The Practical Guide to Efficient and Effective Selling

Prioritize the right work, cut through the noise, and build quality pipeline with Drift Conversational Sales.

About This Guide

Layoffs, budget cuts, hiring freezes.

It’s hard to go about your day, watch the news, or scroll on LinkedIn without seeing something about these challenges. If you’re feeling like you are in a period of tech mayhem, you’re not alone.

So, what does this mean for go-to-market teams?

Everyone is going to tell you you have to do more with less. But this also comes with a lot of obstacles for sellers.

Leaders are in a similar boat. With external and internal pressures mounting, a solution has emerged. Productivity may not be the flashiest idea to sweep the sales culture, but it’s one leaders are betting on – big time.

In fact, more than 79% of sales executives say improving the productivity of existing sales reps is key to hitting new targets; however, 65% of B2B organizations rank sales productivity as a top challenge.

The key to success will be building more quality pipeline, faster. The way to get there is to enable your reps to be more efficient, effective, and productive.

That’s why we wrote this practical guide to selling efficiently and effectively with Drift Conversational Sales.

No nonsense. Just practical ways to prioritize the right work, cut through the noise, and build quality pipeline.

By the end of this book, you’ll learn:
  • How to use insights from Drift on buyer intent to prioritize the right work.
  • Best practices on using inbound sales to chat with your highest intent site visitors and create hyper-personalized interactions.
  • How to utilize data to outbound efficiently and generate more pipeline.

How to Prioritize the Right Work

Stop wasting time on the wrong activities and accounts that aren’t ready to buy.

Time is a seller’s most valuable resource.

Wasting that time on the wrong activities and talking to unqualified leads is not only inefficient, but it will also tank your pipeline goals.

If sellers don’t have access to the right data to help them better stack rank their accounts and prioritize their time, they’re forced to sell in the dark.

And in today’s world, buyers have a lot of choices. If you aren’t getting to the right people with the right information, your deal isn’t going to get across the finish line — you may not even be able to get the door open.

There are tools out there that will deliver raw, basic data. But it takes time to analyze it and surface it in a helpful way. This is inefficient, time-consuming, and not useful for sellers or their leaders.

Buyers also aren’t going through the sales process like they used to. It’s estimated that more than 70% of the buyer’s journey is completed before even talking to sales. And once the sales process has begun, they’re accessing more information on a self-serve basis.

They’re on your site reading blogs, browsing pricing pages, watching a webinar, or consuming a guide.

Imagine if you had access to that information in real-time. If you could get instant visibility into buyer intent based on what pages they’ve visited, which sales touchpoints they’ve engaged with, and how they’ve interacted with your brand.

And what if you could get all that information in tangible and digestible insights?

That’s all a reality with Drift Conversational Sales. Drift Conversational Sales helps start the right conversation with the right buyer — across chat, email, video, and more.

And we’re going to walk you through step-by-step how to access and use this data so sellers can focus on the right accounts and do what they do best — win.

using Drift Prospector to Get Actionable Data

Selling efficiently starts with understanding who you should be engaging and with what message.

Enter: Drift Prospector.

Prospector helps sales reps accelerate revenue by automatically prioritizing their target accounts, centralizing insight on behavior across the buying committee, and giving them direct access to follow up – all from a single interface.

“Prospector is giving me ideas for my outreach. If I see someone is checking out a case study on our website, for example, I am going to use that in my outreach.”
— Paul De Libero, Enterprise SDR, Drift

Here’s how to use Drift Prospector to prioritize your work and sell more efficiently in three steps.

Step 1: Identify Most Engaged Target Accounts

We recommend opening Prospector first thing in the morning, so you can use it to view your target accounts engagement score, easily stack rank your accounts, and make a plan for the day. 

In Prospector, which you can access by opening Drift and clicking: Activity > All Accounts > Select Accounts, you’ll first find a list of your most engaged target accounts.

At a glance, you’ll find the following intel: 

  • Which account has visited your website
  • The account’s most recent activity
  • What the accounts are engaging with 
  • The account’s engagement score

If you’re a manager, you can view all the target accounts owned by your team. As a seller, you can filter to see your target accounts only. 

After viewing this information, sellers can prioritize which target accounts to prioritize based on a comprehensive engagement score. 

What Is Drift’s AI Engagement Score?

Drift’s Engagement Score is powered by our patented AI.

We run a custom model for your organization so that the weight and impact of a customer’s journey, like webpage visits and Drift activities, are specific to your business and customers.

