3.1: 6 Really Good Sales Plays You Should Be Using in All Your Deals (LIVE w/ Sara Miller Blanc)

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This is a podcast episode titled, 3.1: 6 Really Good Sales Plays You Should Be Using in All Your Deals (LIVE w/ Sara Miller Blanc). The summary for this episode is: <p>Drinking our own champagne, eating our own dog food…whatever you want to call it, Drift’s sales team uses Conversational Sales every single day to prioritize work, cut through the noise, and win more deals.</p><p><br></p><p>But, as we all know, sharing is caring — and we’re ready to showcase a specially curated collection of our top sales plays to help you and your teams engage your buyers at the right time, in the right place, with the right conversation.</p><p><br></p><p>In this recording from Drift's first-ever LIVE podcast recording and webinar, Sammi Reinstein and Sara Miller Blanc (Drift's enterprise account executive) chat through their favorite sales plays for outbounding, inbounding, and managing deals.</p><p><br></p><p>You can connect with Sammi on Twitter @sammireinstein and @DriftPodcasts, and Sara on LinkedIn.</p><p><br></p><p>Read up on Drift's Really Good Sales Plays: https://drift.ly/sales-plays</p>

Sammi Reinstein: Hey, this is Sammi Reinstein, and you're listening to Conversation Starters. On this show, we talk all about bringing conversations back to B2B marketing and selling. Because if there's one thing we know about doing business in the revenue era, it's at the best customer experience wins. Through the power of our own conversations with Drifters, customers, and special guests, we'll learn how to deliver a sales and marketing experience that puts the buyer first. Let's get into it. Hello, and welcome to Conversation Starters. We are going to give people a minute to come into the podcast/ webinar, which we'll get into in a bit. But before we get started, we do have a conversation starter. And Sara, this is the first episode of season three. And in season three to really just dive into our name, Conversation Starters, we're starting every episode with an icebreaker/ conversation starter, if you will. So my conversation starter for you is that how many unopened emails are currently in your inbox?

Sara Miller Blanc: Oh gosh. This is actually a really good question for me because it's very different for me personally versus work- wise. So let's actually, let's look at my phone because it's kind of embarrassing.

Sammi Reinstein: It's real time.

Sara Miller Blanc: Personally, I have 3076 unread.

Sammi Reinstein: No, that's too much. That's too much.

Sara Miller Blanc: But my goal for work- wise is to always have zero at the end of the day. So I use my unreads as my to- do list, and so if it's unopened or unread, that means I have something to do and I try to finish them every day. But definitely no more than five or 10 at the end of every day.

Sammi Reinstein: I do the same. I use my unread as my to- do list and I'll check them off, but I'm also a notification zero person. So even in Slack, if I have a message, not just the message, if there's threads and there's that little red, I have to go through every channel. And I don't even go through the Slack read all. I go through every channel and I just click through. And I just find that kind of satisfying when it goes away.

Sara Miller Blanc: Me too. Slack, I'm way more of a notification zero person than email. Especially because we're such a Slack heavy culture here at Drift, I keep on top of it probably a little too much.

Sammi Reinstein: I do the same with social media. I don't like having notifications, so I get rid of them.

Sara Miller Blanc: For some reason, personal, anything personal, social media, my own personal email, they don't bother me at all, the notifications. But for work, they really bother me.

Sammi Reinstein: That's so funny. Okay, well in the chat, you can let us know while we're letting some people join. Are you a notifications Zero person? Does it bother you? Does it not bother you? These are the hard hitting questions that we want to know. All right, I am going to go ahead, share my screen, and get this thing going. All right, well, welcome to Conversation Starters. Today we are going to be talking about six really good sales plays you should be using in all of your deals. This is a very special episode of Conversation Starters because first of all, it is our first episode of the season, and second of all, this is our first live podcast recording while people are also watching us.

Sara Miller Blanc: A lot of pressure.

Sammi Reinstein: It's a lot of pressure, and to help me ease that pressure, of course, I have Sara Miller Blanc, who is an account executive at Drift, who is joining me today, and she's going to tell us a little bit more about sales plays. So Sara, please go ahead and introduce yourself.

Sara Miller Blanc: Awesome. Thanks, Sammy. So like Sammy said, I'm Sara Miller Blanc. I'm an enterprise account exec here at Drift, and I've been here for about three years. I was on our mid- market team prior to moving up to our enterprise team, so I have some good insight into the different types of teams, different segments, things like that here at Drift.

