(Editor’s note: Guillaume Cabane a.k.a. “G” is the former VP of Growth at Segment and he’s now holding it down as VP of Growth here at Drift!)
In February of 2017, I started using Drift to scale a personalized buying experience for my company’s best leads.
And I saw the future.
Now I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve joined Drift as their VP of Growth, where I’ll be helping the team build the world’s leading conversational sales & marketing platform.
When your boy joins the super team ??⚡So pumped to have G onboard. pic.twitter.com/yONFLil4Qj
— Dave Gerhardt (@davegerhardt) September 5, 2017
The short version of why I joined Drift as their VP of Growth:
I love salespeople.
I mean, I married one. I married a saleswoman. And that’s a pretty strong commitment to the cause, right?
And she’s a very good salesperson, and always sells more than her peers, and so I was intrigued. Because in any organization, if you look, you’re going to have some salespeople who perform better than others — even when leads are distributed randomly.
Why is that?
What I learned is that the best salespeople know how to ask the right questions, and can identify a lead’s pain and understand that pain. And they can personalize the pitch to that lead based on what they’ve learned about them.
Once you understand the real pain, you can create trust, because you know who the customer is, and you know what they want, and can show how your product can solve their pain specifically. And at that point, the price becomes inconsequential.
So that’s what good salespeople do. But now look at what we do in marketing… We do the exact opposite. We push one message and one price to everyone, hoping that it’s going to work out. We just hope that they’ll adopt it on their own.
And that’s why we have 5% conversion rates on our websites.
So I found out a long time ago what needed to be done: I needed to scale my wife’s approach.
I needed to scale personalization.
How Do You Scale Personalization?
Like most marketers, personalization was something I initially did with email. I studied the different flows for my onboarding emails, then I started having text-based, personalized emails sent in the names of my sales reps.
The next thing I knew, I was using Drift to personalize the buying experience. In February of 2017, I started injecting personal company data into my targeted Drift messages, and that raised the conversion rates.
I’ve been wanting for all these years and I continue to believe that I can find ways to massively improve the customer experience. And improving the customer experience will improve conversion rates. (And that will enable me to keep my job because my job is to improve conversion rates.)
Right now, marketing automation is mostly sending a lot of the same to a lot of people. And that sucks.
Now I want to go further. I want to be able to collect, analyze, and act across all channels — not just chat, not just email, not just the webpage.
I want to be able to send people coffees and create personalized experiences that actually delight people. I want to be able to send gifts like salespeople do. And I want to be able to deliver ads automatically, programmatically, and I want to do that even before leads are on my website.
I want to be able to detect, just like salespeople do, that this company is in the right buying cycle. Then I want to be able to find out who the right contact is, and I want to be able to send that person something. And of course, I want to be able to do all of that at scale, with no human intervention.
In order to do that, there has to be some kind of A.I.
I’ve tested it, I know I’m able to do it. Now I need to make it as easy as possible for others to replicate.
A Shared Vision
I think a trust was created when I contacted Elias (Drift co-founder and CTO) and worked with him on my crazy project back at Segment.
He was actually excited to do it and he delivered with the team. And I said “Well, these folks deliver on crazy ideas. Maybe they want to do more of that.”
But really, I’m helping myself. Because I am also a customer. And I get a poor experience all day, and I’m fed up with that.
I’m fed up with the poor emails, the poor web experience, and the poor chat experiences I’m getting on like 90% of websites.
And while I’m not going to claim that I’m making the world a better place, because that’s a bit far-fetched, I do believe that enabling marketing to create more relevant experiences will reduce frustration. And if I can reduced frustration for hundreds of thousands of people per day, I think that’s good.
So now I’m here, bringing this vision to life with Drift.
We’re on a mission to reinvent marketing and sales, and to make the buying experience more relevant (and less terrible) for potential customers.
Want to join us?