The first step in building your Assisted Funnel is to
determine which teams at your company need to be
involved. Typically, our clients include the following
groups when implementing a System of Engagement:
Functional Area (Sales,
Overview: The functional area is responsible for defining the core and
secondary KPI’s. This team is responsible for defining success and
Best in Class Example: The Assisted Funnel team is truly cross-functional.
Overview: The digital team is responsible for designing the entry points and
overall experience for the Assisted Funnel.
Best in Class Example: Digital teams will work with the analytics team during
the design phase.
Overview: The contact center provides the “human” component of the
Best in Class Example: Contact centers that are completion / conversion
Overview: The IT organization is responsible for implementing the plans and
Best in Class Example: After implementing, allocating one full-time developer
allows for rapid expansion and provides access to staging environments to
everyone involved with the project’s success.
Overview: The analytics team is responsible for ensuring conversion
analytics are properly implemented.
Best in Class Example: Utilize an analytics provider that captures every event
and provide access to everyone on the success team including third-party
Security & Compliance
Overview: Ensure that everything implemented is secure and compliant.
Best in Class Example: Utilize the knowledge vendors bring in working with
other similar clients.
Each team’s responsibilities are important to the overall success of the
Assisted Funnel. This is why it is important to ensure that the teams are
communicating and on the same page with the same objectives and
schedules. Most companies have at least one project manager and one
technical manager per business unit, and, depending on the number of
business units, some companies will have a business lead and a technical
lead who span across the business units. As a note for companies that don’t
have enough project managers: SaleMove provides consulting services that
can fill the gap and assist with communication best practices, including:
Designating a project manager
Designating a technical manager
Defining the implementation meeting cadence
Defining the executive meeting cadence
Defining the metric review meeting cadence
The most important aspect to consider before starting the implementation is
ensuring all of the cross-functional teams have signed off on the initial core
and secondary KPI’s. The teams should also understand the launch timeline
and the timeline that the initial KPI’s need to be reached. Best-in-class
companies will also ensure everyone on the project team understands the
financial implications that any delay can cause, both in lost potential revenue
and additional cost implications.
Using a System of Engagement, there are several ways the agent can offer
CoBrowsing and get on the same page with the caller. Without any plugins,
both the agent and caller can navigate on the page simultaneously with their
own cursor. Instead of “you see that drop down menu below the form?” the
agent can say, “let me take you there”.
Implementing an Assisted Funnel can be accomplished in a matter of days
or it can be a cross-functional project that takes several weeks. Most
‘best-in-class’ companies launch within 2-4 weeks with an MVP (Minimum
Viable Product) approach by using a solution that works out-of-the box with a
That said, some companies prefer to wait on launch until after their Assisted
Funnel technology is part of their “Core Flow.” A Core Flow implementation
features a form that provides an option at the beginning of the user journey
that offers an option to “Work with an Advisor through the application
process” or “Complete on your own.” This allows visitors to self-select into a guided experience through the Assisted Funnel.
Some other considerations while implementing the assisted funnel are:
Dynamic changing of online flows based on staffing
Targeting visitors though business logic
Analytics and data warehousing
Compliance systems integrations
Telephony system integrations
While the initial implementation
While the initial implementation may finish at launch, your implementation
team should not go their separate ways as the first stage of success is not
on go-live. Instead, it is measured by seeing the success of the initial core
and secondary KPI’s. It is common that companies find initial KPIs to be
easily achievable, however, new stretch goals must be created.
Training is perhaps the most important part of getting maximum value from
the Assisted Funnel, but it is not only about the ability to train your agents on
your website and the platform. The most important aspect is training your agents to do the right thing at the right time in real-time, while assisting a
customer with an engagement.
Most companies start their assisted conversion programs by taking their
online chat agents and moving them to an engagement platform, allowing for
more context and better communication. That is OK to start, but this doesn’t
set them up with the best chance to produce significant results. The
fundamental issue with online chat agents is that they are inadequately
trained and compensated.
For sales use cases, the agents should be recruited and/or trained as sales
professionals. They should understand both product value statements, as
well as basic sales methodologies. Best practices are essential, and it’s
often the simple things that make all the difference. For example, when a
customer asks a question, your salesperson shouldn't simply answer the
question and ask: “Is there anything else I can help you with today?” Agents
ideally must answer the question and lead in with another.
Here are a few examples:
For service use cases, the agents should not only act as support, but also
true teachers. Service agents have the opportunity to show customers, rather
than tell them, how to complete an online funnel. This resolves the current
concern, while teaching them how to do something themselves for next time.
This solves for Next Issue Avoidance, decreases cost ,and increases
MORTGAGE FUNNEL CASE STUDY
A company we worked with in the mortgage space implemented our
engagement platform and started out by taking 25 of their chat agents and
moving them to the SaleMove platform. The agents began leveraging
SaleMove to engage their customers and conversions went up, but only
After their first transcript review, SaleMove’s Blueprint Team found that the
agents would start an engagement, answer the customer's question, ask if
they had any more, and then let them know they could reach out again if they
had another question.
