How Drift Helps Workiva Build Better Pipeline — Faster — to Achieve More than 1900% ROI
faster sales cycle
in incremental pipeline
Global SaaS company Workiva builds and delivers the world’s leading regulatory, financial, and ESG reporting solutions to meet stakeholder demands for action, transparency, and disclosure of financial and non-financial data. Their cloud-based platform simplifies the most complex reporting and disclosure challenges by streamlining processes, connecting data and teams, and ensuring consistency.
Melissa Raber, Senior Director of Global Inside Sales at Workiva and self-proclaimed Drift superfan oversees a team of roughly 60 employees in inside sales and business development, globally.
In 2020, Melissa took a look at the struggles that Workiva’s overall sales team faced.
- Complexity in assembling larger buyer groups
- Long, involved sales cycles
- Difficulty converting top-of-the-funnel buyers
- Visibility into high intent buyers
Tasked with generating 40% of the pipeline for their organization, Melissa’s sales team needed a tool that could solve for those challenges, provide visibility to intent data, and engage with conversation-ready, high-intent leads.
Workiva previously invested in another tool that was more of an “email-based conversational marketing tool,” and just wasn’t effective for generating new business. Melissa knew it was time to find a tried-and-true conversational marketing and sales solution that would help them achieve their pipeline goals by shortening their sales cycle.
Melissa was no stranger to Drift. Not only had Workiva purchased Drift Email back in 2017, but she followed Drift from a marketing perspective ever since. It wasn’t until late 2020 that Workiva was ready to evaluate a Conversational Sales product to solve their buyer challenges, and it was no surprise that Workiva looked to Drift.
What stood out to Melissa initially was the sales process; Drift not only helped Workiva build out a list of required capabilities during their evaluation, but also considered each individual stakeholder’s needs.
“Our sales rep really worked with different personas within the organization. He understood my needs, he understood my boss’s needs. He understood the needs or hesitations from the marketing team,” Melissa said. “He helped us build our list of required capabilities that were going to be critical in the overall purchase. For me, it was the chat. Let’s get them where they are.”
In December of 2020, Workiva officially went live with Drift.
From onboarding forward, Workiva and Drift have been a match made in SaaS heaven. In their first year alone, Workiva accelerated their sales cycle and transformed the way they interact with prospects, and reimagined their business model, all while enjoying an incredible experience with the Drift team.
A PERSONALIZED, WHITE-GLOVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Melissa shared that the Workiva team had a wonderful onboarding experience. She explained, “I appreciated the Drift team’s ability to break things down so all my team members can understand. The way that onboarding was structured and facilitated is what we hold as our standard in terms of onboarding with other vendors as we move forward.”
Between their assigned Customer Success Manager and the additional playbook optimization services the Workiva team purchased, Melissa has nothing but positive things to say about the services team. “They’ve just been amazing at bringing fresh new ideas, recognizing when something doesn’t work, recognizing when we need to tweak it, or recognizing when we need to say no,” she said. “We have a lot of opinions between sales and marketing and they’re a great in-between.”
AN ACCELERATED SALES CYCLE
When Workiva first purchased Drift, Melissa was primarily excited about the value of Drift Chat, explaining, “Chat is meeting people where they are rather than fifteen touches it takes to get a prospect to respond or engage.” And live chat has certainly paid dividends, but it wasn’t long before she discovered the value of Drift Prospector, which automatically centralizes insights on behavior across the buying committee, prioritizes reps’ target accounts, and gives them direct access to follow up – all from a single interface.
Drift Prospector has gotten us so many more opportunities with bigger buying groups and we’ve shortened our sales cycle.
“Based on the solutions that we sell, we can see buyers’ page views and the length of time on the page. If we don’t know the economic buyer is, we can certainly tell by where they’re going and how long they’ve been there. We can go find that persona.”
And the great results don’t end there.
Ashley Walker, Manager of Inside Sales at Workiva and power user of the activity feed in Drift Prospector, shares an anecdote about how her inside sellers can drive more meetings and pipeline for Workiva, faster than ever. “I noticed I had an account hitting up our website quite a bit, I kept getting notifications,” she explained. “I did my due diligence and used Linkedin Navigator to find a few personas appropriate for this particular use case. I got them into a cadence and within an hour I got an email back saying that they wanted to schedule a meeting with me. From our initial conversation to signed contract, it took less than a month to close this deal, and it may not have even been on my radar prior to Drift.”
BUYER DATA AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
With Drift Prospector and Engagement Score, reps can see a stacked list of their most engaged accounts. And by filtering site visitor data further by pages visited, account owner, and account status, Ashley and team can prioritize higher-intent accounts with hyper-personalized outreach to build their pipeline. “When you do reach out, you know exactly what their interest is and what kind of discussion you need to have with your prospect,” Ashley explained.
CAPTURING HIGH-INTENT VISITORS WITH ABM NOTIFICATIONS
“I really love that you can turn on notifications. You don’t need to sit there all day on Drift Activity watching,” Ashley explained. “As people are on your website throughout the day you’ll get these little pop-ups while you’re working. If you notice that there’s an organization on your website quite a bit, you can actually chat with them right there,” she shared.
By incorporating Prospector data into their day-to-day workflow, Ashley and team can more effectively build pipeline.
“Overall, the Drift Activity feed has proven to be a great way to prospect into our accounts. I recommend that our sellers take a look at their activity feed at the end of every single day. That way they can see which accounts have high engagement on our website and get some prospects into cadences. Then the next day when they come in they have a great list of hot targets to go after to get those meetings,” Ashley said.
PERSONALIZATION THROUGH VIDEO OUTREACH
And by using Drift Video, the team can reach out to prospects in a more targeted, attention-grabbing way. “Video is a pretty powerful tool, it allows you to be more personal,” Melissa said. “We’re using it throughout our cadence as a touchpoint or follow-up to a specific use case or messaging we’re trying to communicate. We’re seeing a lot of success using it with LinkedIn where you can put out a video quickly and you don’t have to go back and watch it. It’s an easy way to adopt and personalize something.”
Ashley added, “One of the most frustrating things when you’re prospecting is seeing somebody opening your email 10 times and they’re not responding. Throwing that video out there is different from sending a LinkedIn message or phone call. It’s something new for them to see, being able to talk to them right there and putting a name with a face.”
A REVAMPED BUSINESS MODEL
Workiva’s outbound sales team can have up to 1000 target accounts each, so moving to Drift meant they could bring hand-raisers on their website to the front of the line. But recently, the team saw significantly more activity from emerging accounts who aren’t in assigned target accounts — those who can be serviced by inbound chats. Due to the increased traffic, Workiva added an entirely new inbound sales rep to handle all that incoming activity for unassigned accounts via Drift chat. For Workiva, this is where Drift Fastlane came in, letting buyers skip the form queue and speak directly to sales.
“As we started to increase demand, I could not get Fastlane in fast enough. Fastlane has significantly increased what we’re doing with inbound activity and speeds prospects into the right place at the right time.”
A GLOBAL SALES TEAM WORKING TOWARD THE SAME GOALS
As the Workiva team continues to see success with Drift, they’ve rolled out Conversational Sales across regions and new team members. In 2022, Workiva purchased a second workspace — which helps keep region or business unit activities and reporting separate — to expand into their EMEA sales organization which operates on a different sales model.
In the first year of go-live, the team saw incredible results: