Buyers are more informed than ever before. The market is saturated. Oh, and have I even mentioned the economy yet?
It’s no secret that, for today’s sellers, hitting quota is a steep uphill battle.
According to Salesforce’s 2022 State of Sales report, “69% of sales professionals report that their jobs are harder than before.” As Director of Sales Development here at Drift, I know what that pain feels like. I also know there is a way to ease the tension.
By giving your sales and business development reps the power to start conversations with the right accounts, at the right time, and with the right messaging, you can build a foolproof sales strategy that empowers your team to hit all your pipeline and revenue goals.
I recently joined SDR turned ABM Specialist, Hannah Connolly, on a webinar to pull back the curtain on how Drift leverages Conversational Sales to do exactly this. Here’s Drift’s secret recipe to building trust and driving revenue with conversations 👇
We originally spoke about this topic as a part of our Drift on Drift webinar series. If you want to watch the full recording, click here. Otherwise, keep reading for all the insights 💡
Ingredient #1: Structure Your Team for Relevant Conversations
With virtually 100% of buyers wanting to self-serve part or all of the buying journey, combined with the growing availability of automated sales solutions, it’s clear that more and more buyers are looking to go through the sales cycle on their own terms.
But that doesn’t mean human sellers are no longer needed — far from it. Salesforce found that “87% of B2B buyers expect sales reps to act as their trusted advisors,” which means you need to enable your SDRs to have productive conversations.
The first step to doing this is to structure your team so you can respond to all types of buyers. For example, at Drift, we have a 2:1 account executive (AE) to SDR ratio with each team divided up by geographic region and business unit.
With this team structure, we then set custom routing rules within our chatbots. This means, once the chatbot has identified the visitor or determined which rep they should be connected to, the team will be notified and connected in real time — making it easy to start the conversation. As long as you create simple, clear rules of engagement, you’ll never have to leave your buyers hanging.
Ingredient #2: Create a Flywheel with Allbound Selling
Once you have your people in place, it’s time to think strategy…which brings us to the eternal question: inbound or outbound?
According to The Bridge Group’s 2023 SDR Metrics Report, the majority of sales teams do both — 45.4% of respondents reported taking a hybrid sales approach, also known as allbound. If you think about it, this makes sense for two big reasons:
- On a psychological level, traditional outbound selling can be grueling. By getting a quick win through an inbound channel, your sales reps will stay motivated to sell.
- More matter-of-factly, inbound leads drive outbound leads. And vice versa.
Think about it this way: Have you ever received an email from a company you’ve never heard of and jumped to book a meeting with them? I’m willing to bet the answer is no.
If that cold email piqued your interest at all, chances are you pulled up a Google search to start digging through their website on your own time. Most buyers would do the same, which means a lot of your outbound accounts turn into inbound accounts.
When it comes to allbound selling, it’s important to remember that your SDRs are a major driver of inbound leads. So, by leveraging both inbound and outbound selling together, you can build a flywheel that generates opportunities and maximizes the conversations your team is having.
Ingredient #3: Optimize Your Tech Stack (The Drift Way)
Now that we’ve covered your people and your strategy, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty — your tech stack. Here are the tools and best practices we use to scale conversations and win deals at Drift 👇
1. Add a Human Touch with Drift Video
Personalization grabs people’s attention — and nothing says personalization like video.
Drift Video lets you hyper-personalize the video experience by providing a space for buyers to interact with you while they are watching your video. This makes it an excellent tool for both inbound and outbound motions.
By providing the option to chat alongside the video, buyers can ask questions and even book a meeting as they watch. Plus, with real-time notifications, the dedicated sales rep can jump into the conversation when they know the buyer is actually thinking about them.
2. Hone Your Outreach with Drift Prospector
When it comes to outbound selling, you always want to start by going after the warm accounts. But you can’t identify those accounts without data.
Drift Prospector compiles insights from across your entire tech stack so you know what content your accounts are engaging with and how engaged they are. Sellers can use context from browsing activity, asset downloads, and conversational data to start a conversation.
As Hannah puts it: “Data is key to figuring out which accounts you need to go after. … So, [Prospector] is such an easy way to get these wins — by going after accounts that are already looking at us.”
If you combine Drift Prospector with our AI-powered engagement score, you can more easily pinpoint high-intent accounts and prioritize them accordingly.
3. Stay on Top of Your Accounts with an Integrated Tech Stack
Whether you’re trying to book a meeting with a target account or warm up a cold account, you’re going to want a consolidated tech stack so you can keep track of all your account interactions.
By integrating Drift with your other sales tools, you can sync all of your data and work so that you never miss the opportunity to book a meeting. For example, our 6sense integration helps sales reps dig into the intent behind their top accounts so they can instantly engage them with tailored messaging when they’re on your website.
You can also engage your cold accounts by enrolling them into a Salesloft cadence or Outreach sequence straight from Drift. This allows you to follow up with abandoned chats and drive more personalized conversations. Doing this ensures that, once you’re done converting your very top accounts, you’ll have new opportunities ready to go.
Remember that sales is about both the head and the heart. While data and metrics will help you identify strengths and weaknesses so you can iterate on your strategy, it’s your sales reps who will ultimately be closing the deal.
That’s why it’s crucial that you meet your teammates where they are. And keep in mind that your buyers are people, too. We’re all facing serious headwinds right now, so focus on creating real connections both internally and externally. As Hannah sums up:
“Obviously it’s tough nowadays to book a meeting. … So, just be as personal as possible. Get in that personalization and that human-to-human touch. That will help you break through the noise and hopefully book meetings.”