Conversation Development Rep of the Month: Meet Jackson Waddill from Alteryx

Editor’s Note: Each month, we’ll feature a conversation just like this with a CDR to learn more about how they use Drift to book meetings. This is the fifth article in this series. Catch up on our interviews with Luminoso, Zappi, Bynder, Zaius, Tenable, 15Five, and Namely in case you missed them.

Revolutionizing business through data science and analytics, Alteryx, Inc. (“Alteryx”) offers an end-to-end analytics platform that empowers data analysts and data scientists alike to break data barriers, deliver insights, and experience the thrill of getting to the answer faster.

This month, we chatted with Jackson Waddill, a CDR or Conversation Development Representative, at Alteryx. Jackson is part of the Alteryx sales development team. He shared his experience using Drift, explained his day-to-day workflow, and offered many great tips for anyone looking to get the most out of qualifying leads through Drift.

This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Freja Mickos: How did you start using Drift? What were your first impressions?

Jackson Waddill: When I first started using Drift, I was tasked with talking to people on our website who were looking at our pricing page. I’ll be honest, the first time I got a Drift conversation, I got analysis paralysis. There are so many things you can say in a chat, and I wanted to reply like a human being. That’s a big reason why I like Drift. because you can be more laid back than when you’re on the phone with a buyer. It’s the way most people communicate on a daily basis. People aren’t asking questions that you wouldn’t ask your friends on the phone. So I’ve enjoyed that interaction. I think it’s also permeated into how I talk to people on a daily basis.

Freja: How long did it take before you felt comfortable chatting with prospects?

Jackson: I would say after about 10 conversations you pretty much get the hang of it.

Freja: How many chats do you typically get per day?

Jackson: It can jump around. Lately, it’s been four a day at least. And the team I work with has been fielding conversations as well. We have a team of five people.

Freja: Can you tell me a little bit more about Alteryx?

Jackson: We are a company that provides self-service, data analytics software. We help people, who may not know how to code, use automation and analytics in their role at work.

Freja: How does Drift fit into your daily workflow?

Jackson: Back in the day, I didn’t have the app downloaded, which was a mistake because it is incredibly helpful. Now I’ve gotten into better habits and using the mobile app is one of them. I can’t tell you how many times I go to lunch and get a Drift chat on my phone while I’m away from my desk. That’s potentially someone that’s interested in purchasing our product or trying to make a decision and not getting the information they need from us. So I try to keep it on throughout the day. But there are definitely times when I forget to turn it off and wake up to a notification on my phone that I booked a meeting while I was sleeping. So that’s pretty cool too.

Freja: What kinds of things do people typically chat in about?

Jackson: There’s always something about pricing. They ask us about use cases, customers we work with, and how the software works. People are also interested in learning about what our trial is like. In a way, I think people can have a bad taste towards sales at times. I think that engaging with us over Drift helps them let their guard down because they’re coming to the chat looking for someone who can be a resource to them, someone who’s more of a navigator. That’s how I see my role. I’m here to help you get to where you want to be. I’m not going to push something on you. We’ll have a conversation, I’ll give you the sales roadmap, and if you want to go that way, you can.

Freja: How are the leads that you get through Drift?

Jackson: They’re very interested and curious. Anyone can look at the website, but actually engaging with the bot shows some level of engagement. So when I get leads through Drift, I know they’re good leads.

Freja: How do you think having a chatbot on your website affects the way that you and your team work?

Jackson: It helps us a lot. We’ve done some marketing attribution ROI to analyze and compare the average sales cycle with and without a Drift bot. Drift shortens the sales cycle pretty tremendously.

Freja: What do you do if buyers start asking very technical questions?

Jackson: We have a team of solutions experts (I call them experts instead of engineers because they really are top-notch). So if a chat is getting super technical, I’ll message or call one of the solutions experts because it feels like they know everything, and that way I can help answer the buyer’s question as quickly as possible.

Freja: Do you ever jump into other conversations or just the ones that are routed to you?

Jackson: I like to jump in and take over for Alterbot (that’s what we call the Drift chatbot on our website). My average response time is 45 seconds. It’s actually one of the reasons why I was named Alterbot Champion of the Month (an internal award for the Alteryx sales development team) – because I jump in on chats and deliver a great customer experience, but also because I’ll jump in and help anyone on my team do the same.

Freja: Do you have the bot qualify prospects before you chat with them?

Jackson: Taylor Porter is a content marketing specialist at Alteryx. He is in charge of maintaining the bot and has done a tremendous job of making a ton of playbooks. He refines them almost on a daily basis. Having solid playbooks helps the bot do a great job of qualifying buyers, understanding what they want, providing answers, and connecting them with the right person who can help.

Freja: Do you communicate with the person who builds your bots?

Jackson: We have recurring meetings every week or two. And even when we’re not in that meeting, we have a team chat and they’re super responsive. They let us know that we should be very upfront. If something’s not working, they don’t want us to pretend it is.

Freja: I’d love to hear more about your lead qualification workflow. How do you hand off leads to the next stage?

Jackson: Of course. If they’re asking for a trial, that’s when we leverage Drift’s Salesforce integration to connect the buyer with the correct sales rep to book the meeting as quickly as possible. It’s a pretty seamless thing where we find out who the rep is, we check their calendar, and we CC the rep in an email. We had one company that had never purchased from us before. Within one conversation, they got on the phone with the correct rep that day, they closed within a month. So yes, it can be really fast.

Freja: Do you have a monthly quota that you have to meet and does Drift help you meet it?

Jackson: Yes. I create pipeline with the people that interact through Drift, so that ultimately goes towards my quota and makes my life easier.

Freja: Do you have any best practices or pro tips for how to get the most out of Drift?

Jackson: We onboarded people in our UK office to start using Drift, and I raised my hand to help create an onboarding program for them. I gave them some links that we commonly send to people, just to have that FAQ’s sheet for them to have. There are different cultural norms in Europe, especially in the UK. They’re a bit more formal. I told them you can be professional, conversational, and human all at the same time. Because not only will you come off as an expert, but you will also seem more genuine and sincere. Sometimes people actually think you are a robot, so you have to make sure you don’t give them that impression. As a rep, it can be overwhelming how many ways you could respond to a question, but my best advice is to go with your gut and not overthink it.

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.