Okta Harnesses the Power of Drift’s Innovation to Scale for Growth

Q/Q increase in pipeline influenced
higher conversion rate from MQL to SQL with AI
fastest channel to convert MQL to pipeline

The Challenge: Scaling Critical Sales and Marketing Processes to Drive Accelerated Growth

In business, as in life, change is the only constant. And in an environment of shifting paradigms, a company’s survival often depends on its ability to quickly scale existing systems and processes. In addition, companies must continuously innovate new and improved ways to achieve mission-critical objectives.

As a leader in the complex field of workforce and customer identity and authentication, Okta is an expert at staying one step ahead of the competition. Recognized, for the fourth year in a row, by Gartner as leader in the Magic Quadrant for Access Management, Okta has more than 6,500 integrations and more than 9,000 clients around the globe.

Okta’s website is the centerpiece of its digital brand. Each month, it helps more than one million visitors learn how Okta protects and enables its customers’ employees and partners, and how it gives clients the tools they need to build secure digital experiences for their own customers. One of Okta’s primary website goals was to increase their ability to capture intent in a way that adds value for prospects while accelerating the process of passing leads to sales.

Big picture, Okta is a company at the leading edge – both in their products and in how they engage with customers. They needed a partner whose ability to innovate and scale matched their own and could help them future-proof their growth.

The Solution – A Revenue Acceleration Platform that Can Keep Up with Rapid Growth

Marketing and Sales Enablement and Alignment

One of the initial and primary reasons Okta chose Drift over its competitors was its focus on empowering and enabling both marketing and sales teams.

A huge differentiator for Drift is the depth of alignment it creates between marketing and sales. Drift understands what marketing needs to do in order to drive sales. It’s much more than just a chat tool. The Drift platform is optimized to deliver exactly the enablement we were looking for.”
— David Wellwood, Senior Director Web Marketing at Okta

Rodolfo Yiu, Digital Marketing Senior Manager, Acquisition and Conversion Optimization, explains in more detail. “Marketing needs to understand what success looks like to sales, typically the number of meetings or opportunities,” he says. “And then marketing needs to align with those goals by ensuring that initiatives directly impact the relevant metrics. Drift is the most direct way we’ve found to create that impact.”

A Wide Range of Use Cases Coordinated to Drive Revenue Acceleration

Okta uses Drift across their website, in email, via video, and to support events. They initially implemented Drift in the U.S., but — based on its early success – quickly expanded to international use across their primary marketing websites (okta.com and developer.okta.com). In addition, they expanded use to other functional groups within their organization, including their SDR and Events teams, and enabled 4 foreign languages in Drift.

All the different Drift use cases that Okta is using specifically work together to provide dual support to the marketing and sales groups and to drive revenue acceleration. For example, Drift helps qualify that the prospects talking with BDRs and SDRs are far enough along the funnel and have enough knowledge to ensure productive sales conversations, saving the sales team time and increasing the efficiency of the inbound motion. This ultimately improves the conversion from lead capture to opportunity.

Drift also fills a critical gap, giving Okta an effective way to meet prospects where they are and engage them according to their preferences.

Drift breaks the traditional process of forcing a prospect to fill out a form and then email back and forth to set up a meeting.”
— Rodolfo Yiu, Digital Marketing Senior Manager, Acquisition and Conversion Optimization at Okta

“Drift’s ability to schedule a meeting directly in an SDR’s calendar or immediately connect a high-intent prospect to the right sales member definitely accelerates pipeline velocity. And because it allows us to meet people where they are, it also provides the convenience and value that buyers are looking for.”

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AI to Power a More Dynamic Experience and Improve Conversion

Drift Automation made it possible for Okta to create a virtual chat experience that taps into Okta’s existing knowledge pool without the need for manual programming. “AI applications change the game because they can factor in more criteria far more quickly than any human can,” David says. “And because AI is continually learning without needing to be programmed, it frees up our resources.”

Drift’s automation is a valuable asset that we don’t have to manage directly to see great results 24/7.”
— David Wellwood, Senior Director Web Marketing at Okta

David emphasizes the role AI plays for a growing company, “AI is becoming table stakes. Especially for a company like ours that’s looking to scale and grow. We need to get in front of bigger and bigger audiences while maintaining relevance. In that situation, AI is not just a helpful tool, it’s a requirement.”

Complex businesses like Okta’s are especially suited to benefit from automation. “We can do our best to build personas, journeys, and corresponding playbooks,” David explains. “But to really do it right for each person is incredibly hard. The advantage of automation is that the AI understands what prospects are asking and is able to segment relevant answers without us having to spend time prescribing them manually.”

On the buyer experience side of things, Drift Automation helps make chat not only more helpful, but also more approachable. “Drift’s AI does a great job of warming prospects up to the experience of engaging with chat,” says Rodolfo. “This is important because if you look at the people who convert successfully, they typically engage with chat multiple times. That’s leveled up the way we look at automation in general – as a way to enhance the experience each time someone visits our site.”

Having AI on the team also has cost benefits. The additional efficiencies make Okta’s SDRs more productive, which translates into money saved.

The Results: Innovative and Scalable Systems to Move Prospects Through the Funnel More Quickly

“When I think about revenue acceleration, I definitely think Drift,” says Rodolfo. “It helps us deliver more value to our prospects and move them through the funnel more quickly and with less friction.”

Since implementing Drift, Okta has seen a variety of strong results:

  1. 30% Q/Q increase in pipeline influenced in the first 6 quarters
  2. 2x higher conversion rate from MQL to SQL with AI
  3. #1 fastest channel to convert MQL to pipeline

Looking ahead, Okta has plans to add Drift to a wide range of additional sites including those dedicated to product, content and international. Drift is also an important part of the company’s efforts to further scale and globalize their business.

“I’m very impressed with Drift’s speed of innovation,” says Rodolfo. “Okta is a very fast-growing and innovative company, so it’s critical that our partners embrace an equally ambitious approach.”

David agrees that the ability to continuously innovate is an important attribute of any long-term partner. “Scale is critical,” he says. “We’re growing in tremendous ways and need to figure out how to scale every part of our business.

“Drift has played an important role in that effort, not only because it fills a gap in the buyer experience, but also because it gives us really great quality leads,” says David. “And, on top of that, the platform grows regularly with new opportunities that align with the way we’re growing. It feels like a perfect digital platform.”

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