Sammi Reinstein: Amazing. Okay, so like I said, this is Conversation Starters. And what is Conversation Starters? It's our podcast here at Drift, and it's all about starting conversations and continuing conversations. So I'm really excited to start season three with Sara, and we can talk a little bit more about how sales reps and sellers can be using different types of really conversational plays that are very buyer, customer centric and rooted in personalization and starting the right conversation. So we're going to walk you through the plays, and it's all about starting the right conversation at the right time in the right place.

Sara Miller Blanc: Awesome. Yeah, Drift is very much conversation centric, so happy to chat about this today. So in today's episode and webinar, we're going to be focusing on sales plays that you can use to have more successful conversations during or through both inbounding as well as outbounding and managing your own deal cycles. So it's no secret that here at Drift, we drink our own champagne, so we're going to talk to you a little bit more about how to use our product to do all of these things, to have better conversations. So sorry we couldn't get you all champagne today, but hopefully this should be a good way to get you some value.

Sammi Reinstein: Well, if you are listening at home, watching this live, you can get some champagne, and you can go to drift. com/ sales- plays. We actually just yesterday released a site with a bunch of sales plays, and today we're just going through a few. But if you want to follow along, you can go there. Like I said, grab some Champagne, why not? It's noon, it's five o'clock somewhere.

Sara Miller Blanc: Or seltzer, whatever you want.

Sammi Reinstein: Or seltzer. And we are going to get into it. So with that, I'm going to pass it off to Sara, who's going to start us with some plays for outbounding.

Sara Miller Blanc: Awesome. Yeah, so this is one of my favorites from an outbounding perspective. To set the scene as an account exec here at Drift, I do some of my own outbounding. I also have a BDR who helps with outbounding as well as we handle anything inbound for our target accounts. So this is a really great play for when I'm going after one of my target accounts and I'm trying to get their attention. So within Drift, in Drift Prospector, I can see a list of all of my accounts who are engaging or interested. And so when someone comes up through Drift Prospector as interested, but they're not quite ready to book a meeting or they're not doing it on their own, I take it upon myself to figure out, okay, how can I get them engaged? How can I get them interested? So what I do is I look through Prospector, I figure out what are the types of activities that they're taking on our website. What emails have they opened, what pages are they landing on, what eBooks or webinars have they registered for to try to start to figure out what are they interested in? And so the way that we create content here at Drift is really focused on each of the eBooks, or each of the webinars is focused on a specific topic. So I will think about whatever the content it is and what value they're looking to get from that content, and then I will, right through Drift Prospector I can click on the little LinkedIn icon, it'll bring me to their LinkedIn profile, and I can actually create a video and send them a message right from LinkedIn through Drift and make it really personalized. So depending on who it is and what they've been looking at, I'll make a quick little message. Usually no more than 30 seconds to 60 seconds long introducing myself, why am I. Hey, it's Sara, I'm from Drift. I'm your account exec here. I'm responsible for the relationship between your company in my company, and here's why I think it'd be worthwhile talking. You were interested in X, Y, Z, we're able to solve those problems for other companies. Are you interested in chatting more? So it's not, " Hey, book a meeting with me right now," it's, " Hey, let's start a conversation. You're interested in this thing, I have more ideas of how we could help you in that area. Let's talk."

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah, there's a lot of things I like about that play, but I think everyone who is listening to this or elsewhere, we've all had the experience of someone adding us on LinkedIn, connecting with us, and then maybe a few days go by and that first message that they send is a pitch. And a lot of the times I've never even heard about the company. So what adding that element of Prospector is doing is you're really able to see, first of all, what contacts within this account are actually engaged, who is the right buyer here, what have they been looking at, and you can send a really personalized message.

Sara Miller Blanc: Exactly. And so one of the things I like to do is I like to, if I don't know too much about who they are or what they're looking to do, sometimes you can get some info from what landing pages they might be landing on, or what content they might be looking at, but sometimes you don't get much. Maybe they landed on your homepage and they're just doing really initial research. That's when I'll start to think about what's their title, what do I know about their company, what's happening in the news related to their company? If they're a public company, what research can I do to figure out what their big goals are for this year or what their CEO or CMO was talking about online? There's lots of different ways that you can research and understand how your company might add value to the prospect that you are and the specific person that you're talking to. And that's when I find you have the best results is you don't want to... There's that balance of personalization and too much time. So you want to do a little bit of personalization to pique their interest. And then once they're ready to start having that conversation, that's when you can go even deeper. But finding one or two little snippets of information that would be relevant is huge.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah, I think that's really good advice. I'm also curious, so you can go into Prospector and see those things and send a message just in plain text, or you can go in like you said, and send a video. Do you find that you get a higher response rate sending video versus plain text?

