The B2B sales landscape has changed dramatically over the last three to five years. Driven by the consumerization of the customer experience, B2B buyers have raised their expectations about every aspect of the process. If a B2B buyer arrives at your website and has a subpar experience, they won’t hesitate to move on to your competitor’s site. This is the new reality. Success is no longer solely about the quality of your product, it’s also about the quality of your customer experience.
Unfortunately for them, many companies either haven’t realized this yet or are in denial because acknowledging the shift means they have to re-engineer the way they sell. But companies are losing deals every day, often without even having had the opportunity for an initial conversation.
Here at Jitterbit, we see the reality of the market landscape clearly. We understand what prospects want in a buyer experience, and a big part of how we’re responding to their evolving needs is to enable conversations on our website using Drift. And then, on the back-end, we’re integrating the conversational piece of the puzzle across the sales and marketing stack all the way to the back office.
We’ve already seen great success with Drift at Jitterbit, including closing a six-figure deal that we might have missed out on entirely if it weren’t for the ability to engage the prospect in a conversation. More about that later.
Sales Has Changed – So Stop Treating Everyone The Same
I get a tremendous amount of sales and marketing junk via email, LinkedIn, and even the occasional phone call. For the most part, my response to this avalanche of attempts to get my attention is simple: delete, delete, delete. Every once in a while, I will click on something or pick up the phone just to see what I might be missing. I’m usually disappointed.
As an example, I recently picked up a call from a salesperson. The first question she asked me was, “What do you do?” Kiss of death. I couldn’t get off the phone fast enough. This is a perfect example of one of the most important ways that sales has changed – you can’t treat everyone the same. You need to personalize your message and your conversation or no one will give you the time of day.
In our lives as consumers, we’re so used to experiences that are tailored to who we are and what we like. It’s a kind of a slap to the face when we encounter a B2B interaction – email, phone call, website – that is clearly based on an impersonal template.
A lot of sales success has to do with preparation and having a good script. Part of the beauty of working with Drift is that it does a lot of that work for you. If I’m following up with someone who has had a Drift chat on our website, I now have key information about them right at my fingertips. All I have to do is take five or ten minutes to review what we know, and I’m able to open the conversation with details that make the call relevant to the prospect. For instance, my opening to a Drift-informed follow-up call might be something like, “Hey, Erin. I see you were on our site, and you had a chat with Mike. Looks like you’re interested in an integration between Salesforce and HubSpot. What questions can I answer for you to make this a valuable conversation?”
That’s so much better than the old-school approach of, “Hi, I’m John from Acme Company, and I’d like to talk to you about our widgets.” We have to understand that the exchange between a salesperson and a prospect is a quid pro quo. When a prospect gives you their valuable time, they expect value in return. And the faster you can deliver that value, the better.
Conversational sales techniques give you a major advantage. Instead of bombarding a prospect with irrelevant, generic emails and LinkedIn messages, you can personalize your message to their specific needs and use chat to engage them in real-time at the moment when they are most open to hearing from you.
Sales Adopts Drift – We Close A 6-figure Deal In Record Time
For sales teams that are just learning about conversational techniques, there may be a little bit of a ramp up, but the strategy makes so much sense that most people get on board quickly. At Jitterbit, we chose to implement Drift across the board right off the bat.
Our rollout was pretty simple. We added Drift to the website and explained to the sales team how it would help us deliver a better customer experience by automatically engaging a prospect or customer in a semi-personalized way. We used the metaphor of an upscale department store, where a sales associate greets you and asks if you have any questions they can answer. The sales team understood this high-end retail mentality right away, and they were ready to get started.
The other thing we did was internally publicize wins on the front-end with Drift. In practice, this involves sending out what we call a “ring-the-bell” message that tells our entire company about the deal – how it came to us, the business problem we’re solving, the competitive landscape, the team involved, and so forth. We had some minor wins right away that we could talk about, but it wasn’t long before there was a really great story to share.
The story started with a prospect hitting the site and one of our SDRs engaging them via chat almost immediately. As a result, we were able to start the sales cycle before our competitors even noticed they had a lead. Because we were able to engage the prospect in real-time, and in a personalized and “human” way, we created a five-day head start against the competition, and in the end closed a six-figure deal.
In addition to playing a pivotal role in winning deals, Drift also empowers and enables our sales team by automating a lot of the front end qualification. This reduces the legwork our reps need to do, which means they can spend more time engaging in higher-value conversations. This helps both with scalability and accelerating the sales cycle. And the way Drift qualifies site visitors makes it easy to efficiently connect each prospect with the right person in real-time, so we’re able to keep the conversation going and take advantage of the momentum to move people forward in the buying journey.
It’s All About Speed & Quality – Conversations Make The Difference
At Jitterbit, we track everything and meet weekly as an executive leadership team to report on progress and dig into the metrics. Suffice to say, we’ve got a ton of KPI data that helps us understand which sources and campaigns are performing best. For example, we’ve learned that leads that come through Drift are higher quality and convert faster than our other sources.
Why? We believe (and the data shows us) that the conversation is how we up the ante on the game. We know that’s the key, and if we can do that well, we will ultimately win. Truth is, you cannot succeed consistently in the tech business if you’re unable to have that level of conversation from your very first engagement with a prospect. What used to be a nice-to-have is now table stakes.
That said, the two things we do measure are deal velocity and quality of engagement. Drift is instrumental in driving both. The CIO in that six-figure deal was blown away by how quickly we were able to respond to his requests, not just from the SDR standpoint, but also in terms of getting answers to his specific questions and then getting him easily and efficiently into the sales process. He had never experienced anything like it.
In addition to speed of response, the quality of our engagement is a clear differentiator in the market. Personalization – a big part of our secret sauce at Jitterbit – plays a starring role here. And we are very intentional and passionate about treating each prospect in a very respectful way from the front-end engagement to the back-end support. We pace our sales process to align with their buying process, and we constantly try to exceed expectations. All of this is largely enabled through Drift. Drift gives us the tools we need to create the experience our customers want.
Set Yourself Apart – Deliver an Exceptional Buyer Experience
In today’s global markets, being able to deliver an exceptional customer experience is an increasingly critical part of sales success and growth. This is especially true in commodity categories in which the technology itself may not be a differentiator. Jitterbit falls into that category. We have plenty of direct competitors who can technically provide the same service we do. What sets us apart is how we engage our prospects and buyers, and Drift is a big part of that.
I’m a big believer in having sales and marketing so tightly aligned that there’s no daylight between them. Drift helps us close the gap between these two disciplines. It’s a part of the fabric of our tech stack across both functions – front-end to back-end. And the more we expand our deployment and optimize it, the better our results.
To get started with conversational sales, get the complete guide here, or book a meeting with someone from the Drift sales team here.
George Gallegos is the Chief Executive Officer at Jitterbit, an API integration platform that serves more than 50,000 users, is a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform-as-a-Service, and has ranked #1 in Customer Satisfaction for Cloud Data Integration on G2Crowd.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Drift customer, Jitterbit. Interested in contributing content to the Drift blog? Email Molly Sloan at email@example.com.