State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), headquartered in Boston, MA, is the investment management division of State Street Corporation. And like most financial services firms, SSGA traditionally relied on in-person interactions to sell their services.
But a few years ago, SSGA realized that their clients were looking for a different experience — one in which prospective clients had the power to do their own research, ask questions on their own terms, and make the majority of their purchases digitally. SSGA’s clients wanted a digital transformation, and SSGA needed the software to support it.
At the same time, COVID-19 was proving to be a catalyst in this massive shift to digital. Video and live chat emerged as the predominant channels for interacting and closing sales, while in-person meetings and related sales activities dropped precipitously.
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In early 2020, SSGA began looking at chat solutions to help them grow and support their four main objectives:
- Accelerate time to revenue by engaging with the right customers at the right time.
- Further the 360-degree view of the customer — for example, who is visiting the website and what they are looking for.
- Improve sales efficiency by 10% by better owning the client journey.
- Provide more efficient and convenient experiences to differentiate from competitors.
Kate Marx, VP, Head of Digital Training and Transformation Program Management at SSGA, explained that their timing was more than a little fortuitous. “Ironically, the timing when we kicked this off was right in line with the early announcements of potential worldwide lockdowns,” Kate explained.
Kate and her team evaluated several solutions but concluded that Drift was exactly what they were looking for. “What I value most about the entire onboarding and implementation with Drift is that I feel like the Drift team is invested in SSGA’s success,” she said. “The team feels familiar to me, we have a great relationship, I can rely on them completely. I feel like we’re growing with Drift.”
The “Crawl-Walk-Run” Approach
For a heavily regulated industry like financial services, it was important that the entire company — not just Kate’s team — was on board with their new approach. As Kate put it, “It’s not just about the technology. It’s about the people and recognizing there will be a lot of unknowns that you have to bring along with you.” For the SSGA team, this meant taking the “crawl-walk-run” approach to gradually prove how the business could be successful with Drift.
Kate’s team initially launched Drift on just one site — their UK SPDRs website — and set a six-month goal: $15 million in trades originating from Drift chat.
The team built bots to deflect irrelevant traffic, qualify site visitors, and provide answers to frequently asked questions. These playbooks kept unnecessary traffic from getting through to their busy sales team and ensured that qualified visitors were adequately prepared to live chat with sales.
A 360-Degree Customer View
Beyond helping facilitate trades, Drift has given SSGA a window into buyer insights, preferences, and behaviors. “We’re able to see what the clients are most interested in real-time because, within Drift, you can see the pages they’re visiting in order, what time they hit them, and if they’re a return visitor,“ Kate shared.
Through Drift, SSGA was surprised to learn that C-suite executives were using chat to start transactions, which enabled marketing and sales to refine their strategies.
“If we can get the questions answered with the bot up-front, the amount of work that the sales reps have to do on the back end is significantly decreased on just answering questions,” Kate added.