The client then went back and gave a few simple instructions to all of her
agents. She said:
1. Do not ever end an engagement (hang up) on a customer
2. Answer the customer’s question by CoBrowsing the customer to the
3. After answering the customer’s question, offer to complete the rest of
the funnel with the customer right up to the last step
After implementing these three simple rules, the results spoke for
themselves, with funnel completion rates increasing by 4X. Later the client
continued to add and refine a few more instructions to further increase
completion, especially encouraging the agents to upgrade the conversation
to audio, and even video. Again, the completion rates continued to rise.
Notably, the side effect of this increased engagement was that while the
completion rates were increasing, so was customer satisfaction. Not once
was an agent called out as being too overbearing or pushy because the
agent’s instructions were not directly conversion related.
Incentive compensation can also be used for both sales and service agents
to drive additional impact to the core and secondary KPI’s. Some of the best
companies we work with take advantage of an innovative compensation
model that our Blueprint team developed. The model is based on weighting
the compensation not solely on the end result, but on actions that increase
customer satisfaction, decrease customer effort, and ultimately (based on
analytics), increase the potential of achieving the funnel conversion. These
actions can be never ending the engagement, using CoBrowsing, upgrading
to audio/video or something that is very specific to the funnel, such as
ensuring to offer a specific discount.
You can’t effectively improve what you can’t measure. However, after
working with hundreds of companies we have found that measuring
everything leads to companies ending up in a state of analysis paralysis. The
key is to isolate the core and secondary KPI’s ,and then create reports with
placeholder data. Make sure that each data point maps back to the KPI’s,
and if any data points don’t directly match back, they should be removed
from the start. While it can’t be said that having too much information is a
bad thing, a strong focus on the right information is important when there
can be the temptation to over-analyze and get distracted.
Common KPIs we see include:
Average Order Value
Customer Effort Score
Average Handle Time
Many companies also use KPI’s to compensate their agents so it is crucial to
have the right reporting in place. Companies also need to be able to
determine which agents are outperforming their peers so that great agents
can be rewarded. Underperforming agents can be retrained by the best
agents, but if that does not work out, they can be moved off the Assisted
Most companies begin their assisted funnel by driving self-serve traffic
through marketing campaigns and advertising into assisted funnels through
a light out-of-the box implementation of an engagement technology or a
simple chat function. This is typically a persistent bubble on the website that
says something like “Talk to an expert,” an image of a person, or a chat icon.
Companies tend to focus on the percentage of their traffic that clicks their
button, but we’ve found that they’re looking in the wrong place.
Instead, enterprises should first take a look at their available staff. They
should first think about their total productive time and then the cost of their
productive time. From there, they should target the maximization of their
Most of the time the math still works even if a call center employee’s productivity
is as low as 50%. That said, it is ideal to ensure each employee is as
productive as possible, thus maximizing returns. With this in mind, technology
reenters the picture.
The new aim becomes pushing as many customers through the assisted
funnels as possible, right up to the point where our staff become 100% productive. Regarding an engagement button, image, or icon, experience tells
us that we can expect around 2% of visitors to reach out and engage. 1-5%
may be enough to start out with, but this is not going to have a material
impact on site-wide macro conversion rates.
As companies get more comfortable with the unit economics, they will
allocate more staff and need ways to drive more engagement through their
Assisted Funnels. The next thing they can implement is automated business
logic that presents nudges and/or engagement offers when customers
attempt certain actions in the funnel that indicate that they are high-value or
have high-intent to proceed. This can increase the percentage of assisted
customers by up to 7% if done properly.
However, to ensure the largest impact, Assisted Funnel conversion has to be
incorporated into the core flow of every business. This means that when a
customer is about to start a process online, they have two options:
1. Start the process using self-serve, or
2. Start it with assistance.
Self-Serve vs. Expert?
#2.0 With assistance
#2.1 With assistance
Of course companies can offer different variations of this approach, only
targeting higher value customers while considering real-time staffing rates. However, this measure can bring the percentage of assisted customers to
over 15% if implemented right. This is when companies are able to begin
seeing a material impact on site-wide macro conversion rates.
The second area for optimization is increasing the conversion rates of the
visitors who do engage with the assisted channel. This can be accomplished
by better agent training, optimization of incentive compensation structures,
or through an automated artificial intelligence engine that can assist/manage
your agents in real-time.
Agent training can be optimized through:
• Engagement reviews: Historical look back at randomized engagements
with a manager to point out areas of improvement.
• Mystery shopping: Live professionally done mystery shopping where the
agent is challenged on specific instructions they are given during training.
• Peer-to-peer training: Having the top agents teach the rest of the agents
what they are doing to be successful.
Incentive compensation can be optimized through changing the compensation
models to account for specific actions that drive conversion. For example,
if a company learns that CoBrowsing increases the chance of conversion
by 60%, the incentive compensation that is offered can be to incentivize
CoBrowsing. Companies can pay on the conversion event, but
by paying on elevated customer experience, companies are able to drive an increase, in
not only conversion, but also customer satisfaction or NPS.
Perhaps one of the most effective ways to optimize a company's agents is to
use an artificial intelligence engine, such as SaleMove’s OmniGuide, which
assists the agent in real-time, offering suggestions and prompts to the agent
based on what the customer is saying. For example, if a customer asks, “how
much life insurance should I buy?” the AI engine reads what was typed and
then suggests to the agent “Most of our clients purchase 10X of their annual
salary”. The AI engine can also assist with cross-selling, up-selling, agent
accuracy, and fraud detection.