Reps can also view a trend graph, which is a two-week trend of how the engagement score has changed. Sellers can utilize this to visually see if and how their outreach has impacted the buyer’s engagement over time.

With the Drift Engagement Score and trend graph, reps will be able to prioritize their time and hone in on who is important, why they are important, and how they are going to close them.

You can learn more about how engagement score is calculated here.

Step 2: Understand Contact Activity within a Target Account

Once you’ve decided which target accounts you want to engage, you can now decide which contacts to reach out to first based on who in the account is engaging with content.

Here, you can find: 

  • Account details including high-level information about the company
  • Data that’s syncing over from Salesforce
  • An in-depth look at the account’s engagement score

You can also toggle over to Contacts and view detailed contact information such as: 

  • What contact visited your page
  • Their role in the organization, their location, and number of activities
  • Last active time on your site

Contacts will automatically be ranked by when they were last active, but you can instead choose to filter by number of activities or role. 

Using this information, you can decide which contacts to reach out to and prioritize. You can also determine role types. This may help you distinguish which accounts your account executive (AE) reaches out to vs. your business development representative (BDR).

“Prospector helps me sync with my BDR on personas. If we identify an account that is actively engaging on the site, we can figure out which persona I’m going to reach out to and which ones he is going to reach out to.
I may go after the C-level executives while he’ll go after the director and VP levels. This way, we are able to go broad within an account and engage with as many stakeholders in the buying process as possible.”

 — Sara Miller Blanc, Enterprise Account Executive, Drift

You can also filter by activity such as conversation, site visits, meetings booked, videos viewed, email clicks, or email opens.

This information can also be used to give insight into who is involved in buying decisions which helps you define the buying committee. This gives you multiple avenues to break into a specific account.

Step 3: Customize Outreach Based on Contact Activity 

Now that you’ve uncovered which contacts to prioritize in your outreach, it’s time to craft a hyper-personalized message. 

If you want to double-down on real-time, you can scroll to Recent Activity in Prospector. 

In this feed, you’ll see the most recent activity for each of the contacts. If you see that a contact is active, you can send them a chat instantly. Be sure to personalize your message based on the context of the page they are on and their previously consumed content. 

You can also use interaction shortcuts to email a contact, connect with them on LinkedIn, or enroll them in a sequence through our Outreach and Salesloft integrations.

To learn more about interaction shortcuts and how to use them, click here. 

So now you know how to better prioritize your work by identifying which accounts and contacts to reach out to based on engagement. But if they come to the site, what should you do? If you want to outbound, which channel should you use? We’ll cover all of that and more in the following chapters. 

Using Drift for Inbound Sales Efficiently

Drive efficiency by engaging target accounts while they’re on your site (even while your reps are sleeping).

Earlier, we mentioned that 70% of the buyer’s journey is completed before even talking to sales. 

They’re doing research by talking to peers, reading reviews, reading blogs, browsing your pricing page, watching a webinar, etc. 

To truly do inbound sales effectively and generate more (and higher quality) pipeline, reps have to be ready to talk to target accounts once they get to the site. 

Or else, what was all of that outbound effort for? 

How to Use Live Chat to Engage Target Accounts

Using Drift live chat, you can proactively start conversations with target accounts and see conversations that have already been started on your website with the bot or AI chatbot. 

These conversations are most effective when they are memorable and tailored to your buyer. 

“Live chat lives in the background all day while I’m working. I couldn’t imagine my day without it. Real-time notifications and chat give you a way to engage with your buyers when their intent is at its highest.”

 — Tate Knapp, Account Executive, Drift

Here are three steps to engage target accounts in real-time, when their intent is at its highest. 

Step 1: Know When a Target Account Lands on Your Website

It’s harder than ever to grab someone’s attention. 

So, when all the fruits of your labor from outbounding start to pay off and a target account lands on your site, it’s crucial to be there and greet them with a hyper-personalized message tailored to their needs. 

Here’s how to ensure you get notified when a target account is on your site.


The first step to creating personalized experiences is making sure your tech is talking to each other. Especially in the times of “do more with less”. 

You can easily connect Drift to all your existing tech through dozens of native integrations, Zapier automations, and our open development platform. 

Integrating your tech stack creates better experiences for your buyers and more efficiency for your sales teams. Instead of switching between hundreds of tabs, consolidate information into one place where reps can take action. 

Our top integrations for bi-directional sync include native integrations like HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, and Salesforce, as well as sales tools like Outreach and Salesloft.

