It’s the end of the year, which means sales teams around the world are focused on doing everything they can to hit their year-end numbers.
For the leaders of those sales teams, it’s also time to start getting serious about next year, and implementing a 2019 game plan. Really, regardless of where you sit in the org chart, it’s time to start thinking about how you can hit the ground running in 2019. Because the season is about to reset. We all go back to zero.
And here’s the thing. The way we sell to businesses is changing. Those phone and email-script playbooks that have been recycled and used for years are no longer enough to get to plan. Sure, they’ll get you part of the way but buyers expect more. If you want to get to goal in 2019, better yet, if you plan on exceeding goal in 2019, it’s time to augment your go-to-market strategy. It’s time to drive more conversations.
A lot of sales teams have been stuck in a time loop for the past decade, clinging to what they already know and doubling down on it. More phone calls. More emails. More headcount. Meanwhile, buyer preferences have been evolving. More and more buyers are coming to expect a real-time buying experience — like the kind they get from Uber, GrubHub, and Amazon Prime Now — as the default for all of their purchases, regardless of whether the company they’re buying from is business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B). And if you haven’t noticed that change already, you’re definitely going to notice it in 2019.
The good news: We’ve got your back.
At Drift, our goal is to help your sales team connect with people who are ready to buy NOW. So here are 7 reasons why you should join the 150,000+ companies already using Drift.
In a hurry? Here’s the tl;dr version:
- Sales is undergoing a transformation. Drift helps you adapt to the real-time, on-demand world we now live in.
- You need better leads. Drift filters out the “noise” on your website so reps only talk to the leads you want them talking to.
- You’re missing out on meetings. Drift automates the scheduling process and helps prevent meetings from being canceled.
- You’re leaving revenue on the table. Drift turns your website into a revenue machine. (Just ask Ipswitch: They booked $3.6 million in pipeline in their first eight months using Drift.)
- Conversational sales is here to stay. Drift is the world’s leading conversational marketing & sales platform (and we literally wrote the book on it).
- A third of Cloud 100 companies use Drift. Their buyers are coming to the sales team further down the funnel and closer to a purchasing decision.
- Getting started is simple. Seriously. You can get Drift up and running and start booking sales meetings in just a few minutes.
1) Sales is undergoing a transformation.
Drift’s head of enterprise sales Miles Kane perfectly summarized how the sales landscape is changing in this tweet:
In case you missed it, messaging and video have both grown into sales megatrends.
While phone and email were once the two most reliable means of communication for sales reps reaching out to potential customers, times have changed. Today’s buyers want to be able to connect with your sales team when it’s convenient for them, not you. They don’t want to wait around for follow-up emails and phone calls after filling out a form on your website. Instead, they want to get answers to their questions immediately so they can move on to the next step in the buying process. Otherwise, they’ll end up on a competitor’s site.
By replacing lead capture forms with Drift chat (and Drift chatbots), sales teams can provide, at scale, the one-to-one, real-time conversations that have been missing from the traditional sales playbook. And thanks to our integration with Blabb.io, you can now instantly turn any chat conversation you have in Drift into a video call. That way, you can quickly and easily let your potential customers hear your voice and see that you’re a real person. It’s a crucial way to build trust (and a proven strategy for helping you close more deals, according to a recent study).
2) You need better leads.
Since the dawn of sales & marketing, salespeople have been begging marketers to send them higher quality leads (a.k.a. leads that have a higher likelihood of converting into actual sales opportunities). Unfortunately, most marketing teams still struggle with this, but not for lack of trying. The underlying issue is that by using the traditional, lead capture form-based approach to lead generation, marketing teams have been letting some of the best leads slip through the cracks — people who are interested in buying right then and there, while they’re live on your website, but who get turned off when they’re forced to fill out your lead capture form’s 11 mandatory form fields and wait.
By adding Drift to your website, you’re able to open up a fast lane for your best leads and give them a direct, real-time line to your sales reps. But unlike with earlier incarnations of “live chat,” where random website visitors could end up overwhelming your sales team by flooding them with support questions, with Drift you can filter out all of the “noise” with chat targeting and use intelligent routing rules to ensure that the right lead is able to get in touch with the right rep at the right time. What’s more, you can use Drift Intel to detect when high-quality leads are browsing your site, even if they’re anonymous. For a sales rep, it’s like having X-ray vision.
