4,000 Leads and $1M in Pipeline: How Drift Became This CMO’s Secret Weapon


RapidMiner CMO Tom Wentworth was one of the first marketers to get onboard with our (crazy) idea of replacing forms with chatbots.

He was even featured in an HBR article about companies that are successfully using A.I. to streamline their marketing and sales processes.

Here’s a quick excerpt:

The Drift bot now conducts about a thousand chats per month. It resolves about two-thirds of customer inquiries; those that it cannot, it routes to humans… Wentworth told me that Drift is generating qualified leads for the sales team…“It’s the most productive thing I’m doing in marketing,” he said.

Year-to-date, RapidMiner has captured more than 4,000 leads using Drift.

And Drift has influenced 25% of RapidMiner’s open sales pipeline — worth “well over” $1 million, as Tom mentioned in a tweet.


In a matter of months, Drift has become an integral part of RapidMiner’s marketing and sales process.

Lead capture forms and gated content, meanwhile, have disappeared.

How did this transition happen? And why did Tom decide to make the switch to Drift in the first place?

Keep reading to find out.

Why RapidMiner Replaced Their Lead Capture Forms

RapidMiner has tens of thousands of people dropping by their website every month.

Some of them are first-time visitors, some of them are free users, and some of them are paying customers.

But what they all have in common, as Tom explained, is that they’re coming to the RapidMiner website for a reason.

People who come to our website aren’t coming there because they want to surf our site, they’re coming there because they have a specific problem, whether it’s a question about our product or what it does, whether it’s some technical support they need, or whether it’s they want to talk to someone in sales.

Using the traditional approach, of course, Tom could have simply made all of those people coming to the RapidMiner site fill out forms and then wait for follow-ups.

But when he thought about the overall experience RapidMiner was trying to provide, he realized that the traditional approach didn’t cut it anymore.



If we build great products our objective should be to get users to use our great products and to then support them in that journey. And that is not a marketing journey that starts with a form on a website that leads to a content download that leads to a barrage of emails. As a marketer, my job isn’t as much about marketing as it is about teaching and enabling.

Tom Wentworth-signature

CMO, RapidMiner

The Limitations of Traditional Live Chat

Instead of relying on forms and follow-ups, Tom decided that RapidMiner should engage with site visitors in real-time, while they were live on the website.

And when it came to chatting with potential customers, he tagged in the sales team.

It seemed like the perfect setup… until RapidMiner’s sales team started being overwhelmed by all of the incoming chats.

With tens of thousands of visitors coming to the RapidMiner site each month, sorting through all of the conversations and trying to identify leads proved impossible.

The other issue was that the sales team couldn’t stay online 24 hours a day in order to monitor live chat, which meant some leads were inevitably falling through the cracks and not getting a real-time response.

That’s when Tom started experimenting with Drift and our intelligent sales assistant, LeadBot.

Here’s what happened next.

How RapidMiner Uses Drift to
Qualify Leads 24/7


Tom was one of our first customers to use LeadBot, which allows you to automate the lead qualification process by having a bot ask the same qualifying questions your sales team would ask.

That way, even if you experience a huge influx in site visitors, or if your team is asleep, you can continue to capture leads and book demos for your sales reps. (And speaking of your sales reps, they don’t have to do anything apart from connecting their calendars to Drift. After that, meetings will just “magically” appear on their calendars.)



As Tom explained, the bot is able to filter out the “noise” associated with traditional live chat, so reps don’t have to worry about being inundated with bad leads.

If the bot uncovers that someone’s ready for a sales conversation, we can connect them to our sales team. If the bot uncovers that someone has a question about a particular product feature, we can bring in one of our product specialists. So the bot really helps to narrow that conversation and we can then bring it forward to the right person.


For Tom, a qualifying conversation starts by having their bot (MarlaBot) ask a super basic question: Why are you here?

The bot gives us really interesting insights into why people came to our site in the first place. The question we ask, and we were inspired by you, frankly, we shamelessly stole it from you, is: ‘What did you come to our site for today?’, which is the most obvious question to answer: ‘Why are you here?’ But that’s the sort of thing you don’t get when you come to someone’s website. You get the traditional, generic marketing message, but you never ask, ‘Why did you come here today?’

And this question isn’t just an icebreaker: Tom uses the answers he gets to help make improvements to the RapidMiner website.

So by asking that simple question I start to figure out patterns around things that maybe my website’s not doing today that it should be. So these conversations have actually spurred us to rethink: What’s the structure of our website? What’s the information that we should be surfacing more easily because customers have these questions and we’re not answering them?

Scaling the Ability to Be Helpful

To clarify, Tom didn’t start using Drift in order to remove humans from RapidMiner’s marketing and sales process. Instead, Tom sees bots as “augmenting and taking our user down a journey so we can jump in at the right moment.”

By eliminating all those annoying email back-and-forths and endless games of phone tag that usually accompany the buying process, bots can actually help make the experience more human (or at least more enjoyable).

For RapidMiner, their most important company goal is keeping users “happy and engaged.” And now they’re able to deliver on that goal on a whole new level thanks to Drift.

Tom has found that the people RapidMiner talks to on Drift end up being 30% more likely to remain monthly active users, and they have a 20% higher NPS score.

With Drift we’re able to impact hundreds of users a day, and the impact Drift has had on our business reflects that. Our marketing team now spends most of our time finding new ways to help our users, rather than how to annoy them with more email nurture campaigns and lead collection forms. We use Drift to scale helpfulness, and to bring the humanity back to marketing.

Results Recap

Year to date:

  • RapidMiner has captured more than 4,000 leads using Drift
  • Drift has influenced 25% of RapidMiner’s open sales pipeline (worth more than $1 million)
  • Drift has been the source of 10% of all new sales pipeline created

The people RapidMiner talks to on Drift…

  • are 30% more likely to remain monthly active users of RapidMiner
  • end up having a 20% higher NPS score

Here's What Tom Had to Say

Final Thought: Thinking Long-Term vs. Short-Term

While lead capture forms can help you hit your short-term lead generation goals, conversations can help you generate leads and build relationships that will have a lasting impact on your brand.

Because at the end of the day, every little experience and interaction counts.

As Tom explained:

If somebody comes to our site, and somebody’s coming there with a question that we can answer, it’s our duty, it’s my duty as a brand-builder, to think about how I build this long-term relationship with them. Traditional marketing tactics encourage short-term thinking over long-term brand-building.

So my mandate to the team is: Treat every one of these conversations as if it’s somebody who’s going to spend a lot of money with us over their lifetime. And that’s why the bot is so important to us, because it lets us touch everyone in a meaningful way, and then really focus where it makes the most sense.

See why thousands of businesses use Drift to generate leads & close deals faster.