Some of our most popular integrations for ABM include 6Sense, Clearbit, and Demandbase

Our most popular integration for syncing target accounts is Salesforce. To set up the integration head to: Settings > Integrations > Salesforce, or click here. You’ll be prompted to sign in with your Salesforce credentials.

Once Salesforce is connected, reps get notified immediately when target accounts are on the site so they can engage with them in a personalized way. 

For reps who want a holistic view of everyone who’s currently on the site, you can use Live View. 

In Live View, you can filter by page, account, and geography. You can also sort by account owner and click into account information directly from Live View.

You can learn more about Live View here

For more information on our integrations visit our integrations library here. If you’d like more information on how to set up various integrations, check out this guide.

Email and Chrome Extension

The email and Chrome extension allows reps to have access real-time notifications on target accounts and start conversations. 

All you need to do is download the Drift Email extension from the Chrome Web Store.

Now, you can start a personalized conversation immediately when you know a target account is browsing your site’s content. 

Step 2: Personalize your Conversation with Visitor Intelligence

Picture this: your dream account has just landed on the site. 

You’ve been prospecting into multiple contacts on this account and haven’t gotten a bite. And finally, it happens. John, a director of sales development, is on your site. 

You get a notification and realize he’s not just browsing any page, he’s browsing your pricing page. 

Which message do you think would engage your buyer more: 

  1. Hey! How can I help you?
  2. Hi John! I’m Tate, your Account Manager at Whitewhale — (real human, by the way)! Any questions on pricing or our platform?

In a sea full of messaging that looks more like ‘A’ — be the ‘B’. 

Here’s a helpful framework we use at Drift for starting conversations: 

  • Engage with buyers on their terms when their attention and buying intent are at their highest.
  • Understand buyers by asking questions, tapping into intent signals, and using other sources of data to figure out what they care about and why they should purchase your product.
  • Recommend what’s best for the buyer to educate them, build trust, and help find the right solution for them.

Here’s what that looks like in action: 

Using things like past site behavior, location, content consumption, and what page your buyer is on are all examples of things that can help you as a rep grab someone’s attention. 

All that information is at your fingertips in the Live Chat Conversation View. 

Here, you can see information about your site visitor such as: 

  • Site visitor’s name
  • Company name (website is hyperlinked in the example)
  • Social media handles
  • Number of employees
  • Where the site visitor is located
  • Who else is involved with the chat (previous or current participants)
  • What page the site visitor is on
  • And much more… 

Using this information, as well as information about past content consumption, helps reps quickly create engaging messages, build trust with buyers, and deliver better experiences for buyers. 

Here are some other general best practices to keep in mind while chatting with your buyers: 

  • Introduce yourself to the buyer. Feel free to include a personal anecdote. 
  • Keep it conversational and friendly.
  • Ask questions that move the conversation along. 
  • Keep your replies short and sweet. Don’t write paragraphs back to the buyer. 
  • Use context from the page they are on and previous conversations.
  • Don’t just badger the buyer with questions. Respond, then keep the conversation moving. 
  • Include emojis 🤩
  • Ask open-ended questions to gauge interest.
  • Utilize Chat to Zoom to capitalize on the now.
  • Let’s take a look at these best practices in the following conversations.
Step 3: Use shortcuts and slash commands to drive efficiency

Productivity and efficiency are everything in sales. 

That’s why in live chat, it’s important to utilize shortcuts and slash commands to save time.

Slash commands allow you to quickly add a teammate to a conversation, send a conversation transcript, add a tag, and more. 

Below is a list of slash commands: 

  • /invite: Add a teammate to a conversation
  • /note: Allows you to create internal notes in your conversations
  • /sendtranscript: Send a chat transcript to the user you are chatting with
  • /tag: Allows you to add a conversation tag to the conversation
  • /block: Blocks a user from chatting
  • /unblock: Allows a previously blocked user to chat again
  • /sync: Syncs your conversation to your connected integrations (Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot, etc.)
  • /savedreply: Select a pre-written saved reply
  • /rating: Drops a rating in the conversation, allowing the site visitor to rate the conversation

Teams use slash commands often, but the most popular shortcut is /savedreply. 

Saved replies are a great way for sales managers to set their reps up for success. 

If a customer or prospect asks something about pricing, a product, or the company, the rep can enter a custom saved reply as a response. This helps keep reps efficient in live chat when asked frequently asked questions. 

This also helps shorten the rep’s response time in chat. 

