Drift, the world’s leading conversational marketing and sales platform, introduced new products and partnerships built to connect businesses with customers now, not later, at HYPERGROWTH 2018. The company announced Conversational Advertising, Drift Assistant, the acquisition of Siftrock and partnerships with Marketo, Demandbase and Outreach.
“The last decade in B2B sales and marketing was all about the business following up later,” said David Cancel, Drift Founder & CEO. “But today, B2B sales and marketing has to be about now. The internet has changed everything and put customers in control of the buying process, not the business. As a result, people won’t put up with waiting days and weeks to get a response — they want answers now. So, at Drift, everything we’re doing is about removing friction, shortening the sales cycle and connecting businesses with the customers who are interested right now. Today we are excited to share what the future of B2B buying will look like.”
Conversational Advertising: Say Goodbye to Landing Pages and Lead Forms
eMarketer estimates that B2B marketers will spend $4.6 billion on digital advertising in 2018, but until now, those ads have typically driven potential customers to a traditional landing page with a lead form to fill out so that someone from the company can reach out later.
With the launch of Conversational Advertising, Drift has created an entirely new category of online advertising that connects potential customers directly from an ad to a conversation.
“This has never been done before. With traditional advertizing it has always been about later,” Cancel said. “You drive people to a landing page, get them to fill out a form and then someone at the company contacts you later. But with Conversational Advertising, it’s all about right now. We can close the gap and help buyers connect with a business instantly by taking them right from an ad to a conversation to get the answers they need instantly.”
- Don’t worry about endless A/B tests or design variations. One of the challenges with traditional landing pages is the amount of testing and conversion rate optimization needed just to get someone to fill out a form. But with Conversational Advertising, your ads can be about conversations.
- Create landing pages without installing any code. Powered by Drift’s new Conversational Landing Pages, B2B marketers can set up ads in seconds without having to install any code. Just login to Drift, create a Conversational Landing Page and use it as the URL for any ad campaign.
- Go beyond ads and grow your email list, blog subscribers and more. Conversational Landing Pages can be used for just about everything in marketing, whether you want to use them to grow your email list or share on social to get more people to subscribe to your blog. You can use Conversational Landing Pages just like you would a traditional landing page.
Drift Assistant: An AI Assistant Built to Manage All of Your Digital Paperwork
With the launch of Drift Assistant, sales and marketing teams now have an AI assistant that can work 24/7/365 and handle much of the “digital paperwork” that they have to manage on a daily basis that gets in the way of providing a great customer experience.
“B2B businesses have gone digital, but we haven’t been able to move on from all of the paperwork,” said Cancel. “Only a third of a sales rep’s time is actually spent selling, with over 60 percent of their time wasted on administrative tasks and meetings. Meanwhile, marketers have resorted to sending emails from firstname.lastname@example.org or other email aliases so they don’t have to manage responses and deal with routing conversations to the right person in the company. Drift Assistant handles all of that digital paperwork, so sales reps and marketers can get the time they need back in their day to focus on providing the personalized buying experience that customers expect today.”
Drift Assistant for Sales
Drift Assistant provides sales reps context for every meeting, notifications for follow-ups and information to have better conversations with potential customers.
- Be prepared for every meeting. Drift Assistant helps you prepare for meetings by handling all the required research ahead of time. You’ll get an email of everything you need to know about the potential customer before every meeting, including the company’s tech stack, context from previous conversations and notes on recent website activity.
- Never forget to follow up with a no-show or cancellation. No-shows and cancellations are frustrating if you’re in sales, but that doesn’t always mean a deal is off the table. When someone cancels or reschedules a meeting, Drift Assistant helps you reach out to keep them warm, so you don’t have to spend your days chasing them down to reschedule.
- Always remember to send next steps. It can be easy to forget to send a note after a great demo with everything else going on in the sales process. That’s why Drift Assistant will make sure none of your potential customers fall through the cracks by helping you follow-up with next steps after every demo.