Sara Miller Blanc: It's a really good question. So if you're going to send it via email, I always start with plain text first because email filters are so smart these days that anything with a link, even the little image at the bottom of my signature will sometimes get scraped out by a filter, especially at major enterprise companies because these people get so many emails. Whereas when I'm going through LinkedIn, I find that having a video adds that extra layer of personalization and puts a face behind the message. It makes me more human. And there's all of these outreach platforms that allow you to message 700 people at once or whatever, they're amazing, but they're so common today, it's a must have for every sales team, I think. And it allows you to do such a volume that I think personalization is becoming even more important to stand out. And having those videos and seeing, " Hey, I'm a real person on the other end of this, I'm making something specific for you," I think that really comes across when you make a video.

Sammi Reinstein: It's kind of like a pattern interrupter, a feed interrupter type of thing where you're going into that. So it sounds like it's sort of a mix, a mix between having your scalable yet personalized messages and including in those activities, some videos, some really hyper personalized things.

Sara Miller Blanc: And actually that's one of the best ways that I partner with my BDR is we send these great cadences or great sequences out through these types of messaging platforms and we get the volume. And that's what gets someone to click on your website or click on that ebook and starts to show me as an AE that these people are becoming engaged. And so once I see that someone's becoming engaged, that's when I'll go in and make one of these personalized videos because it takes me probably five minutes to do one account, which isn't a crazy amount of time, but in order to spend that time, I want to make sure I'm getting more value. And someone probably isn't going to click on it if they don't have any context for me or Drift yet. But if they have context for either me or Drift, then they'll probably click on it at a higher rate.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Okay. We do have one question. How do you approach prospects that don't provide name information?

Sara Miller Blanc: That's a good question. So when someone hasn't provided their specific contact information, I just know that in account a target account is engaged, that's when I'll go out and I'll do research on different personas who might potentially be the right people for us to talk to. And my BDR and I will outbound to those specific people or those personas. One other way to do it is in Drift Prospect it actually tells you the location that someone is browsing from. And so if I can figure out, especially with remote workforce these days, people are spread over the country, let alone all over the world. And so if there's a specific city or location that someone's browsing from and I can match that on their LinkedIn, then I'll definitely make sure I prospect to those people.

Sammi Reinstein: Awesome. Well, thank you for the question. Definitely everyone keep asking questions, we'll answer them throughout and then we'll have a section at the end as well for dedicated questions. All right, moving on to our next play. This is called the not so colds call. We have a lot of colds calling out there. So essentially what this play is all about is using context to inform when you're calling someone. So I know that a lot of times in my day to day I'm at my desk, but then I'm going and I'm doing something else and I get distracted. I'm going out to lunch, or someone might be driving their kid to practice, or whatever it may be. Even during working hours, especially with remote work, there's a lot of times when maybe you're away from your desk and your intent isn't work focused. So I think that's where this play really comes into handy. So essentially with our Drift email Chrome extension, you can see when someone has landed on your website and you can also see when someone has opened your email. So using that context, if I see that someone has just hit the website or I see someone has just opened my email, I can pick up my phone and I can call them and I know that they have the intent of being in work mode or that they're looking at something that I've sent them. So I can call and I can use some sort of script along the line of like, " Hey, I saw you open my email, I was chatting through X, Y, and Z. Do you want to chat through it now? Do you have time to chat through it now?" So I think this is a really effective play for people to use, especially with holidays coming up or anything along those lines so you can keep the context really work centric at the intent.