You can create saved replies by going to Settings > App Settings > Conversations > Saved Replies

Bonus: Keep the conversation going after hours

According to Drift data, 50% of website chat occurs on nights and weekends. 

No one expects sales reps to stay up all night and work all weekend. 

But the 50% number is hard to ignore. So, how do you capitalize on those off-hours chats? 

Conversational AI.

Automation is like an extra set of hands — like a really smart extra set of hands that will deflect support inquiries, qualify leads, and book meetings for your team. 

Automation helps your team focus on the highest priority conversations while still providing your customers with relevant, personalized responses day and night.

And we’re certainly not recommending that AI should replace all of your reps. 

There is a time and place for both AI and rep-led conversations. 

Human to human is great — but it doesn’t let you engage with every visitor around the clock. 

That’s why you need bots too, so sellers can chat with target accounts in real-time with the right conversation, while AI bots convert the 50% of conversations that happen after hours into pipeline. And you won’t have to keep increasing your SDR count. 

But no inbound strategy is complete without an effective outbound strategy paired with it. Below, we’ll explain in five steps how to outbound more efficiently. 

Using Drift for Outbound Sales Efficiently

Outbound smarter by prioritizing your high intent accounts and increasing response rates starting the right conversation in the right place with the right message.

Outbound sales is a tried and true method of selling. 

Sellers started door to door, then turned to the phones, then to email. Selling continues to evolve and change, and with that, so do the channels we sell through — and who holds the power during the buying process. 

Sellers used to have all of the power. Buyers could only learn more about a product or service with the help of a rep. But today, buyers can (and are) doing their own research throughout the buying journey.

87% of buyers say they would prefer to self-serve part or all of their buying journey. And with close to 8,000 tech solutions out there, they have a lot of options. That means for sellers, every moment and every conversation counts when it comes to proving the value of your solution. 

Today, outbound sales has to be intentional. No more generic emails or cold calls read from a script. 

You may be thinking that this sounds time-consuming. But with a buyer-centric mindset and the right tools to give you actionable insights, you’ll be celebrating wins in no time.

Here are three steps to help you more effectively outbound to your prospects. 

Step 1: Pair the Tools You Use Today with Buying Signals from Prospector

Earlier, we reviewed how to use Prospector to prioritize your accounts so you can sell more efficiently. 

Now that you’ve uncovered how to prioritize your day, it’s time to send the right messaging through the right channel based on buyer signals. 

We know tab switching and going from tool to tool doesn’t help with productivity, so we built integrations with your existing sales tools like Salesloft and Outreach. 

“We partnered with Drift to drive a more hyper-relevant buyer experience and help sales and marketing professionals create meaningful, perfectly-timed connections with prospects while eliminating cold outbound activities.”

 —Whitney Moore, Manager of Inbound Sales Development, Salesloft

So, how does it work? 

Right from chat or Prospector, sales reps can enroll contacts into a Salesloft or Outreach cadence, email a contact, or connect with them on LinkedIn. 

You can learn more about how to connect Outreach with Drift here and Salesloft here

Here are a few examples of how you can turn buyer insights from Drift into outbound motions with the tools you already use to sell: 

1. Prospector to LinkedIn Message 

When you wake up and start your work day, you check Drift Prospector. 

You see that Whitewhale, one of your top accounts, has a “5” engagement score, meaning they are extremely engaged. 

When you click into Whitewhale and view the contact activity, you see that Tom Jones, a VP from one of your top target accounts, was browsing a product page.

Right from Prospector, you can click on the LinkedIn icon, which will take you directly to the contact’s profile. 

You can then quickly send a Drift Video to your prospect, walking them through that product deeper and giving them the information they need. You’ll get a notification while Tom watches that video, giving you the opportunity to jump in and book a meeting. Learn more about how to use Drift Video in step two. 

 2. Outreach Message to Target Account Conversation 

You spend a lot of time crafting emails to use for your outbound activities. 

The goal of spending this thoughtful time crafting your Outreach sequence is to elicit some sort of action from your buyer. The best case scenario is an email right back saying let’s book a demo. But we know not all buyers are ready for a demo and that buyers today do a lot of research on their own before talking to a buyer. 

So, how can you continue the conversation if a buyer clicks a link in a sequence and visits your website? Be there with a personalized message. 

When a prospect clicks any link to your website in your Outreach sequence, they’ll be greeted by you, their account manager, with a personalized Drift message on your website.

You will be notified the second they land on your site so you can jump straight into a conversation. And if you’re not around, the bot has you covered. It will start a conversation and help them book a meeting with you for later. 

