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WhatsApp Sales: How to Sell on WhatsApp [March 2022]

Chris Lai
Content Writer, Respond.io
March 11, 2022

More and more businesses are using WhatsApp for sales, and it’s time for your company to follow suit. In this article, we’ll discuss why conversational sales with WhatsApp API are more effective than traditional sales. You’ll also learn the fundamentals of WhatsApp API and tips to sell on WhatsApp. Plus, we have put together a list of WhatsApp sales success stories.

WhatsApp Sales: A Better Alternative to Traditional Sales

Conversational sales is more than a buzzword. They help businesses increase conversion rates, improve customer experience and even shorten the sales cycle. With over two billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is the go-to platform for companies looking to adopt conversational sales.

There are many benefits to using WhatsApp for conversational sales. For starters, WhatsApp allows salespeople to gather lead information faster than they would with email. Plus, it’s easy to build a partner-like relationship with leads through casual conversations over WhatsApp.

In contrast to web chat, WhatsApp offers salespeople the flexibility to follow up with leads later without fear of losing them. Through the cadence of WhatsApp conversations, salespeople are able to build excitement before closing a deal.

This is an image about why use WhatsApp for sales. There are many benefits to using WhatsApp sales. For starters, WhatsApp allows salespeople to gather lead information faster than they would with email. Plus, it’s easy to build a partner-like relationship with leads through casual conversations over WhatsApp. In addition, WhatsApp increases the productivity of your sales team. A salesperson may only take one phone call at a time, but can handle multiple WhatsApp sales conversations at once. Learn more about sale on whatsapp and how to sell on whatsapp business in the blog.
Benefits of selling on WhatsApp

In addition, WhatsApp increases the productivity of your sales team. A salesperson may only take one phone call at a time, but can handle multiple WhatsApp sales conversations at once.

To use WhatsApp for sales, you have to get a WhatsApp Business Account. WhatsApp offers two types of WhatsApp Business Accounts - WhatsApp Business App and API.

Designed for small businesses, WhatsApp Business App lacks multi-user functionality and advanced automation. If you are a medium to large business with several salespeople doing WhatsApp sales, the best option would be WhatsApp Business API.

Not only does WhatsApp API support advanced features like multi-user functionality and automation, but it also allows you to keep a centralized record of all sales conversations once connected to a WhatsApp Inbox. Read on to learn more.

WhatsApp Sales: What You Should Know

Without a WhatsApp API Account, salespeople have to resort to using their personal WhatsApp accounts or WhatsApp Business App for sales. This presents two problems:

  • There is no record of conversations with customers in the sales CRM.
  • Consequently, companies will lose customers if a salesperson leaves his job.

WhatsApp API enables you to keep a record of all conversations in a WhatsApp Inbox product. In this section, we’ll discuss the fundamentals of WhatsApp API that you should know before using WhatsApp for sales.

Group Messaging is Not Supported on WhatsApp API Yet

Sometimes, salespeople need to use an email CC or a WhatsApp Group on the WhatsApp app to keep multiple decision-makers in the loop. Currently, WhatsApp API does not support group messaging.

In cases where group messaging is absolutely necessary, salespeople need to stick with their personal WhatsApp accounts until WhatsApp API implements WhatsApp Groups. Alternatively, they can notify other stakeholders by using the Comment feature on a WhatsApp Inbox.

Salespeople Will Not Have Their Own Numbers

Salespeople often interact with prospects using their own email handle and phone number. However, WhatsApp API does not allow for this to happen. Under WhatsApp’s one-account-per-brand rule, each company can only own one WhatsApp API account, which is tied to a phone number.

Even without their own numbers, salespeople can still operate like they used to. Simply connect your WhatsApp API to a platform that can route the conversation to the right salesperson. More on this later.

24-hour Messaging Window Restrictions

Email lets salespeople reengage with their prospects whenever they want. By contrast, WhatsApp API comes with a 24-hour messaging window restriction. If you reply to a prospect 24 hours after their last message or initiate a chat with someone who has not messaged you, you need to use a Message Template.

Before using Message Templates, they need to be submitted to your WhatsApp Partner for approval. The right WhatsApp Inbox simplifies the process and lets you create a Message Template natively.

WhatsApp Sales: 4 Quick Wins to Sell on WhatsApp

By overcoming the restrictions associated with WhatsApp API, respond.io helps unlock the full potential of your sales team. The platform also supports a range of advanced features that make WhatsApp sales a breeze.

