How Informatica Took on a Digital Transformation of their Own with Drift

Shortened in sales cycle
1 min
Shortened response time
Increased number of opportunities

The Challenge: Missed Opportunities, a Flawed Buyer Experience, and a Lack of Sales & Marketing Alignment

Informatica has helped more than 9,000 customers worldwide – including 85 of the Fortune 100 and every company in the top 10 – accelerate their digital transformation around data. They are known for driving next-generation innovation in data management, governance, protection, and utilization. With Drift, they have taken on a digital transformation of their own – harnessing the power of Conversational Marketing to create a more aligned and effective buying process while increasing qualified leads and pipeline.

Drift was not Informatica’s first foray into chat, but their legacy chat service failed miserably. After some secret shopping subjected company executives to a very poor experience, Gary Gamitian, Director of Web Development, immediately pulled the plug and started looking for a better solution.

Gary was facing three primary challenges:

Missed Opportunities Due to Slow Response Times

Timing is everything when it comes to conversion. If a prospect is unable to get an immediate answer, they will often just move on to the next solution. The Informatica team wanted to be able to respond more quickly to buyer inquiries, but they were still using a traditional, form-based approach. Their average response time was 24 to 72 hours. They tried to at least send same-day responses to high-intent inquiries from their Contact Us form, but even that was not consistently possible, especially during volume spikes like after a successful trade show.

A Flawed Buyer Experience that Didn’t Reflect the Company’s Philosophy

As a company that lives at the intersection of data and innovation, Informatica wanted to deliver a buyer journey that lives up to their reputation for technology excellence. Their initial experiment with chat had been disappointing, but they believed in the potential of Conversational Marketing to help them provide a better experience, build customer rapport, and personalize interactions. As they worked on rebranding and optimizing their website around the buyer journey, Informatica was also looking for a chat platform that could level up their buyer engagement strategy.

A Lack of Alignment Between Marketing and Sales

Finally, as is the case in so many organizations, Informatica’s forward momentum suffered from a disconnect between sales and marketing. The relationship was primarily reactive rather than collaborative, with the sales team activating based on marketing needs.

The Solution: A Conversational Model that Engages Sales, Marketing and Buyers

Gary realized early on that the success of a new chat solution would depend on him building a strong internal partnership. “You’ve got to have a partner in this. It cannot be completely marketing driven,” he says. “You need another team with skin in the game to help you make it successful.” So, Gary partnered with Bill Campbell, a Director of Business Development.

Working together, Gary and Bill implemented a variety of Drift use cases including:

  1. Contact Us Page: Provides an alternative to a traditional form fill
  2. Demo Fast Track: Helps the buyer figure out which trial best suits their use case and then connects them to an appropriate specialist
  3. High-value Assets: Surfaces relevant content to high-intent buyers who have landed on key content pages

At the same time, Gary was working on personalizing the Informatica website – reducing friction and improving the path to gated assets so that each visitor was presented with content related to their specific interests. Gary applied the same strategy to Drift ABM, creating industry-based playbooks with custom messages. These playbooks adapt based on how much is known about the visitor, giving Informatica the ability to engage one-to-many unknown visitors with the Demandbase integration and 1:1 known visitors with the Marketo integration.

Overall, the global rollout of Drift progressed quickly. Gary started with a pilot group of 10 BDRs in North America, followed by additional North American teams and eventually expanding to EMEA. There are now approximately 50 Informatica team members worldwide on Drift, including 21 in the Asia-Pacific region.

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The Results: An Accelerated Sales Cycle, Transformed Buyer Engagement, and Deeper Sales & Marketing Collaboration

“There are some career-defining decisions that you make in technology that can catapult you into opportunities and incredible conversations,” says Gary. “Leveraging the Drift platform has given Bill and I a seat at the table for conversations with our executives that may not have happened if we’d stuck to traditional marketing activities.”

Drift helped Informatica address all of their core challenges and opened the door to future possibilities as well.

Created a New Channel that Accelerates the Sales Cycle

With Drift, Informatica was able to reduce their response time to prospect inquiries on the website from 24 to 72 hours to 30 seconds. This speed is critical. “Drift is a key differentiator for us,” says Gary. “We’ve heard from prospects that our ability to get them answers right away directly influences their decision to select Informatica.

The momentum created by the initial quick response has also helped accelerate the overall sales cycle. Deals that used to take 6 months or longer to close are now often closed in as few as 30 to 60 days.

Drift has really opened things up from top-of-funnel research all the way down to ‘My hair’s on fire, and I don’t know who to talk to!’ It allows us to provide white-glove service all down the funnel. We closed million-dollar initiatives in less than 60 days. This is a huge accomplishment and worth celebrating.”
— Bill Campbell, Director of Business Development at Informatica

Transformed their Account-based Experience with Personalization and Conversation

“Drift has changed the face of inbound inquiries for our business, there’s no question about it,” says Bill. “It fundamentally changed the way we interact with prospective leads on a daily basis.”

For example, Drift’s ability to integrate seamlessly with Marketo Engage makes it possible for Informatica to deliver a differentiated level of personalization within a seamless, connected experience that adapts to the buyer’s changing expectations and needs. “The ability to welcome a user back by first name shows that we’re always thinking about the customer first. And being able to leverage intent data to deliver highly relevant content helps increase engagement and encourage consumption,” says Gary. “Drift’s integration capabilities deliver value not only within the platform, they also augment and extend the value of other investments in our technology stack.”

In addition, Drift’s conversational approach enables Informatica to build their buyer interactions around the relationship rather than a hard press on the sales motion. This strategy aligns well with Informatica’s goal of becoming a trusted partner in all things data.

“This industry is notorious for having a whole bunch of people jump on a call,” Bill says. “Drift allows for relatively anonymous 1:1 interactions that help us build rapport naturally. Drift puts the buyer in control of when the conversation escalates into a full-blown meeting. Drift really bridged a gap we had by providing that softer lifeline that allows us to meet people where they are.”

And meeting people where they are is having a positive impact on the business.

In terms of pipeline, Drift way outpaces our Contact Us form for at-bats. Pre-Drift, the conversion rate on our Contact Us form was 10 - 15%. With Drift on the page, that jumped to upwards of 20%.”
— Bill Campbell, Director of Business Development at Informatica

Other key results from the first 18 months include:

  1. Doubled the number of opportunities
  2. 750 meetings booked (30% increase)
  3. 1,500 emails captured
  4. 10,000 conversations

Enabled Deep Collaboration Between Marketing and Sales

“Our relationship with marketing is much more collaborative now,” says Bill. “Because of Drift, we’re able to provide real-time feedback about which messaging lands and resonates with people.”

Gary and Bill now have weekly check-ins with business development managers and customer success managers to talk collectively about how to improve Drift engagement across the site and explore other opportunities to get even more out of Drift.

To say Drift has been successful for our team is putting it mildly. Not only has it created another channel for opportunities, it has created higher quality opportunities.”
— Bill Campbell, Director of Business Development at Informatica

The team is now looking ahead to things like working with behavior-based playbooks that adapt based on whether a visitor arrived at the website from organic or paid search; playbook translations (they have already done some in French, German, Spanish, and Italian); and potentially creating a full-time, dedicated Drift SDR role.

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