Sara Miller Blanc: Completely. This is something that our SDRs use all the time. Like you said Sammy, throughout the day, a lot of us are in meetings, we're doing different things, but your SDRs are really focused on, or our SDRs here at least, are very focused on handling anything that comes inbound as well as going outbound to a specific set of engaged accounts and target accounts. And so when they see any types of notifications, they're able to hop on immediately and make those quick phone calls. And the numbers shift. So it almost feels like every time calling is really working and email isn't working so much, then everyone writes articles about it and then it kind of flips because people are tired of getting the phone calls and then they're opening their emails more, they're opening their LinkedIn messages more. So I think that it kind of goes in waves and in cycles. But my BDRs, my SDRs are seeing huge success right now with calling, but they definitely employ a very mixed in terms of they're going outbound in lots of different channels at once. So they're combining both calling with videos as well as emails and LinkedIn messages so they can catch people in whatever, that right conversation, right time, right place, right message is how we are doing it across the board. So this one works really well from a calling perspective, but you can also use that same sort of messaging if you get someone's voicemail. You can then send them an email, " Hey, saw you were checking out XYZ content. Here's an interesting value prop," or send that same message through LinkedIn.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. So you mentioned SDRs, and I do think that this is a really good play for SDRs. I'm curious as an AE, how often are you picking up the phone to call someone? What do you think that balance looks like in that relationship?

Sara Miller Blanc: It's a really good question. So when I was in mid- market, I did a lot more of the picking up the phone and calling. I wasn't supported by a BDR in the beginning of my time here in mid- market. We've added SDRs about the second half of the time that I was in mid- market. So then I picked up the phone less because my BDR, my SDR was doing it more. As an AE, I would say I pick up the phone for people who I've had contact with or conversation with prior closed lost ops or people that I know who were my buyer at another company and now they're at a new job and they might be evaluating Drift again. Those are mostly the people that all spend the time calling because you can easily make a hundred dials and get five people to answer, zero people to answer. So usually our BDRs are the ones who are actually picking up the call or picking up the phone to call for these types of plays, just because I'm in meetings most of the day that I'm rarely available when these types of notifications are coming in anyway.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. And do you have any tips for managing that SDR, BDR relationship and you in terms of what is that role split and how much of the time are you helping them versus going after your deal management?

Sara Miller Blanc: It's such a good question. So I would say my BDR and I are completely partners in everything that we do. So she and I meet twice a week, every week for 30 minutes as scheduled allotted time. But we definitely Slack all the time. We're messaging back and forth on different accounts or, " Hey, this intent signal popped up through Sixth Sense or through Drift, Have you taken a look at this? Have you chatted with anybody here?" And most of the time, or some of the time, she'll say, " Oh yeah, I actually was messaging that person. That's why they came to the website. Can you help me?" Maybe she messaged them and wasn't able to get through, can I then take a stab at it? So a lot of times we're collaborating like that on our accounts because I'm in enterprise, I have a select set of target accounts that I'm going after, and there's hundreds of potentially the right people at some of these accounts. And so us going after it together and figuring out and strategizing together not only helps us break into those accounts more effectively, it also helps her figure out what are the personas that I'm looking at, how am I thinking about these accounts, what are the right value propositions that we should be talking about, so it's a lot of professional development for her as well to be working hand in hand and thinking about and getting insight into how I'm thinking about going after my accounts as well.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah, absolutely. We have a really interesting question from Lindsay. Lindsay asks, " Does that ever come off as creepy? Like'We're watching you,' i. e. If you call as they're on the website?" We hear this from time to time as a question.

Sara Miller Blanc: It's a really good question. And the truth is, we wouldn't be in business if people felt it was that creepy. So you have to tow a fine line with it. You don't want to say something like... I don't know. There's ways that you can make it creepy. If they haven't given their contact information, we are not going to know who they are anyway. But if they've come to the website, they're filling out a form and giving their contact info, they know they're submitting that. And if someone calls, we are just showing them, " Hey, we're really responsive to the fact that you're here looking at something right now."

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. Also from a Drift bot perspective, there are definitely industries that aren't receptive to things like inserting their first name or things along those lines. And then there are people like marketers or people in MarTech who really love seeing that. So I think with that industry, it doesn't mean you don't have to have no personalization, it just means maybe use a little bit broader personalization like we help a lot of enterprises in your same space or something that's still using the information, but just maybe updating whatever that messaging is for the persona that you're talking to.

Sara Miller Blanc: Yeah, and for this play in particular, someone's opening an email directly addressed to them. And this is because, like you were saying, it's the market that we sell to. We're selling to marketers. Marketers mostly understand how cookies work, they understand how open rates and click through rates and things of that sort. So they're not shocked when someone knows that this has happened, that they're being tracked in some way. So definitely think about who you're selling to though and how creepy it would be for them. And test it out, try it, and if you get really bad results, skip this play.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. Awesome. Okay, so we've gone through outbound and now we're going to change gears a little bit and we're going to move into inbound. So Sara, can you tell us a little bit about this paid ad converter play?