Use Message Templates for Follow Up and Outbound Conversations

A Message Template reopens WhatsApp API’s Messaging Window, allowing you to follow up with a prospect after 24 hours. Alternatively, import leads to a WhatsApp Inbox and use Message Templates to send them the first outbound message.

This is an image on how to use Message Template for WhatsApp sales. A Message Template reopens WhatsApp API’s Messaging Window, allowing you to follow up with a prospect after 24 hours. Alternatively, import leads to a WhatsApp Inbox and use Message Templates to send them the first outbound message. Learn how to sell products on whatsapp on the blog.
How to make sales on WhatsApp: Send a Message Template for sales follow up

Keep in mind, not all WhatsApp Inbox products support native Message Template functionality. When choosing a WhatsApp Inbox, look for one that supports Template Messaging.

Funnel Inbound Leads to WhatsApp Conversations with WhatsApp Click to Chat Links

A WhatsApp Click to Chat link encourages your leads to start a WhatsApp conversation. When clicked, the WhatsApp Click to Chat link takes leads to a new WhatsApp conversation in the app.

This is an image of WhatsApp Click to Chat link on fr.respond.io Contact Us page. A WhatsApp Click to Chat link encourages your leads to start a WhatsApp conversation. When clicked, the WhatsApp Click to Chat link takes leads to a new WhatsApp conversation in the app.
How to make more sales on WhatsApp: Add a WhatsApp Click to Chat Link to a website

You can place a WhatsApp Click to Chat Link on a website or other digital spaces to convert online visitors to WhatsApp conversations. Alternatively, use a WhatsApp QR code to turn offline traffic like foot traffic at a brick-and-mortar store into WhatsApp conversations.

Use Chat Automation to Automatically Qualify and Route Leads

Respond.io’s chat automation helps you qualify leads who message you faster and assign qualified leads to the right sales team.

This is an image of how chat automation on fr.respond.io helps qualify leads automatically. Respond.io’s chat automation helps you qualify leads who message you faster and assign qualified leads to the right team.
Whatsapp sale: Chat automation helps qualify leads automatically

Here’s how it works:

  1. First, ask leads for their company email or website automatically.
  2. Then, pass the info to a data enrichment service provider like Clearbit to collect data needed for qualification. For instance, the number of employees at the lead’s company.
  3. Finally, assign the lead to the correct salesperson through advanced assignment logic.

The advanced assignment logic will assign leads to the same salespeople when they return. Alternatively, check if a lead has a dedicated salesperson on your sales CRM, then route the lead to them.

Use a WhatsApp Inbox that Integrates with Your Existing Sales CRM

It is likely that your current sales CRM does not support WhatsApp API, and building a custom integration that connects a sales CRM to WhatsApp can be costly. To get started quickly with WhatsApp sales, integrate your existing CRM with a WhatsApp Inbox.

This is an image on how to create a sales deal record with Shortcuts. It is likely that your current sales CRM does not support WhatsApp API, and building a custom integration that connects a sales CRM to WhatsApp can be costly. To get started quickly with WhatsApp sales, integrate your existing CRM into a WhatsApp Inbox.
Create a sales deal record with Shortcuts

A sales CRM integrated with a WhatsApp Inbox opens up many possibilities. For instance, it allows salespeople to instantly create a deal record in a sales CRM like Salesforce using Shortcuts.

Need a WhatsApp sales idea? Read on to find out how other companies have been using WhatsApp API to take their sales processes to the next level.

WhatsApp Sales: 3 Ways Companies Sell on WhatsApp

Many large businesses like YOOX and Sorabel have found great success with WhatsApp sales. In this section, we have curated a list of success stories that will inspire you to sell on WhatsApp.

1. How Does YOOX Sell on WhatsApp

Using WhatsApp for Sales doesn't have to mean running a campaign. Rather than a campaign for the masses, YOOX is offering an elite service for Extremely Important People or EIPs.

This is an image on how YOOX use WhatsApp for sales.  Using WhatsApp for Sales doesn't have to mean running a campaign. Rather than a campaign for the masses, YOOX is offering an elite service for Extremely Important People or EIPs. Check out the blog to find out how to sell products on whatsapp.
How to sell through WhatsApp: YOOX personal shopping service

For YOOX, this is a natural development. YOOX noticed that their personal shopping team was regularly using their personal WhatsApp accounts to handle customer sales. In addition, many clients prefer to receive products suggestions and complete transactions on WhatsApp.

How Does YOOX’s WhatsApp Sales Strategy Work?

The personal shopping team at YOOX communicates with clients using WhatsApp API. Clients are able to confirm purchases and receive shipping notifications directly on WhatsApp. Using WhatsApp for sales creates a one-stop solution for customers.