So, what kind of increase in lead quality can you expect after adding Drift to your site? At Drift, where we use our own product to power our sales & marketing, we’ve found that leads that come in through Drift are 4 to 5 times more likely to convert into sales opportunities compared to our other lead sources. We eat our own dog food here.
3) You’re missing out on meetings.
In the old days…of 2008, scheduling sales meetings was a time-consuming activity. Between all the games of phone tag and email back-and-forths and then having to create and send out calendar invites, a lot of time was wasted — time that sales reps could have spent on, you know, actually talking to potential customers. With Drift on your site, the entire meeting scheduling process becomes automated. Even when you’re offline, qualified leads can select from open time slots on your calendar and schedule meetings with a single click. Meeting invites are then automatically generated and emailed to both parties. Yes, you can have meetings booked on your calendar while you sleep.
But having an automated system for scheduling sales meetings 24/7 is really just a starting point. Because once Drift is up and running, you can take things a step further and start to optimize for preventing meeting cancellations. For example, as a sales rep, if a qualified lead looks at your calendar in Drift but doesn’t end up picking a time slot and scheduling a meeting, you can have Drift send that lead an automated message to see if you can get a conversation going. (See example below.)
Another helpful feature that’s baked into Drift: when leads need to cancel meetings that they’ve scheduled with you, Drift will automatically prompt those leads to reschedule and show them available time slots on your calendar.
As a result of using the scheduling features described above, we’re able to schedule an average of 20 meetings per day at Drift. (And your sales team can do the same.)
4) You’re leaving revenue on the table.
Revenue is the one metric to rule them all — it’s the metric that sales teams and marketing teams can rally around. But here’s the thing: if you’re not engaging with your best leads in real-time, and if you’re not making it as easy as possible for those leads to schedule meetings with you, you’re undoubtedly leaving revenue on the table.
With Drift, your website becomes a revenue machine. Just ask the sales team at Ipswitch, who generated $3.6 million in pipeline in their first eight months using Drift. Or the team at Aventri, who, in just five months, influenced more than $6 million in pipeline and closed $1.7 million in new business with Drift.
To help keep sales & marketing teams focused on this shared goal, we built Revenue Reporting into Drift, which allows you to see how all of the conversations you’re having and meetings you’re booking via Drift impact your bottom line. By tying everything back to revenue, the results you’re driving are fully transparent and you can easily prove the value of adopting a conversational approach.
5) Conversational sales is here to stay.
For the past few years, many sales teams have thought of conversational marketing & sales as some newfangled, experimental fad, and have yet to really embrace it. In 2019 and beyond, that approach is no longer going to cut it. Because the reality is that conversational marketing & sales is no longer a fad: It’s the future, and 2018 was the turning point.
This past year, Gartner recognized conversational marketing as its own category (and named Drift a conversational marketing “Cool Vendor”). Meanwhile, G2 Crowd recognized conversational marketing as a category as well, noting that conversational marketing platforms have the power to “simplify the overall buying process for potential customers around the world at any time of day.”
If you’re ready to get serious about adopting a conversational approach to selling, Drift is your #1 option. Why? Because we literally wrote the book on conversational marketing & sales. It’s something we’ve been passionate about since day one, and since then we’ve taken all the lessons we’ve learned over the years and incorporated them into our platform.
6) A third of Cloud 100 companies use Drift.
Every year, Forbes releases its list of the world’s top 100 hottest private companies in cloud computing. At Drift, we were thrilled to be named to the 2018 Cloud 100 list, but we were even more thrilled to learn that 33% of the companies on the 2018 list were Drift customers, making Drift one of the top 10 most commonly used software tools among the Cloud 100.
With 33% of the world’s top tech companies now using Drift to power their sales & marketing, it begs the question: Shouldn’t your sales team at least give it a try?
7) Getting started is simple.
Installing Drift on your website is as easy as copying and pasting a few lines of code. Then you just need to sync your Google Calendar or Office 365 Calendar account, select the times you want to make available for meetings, and you’re off to races. Within a few minutes, you can have a real-time sales communication channel up and running on your website.
Best of all, after the initial setup, your sales reps can be as hands-on (or hands-off) with Drift as you want them to be. For example, instead of having your entire sales team logged into Drift during the day fielding conversations, you can have a few dedicated conversation development reps (CDRs) manage Drift day-to-day and schedule meetings for the rest of the team.
So, there you have it — the seven reasons why sales leaders need to put Drift on their radar in 2019. Here’s a “cheat sheet” to help remind you of everything we covered:
Best of luck to all sales professionals in 2019. Happy Selling!