Introducing the Drift Maturity Model: Your Guide to Generating More Leads with Chatbots


The first time I saw the incredible impact of live website chat, I was reviewing a marketing performance report with the CMO of a scrappy little start-up, one of my most innovative clients. We sat looking at the performance of their channels and saw the typical stuff. Webinars were generating a lot of leads, converting to MQLs well, but slowly. Content syndication leads were expensive, but man were they worth it, generating millions in marketing sourced pipeline and closed-won business. And then, there it was, this “live chat” channel, beating both of our go-to channels on all fronts: lead generation, MQL conversion and ultimately pipeline and closed-won business. Killing them. And after only a few weeks on the site.

That company ultimately went public with 32% YOY sales growth and 167% YOY earnings growth.

Over the months that followed, we never really enhanced the chat functionality, we just “let it ride.” In the years since, and especially since partnering with Drift, I’m left wishing I could go back. I’m kicking myself for how much more effective it could have been to continue optimizing and improving.

In that spirit, this post shares the keys to getting started with Drift. How can the tool help you generate more leads? But beyond that, it will also outline the areas of continued maturity, that lead to even better leads, converting more quickly and ultimately impacting your business’s bottom line.

Introducing the Drift Maturity Model

To frame this conversation, I need to announce the release of the Drift Maturity Model, built in partnership with us over here at LeadMD from our experiences implementing and optimizing Drift.

Get the Drift Maturity Model here.

Drift has a lot of bells and whistles, but don’t let your consideration of all the options stifle your implementation. The purpose of this Maturity Model is to guide your foray into chatbots in a crawl, walk, run fashion. So let’s start with the basics.

Level 1: Implementation

Implementing Drift can be very simple. It’s a little snippet of code you can add to your website (or Google Tag Manager) in minutes. Minutes. And frankly, if you don’t currently have live chat on your site, you could start as simply as having a single person monitoring the Drift application and having a single Online and Offline bot.

It won’t take long to get comfortable, and then you’ll want to invest a bit more time. As the Maturity Model alludes, you’ll want to focus on your high intent website pages. See more details about which bots to prioritize here.

Core Integrations for Initial Drift Implementation

Because Drift impacts your salespeople most, the CRM integration is paramount, followed by the marketing automation integration. You can check out our guide for Salesforce, Marketo and Drift integration best practices here.

You’ll also want to check off Google Analytics, your email provider, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, your sales enablement tool and familiarize yourself with Drift’s Chrome Extension.

Metrics to Expect When Implementing Drift

Drift’s added a new acronym to the lexicon: conversation qualified leads (CQL). Immediately upon implementing Drift, you should expect at least 50+ CQLs. What’s the definition of CQL? See it here.

You should also see an uptick in MQLs, SQLs and velocity improvements or at least indicators of more efficiency. Essentially, you should expect to feel that same “Aha!” moment that I did with that CMO years ago.

Levels 2-4: Iteration, Expansion & Mastery

I won’t go through each box here, but I will say that since implementing Drift for ourselves almost a year ago, I can attest to the incredible impact of iteration and expansion of the bot. We’ve done some really creative things with it, like enlisting one of our Principals, who is awesome at quickly crafting analogies, to get in on the fun. We’ll route conversations on specific pages to him, to engage our buyers in conversations and build trust. Plus, chatting with buyers is fun! And every time I tweak the messaging of a bot or adjust the CTA, we experience yet another uptick.

And while Drift users are iterating and optimizing, Drift’s improving too. Each week they’re shipping something new to delight and inspire their customer base. From new integrations to new testing features, they’re actively listening and quickly responding to their customers.

Setting Expectations for Using Drift

I have one last note on how to get the most out of the Drift Maturity Model. We often get looped into technology purchases by someone, titles typically fall in marketing, operations, or sales, who knows they can do more – but needs to convince their boss. This tool was designed with that person in mind!

Our aim is that smart, scrappy marketers, operations folks and salespeople can leverage this tool to paint a business case for the purchase of Drift and set internal expectations around the results from three months in, all the way through to a full year after the purchase. Organizations are seeing incredible results with Drift, but it’s only through iteration and continued focus that the best results come to fruition.

Of course, if you need help building that business case, implementation or crossing the divide from one stage to the next, our consultants love Drift and help organizations gain the most from it. Hit us up!

Ready to get started? We’ve got your copy of the Drift Maturity Model right here.

Fueled by endless curiosity, Andrea has never met a problem she didn’t want to solve. This led her to managing sales and marketing at an art gallery, then loyalty and email marketing strategy for an NBA team and arena, then the delivery team at LeadMD, followed by a stint as a novelist and culminating with her current role as CMO of LeadMD. 

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post. Interested in contributing content to the Drift blog? Email Molly Sloan at

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