You've decided to invest in Drift for your business, you've spoken to your agency and feel confident that conversational marketing is something you’d like to pursue. You're keen to get up and running... So now what? How can you get Drift rolling as fast as possible, ensuring that you see a speedy ROI from Drift’s chatbot sales tools? How can you tailor Drift to speak to your customers in a way that’s sure to increase your qualified leads? How can you ensure your team has the knowledge it needs to make the most of Drift, without spending longer than they need to on training?

We’ve outlined four of the most useful things you can do to ensure you and your team get the best from Drift as quickly as possible. Our tips will ensure you get to know the software, can customise it to suit your business, and ensure a joined-up chat and sales process that will benefit your bottom line.

Tip 1: Direct key team members to Drift’s Certifications.

Drift knows that its approach forces businesses to rethink their approach to sales. First and foremost, it’s a selling tool, so the best way for your sales team to get their head around its transformative power is to complete the online Conversational Marketing Certification, which walks you through how to use Drift to drive an increase in qualified leads.

Once your team has completed the training, there is ongoing inspiration and support available in Drift Insider, a virtual support and training centre where you can find videos, transcripts, classes, podcasts and tips and tricks direct from Drift staffers and customers on all things related to conversational marketing.

To support your team in succeeding, particularly when their day-do-day workload is considerable, block out some time in their diaries to complete the certification. They’ll need 2 hours to complete it. Arrange a meeting after the team has completed the training to ensure you can check everybody is feeling comfortable with Drift, and answer any questions they may have. As part of your Drift onboarding at ESM Inbound, your team can also book in a video call with your dedicated Drift specialist where they can ask us anything…. Well, anything Drift related!

By investing in your staff this way, you’ll help to communicate the sales power of Drift’s tools and get real buy-in from your team.

Tip 2: Create Your Playbooks

First of all, it’s important to understand the difference between a playbook and a bot. A playbook is a flow-chart where you map out scripted conversations with customers. Drift’s playbook builder uses branching logic to help answer customer questions. Bots themselves are autonomous programs that are interactive. They are programmed to have a ‘conversation’ with customers that help the customer communicate their needs and get routed to the right human as soon as possible. They are not proxy humans, more like a helpful routing tool. 

At ESM Inbound, your dedicated Drift consultant will walk you through the process of mapping out different playbooks for the pages on your site to design your Drift bots. It’s worth devoting some time to this process, although you can always add further customisations or new playbooks once you have road tested your first few. The audience estimator tool is a brilliant feature within the playbook builder that enables you to see just how many visitors to your site are likely to see different bots, and you can watch as changes to the bot change your audience estimator, driving figures up or down.

Some bots rely on A/B answers, and others are organic chat based. Your homepage bot is likely to be the one you start with. It’s best to stick to the pre-set answer options, especially if you’re new to Drift. This way, you will have a better chance of safeguarding your customers’ bot experience. The playbook builder is a flexible tool. Embedded in the flow charts, you will see plus signs at key junctures which enable you to add new branches to your playbook depending on what your customers are most likely to be looking for. The flow-builder tool enables users to tailor specific playbooks to different audience segments. 

When you’re building your playbooks, you can repurpose existing copy you have from blogs and marketing mailers that have performed well for you. Use these pieces of content to inform your tone of voice. Your tone of voice should be consistent and should represent your brand. It should be friendly too. The Drift homepage bot for example, uses emojis — but this informality may not be appropriate for your business. If you want to stay away from emojis, think about other ways you can adapt your tone of voice to be warm and welcoming. You know your customers best.

Tip 3: Get Drift’s live chat up and running, fast

Consumers expect an instant response from the brands they buy from, and have come to expect a similar response from B2B providers too. If you’re still wedded to the phone as a sales tool, consider this. By 2022, Gartner predicts 72% of customer interactions will involve emerging messaging, mobile applications and chatbots. That’s more than a 6x increase from 2017. If you’d like some further persuasion, this blog by Core DNA, featuring insights from Drift’s CEO David Cancel, outlines how bots can transform customer experience.

Think about what kinds of conversations you want to start with customers. The aim is to make the whole customer journey feel organic and conversational - resisting the need to refer customers to forms. Rob Stevenson from Keap, a Drift customer who features in their training says:

“Chat is a different sales pipeline. Sales reps need to be trained in chat. Do not sell, do not say ‘I’ll email you later’, do not send them PDFs, have the conversation in chat until the customer has finished talking. That is the best way to ensure a visitor becomes a customer.”

If you don’t yet have chat on your site (or perhaps only have a simple bot for customer service or your homepage), investing in Drift could be transformative. Here’s what John, ESM Inbound’s Director of Growth has to say about it:

“If you haven’t exploited chat fully as a sales tool, the time is now. Drift makes it super-easy to create playbooks that fit your customer personas, creating you a series of bots across your site that help you sell. The inbuilt possibilities in Drift for granular customisation mean customers will get a far more personalised, relevant sales experience. They also keep things moving, and ensure that messages can be tailored to speak to different segments of your audience and for different pages – so that, for example, the type of conversation you have on your pricing page reflects the fact that a customer there is close to a buying decision.”

Tip 4: Enrich your CRM data by integrating with Drift

You’ll want to start synthesising all the data from the Drift bot chats on your site as soon as possible to help you refine your playbooks and adjust your sales strategy depending on what customer behaviour tells you. Drift is ultra-easy to integrate to most CRM platforms including HubSpot and Salesforce.

By customising Drift settings, you can ensure that visitors to your site from target customers can be welcomed with a particular message, or a deal incentive, for example. You can also track their visits, revisit data gathered in past chats, and build a picture of their pain points by integrating this with information on the blog posts and pillar pages they have visited. This gives your sales team a much more detailed profile of each prospect. As ESM Inbound’s martech consultant Matt Nortje explains:

“By integrating Drift with a CRM such as HubSpot, you can seamlessly link the data between the two systems. This gives you the opportunity to match key attributes to automated marketing campaigns, meaning that the contact’s journey doesn’t end when they close your chatbot. Instead, they can be put directly into nurturing campaigns that deliver specialised, segmented content to help them move from lead to customer.”

So not only can you gather intelligence on your prospects for your sales reps to leverage, you can also ensure that your leads are not going cold in the meantime — and that they are being served genuinely useful content that is relevant to their specific needs and interests. This means that before your prospect has even become a customer, they are already receiving excellent customer service from you — and you can’t make a better first impression than that!