Marketing just started a conversation with a buyer using a bot. Now the buyer is ready and wants to chat with an SDR.

The SDRs goal is to get the buyer to the AE, aka book a meeting. The buyer is trying to understand if the product might be a fit or if they need to ask more questions and get more detailed information. It could be anything from pricing to product questions, from features to legal terms.

Training SDRs about your product and how it works is important to having effective conversations with buyers.

Think of the bot conversation as an inbound call. You need to be personable and know when to pivot to the next step.

What happens though if the SDR isn’t available to have a conversation? Say they forget and leave their status as ‘available’. First, that’s ok, you should set expectations with the buyer, plus in Drift there’s a way to route that conversation to someone who’s available. One, route to team, two could be to drop an away message, or three the buyer could book time with the rep isn’t available.

We recommend the away message because if you reroute you’re not guaranteeing someone is available.

If you drop a calendar you’re not guaranteeing the buyer is qualified to talk to the SDR. You run the risk of wasting a meeting.

You need to define the rules of engagement from a bot to an SDR. This is all about how you want to staff your SDR team.

We don’t recommend shifts because they remove ownership over the buyer experience and follow-up. This is how support teams do it, they throw people at the problem and it’s not a consistent, personal experience.

The ideal experience is your talking to one person throughout the whole process so the buyer doesn’t have to repeat themselves or feel like they’re getting passed around.

Drift built a platform to provide this ideal experience to your buyers – whether it’s via lead routing connected to your CRM, ABM accounts or Outreach integration/email sequence welcome message.

Show your personality, always answer a buyer’s questions, and don’t forget to ask a question in return. It’s on the SDR to keep the conversation going. Build rapport and establish trust by asking questions.

site visitor drift

Example: This SDR does a great job of asking questions to keep the conversation going while providing value and building trust. By asking the right questions, the SDR is letting the buyer know that they’ll be helped in picking the right option for them.

The SDR needs to look at the bot conversation and use that context to tee up what questions you should ask. Be specific in what you’re asking. Use the Drift data and buyer data to help you have the conversation. You can use the Salesforce campaign tag to understand the context of the conversation by knowing which Drift playbook the buyer engaged with.

Company name, chatted in before, online or offline, page on website. All of these data points are available to you – so use them! Use data to establish rapport, trust, and continue the conversation. Present the buyer a response they can’t refuse.

Once you feel like you understand what the buyer is trying to accomplish, you can recommend the right next steps. Ideally it’s a meeting with an AE. Sometimes it will be further nurturing, sending content, inviting them to a webinar, etc.

Our recommendation? Start small, learn a lot, and prove conversational sales works. Make one SDR successful and then roll it out to the rest of your sales organization.

Make sure you’re setting the right expectations with buyers. Example: “I’m sending you to a member of my team, in the meantime if my team is busy helping other customers, leave your email so we can follow up.”

This way you’re clearly communicating what will happen next. And setting a time limit – the two minute rule is great for the bot to jump in and send an away message.

Expectation setting is key and can be the difference between an okay or a great next conversation.

Bots are not replacements for humans. A common job for a bot is to engage, understand intent, and then recommend a real person they should talk to. In this case we’re using outbound sales. The outbound SDR reaches out to buyers, trying to get them to engage with a bot to book a meeting or start a live chat.

Reps should see bots as helpful assistants that will qualify buyers for them and connect them with buyers who are ready to have a conversation.

Bots can cover for reps when they can’t respond. Say you’ve been outbounding someone and they show up on your site late at night and you aren’t there. What should you do? No need to worry. Your bot has your back and can take a message for when you can follow up or they can drop your calendar.

SDRs can use the Drift + Outreach integration. If someone clicks on their sequence and comes back to the site they’ll see their real face.

Drift + Outreach

Learn more about how Drift and Outreach work together here.

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