior 
27​, no. 2 (2011): 776-783. 
6. Pratik Dholakiya,​ “The Truth About Creating 
High-Quality Native Content,”​ Convince and Convert: 
Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing 
7. Michelle A. Amazeen, and Bartosz W. Wojdynski, 
"Reducing Native Advertising Deception: Revisiting the 
Antecedents and Consequences of Persuasion Knowledge in 
Digital News Contexts,"​ ​Mass Communication and Society 
(2018): 1-26. 
8. Kat J. McAlpine, ​“In the Fake News Era, Native Ads Are 
Muddying the Waters,”​ December 21, 2018, 

9. ​ “EUGDPR – Information Portal,”​ ​​.
10. “Regulation (EU) 2016/ 679 of The European
Parliament and of The Council - of 27 April 2016 - on
the Protection of Natural Persons with Regard to the
Processing of Personal Data and on the Free Movement
of Such Data, and Repealing Directive 95/ 46/ EC
(General Data Protection Regulation)”.
11. ​“Cookies - European Commission,”
12. Rusell Brandom, ​“Facebook and Google Hit with $8.8
Billion in Lawsuits on Day One of GDPR,”​ The Verge, May
25, 2018,

13. ​“UNCTAD, Data Protection and Privacy Legislation
14. ​“About the Initiative, California Consumer Privacy
Act,” ​​.
15. ​“Spy vs. Spy,​” Wikipedia, last modified February 26,

16. Ken Blanchard and Sheldon S. Bowles, ​Raving Fans: A
Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service​. New York,
NY: William Morrow & Company.

Chapter 4 

1. Steven MacDonald, ​“5 Ways to Reduce Customer Service

Response Times,”​ CRM Blog: Articles, Tips and Strategies
by SuperOffice, November 7, 2018,​.
2. Ibid.
3. Thad White, ​“A Look at the Evolution of Messaging,”
Meet the Ooma Blog, September 27, 2016,
4. ​ “Facebook Messenger for Business,”​ Facebook Business,
5. ​ “Facebook Messenger Ads: Facebook Case Study,”
Facebook Business,
6. Steve MacDonald, ​“21 Live Chat Statistics for 2019
(Backed by Unique Research),”​ March 5, 2019,​.

7. Michele McGovern, ​“Customers Don’t Want to Repeat
Themselves: 4 Ways to Improve Your Staff’s Listening Skills,”
April 4, 2018,

Chapter 5 

1. ​“The Changing Face of B2B Marketing,”​ Think with

2. Birgit Bucher, ​“Messenger Marketing and Its Advantages
Compared to Email and Social Media,”​ MessengerPeople,
January 30, 2018,
3. ​ “Global Messaging App Trends: 16% Rise in One Year -
Digital Intelligence Daily Digital Marketing Research,”
July 31, 2017,
4. Simon Kemp, ​“Internet Growth Accelerates, but Facebook
Ad Engagement Tumbles,”​ We Are Social, July 25, 2018,

5. Ross Simmonds, ​“The Rise Of Chatbots: 4 Ways Bots
Will Impact B2B Marketing Long Term,” ​November 27,
6. ​“Social Media Advertising Stats That Matter to
Marketers in 2018,” ​Hootsuite Social Media Management,
June 5, 2018,​.
7. Matthew Brennan, ​“2017 WeChat User Report Is Out! -
China Channel,” ​April 25, 2017,​.
8. Grace Caffyn,​“Two Months in: How the 1-800 Flowers
Facebook Bot Is Working Out,”​ Digiday, June 24, 2016,


amoCRM 3, 6, 82, 86, 87 
automation 6-8, 26, 40, 66, 70, 84, 88 

behavior 22, 46, 74 
buyer 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 19, 26, 27, 29, 33-37, 39, 44, 48, 50, 
53, 61, 63, 65, 66, 69, 70 
buyer journey 38, 40 

chat 2-4, 6, 8, 9, 17, 18, 25, 57-63, 65-73, 78, 80-84, 86-90 
asynchronous 68, 70 
chatbot 3, 40, 66, 67, 84 
click 7, 15, 16, 19, 79, 80, 84 

