A strong company mission is one that’s reflected in the daily practices of the team working toward that mission. And at Drift, our mission is to turn the internet into a conversation between buyers and sellers. But this doesn’t happen magically – or overnight. Sellers need to engage in meaningful conversations that ultimately lead to closed deals. And how you communicate online presents a vastly different set of challenges from how you converse in person or over the phone. So communicating via chat demands an entirely new skillset purpose built for conversational marketing.
Enter the CDR, or Conversation Development Representative, a salesperson dedicated to starting conversations with buyers on your site with the goal of nurturing these visitors into qualified leads. Think of a CDR like a business development rep (BDR), but one who communicates with prospects primarily through conversational marketing.
So, to highlight the important work these CDRs are doing, we’re interviewing CDRs with expert-level conversational marketing skills. First up? Luminoso’s Beejul Khatri.
This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Akhil: How did you start using Drift at Luminoso?
Beejul: I was a huge proponent of incorporating Drift into our arsenal because with the types of people we’re targeting, outreach can be difficult – especially when it’s over phone or email.
I knew Drift would work well for us because we’ve got a lot of nurture campaigns to provide people with information about our product, and all these campaigns point them to our website. So this results in better leads overall because the prospects ending up on our site and engaging with the chatbot are higher-intent buyers anyway.
We’ve got a handful of demo requests and a few deals in the pipeline right now as a direct result of this strategy between the nurture campaigns and Drift. Stuff like this gives me an opportunity to interface with people more than I might on the phone or via email, because they’ve read up on all these things beforehand and are better informed about what we do from the get go.
Akhil: How does Drift fit in to your day-to-day workflow?
Beejul: I’m typically doing most of my work outside of Drift, but I have notifications turned on for when someone starts chatting with the Drift bot on the site, so when I get that notification for a new conversation on my site, I hop into Drift and start chatting with the prospect.
If I’m free, I tend to jump into conversations pretty early to let the prospects know that there’s an actual human available on our end to answer any questions that they might have. This usually results in a higher response rate because they know they’re talking to an actual human and not a bot.
Akhil: What’s the very first thing you do when someone on your site starts chatting with you?
Beejul: The first thing I need to know is who I’m actually talking to. A lot of people who engage with our chatbot are students. Our buyers are typically enterprise companies, not students, so I need to first ensure that there is a potential buyer on the other end that’s an actual company and not a student.
I do this by politely asking for an email address and some timeframes when they’re available to talk on the phone. One of our goals is that we don’t want the buyer to feel like they’re jumping through hoops to get to a demo, but we need them to jump through at least one or two to ensure that they’re an actual buyer. An approach like this is useful for someone who’s legit, and something like this will dissaude off someone who’s not looking to buy in the first place, and that’s okay.
Akhil: How does a conversation with a potential buyer typically go?
Beejul: It’s usually a back-and-forth with me trying to figure out what company they represent, what their role is, whether they have any specific projects they want to use Luminoso for, and what they’re looking to do with Luminoso. Many people are interested in our technology and think it can do something that it actually can’t, so I try to clear up that misconception and let them know what they’re getting into before going further. I try to provide as much detail as possible about all the capabilities of our product.
Once I have a better sense of who they are and what they’re looking to do with Luminoso, I try to get some more information about what their exact use case is and where they’re headquartered. I also answer any questions they might have and give them a quick overview of what the next steps would be. If they left a contact email or a phone number, I try to follow-up with them right away via their preferred method of contact.
Akhil: How do you hand off these promising leads to your Account Executives? How do you ensure they’re qualified?
Beejul: It depends on how the conversation went with the prospect. If I’m able to get a definitive time from them on when they’re available, I’ll just put it on my AE’s calendar right away. If not, then I summarize how my conversation went with the prospect and send that over to my AE along with the contact information to let them follow-up.
If the AE is following-up with a lead that has no idea what Luminoso does or how it would help them, then I haven’t done my job. I have to make sure that these leads understand the potential of our products, so this is usually a good indicator of whether or not I’ve done my job right.
Akhil: What tips do you have on how to get high-intent leads through Drift?
Beejul: We’re able to find good leads pretty frequently because we’ve set up our bots in a way that works well for us. When a prospect wants pricing information, our bot tells them that the rate is determined by their document volume. It then asks whether they have this information available right away, and if the prospect says yes, it provides them a list of ranges to choose from, which immediately gets them a pricing estimate on the spot. It then gets the prospect’s email and tells them that we’ll follow-up.
This is particularly useful during nights and weekends, because Europe and Asia tend to hit us up while we’re all asleep, so it’s nice coming in after the weekend to some high-quality leads that I can reach out to immediately.
Akhil: What other strategies do you use to engage with leads in Drift?
Beejul: We make good use of the Drift Chrome Extension. I like being able to see the click tracking information of whether or not someone has engaged with an email that I sent them. We send a lot of nurture emails to prospects, so it’s very handy to see exactly who has opened the email right from the Chrome Extension. I love that thing!
I would also suggest using Live View in Drift to see who’s on the site. I don’t proactively reach out to people from the Live View, but it’s nice to see who’s on the site and what they’re doing. For example, I once saw a lead clicking through the “How your technology works” page and noticed that they were reading up on it quite a bit. Then, when that same prospect actually started chatting with me, I had a lot of context on what they were looking for. He was the CTO of the company, so it ended up being a great conversation.
Know a CDR using Drift on their site to improve the buyer journey? Let us know by tweeting to us @Drift and we might just feature them in this column.