Let’s talk about an important part of the sales funnel for any technical software product—the trial. A trial gives prospects first-hand experience working with a product, which we all know can go a long way toward moving that user further down the purchase funnel.
But here’s the thing. Many companies miss the opportunity for sales to interact directly with trial users in a very helpful, human way—a strategy that helps improve engagement and conversion.
At Onshape, we didn’t want to miss out on the chance to interact with these trial users. We provide the only anywhere/anytime cloud CAD platform that helps design and manufacturing teams speed up product development. And we’re all about modern, streamlined processes in everything we do.
So like many others do, we use Drift for conversational marketing on our main website pages. But we also do something a little different. We use Drift inside our trial so we can give our high-intent prospects—the ones who are actively testing the software and trying to make a purchase decision—a white-glove experience.
By using Drift to help guide trial users through the assessment part of the sales funnel, we’ve been able to drive more meetings and increase our sales opportunities. At the same time, Drift helps us streamline and optimize our internal workflows.
A Simple Strategy: We’re Here to Help
While we check in every couple of weeks to assess how the bot flow is performing, our approach to the in-app chat experience consistently starts with a very simple, straightforward message, “How can we help? We’re here.” Those six little words, delivered via chat, open the door to a 1:1 conversation with our most actively engaged prospects and all the sales opportunity that they represent.
Drift makes it easy for us to be immediately available to trial users who are either struggling with something or have specific questions about the product or particular use cases. We can also put trial users directly in touch with an engineer when more advanced technical support is needed.
Whatever the user needs, they’re always delighted with our responsiveness. We constantly hear users marveling over how easy it was for them to reach out, and how quickly we got back to them.
And once we’ve addressed the initial question or technical issue, our sales team can continue chatting with these users via Drift. Sometimes, this opens the door to an upsell, other times it’s just an opportunity for us “sell” the Drift chat as a beneficial feature of our product. We let them know that we use chat after trial as well, so if they don’t feel like picking up the phone, they can always reach us directly via chat, and we can always set them up with one of our engineers.
Now let’s talk results. Just by offering this communication option, we’ve seen more than 30% uplift, and growing, of open opportunities engaging with us on Drift. And it makes sense since there’s a segment of our market who just don’t like talking on the phone. In one recent month, we created 140 opportunities via our Drift conversations.
Internal Benefits: Efficiency, Ease, and Balance
While our primary reason for using Drift in the trial is to support our trial users, there are also some internal benefits for both our sales and engineering teams.
In addition to providing a good experience for our trial users, Drift makes it easy for us to stay connected and easily manage conversations. When I’m on Drift all day, I feel like I’m plugged into the Matrix. I can see what’s happening all the time from one interface, and I can easily access information on the entire lifecycle of a deal. On an average day, our sales team manages four to eight conversations per hour on Drift. It’s very efficient.
And Drift keeps working even when our team isn’t available to chat. After hours or when we’re out of the office, Drift keeps the conversation going and continues collecting the information we need to follow up when we’re back online. These features are also really helpful when we’re working with large teams that are widely dispersed around the globe and operating in multiple time zones.
We’re also able to keep our trial users warm for longer. Because we’re providing on-the-spot sales and engineering support, there’s a lot of momentum around our trials. Our users are more engaged (which makes them more likely to take the next step toward conversion).
Finally, Drift helps facilitate a smarter workflow that combines the efforts of sales and engineering so neither team gets overwhelmed by incoming user requests. It’s fast and simple for front-line salespeople to route inquiries appropriately, ensuring that users get prompt, relevant support and internal teams get the breathing room they need to manage all their responsibilities.
Eddie Chibaro is a sales account executive at Onshape, the leading cloud product development platform for design and manufacturing teams.