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, and Tenable in case you missed them.
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We chatted with Nick Mangakis, a CDR or Conversation Development Representative, at Namely. Nick is part of Namely’s 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 at Namely? What were your first impressions?
Nick Mangakis: The sales team at Namely has been using Drift since 2018, and I started using it right when I joined the company in April 2019. I thought it was easy to use and I like that my profile picture is there in live chat – I like that customers get to see that they’re talking with a real person when they’re chatting into me.
Freja: Can you tell me about the sales team at Namely?
Nick: I sit with sales development. There are about 14 of us divided pretty equally within Drift, so when something comes through, we have 60 seconds to answer the chat. If one of my team members doesn’t engage within 60 seconds, we have round-robin rules in place to route it to the next rep. Our sales development team will speak with prospects, qualify them initially at a high level, and then pass it on to our account executives who will be their main point of contact for the duration of their evaluation of Namely.
Freja: How did the 60-second rule get established?
Nick: It came from one of my sales development managers. I get that it sounds like a pretty quick timeline, but we have the Drift app on all of our phones, so we make sure that we’re signed into chat pretty much all day. For our team, 60 seconds is the perfect amount of time because we want to engage as quickly as we can.
Answering quickly leads to a higher conversion rate to getting their information in Drift, passing that over to our CRM, and then getting it into the hands of the rep who’s going to manage that account.
Freja: How does Drift fit into your day-to-day workflow?
Nick: That’s a good question. Not everyone does this on my team, but I keep Drift pinned at the top of my browser tab so it’s technically always open, so it’s almost there as a peripheral sort of view. It’s open, but I don’t have to check it constantly. I’ll get pinged when something comes in, and I can just click on the tab and begin the conversation within seconds. If I’m wearing headphones, I’ll make sure my volume is up.
I also like getting into the office a little bit early because I’ve noticed a lot of buyers will check out our website before they start their daily duties and routines. I’ve been able to set up a lot of meetings before 9am.
Freja: Do you rely on notifications to respond to chats?
Nick: I love the mobile app for that. As soon as I get pinged on Drift, I’ll almost drop anything I’m doing just to see who’s stopping by and how I can help.
Freja: What is the first thing you do when someone starts chatting with you?
Nick: I say “Hi there, welcome to Namely! My name is Nick, how can I help you today?” There will be some form of dialogue with our bot, but I like to make my introduction a little more personal, stating my name and welcoming the prospect. I’ll ask them what their HR needs are and keep things simple and high-level. You can’t be in a huge rush to qualify them. You have to have a conversation and get to know them (and their needs) first. People can be very short in their communication at first, but once you ask the right questions, they open up and expand on crucial information about their evaluation on the chat. I’ve even had prospects take a call right then and there.
Freja: How does a conversation with a buyer typically go?
Nick: If I understand what the buyer needs upfront and let them do most of the talking (or let them answer what I’m going to ask before I say it), I find that they’ll engage with me more than if I try to drive the conversation. In terms of prequalification questions, I just ask them where their company headquarters are, how many employees they have, and what brought them to Namely.
I’ll ask them what kind of HR technology they have today to get a better picture of their stack. I’ll ask them if they have a budget for this process, any needs and pain points.
Freja: How do you hand off promising leads to account executives?
Nick: Before I set up any sort of next step for a qualified lead, I ask if they have any other questions or qualifications they were looking to get out of the conversation. I let them know that I won’t be their main point of contact at Namely, but that I’m going to set up a meeting with a member of my team who’ll own the relationship from there. I’ll send them a calendar invite for a time that works for them. I also like to let them know that if they have any questions in the interim or have to reschedule for a conflict on their end, I’m always happy to help.
Freja: Which Drift features do you find the most useful when chatting?
Nick: I like the forward-slash where you can have internal communication with your team or manager. That will make it incognito to the lead or prospect, so I’ll add notes that include my teammates. If I have a one-off question, my manager is always on Drift – so if I don’t know the answer to something, I’ll be able to go to anyone my team internally with Drift.
👉 Here’s an example of how Drift’s CDR team uses internal notes to communicate:
I also like how you can score the lead based on the conversation that you had. If they might not be the best fit you can give them a lower score. If you book a qualified meeting right from Drift you can give them a very high score and close the account.
And I’m a big fan of the integration with Salesforce. If it’s a new account or a new contact, I don’t have to manually add them to Salesforce. That integration is really useful, especially if you get busy later in the day. Not having to spend the extra five minutes creating a contact or account in Salesforce is a total timesaver.
Another one I like is how we have our bot ask for the prospect’s email. It helps us lock in the prospect and lets me know I’m following up in the right place.
Freja: What other tools do you use in conjunction with Drift?
Nick: I use Outreach on an hourly basis to follow up with leads, whether it’s in a sequence or a template one-off email or creating tasks in Outreach to follow up within Drift.
There’s also Linkedin Sales Navigator. Those are the details I love to get because I can see right away where this person might be coming from, their role in the organization, and more. Having that springboard on Drift for different integrations gives me a world of knowledge in a matter of seconds.
Freja: Do you have a monthly quota that you need to meet?
Nick: Yes, all SDRs have a monthly quota and Drift has helped in a big way to meet or exceed our target . On average, I’ll qualify at least one or two meetings a week just from Drift alone, which is huge. That could be 25% of my quota potentially right from Drift. It enables me to stay ahead of the curve. Getting into the office early, staying late, having the mobile app will help me qualify more meetings and generate a higher quota attainment.
Freja: Do you have any best practices for Drift?
Nick: Having the mobile app is a good best practice, but you should also pin the tab at your workstation, keep it open, have your volume on, and be ready to rock when a chat comes your way.
Then once a chat comes in, make sure you review what the bot has said to the prospect. From there, introduce yourself, introduce your company, and let them know you’re there to help them. If you do anything, remember that you’re having a conversation. Don’t overwhelm them.. Focus on asking them high-level questions, get to know their role in the organization, get to know what they’re really here for. You don’t want to get to the end of the conversation and have something be a dealbreaker, so make sure to address their needs from the start and ask questions that are around their highest priority.
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.