Brought to you by Drift & Heinz Marketing

The 2022 State of 
Conversations Report

The future of digital experiences is all about customers…and conversations. Here’s everything marketing, sales, and customer service pros need to know.

Digital Doesn’t Mean Impersonal. That’s Where Conversations Come In.

Uncertain times are upon us. Now more than ever, companies have to be decisive — cutting back on what isn’t working and doubling down on what is.

But smart and efficient solutions are only half the story. If companies hope to come out on top, they need to focus on delivering the experience that customers want.

And what customers want are conversations.

Digital doesn’t have to mean robotic. With conversational solutions, companies can benefit from the convenience of digital without compromising their authenticity.

In fact, 9 out of 10 respondents agreed that conversational solutions are valuable for creating an all-around better experience for both customers and businesses. Here’s how marketing, sales, and customer service teams are delivering stand-out experiences through the power of conversations.

600 Professionals Weigh in on Conversational Solutions

Respondents were evenly split across marketing, sales, and customer service

Responses Were Also Spread Across Experience Levels
>%
Manager Level
%
Director Level
%
C-Suite/VP Level
%
Individual Contributor
Across Company Sizes

35% Small Businesses
27% Mid-Market
38% Enterprise

And Across Industries

1. IT/Technology/Software
2. Marketing/Advertising/Media
3. Other Industries (Retail, Insurance, 
 Manufacturing, and more)

2022 Conversational Marketing Key Findings

Amidst the massive shift to digital, marketers desperately need to revamp slow and outdated web experiences. Through Conversational Marketing solutions, marketers are able to easily engage, understand, and nurture new visitors as well as engage target accounts.

Anyone Can Benefit from a Conversational Marketing Solution

No One Rated Conversational Marketing as “Not Valuable”

How valuable do you believe it is to have a Conversational Marketing solution for your business?

 

Marketers See Conversations as a Path to More Quality Pipeline

What aspects of a Conversational Marketing solution are most appealing to you?

67% Learning about our buyers and customers

59% Generating a greater volume of higher quality leads

48% Greater, more predictable engagement from leads and accounts

Today, all marketers — regardless of industry, company size, or job title — are aware of the 
value that Conversational Marketing brings to their businesses.

Justin Keller

VP of Revenue Marketing, Drift
People Want Quick, Authentic & Informative Interactions

In the 2021 State of Conversational Marketing, buyers detailed increasing frustrations with traditional web experiences.

  • 20% increase with accessing basic business information
  • 25% increase in frustration with website navigation

 

Conversational Marketing Solutions Provide a Much-Needed Alternative

The Top Use Cases for Conversational Marketing in 2022

 

More Buyers Today Want Fast, Friendly, and Expert Conversations

 

Top 3 Positive Experience Factors for Conversational Marketing in 2021

  • 41% Quick, detailed, and expert answers to my questions
  • 35% Complaints/issues resolved quickly
  • 34% Friendliness, approachability, and/or easy communication

Top 3 Positive Experience Factors for Conversational Marketing in 2022

  • 57% Quick, detailed, and expert answers to my questions
  • 48% Friendliness, approachability, and/or easy communication
  • 32% Getting an instant response
Compared to 2021:
%
more buyers demand quick, detailed, and expert answers
%
more buyers demand friendliness, approachability, and easy communication
CONTENT & CONVERSATIONAL MARKETING ARE A WINNING PAIR

Driving a More User-Centric Experience

What positive outcomes have you seen from implementing a Conversational Marketing solution?

Quick and easy access to content for our users
A more human, authentic experience
Relevant messaging for our users
Integrated campaigns and experiences across channels
Accelerated sales pipeline
Increased ROI
Enhanced personalization
A more seamless customer journey

of respondents said their Conversational Marketing solution enabled them to give buyers access to their content quickly and easily.

 

Inbound Marketing Made Easier

Top 3 Areas Where Marketers Have Seen the Most Success with Conversational Marketing

1. Content Marketing

2. Website

3. Digital Ads, Paid Social Ads, PPC, Retargeting

2022 Conversational Sales Key Findings

Buying groups are getting bigger and sales cycles are getting longer…but many teams are still struggling to make their selling efficient. Now, sellers can rely on Conversational Sales solutions to start conversations, qualify visitors, and ensure they are spending time with the right buyers.

 

Buyers and Sellers Alike Prioritize Speed

Sellers Crave More & Faster Buyer Interactions

Top 3 Most Appealing Aspects of Conversational Sales

48% Learning more about buyers and customers more quickly

40% Generating greater engagement from buyers and accounts

33% Improving overall customer lifetime value

Almost half of respondents find Conversational Sales appealing because it enables them to understand buyers and customers faster.

Users Agree: Speed Is Indispensable

As a user, which of the following would stop you from using a Conversational Sales solution?

