The Forrester Wave™: Conversation Automation Solutions For B2B, Q1 2024 — Five Key Takeaways – Forrester

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B2B buyers have high expectations for their interactions with providers. B2B conversation automation vendors forged a market in their early response to increasing expectations for personalized, responsive interactions. These vendors offer purpose-built conversation automation solutions that address key lifecycle revenue marketing use cases, providing AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to augment human interactions and workflows.


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Sixty-four percent of B2B organizations plan to increase investment in conversation automation in the next 12 months (per Forrester’s Marketing Survey 2024). Today, we published The Forrester Wave™: Conversation Automation Solutions For B2B, Q1 2024, evaluating the nine most important vendors in this space. Here’s what’s changed since we evaluated the market three years ago:

  • Generative AI enables more than better chatbot experiences. The strategic value of generative AI-fueled conversation automation comes with the ability to sustain complex multipart, multiparticipant dialogue exchanges and retain context as a deal progresses and the conversation evolves. This added sophistication can support complex buyer information needs and interaction scenarios while enabling frontline marketers to generate and interrogate role-relevant insights about audiences, programs, and opportunities. Most B2B organizations have yet to unlock the full potential of new generative AI capabilities introduced by these vendors in the past year.
  • Contextual conversations uplevel B2B personalization. Customer-obsessed conversation automation crosses functional silos to orchestrate meaningful interactions relevant to persona, journey stage, history, preference, and role in the decision process. B2B conversation automation supports a range of use cases that are personalized by design, such as enhancing digital experiences, qualifying and nurturing inbound demand, engaging target accounts, reactivating dormant demand, and optimizing onboarding and customer success.
  • Conversations are multichannel, multimodal, and multilingual. B2B conversation automation engages audiences in both synchronous and asynchronous delivery mechanisms. Natural language provides buyers and customers with new ways to access information through familiar tactics, in real time and on their time. Vendors in this market combine expertise in conversational AI, automation, and predictive analytics with deep knowledge of revenue marketing processes and B2B buying interactions to enhance conversations in various contexts, channels, modalities, and languages.
  • Flexibility and extensibility drive adoption and impact. Not long ago, web chat was primarily used for sales or customer support. Then came subpar chatbots overtrained on a single goal: Schedule a sales meeting, regardless of who the website visitor is or why they’re there. Things have changed. B2B conversation automation supports a range of buying motions and opportunity types, from conversational commerce to complex deals with long buying cycles and multiple stakeholders. Key capabilities include using buying signals to help de-anonymize web traffic, detecting buying group members, and making these insights available to other systems and processes. Three-fourths of customer references for vendors we evaluated plan to expand utilization of the technology in the next 12 months to include more departments, brands, and teams.
  • We’re in an era of conversational business transformation. This market continues to evolve through R&D investments and mature with the volume of conversations studied over time. We’ll continue to see changes among key players, broader adoption through marketplaces and app exchanges, and new entrants to the space. Embedded AI assistants are now high-impact members of modern B2B marketing teams that tirelessly pursue optimization goals. Investment will continue as these vendors help B2B organizations prepare for a near future when personalized, conversational AI assistance will be essential to the modern workforce.

Learn more about the technology, its use cases, and our evaluation of the market in The Forrester Wave™: Conversation Automation Solutions For B2B, Q1 2024. Joining us in Austin for this year’s B2B Summit North America? We’ll chat more about these trends in the session, Skip The Small Talk: Generative AI And Conversation Automation Fuel Insights-Driven Interactions.

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