click-through-rate 7 
cloud-based 19 
communication 4-6, 8, 9, 16, 32, 38, 53, 57, 58, 60, 62, 63, 
65, 66, 68, 69, 72, 74, 78, 81, 82, 84, 86, 88-91 
consumer 13-15, 19, 22-26, 30, 32, 33, 36, 39, 40, 51, 52, 
56-58, 60, 62, 69, 74
conversations 3, 9, 26, 68, 69, 72, 78, 79, 82, 84, 86, 89
conversion 7-9, 42, 45, 46, 82
cost-effective 28, 31
customer 2, 4, 5, 7-9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18-20, 22-25, 29-40,
43-46, 49, 50, 52, 53, 56, 57, 59-63, 65, 66, 68-70, 72-74, 77,
80-85, 88-91
customer-business 69 
customer-centric 43, 89 
customer-relationship 24 

customer empowerment 12, 13, 15, 26, 30-33, 35, 44-50, 

52, 53, 56, 62, 63, 66, 74, 90 
demands 16, 30, 35, 37, 45, 52, 65, 74, 89 
expectations 16, 19, 30, 32, 36, 38-40, 47, 52, 58, 65, 

data 35, 39, 47, 50-52, 67 

engagement 10, 15, 19, 36, 37, 44, 53, 68, 72, 78, 81-83 
empowerment 30-33, 48, 53, 56, 62, 63, 66, 74, 90 
EU 51, 52 

Facebook messenger 4, 5, 9, 57, 58, 71, 73, 79, 80, 83, 84 
fake news 49 

gated content 44, 46, 48, 49 
GDPR 51-52 
See also​ EU 

inbound 37, 38, 40, 42-44, 46, 48, 50-52, 56, 57, 90 

trust 12-13, 15, 25, 26, 29, 35, 44-50, 52 
See also​ customer empowerment 
internet 13-15, 24, 30, 34, 36, 57 

law 51, 52 
live chat 2, 8, 59-62, 68, 69, 84, 88, 89 

marketing 6, 14, 25, 34, 37, 38, 40, 42, 43, 46, 48-52, 57, 65, 
67, 70, 78, 83, 90 
messages 4-7, 9, 15, 17, 18, 29, 32, 33, 38, 45-47, 49, 56, 58, 
59, 67, 69-71, 77, 78, 80, 81, 83, 87 
messaging 3-6, 8, 25, 32, 57-59, 67, 69, 78-80, 82-84, 86-88 
Messenger-Based Sales 2, 3, 6, 65, 66, 77, 81, 85, 86 
messengers 3, 6, 17, 18, 25, 57, 58, 59, 63, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 
71-73, 78-88
See also ​chat


native advertising 48-49 
See also​ gated content 

online 12, 17, 19, 22, 30, 31, 35, 37, 38, 57, 59, 61, 68, 72, 
73, 81 
open rate 7 

pop-ups 48, 59 
power 18, 19, 30, 53 
privacy 51, 52 
purchase 12, 15, 16, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 33, 35, 37, 39, 40, 56, 
58, 59, 69, 72, 73, 82 

reviews 22, 25, 34-36 
revolutionary 2, 3, 6, 19 
robocall 7, 8 


sales 2, 3, 6-10, 12, 13, 16, 18, 22-30, 32, 35, 37, 38, 40, 42, 
43, 45-52, 54, 56-58, 61-63, 65-71, 74, 77-79, 81, 83, 85-90 
approach 2, 9, 13, 18, 23-25, 27, 33, 36, 38, 40, 
42-44, 52, 65, 86
resistance 26-30  
salespeople 8, 12, 16, 22, 24-31, 34, 43, 50, 62, 70, 
satisfaction 20, 53, 56, 74, 81 
Skype 4, 57 
Snapchat 58 
social media 17, 19, 31, 32, 56, 67, 80 
spam 7, 9, 17, 26, 46, 56 
sponsored 48, 49 
subscription 23, 46, 47, 56, 83 

Telegram 80, 81, 83 
traditional approach 13, 26, 27 
mentality 25, 42, 46, 50 


unsubscribe 16, 17, 45-47, 51 
user 5, 9, 13, 31, 39, 44-49, 58, 71-73, 84, 86, 87 

value 26, 30, 31, 43-45, 47, 54, 70, 80, 89 
Viber 80 

WeChat 5, 71-73, 80 
Whatsapp 4, 5, 29, 58, 78, 80, 81, 83