Does YOOX’s WhatsApp Sales Strategy Deliver Results?

In short, yes! YOOX reported that it was even able to sell an €80,000 item over WhatsApp. Using WhatsApp, YOOX taps into an existing group of customers to drive its revenue even higher and create longer-lasting relationships with them. It's an all-around WhatsApp sales success story!

2. How Does Sorabel Sell on WhatsApp

Sorabel is an Indonesian e-commerce retailer. In a mobile-first market like Indonesia, e-commerce is not as widely accepted as it is in the US. That is why Sorabel has made itself available on messaging apps like Line and WhatsApp.

WhatsApp has helped Sorabel increase customer loyalty and drive sales revenue. Since then, it’s grown to 600 staff of which 200 are focused on WhatsApp sales and direct customer interactions.

How Does Sorabel’s WhatsApp Sales Strategy Work?

Sorabel mainly uses its WhatsApp API Account in two ways - to help customers look for specific products when they're not interested in browsing and to send notifications about shipping and payment.

This is an image showing how does Sorabel sell products on whatsapp. Sorabel mainly uses its WhatsApp API Account in two ways - to help customers look for specific products when they're not interested in browsing and to send notifications about shipping and payment. Read the blog tp learn how to sell product on whatsapp.
How to sell on WhatsApp Business: Sorabel’s shopping & shipping Conversations

The payment process can get complicated. Once check out is complete, the company allows customers to complete the payment via bank transfer within 48 hours. This process may be prone to hiccups, so it would be helpful to be able to talk to an actual person on WhatsApp in real-time to resolve any payment problems.

Is Sorabel WhatsApp Sales Strategy a Success?

According to Wahyu Saputra, the Head of Customer-facing Products at Sorabel, the introduction of WhatsApp was a tremendous success! It has become the number one source of inbound traffic and has good engagement with 90% of outbound messages read, which is twice as high as SMS.

This is a picture showing an attempted conversation with an online business. However, when we tried to send a message to Sorabel, we didn't receive any response. We'll keep you updated on this situation.
Selling through WhatsApp: Attempted conversation with an online business through WhatsApp

However, when we tried to send a message to their verified WhatsApp Business Account, we didn't receive any response. We'll keep you updated on this situation.

3. How Does Hyundai Sell on WhatsApp

Can you buy big-ticket items like cars over WhatsApp? In India, you can. Car sales have been hit hard by lockdown - India recorded zero car sales last month. To kickstart sales, Hyundai India has launched the Click to Buy WhatsApp sales campaign.

WhatsApp Selling: Hyundai Click to Buy WhatsApp Sales Campaign

Most carmakers allow you to configure the car of your choice on their website, but you still need to go to the dealership to finalize the purchase. What if you didn’t have to?

How Does the Hyundai Click to Buy WhatsApp Sales Campaign Work?

Once customers have selected their car online, they’d normally need to head to the dealership for the price negotiation, financing arrangement and deposit payment. With this campaign, customers can choose a dealership online and a salesperson will contact them to continue the process.

This is a picture of WhatsApp chat conversation between a car buyer and a Hyundai India sales representative. Car sales have been hit hard by lockdown, India recorded zero car sales last month. To kickstart sales, Hyundai India has launched the Click to Buy WhatsApp sales campaign. You’ll get the price quote via WhatsApp, which means negotiating the price, discussing financing options, and applying for a loan will all happen through WhatsApp.
Sales WhatsApp: Chatting with a Hyundai Sales Assistant over WhatsApp

Customers will get the price quote via WhatsApp, which means negotiating the price, discussing financing options, and applying for a loan will all happen through WhatsApp.

Let’s face it, negotiating at the dealership is draining. Typically, salespeople play all sorts of psychological games when customers are physically at the dealership. Customers are stuck wondering if they are getting a good price while salespeople are “working hard on their behalf”.

Customers appreciate being given more control in the negotiation process. Over WhatsApp, it’s the salesperson who is going to have to wait for customers to respond. Plus, customers can send their salesperson listings of similar cars at lower prices to help with the negotiation process.

Is the Hyundai Click To Buy WhatsApp Sales Platform A Success?

Definitely! In May, Hyundai India attained 1,500 bookings and delivered more than 900 cars. This is no small feat, considering India’s car market flatlined to zero sales just one month prior.

Hyundai Click to Buy WhatsApp sales campaign succeeded in increasing sales. Going forward, negotiating a big purchase over WhatsApp is an option customers will welcome.

Further Reading

If you're interested in more information on how to use WhatsApp API for other use cases, check out these articles:

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