If it didn’t respond or was slow to respond
If it provided inaccurate information
If it didn’t answer my question
Nothing would stop me from using a Conversational Sales solution
I prefer interacting with a person
I prefer to fill out a form on a website
Other
%
of buyers said they would stop using a Conversational Sales solution if it didn’t respond or was slow to respond
%
of buyers preferred to fill out a form instead of using a Conversational Sales solution
Email Leads the Pack, But Buyers Want the Omnichannel Experience

The Top Communication Channels for Sellers in 2022

As a user, in the past six months, what communication channels have you used the most?

Email
Phone Call
Text
Chatbot/Live Chat
Social Media

 

This Doesn’t Mean Buyers Don’t Use Conversational Sales. They Just Use It Differently.

As a user, which factors are most important for a positive Conversational Sales experience?

55% Quick, detailed, and expert answers to my questions

54% Friendliness, approachability, and/or easy communication

30% Complaints/issues resolved quickly

27% Getting an instant response

26% 24-hour service

9% Receiving personalized results

Buyers turn to Conversational Sales solutions to get answers quickly and connect with businesses instantly — but they turn to other channels for more one-to-one service.

Conversational Sales Gives a Boost to Sales Productivity

Respondents in 2021 State of Conversational Sales Struggled with Inefficient & Ineffective Selling

  • 76% of sellers reported frequently spending time meeting with unqualified net new buyers
  • 86% of self-identified unproductive sellers said their biggest challenge was lack of qualified buyers

Conversational Sales solutions empower teams to sell more efficiently — and the numbers prove it. In 2022, 94% of individual contributors believe a Conversational Sales solution is valuable, with almost two-thirds (62%) saying it is very valuable. And in a separate commissioned study, Forrester Consulting found that businesses using Drift increased sales rep efficiency by up to 50%.

Andrew Arocha

Chief Revenue Officer, Drift

A Foolproof Way to Improve The Internal Sales Process

Top 3 Areas of Improvement with Conversational Sales in 2022

 

With these improvements to business development and the qualification process, sellers have been able to drive more conversations with the right people at the right time — with 36% even saying they booked more qualified meetings.

A Deep Dive on the Conversational Trends Shaping 2023

Be ready for whatever 2023 throws your way. We walk you through the must-know trends that are transforming the business landscape — and what you can do about them.

2022 State of Conversational Service Key Findings

As more and more processes are digitalized, customers are holding service teams to higher standards than ever before. Conversational Service solutions enable companies to meet new expectations for efficient, real-time service with automated chatbots and live chat.

Service Teams Are the Most Confident with Conversational Solutions

Service Agents Used Conversational Solutions the Most Effectively

When we asked respondents to weigh in on how effectively their conversational solutions were implemented, service pros expressed the most confidence about how they were using their solutions.

SERVICE

SALES

MARKETING

 

An Overwhelming Majority Attest to the Value of Conversational Service

How valuable do you believe it is to have a Conversational Service solution for your business?

The confidence that service agents feel towards their use of conversational solutions is mirrored in the success that they are seeing. A whopping 74% of service agents rated Conversational Service solutions as very valuable.

Ben Gardner

VP of Customer Support, Drift
Conversational Service Resolves Issues Efficiently and in Real-Time

With Conversations, Service Agents Can Better Serve Their Customers

Top 5 Positive Outcomes with Conversational Service

 

Altogether, Conversational Service solutions enable service agents to provide real-time service, more easily prioritize support tickets, and deliver a more seamless customer journey.

Buyers Rely on Conversational Service for a Great Service Experience

As a user, what would you use a Conversational Service solution for?

1. Resolving issues

2. Getting answers to questions

3. Accessing resources (e.g. help docs, tutorials, trainings, etc.)

4. Purchasing a solution

5. Other

Instantly Level Up Customer Service with AI Solutions

AI-Enabled Customer Service Is Making Its Way Into the Mainstream

Do you have an AI-enabled Conversational Service solution?

 

Service Pros with AI Solutions Know That Great Support Experiences Are Possible

When asked what factors are important for having a positive Conversational Service experience, service agents with AI-enabled solutions expressed higher expectations than those without.

Top 3 Factors Among Agents with AI Solutions

  • 62% Friendliness, approachability, and/or easy communication
  • 55% 24-hour service
  • 53% Detailed, expert answers to my questions

Top 3 Factors Among Agents Without AI Solutions

  • 57% Friendliness, approachability, and/or easy communication
  • 50% Complaints/issues resolved quickly
  • 44% 24-hour service

Compared to respondents who have an AI-enabled solution, the responses from those without AI-enabled solutions were that:

  • 56% less emphasized the importance of 24-hour service
  • 64% less emphasized the importance of detailed, expert answers

There’s (a Lot) More to the Conversation.

Looking for some more conversation-worthy insights into the state of conversations today? Or maybe you want to dig into some of these findings with a human? We’ve got you covered.