Sales Is a Three-Legged Race. Here’s How Drift Helps Manufacturers Win.

By Tom Schneller

Traditionally, selling has been like a never-ending game of tag. Door-to-door, phone-to-phone, email-to-email, sellers had to constantly chase contacts in the hopes of grabbing their attention before they could run away.

The result? An experience that was inefficient, impersonal, and frustrating for everyone involved.

It’s unsurprising then that buyers are no longer willing to keep up this game of tag. According to Gartner, by 2025, the rise of digital interactions between buyers and sellers will break traditional sales models. Already, 33% of B2B buyers say they desire a seller-free sales experience. That is to say, they want to be able to find information about your products and services on their own terms, in the channels they prefer — and they want to be able to start a conversation with you when they’re ready to talk, not the other way around.

Think of this new way of selling as more like a three-legged race — where buyers and sellers team up to reach their goals together. It’s all about meeting the buyer where they are instead of where you want them to be. Because at the end of the day, it’s not the marketer or seller who creates the customer journey, but the customer.

With buyer expectations evolving by the day, the best practices of the past decade aren’t enough anymore. And for manufacturing companies, adopting this new way of selling is table stakes if you want to stay relevant. Only 8% of manufacturers report that their digital experience is ahead of customer expectations, which means that, by acting now, not only will you ensure your relevance, but you can also get a leg up over the competition.

Drift can help you create a digital experience that meets and exceeds those buyer expectations. By de-anonymizing your website traffic, providing new and comprehensive insights into your buyers’ journeys, and leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline your experience, Drift keeps you and your buyers in sync so that you can both race towards achieving your goals, faster.

Let’s take a closer look at why Drift is your key to beating the competition 👇

Find the Right Customer

Just like no three-legged race is won without two people working together, no sales deal will close if the buyer isn’t ready to buy. Needless to say, the key to any successful deal is making sure that the contacts you’re reaching out to actually want to talk to you.

Luckily, thanks to data enrichment tools, you no longer have to guess who you should reach out to. Drift Intel de-anonymizes website traffic to give your marketing and sales teams insight into who exactly is visiting your website — from company name and job title to the pages they’re visiting. With this information on hand, you can be much more prescriptive in your outreach.

For example, you can prioritize reaching out to the contacts on your list who are visiting high-intent pages like your Quote Request page or a solutions page over those visiting a high-traffic, but low-intent page like your home page. And when you reach out, you can provide content that is relevant to what they were viewing on your site. Positioning your outreach in this manner makes it feel much more personalized to the buyer and their needs.

Better yet, you can take guessing out of the game entirely, and connect with the people you know want to talk to you through Drift Fastlane. With Fastlane, when a qualified contact fills out a form on your website, Drift uses pre-set routing conditions to automatically route in the appropriate product expert to talk with the contact in real time. Plus, with all of the background information provided by Drift Intel, you’re guaranteed to have a productive conversation right off the bat.

All-in-all, products like Drift Intel and Drift Fastlane make phone tag a thing of the past, so you and your contacts can get straight to the races.

Know Your Contacts’ Pain Points

It doesn’t matter if it’s a game, work, or anything else — everyone has their unique strengths and weaknesses. And that applies to your target accounts, too. It’s by understanding these strengths and weaknesses, and how your company can help contacts fill in their gaps, that you can build a winning partnership.

One way to find out your contact’s pain points, even before they talk to you, is through Drift Prospector. Prospector collects buying signals from across your tech stack to show you what solutions your contacts are already researching — providing insights like the web pages they visited, emails they opened, and content they downloaded.

So, for example, if a contact visits one of your product pages and downloads the corresponding white paper, you can deduce what problem they’re likely trying to solve. You can then send them a personalized email with a subject line like, “Looking to fix [pain point]?”, which has a much higher chance of being opened than a generic “Quick Question.”

When you leverage tools like Drift Prospector in your sales cycle, you’re able to make the buying experience more about the buyer by delivering an experience that’s personalized to them. By directly speaking to the pain points your product or solution can solve, you build trust and alignment that will help you and your buyer stay synchronized later on.

Be Available When Your Customers Need You

If staying on the top of the industry podium was easy, we’d all have trophies. But that’s not the case.

The only way you can ensure you’re winning gold within your industry is if your customers are winning gold, too — and that requires constant communication, both during the sales process and beyond it. In other words, you need to always make it easy for your buyers and customers to get the information they need, when they need it.

While this may sound demanding upfront, it doesn’t have to be. Conversational AI allows you to be available 24/7/365 so you can deliver personalized experiences on your website at scale. Your AI-powered chatbots can be trained to serve up help docs, answer open-text questions, and drop calendar links so that even if your contact or customer is in a different time zone than you, they can still get the answers they need instantly.

Every interaction with a Conversational AI chatbot gets stored within the AI’s database. So, even if a site visitor does interact with the AI chatbot outside of normal business hours, your field team can still access the conversation and can get all of the context they need to follow up with the site visitor accordingly. Not only does this ensure that customers and contacts get what they need, but it also provides your field team with valuable buyer insights, so you can make sure you’re always meeting, if not exceeding, buyer expectations.

As Mike Caspers, Digital Sales Enablement Manager at Emerson (a Fortune 500 company with over 170 manufacturing locations globally), puts it: “This [Conversational AI] approach is helping us to see which visitors put their hand in the air with a question or need. Those are the folks that Drift is helping us to uncover and respond to much more quickly.”

In our three-legged race analogy, Conversational AI is your top-of-the-line sneakers. With Drift, you’re already able to identify the right contacts and determine how you would help them see success — AI gives you an extra boost, so you can reach your goals faster.

Final Thoughts

A successful sales cycle, and partnership, is one of trust and communication. And in the modern buying landscape, that often has to happen digitally.

In order to meet the expectations of B2B buyers today, you need to put tools in place that will give you the insights and enhancements you need to deliver a frictionless, personalized experience to all your buyers.

Tools like Drift Intel, Drift Prospector, and Conversational AI will help you do all of that and more, better than your competitors. Already, manufacturing companies that are using Drift have seen, on average:

  • 30% increase in web conversion rates
  • 18x return on spend in 12 months
  • 24.3% win rates

Want to win a gold medal with your digital experience? Take a self-guided Drift tour or get a demo with one of our experts today.