Skillsoft Uses Drift to Create Superior Experience that Helps Prospects Buy

200+
meetings booked (MQLs)
70%
MQL-to-SQL conversion rate
142
Drift-sourced SQLs

The Challenge: Failing to Connect - Missing the Opportunity to Engage Customers in Real Time


Trusted by thousands of the world’s leading organizations, Skillsoft helps companies attract, retain, grow, and develop their most valuable asset – their people. The company provides a comprehensive selection of cloud-based corporate learning content and three award-winning systems to support learning, performance, and success.

In these uncertain times, Skillsoft’s mission to help every individual reach their full potential has become increasingly crucial to organizations that understand the importance of creating a future-fit, resilient workforce. To meet the needs of their customers, Skillsoft invested in a digital transformation that includes refocusing on the learner, implementing a complete website redesign, and establishing a world-class sales and marketing engine.

On the sales and marketing side, they sought to improve both the buyer experience and sales productivity.

We don’t use Drift to sell, we use Drift to help our customers buy. Those two approaches are very different.”
— Jeremie Audran, VP Performance Marketing and Operations, Skillsoft

Building a Better Buyer Experience

One of Skillsoft’s objectives was to enhance connections with customers in real time – at the moment those customers were seeking answers. Like many companies, Skillsoft wanted to deliver a superior, technology-enabled experience. Many of their lead generation and qualification processes were manual – reflecting the typical marketing flow of forms, downloads, manual qualification, and days waiting for a response.

They had evaluated other technologies, but they didn’t offer the functionality needed. Other bots didn’t offer 24/7 coverage, and focused solely on B2B-type conversations that forced direct engagement with a salesperson – an approach that wasn’t always appropriate for Skillsoft’s growing learner audience. “As a customer-centric company, it’s fundamental that we connect with customers on their own terms,” says Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek, CMO at Skillsoft.

Improving Sales Productivity

Skillsoft’s primary productivity challenge was one most companies face: BDRs spending too much precious time on non-sales conversations. And since, in business, time is money, the team was leaving valuable opportunities on the table.

“Our BDR function is closely aligned with sales. We’re the primary pipeline-building engine for them” says Jeremie Audran, Skillsoft’s Vice President of Performance Marketing and Operations. “The chat we were using previously could only connect a visitor directly to sales, even if that visitor wasn’t ready for a sales conversation or was looking for customer or technical support. This left our sales team fielding far too many calls that weren’t about upgrades or net new business.”



The Solution: Revenue Acceleration Through a Better Buyer Experience and More Productive Sales

 

Skillsoft used Drift’s Revenue Acceleration Platform to address both their key challenges.

Giving Buyers What They Want How They Want It

“We can’t even compare our old chat function to Drift,” says Jeremie. “Drift does so much more. It’s really bringing us up to speed to meet market expectations.”

Drift’s real-time, conversational engagement delivers the tailored and responsive experience Skillsoft’s prospects and customers want. It allows Skillsoft to deliver a whole different level of service. As Jeremie puts it, “We don’t use Drift to sell, we use Drift to help our customers buy. Those two approaches are very different.”

Skillsoft uses Drift throughout their website, tailoring the experience to each page. As a visitor gets deeper into the site, the Drift playbooks reflect a greater level of specific detail to match the customer’s evolving needs. “Drift allows us to deliver a ‘concierge’ experience,” says Nicole Longo, Skillsoft Digital Marketing Manager. “And site visitors are absolutely responding to that.”

Even before implementing Drift across their website, Skillsoft took advantage of the platform’s capabilities to register attendees for their annual Perspectives event. Previously a live event, COVID forced the team to reimagine the event in a virtual format. Seeing the opportunity, the Skillsoft team implemented Drift to provide a seamless, one-click registration option. In fewer than 20 days, Drift drove more than 1,800 registrations for the event. “Driving registrations for our Perspectives event was our first impression of Drift,” says Nicole. “And we were ecstatic with the results.”

Giving the Sales Team the Support and Tools They Need

“Drift is great because it takes away the manual aspect of connecting with buyers,” says Jeremie. “We are now able to get people quickly and easily to the resources they need without numerous interactions. They don’t have to fill out a form or even talk with a person. This has actually increased the numbers of conversations and engagements, and – ultimately – resulted in a tremendous volume of qualified leads that convert into meetings.”

Drift plays a pivotal role in helping Skillsoft qualify site visitors before handing them off to the BDR team. The Drift-powered experience makes sure that when a visitor does get to a BDR, that visitor is actually ready to have a productive conversation.

“Our BDRs are able to prepare for each conversation because of the bread crumb trail Drift provides,” says Jeremie. “Our sales team can see ongoing conversations in real time, and intercept them at exactly the right moment.”

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And even during off hours, Drift is still on the job. “Drift’s calendar drop has been a game changer for us,” says Jeremie. “Our old system would just send an email for a manager to follow up on the next day. With Drift, the prospect can book a meeting directly with a rep. It’s really nice for our BDRs to come in and have a meeting booked.”

Like many enterprise companies, Skillsoft has a fairly long sales cycle, typically about six months; but Drift is helping them find every efficiency to streamline the process. “With Drift, we’re never out of the office, so we miss far fewer opportunities,” says Nicole. “Drift has created a tremendous amount of efficiencies for us that we just didn’t have before.”

One way Drift helps Skillsoft accelerate revenue is through a high conversion rate at key points in the funnel. “Our MQL to SQL conversion rate with Drift is 70%,” says Jeremie. “This speaks to the quality of those conversations. The people coming in via Drift are more sales-ready than from many of our other campaigns.”



The Results: A Meaningful Way to Connect and Add Value


“Drift worked for us from the first day it was deployed,” says Michelle. “And it’s been a game changer for us ever since by giving us a meaningful way to add value for both our site visitors and our marketing and sales teams.”

Key highlights in a short 5 months with Drift include:

  1. 200+ meetings booked (MQLs)
  2. 70% MQL-to-SQL conversion rate
  3. 142 Drift-sourced SQLs
  4. 13,600 conversations with clients/prospects
  5. 2.9K emails captured

Looking ahead, Skillsoft plans to expand their collection of Drift playbooks across even more of their website pages. And they are exploring additional use cases including booking a meeting with a CSM, providing customer support, implementing a Marketo integration for personalized retargeting, and even using Drift to engage users from inside their actual products.

“We’re never just looking for a tool,” says Michelle. “Partnership is critical, especially with a platform that’s designed to grow with you. The Drift team helps us learn quickly as we go, ensuring we’re able to take full advantage of every opportunity.”

“I would definitely recommend Drift to a colleague, 10 out of 10,” says Nicole. “Simply put, Drift’s superior solution reduces friction in the buyer experience.”

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