3. Prospector to Salesloft Sequence

Drift Prospector helps you identify the buying committee within an account. 

If you uncover a new contact, keep the conversation going by enrolling them in a Salesloft sequence – without having to switch over to a different sales tool. 

Sellers can also see Drift events in the Salesloft feed and see who’s watching your videos and visiting the website when you send them links via Salesloft.

Step 2: Increase Response Rate with Video 

We don’t mean to belabor the point, but it’s harder than ever to get (and keep) a buyer’s attention. 

Between competitors and a crowded market — inboxes are noisier than ever. It’s important to stand out, not just with your messaging, but also by showing that you are a trusted advisor. 

Recording a Drift Video is an authentic way to connect with a prospective buyer and can help you stand out from all the other messages in their inbox.

Using Drift Video, you can engage prospects and customers with quick, personalized videos and GIFs allowing you to start more conversations, shorten sales cycles, and engage more of the buying committee. 

It’s an efficient way to make a really personal connection. With the Drift Video Chrome extension, you can record right from Google Chrome.

The extension also has integrations with popular platforms like Gmail, Zoom, LinkedIn, Outreach, and more so you can quickly record videos through your selling channels. 

Click here to download the extension from the Chrome Web Store, then click Add to Chrome. 

“With Drift Video, our reply rates moved from 3-4% to 10-12%, with half of the replies being generated by videos. Adding this level of personalization dramatically increased the quality of conversations we began to have with our prospects. And on top of that, we managed to double the conversion rate from MQL to SQL. Now our whole sales team in France, the UK, and the U.S. are using Drift Video.”

 —Pierre Touzeau, VP of Marketing, 360Learning

There are many ways you can use Drift Video to engage buyers in your outbound sales efforts. Below are some of our favorites: 

1. The Attention Grabber 

Sending faceless, robotic emails isn’t going to get you far. Instead of introducing yourself with a standard cold email, find something your prospect cares about and connect with them on that.

The point here is to establish credibility. Lead the conversation with how you’ll help them.

2. The GIF Play

We’ve mentioned this a few times before, but it bears repeating. Standing out is the name of the game. 

Add a creative and personal touch to your emails by creating a personalized GIF (you can do this with Drift Video), calling out your buyer’s name, and showing your face. 

3. The Meeting Recap

Your outbound efforts have finally paid off. You booked and held a meeting with a buyer. 

That’s awesome. Now it’s time to double down. 

A great way to continue your trusted advisor relationship is to send a Drift Video with a recap of that meeting. Include any important information so your prospect can go back and view it later on. 

4. Continue the Conversation

Once you send a video, it’s all about keeping the conversation going. Drift Video will instantly notify you on desktop and mobile if someone engages with one of your videos. 

You can then jump in to chat in real-time and chat with your buyer while they watch the video. 

If you aren’t around or miss a notification, we have you covered. Buyers can instantly book time with you through the bot. 

Step 3: Sell on the Go

Just because you aren’t in front of your computer doesn’t mean outbound sales has to stop. 

And it certainly doesn’t mean you have to miss out on starting a conversation with your top account. 

Sellers are always trying to earn the right to start and continue a conversation. So when your dream account comes to the site, has high intent, and is ready to chat, you can still be there with the right message using the Drift Mobile App. 

The Drift Mobile App helps sellers engage with their prospects anytime and anywhere. 

You can quickly create a video right from in the app, manage your inbox, chat on the go, and collaborate with your team. 

Final Thoughts & Additional Resources

Ready to build quality pipeline, increase productivity, and sell more efficiently? We’re here to help.

Sales is hard. We get that. Don’t make it harder by adding too many tools, going after volume, and sending generic messaging.

Remember, most leads aren’t ready to talk to sales. Don’t waste time on unqualified leads or opportunities.

Now you have everything you need to focus on the right deals to bring in revenue and sell to them in the right place, at the right time, with the right conversation.

Still, if you need more guidance, we have several resources you can dig into:

The Drift Book of Sales Openers

Use these sales openers to start meaningful conversations.

The Go-to-Market Guide to Drift

Learn how the Drift team uses Drift for marketing, sales, operations, and service. 

The Art & Science of a Conversation

Here’s what we learned from analyzing 41 million conversations.

Chat with us Now

Start a conversation with the Drift team.

Build Quality Pipeline with Drift

They say time is money. And in a world where everyone is telling you to do more with less, Drift is here to help you focus on what really matters (building quality pipeline) and tune out the rest.