Sara Miller Blanc: Yeah, so this is one of the plays that every single customer that I work with loves. This is one of the top plays that we're talking about as people are evaluating Drift, because companies right now are spending so much money on paid. And the reason is it's a tough market right now, and people are trying to figure out where they can spend money most efficiently and effectively. What can they do to drive results? And paid ads have shown results for years and years and years, so this is a really consistent place for companies to be investing. And so this play in particular, so your company is running different paid ad campaigns, and when someone clicks on that paid ad, they come to the website and they get a specific targeted bot that's not targeted saying, " Hey, thanks for clicking on our ad," it's saying something that is relevant and related to the value proposition of the ad that you are running. So how do you create this cohesive experience from the ad straight over to your website? So it's one flow, one great experience, and then the bot tries to start that conversation based on that value prop. Now once someone clicks in and is chatting with the bot, this play in particular is then having your rep, either AE or SDR, jump in live and continue that conversation. So think of this as an opportunity to do more discovery around why this value proposition is relevant or interesting to that company. Think of it as your gateway to have a conversation about that specific topic.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah, it goes back to starting the right type of conversation. And I also think in terms of personalization flow chart, this is sort of going to that stage two. It's really recognizing where are you coming from, what is that value prop and how can I move this along and try to get a meeting booked, or maybe they're already in some sort of cycle and you can continue that conversation. But I think exactly what you mentioned with economic downturn or whatever that may be, the ROI of everything is going to be really important. So having someone there for something that you're spending money on to continue that and nurture that conversation I think is really important

Sara Miller Blanc: Completely. And this is something that when we do our business reviews on a regular basis with our customers, the executives who are thinking about is Drift worthwhile in investing in, this is one of the key metrics that we are talking about. We're talking about ROI, we're talking about return on specific campaigns, and we're seeing metrics of increasing the results by 2- 3x from these campaigns. Dollars that you are already spending, we can help companies get more out of those dollars that they're spending, and that's a game changer for their sales teams and the bottom line of their business.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah, absolutely. All right. Any questions on the inbound sales play? No? All right, we're going to move on to the next sales play. So this is a sales play, an inbound sales play that we call the automation converter. And while this is a sales play, I will go ahead and play the video. While this is a sales play, really what's happening here is that our automation bot is handling these conversations while the sales reps are sleeping or while it's the weekend. And what we found through just Drift data and also our customer's data, is 50% of website chat occurs after hours. And no one expects your sales reps to be working crazy hours into the night or especially while they're sleeping. And what this play helps do is anyone who's coming to the website, making sure that the AI bot is still there to start the conversations and that they're getting what they need. So if they're coming and they have a question about an integration, or they're coming and they have a question about what does, just generally, what does Drift do, what does your company do, that someone is there to continue and book meetings. So I'm sure it's happened to you, Sara, but sometimes reps will wake up and they'll be like, " Oh, I have a meeting booked," or, " Oh, a target account came and started a conversation," and that's probably a good feeling to come back to in the morning.

Sara Miller Blanc: The best feeling. So I was actually on vacation Monday through Wednesday of this week. Today's Thursday when we're filming this, and I came back to two meetings that were booked for me while I was out. And it's the best feeling to know that, yes, I'm sending out emails and setting up automated emails to go out when I'm on vacation, so setting myself up to be successful and still build pipeline when I'm taking time off. But then when someone comes to the website from those emails or those cadences that I've put out there, they're being handheld by the Drift bot so that I don't have to worry about what time someone's coming to the website, or if I'm taking time off, I can actually relax and have that better work life balance because I know that the bots are there. And then my BDR or any of our conversation development reps, we call them, they handle our inbounds, they can be there to handle these conversations if I'm not able to take them and they can turn it into a real live conversation, answering any of the additional questions that might be a little more complex than what we would typically have the bot handle, like pricing questions are nuanced things that you don't necessarily want the bot to answer for you, things like that. We've found that by having both the bot and humans interact on the same thread, you're able to get conversions at a five times higher rate than just the bot alone. So the bot is great to carry, hold you over until you have that human conversation, but if you can have those human conversations in real time, that's amazing as well. One other thing that I do want to mention here that I hear from prospects and customers all the time, they talk about seasonality and they talk about capacity of their reps throughout the day. So how do you plan for the ups and downs, the influxes of large volumes of chats, either on a certain day, a certain time of day, or a certain season? And so the AI bot is also able to help weed out the conversations that don't need a human to answer them, and it allows you to have a much more set distinct amount of conversations or types of conversations that require a human, so you get better service for everybody involved. The AI can deliver that real time answer to somebody who needs it and it's simple enough that the AI bot can answer it in a way that you don't want to bring in a salesperson. We as salespeople always want to own certain types of conversations, but we also want to make sure that when someone really needs a human, that we can get them to a human as quickly as possible, and those humans have the capacity to handle those conversations.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah, a lot of really interesting points from Sara and I want to recap them really quick. So first of all, having the combination of AI and a real human, someone to chat back with, making sure that you have a seasonality plan and a capacity plan, and having that AI bot being able to sort help you there. And then not just really qualified conversations, but having a bot be able to disqualify people, especially with capacity planning and seasonality. Am I missing anything? You said a lot of really good things. I just wanted to make sure I got all of it.