Drift Assistant for Marketing
To power Drift Assistant for marketers, Drift has acquired Siftrock, a Seattle-based company that helps B2B marketing and sales teams operate more effectively. Companies such as Glassdoor, Citrix, Okta, SurveyMonkey and Procore use Siftrock to manage their email replies at scale. With Siftrock joining the Drift team, marketers using Drift will now have the ability to:
- Manage email responses automatically. Customers want conversations, but for many marketing teams, email has turned into a one-way communications channel and monitoring the marketing inbox just doesn’t scale. But now with Siftrock, Drift Assistant will track email replies automatically, route them to the right sales reps in real-time and sync data to your marketing automation system — no digital paperwork required.
- Send emails that lead to conversations, not forms. Marketers have been forced to send emails that drive clicks and form submissions while customers want a more human experience. Drift Assistant lets marketers send email campaigns that invite conversations, so instead of sending a “click here to register” email, you can now simply ask, “Would you like to attend?” and your assistant takes care of the rest.
- Keep all of your important email data up-to-date. Keeping contacts and accounts updated is a constant challenge for B2B marketers. Email auto-replies can tell you when someone has changed jobs or their email no longer exists, but marketers don’t have time to keep up with this digital paperwork manually. Now, Drift Assistant can automate these tasks and work within the systems you already use, including Marketo, Salesforce Pardot, Eloqua, HubSpot and Act-On.
“At HYPERGROWTH last year we started talking about reinventing email and focusing on conversations and replies instead of opens and clicks,” Cancel said. “Siftrock has built a best-in-class product that manages email replies at scale, and this acquisition will help us deliver on that vision even faster. On top of that, the team is amazing and they have proven to be leaders in the B2B sales and marketing space. But most importantly, this is a move that adds real value to both of our customer bases immediately.”
Also Read: Demand Gen: A More Sophisticated Way to Sell
The Future of B2B is Open: Drift Partners with Marketo, Demandbase and Outreach
As Drift works to deliver the future of sales and marketing, the company also announced three key partnerships with leading technology vendors in the B2B ecosystem: Marketo for marketing automation, Demandbase for account-based advertising and Outreach for sales engagement.
“Marketo and Demandbase are not just leaders in Marketing Automation and ABM; they’ve seen the value of Conversational Marketing firsthand,” said Cancel. “We’re excited to announce Drift’s exclusive alliance and deepened integrations with Marketo, and we couldn’t be happier to have Demandbase on board as our exclusive launch partner for Conversational Advertising.”
“Outreach has built a best-in-class sales engagement platform and an integration with Drift is something that many of our customers have been asking for,” added Cancel. “Now sales reps can provide an amazing buying experience by sending emails with Outreach right inside of Drift that drive directly to conversations and connect buyers with sellers immediately. We have a deep belief in Drift being an open platform and that stronger partnerships across the sales and marketing ecosystem will allow us to deliver the most value for our customers over time.”
“Consumers are increasingly seeking new ways to engage in real-time with brands in the digital landscape, and we are thrilled to forge a strategic alliance with the leader in the emerging category of conversational marketing,” said TK Kader, SVP Strategy and Alliances at Marketo. “I am confident that Marketo and Drift will lead this market together and deliver unparalleled value to our customers in the age of the engagement economy.”
“The key to high-performing ABM strategies is connecting marketing programs directly to sales activity,” said Chris Golec, CEO of Demandbase. “We are incredibly excited to be the exclusive launch partner for Drift’s new Conversational Advertising product because now B2B marketers can target specific companies with our account-based advertising, and move to a conversation with sales in a single click. The time from engagement to conversation to pipeline has never been faster.”
“Great conversations are the most powerful way to drive conversion,” said Manny Medina, CEO of Outreach. “To accomplish this, you must have a consistent customer journey, from calls and emails to your buyer’s experience on your website. Now sales and marketing teams can share context from every touchpoint in the customer journey to drive stronger results wherever they communicate with their buyers.”