3 Ways Manufacturers Can Make Drift Their Competitive Advantage

By Tom Schneller

Inflation, talent shortages, supply constraints — manufacturers don’t have it easy in 2023.

It’s no wonder then that today’s manufacturing leaders are seeking new ways to achieve their goals. In fact, Gartner found that 80% of CEOs within the manufacturing industry are increasing their digital technology investments to counter current economic pressures. At the same time, the number of manufacturing leaders who report that they lack the technology to outpace their competition has doubled in the past year.

In short, today’s manufacturers are faced with a challenge. They know they need digital technology to stay relevant within their industry, but they don’t have the right tools to do so yet, and they don’t want to be the last ones within their market to adopt it.

This means that, if you can adopt a digital strategy now, you’ll uniquely position yourself ahead of the industry standard, meet your buyers where they are before your competitors can get to them, and climb to the top of the sales mountain.

Drift’s Conversation Cloud is here to help you get there. By giving you a 360-degree view of your customers, opening up new channels for conversations, and automating tedious tasks, Drift will help your go-to-market team drive productive conversations with the people who are most likely to buy. Let’s take a closer look at how it all works 👇

1. Understand Your Buyers Better

For years, marketers and sellers have taken a spray-and-pray approach to prospecting — often sending out generic emails and making cold calls in hopes that someone will answer. It’s safe to say that this approach has been inefficient, time-consuming, and frustrating for both buyers and sellers.

What if instead, you were able to reach out to the people who you knew actually wanted to talk to you?

With Drift Prospector, you can. Prospector tracks account activity across your entire tech stack and scores accounts based on the parameters you set. So, when your field team opens their dashboards in the morning, with just a single glance, they can identify which accounts are already showing interest and prioritize reaching out to them.

On top of this, Prospector also tells you what type of content your accounts are interacting with. This enables your team to send a personalized email referencing the content or web pages that have caught that account’s attention. With this more targeted approach, the spray-and-pray strategy becomes a frustration of the past, and your teams can convert more prospects into leads with fewer touches.

Additionally, if you integrate your tech stack with Drift, you can break down the silos between different data sources so your teams can get a comprehensive, 360-degree view of the account. For example, if you use Salesforce, you can integrate that data with Prospector to view all of the actions your prospect has taken (webinar registration, email open, etc.) in one place.

Remember: 70% of today’s manufacturing buying process is done anonymously. This means that, more often than not, your target buyers are on your site and considering you as a solution without you knowing it. However, with Drift Prospector, you get the insider knowledge you need to reach out to your prospects before your competition does and have productive conversations right off the bat.

2. Get Your Field Teams Back to Selling

On average, sales reps spend just 28% of their week selling. Where does the other 72% of their time go? To deal management tasks and data entry.

It goes without saying that you want your sales team to focus on what you hired them to do — generate revenue. And in order to do that, you need to free up their time so that they can have more meaningful conversations with their prospects. Drift can let them do that by taking those tedious tasks off of your team’s hands.

For example, instead of manually scheduling meetings with prospects, reps can leverage Drift Meetings to connect their calendars to the chatbot. This makes it so that whenever a qualified prospect visits your website (even if it’s outside of normal business hours), they can easily book a meeting with that rep at a time that works for both parties. This way, when the rep logs onto their computer the next morning, they already have a qualified meeting scheduled — no back and forth necessary.

AI chatbots offer a whole other level of productivity by allowing you to answer questions and move deal cycles along 24/7/365, without any human intervention. With AI chatbots, site visitors can ask any question in their own words, and the AI will provide the best possible response based on the data available. This means that, instead of leaving your reps to handle every chat that comes in, you can lean on AI to accurately respond to visitors and move the conversation forward — whether that’s serving up educational content, answering simple questions, or recommending the best next steps.

With AI taking care of engaging and nurturing your site visitors, your field team can spend more time having conversations with the prospects who have already been qualified. In fact, data shows that Drift customers who have added Conversational AI to their solution have seen a 30% increase in pipeline with 30% less work for their chat teams.

3. Improve Your Customer and Employee Service Experience

Customers have a lot of questions, and sifting through support tickets can sometimes feel like you’re entering a black hole. It’s not surprising then that the average customer service representative only stays in their role for about a year.

At the same time, according to Zendesk, 61% of customers are willing to leave a brand after just one bad customer service experience. This means, if you don’t have a customer service strategy that effectively gets customers what they need when they need it, they’ll quickly move on to your competitors.

By leveraging Drift Conversational Service, you can reduce your costly employee attrition while delivering a more efficient experience for your customers. Here’s how:

  • AI chatbots: In the same way that it works for sales teams, AI can save time for your service reps. AI chatbots can answer simple support questions, deliver help docs, and (if the customer can’t resolve the issue on their own) automatically create support tickets. This way, instead of spending their day answering the same question over and over again, your support team can focus on fixing larger issues which will lead to fewer support questions and a better experience overall. On average, Drift’s AI bots deflect 68% of all support questions away from both field and support teams.

  • Service agent view: Every problem becomes twice as hard to solve when you don’t have the full context. That’s why we created service agent view, so that when your support reps are in chat, they will instantly be able to understand who the customer is, what their business is like, their relationship with your company, and what problem they’re hoping to solve. With this information on hand, your reps are more equipped to prioritize their workflows and tackle support questions quickly and efficiently.

With Conversational Service, you can create a more efficient support experience that not only saves time and money but also leads to happier customers. Don’t just have to take our word for it: According to internal data, in 2022, Conversational Service saved Drift customers millions of dollars while bringing in a CSAT score of 4.75.

Final Thoughts

While today’s economic climate spells an uphill battle for manufacturers, Drift’s Conversation Cloud can make the climb a little less treacherous.

Because with Drift’s AI-powered chatbots, detailed insights, and robust integrations, you can empower your prospects and customers to better self-serve their buying journey in the way that they wish, and give your teams time back in their day to do what you really hired them to do. As a result, you’ll easily hit the peak of your digital experience where you will be able to have more productive conversations, drive revenue faster, and outshine your competition.

Ready to overcome your competition with a robust digital strategy? Dive into some of our marketing best practices or talk to us.