So a few weeks back, out of the blue, our CEO got this message from the CEO of one of our customers, RewardStream…
“Just wanted to let you know: During our first 45 days using Drift, 30% of our leads that converted into meetings and demos originated from Drift.”
Of course, we were PUMPED to hear this (especially hearing it from a public company that’s been operating in the marketing/sales software space since 1999).
But getting that one data-point — 30% of demos coming from Drift — really only piqued our collective curiosity.
We needed to know more, like what channels they were using to engage with leads before adding Drift to their website, and why they decided to add live chat to their website in the first place.
So to learn the full story, we got in touch with RewardStream’s VP of Marketing, Neil Parker.
Here’s what Neil told us…
First, a little background: RewardStream builds and hosts automated referral marketing programs.
Or as Neil put it, “RewardStream helps companies get their customers to refer friends to them.”
As is the case with most B2B marketing teams, Neil’s team uses a variety of channels and tactics to drive people to their website.
“We’re using a combination of (hopefully) great content creation, paid-inbound, email marketing, and we spend a lot of time on SEO to bring the traffic in,” he told us.
His team then uses lead capture forms to try to convert as many of those visitors as they can into prospects for their sales team.
From a sales perspective, RewardStream specializes in enterprise deals, but they also have offerings for smaller businesses and startups.
As Neil explained, “We sell direct, using enterprise sales reps to sell big, and also have inbound reps to sell small deals for marketing’s inbound prospects.”
Now that you have a general understanding of how RewardStream’s sales & marketing machinery works, you might be thinking to yourself … sooo what’s the issue here?
They’re doing everything right, right?
Based on what Neil told us, the reality is that they were really getting things about half right.
RewardStream’s sales & marketing team were succeeding in driving tons of website traffic, but they were failing to convert that traffic in a meaningful way.
Their lead capture forms just weren’t cutting it.
To quote Neil:
“We were bringing a lot of people to our site who were reading our content but not converting, and we felt that we should engage people in the moment. We’ve all used those kinds of tools visiting other sites, and we appreciate the ability to get answers to questions immediately. It made sense to offer that to our site visitors.”
VP Product Management and Marketing at RewardStream
I’m going to level with you here:
RewardStream didn’t really have to change their sales & marketing playbook in order to start using Drift.
Instead, they simply added Drift to their website and treated it like a “second net” — a second option for capturing and qualifying leads.
Otherwise, their setup remained exactly the same as before.
But after having this “second net” on the RewardStream website for just a month, Neil was already seeing a significant improvement in website conversions.
“We discovered that more than a quarter of the leads we handled that converted to meetings were coming from Drift,” he told us.
During that first month, Drift was second only to our top-converting inbound form (which came from a paid inbound source), and was only underperforming that by about 2%. In the last 45 days, it’s grown to 30% of our demos coming from Drift.
With Drift, RewardStream’s potential customers are able to drop by the website and schedule meetings with RewardStream sales reps entirely through messaging — no forms, emails, or phone calls required.
So those are some early quantitative results. But at Drift, we care just as much about the qualitative side.
We don’t just want the product to be effective, we want you to enjoy using it, and we want you to have a positive experience working with our team.
When we asked Neil, “How has it been working with the Drift team?”, here’s what he told us:
I can’t believe how much time and attention we got from Kevin (who nurtured us in) and Cara who help explain the software and got us up and running. The Drift team are a case study themselves about how to treat a prospect with respect and friendliness far above and beyond what I’d expect, certainly based on what we’re currently paying them. Love the team. Love the software.
The Drift team loves you too, Neil.
We recently put together a real-time selling infographic to explain — with data — why messaging is poised to revolutionize sales and marketing.
But now I realize that the more compelling story, the one that really makes the case for real-time selling, is this one (courtesy of Neil):
These days, people hate the idea of picking up the phone to take a call with a salesperson. They want to drop into the site, get their questions answered and form their own opinions about the product…all from what they can gather while sitting at home with a glass of wine and some music playing. Most of our Drift conversations are short and sweet, and we can get people’s questions answered without interrupting the flow of their day.