Sara Miller Blanc: I think you got it all.

Sammi Reinstein: Amazing. Okay, so inbound, outbound, once we have actually gotten them interested, we got that meeting, now it's time to manage the deal. So we have two plays that we want to share with you on deal management. Sara, do you want to talk about this first deal management play?

Sara Miller Blanc: Yeah, happy to. So this, as an AE, this is one of the main things that I'm leveraging Drift for. I'm using Drift to help me through my deal management process when someone's already said, " Yes, I'm interested. Yes, we're evaluating." Now, I get to navigate all of the fun ins and outs of enterprise buying. And typically there's 7, 8, 10, 15 people who are involved in these conversations. And some people come in at the very beginning and some people come in much later in the deal cycle. And it's my job as an AE to help manage all of those conversations at any different point in time and make sure the right people have the right information that they need when they need it. And so yes, I am working with champions and developing champions to have those conversations and help me facilitate those conversations. But also people come to the website who are, maybe it's an IT person who we're starting to talk about integrations and they haven't been introduced directly to me yet, but they're poking around and they're doing some research. I can see that through Drift prospector if they've given their contact information or I can see that someone from a specific city or town has started to browse on the Salesforce integration page, or the Marketo integration page, or the Sixth Sense integration page. And based on that, I then will make them a video, going back to that LinkedIn video play at the very beginning, I'll make them a video that's personalized and customized to them, introduce myself and offer myself up to answer any questions they might have. I'll do that for anyone new who I see who's browsing on the site and checking things out or when my champ says, Hey, we have to meet with this person and we're setting up a meeting with them, I'll also then go connect with people on LinkedIn ahead of the meeting, make a quick video to provide them context about what we've been talking about so that they feel confident and ready coming into our next meeting.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah, that's a really good point too. When someone is coming into this, you want them to be, perhaps they're not taking up a ton of time in that meeting, asking questions that you can prep them for in just sending over a video.

Sara Miller Blanc: And I know when I come into meetings that I'm not prepped for, I either am really disengaged or I feel bad about it. I value other people's time, and if there's things that I can prep myself ahead of time, I always want to do that. So I think just from a human to human perspective, it's a really nice thing to have someone say, " Hey, I want to make sure you come in and you know these are the things we're going to talk about. So if you have questions you want to think about beforehand," they have the context, the topics, yeah, the agenda ahead of time.

Sammi Reinstein: And how are you balancing that in your day to day? Is there something specifically that you're looking for? A really high engagement score to be able to say, " Okay, I'm going to send to this person, but maybe not this person?"

Sara Miller Blanc: It's such a good question. So in enterprise, we're working fewer but bigger deals. So I think I have the benefit of having a couple really key deals that I'm working on at any given point in time. So anyone who comes in and is engaged in any way, shape, or form and those deals I want to be engaging with. There's times when I'll also reach out to my champ and say, Hey, I saw this person poking around. Who are they? Are they someone that we should be engaging with? So I always use my champ for those conversations as well. Mid- market and growth or commercial size deals, typically they're balancing a lot higher volume of deals with lower average sales prices. And so they might have a little bit harder time filtering through. And so in those cases, I would say definitely rely on your champs. This is a great way to build a stronger champion to both be on the same side of the table and thinking about, " Okay, what do we have to do together to get this done to make this happen to help you be successful?" And I think that it's something that thinking about engagement scores is definitely one way to do it. Thinking about the type of content to get a hint for who they might be and what they might be interested in, because not everyone's going to give their name when they come and they look at an integration page or when they come and they look at a pricing page. Some of those will be anonymous signals, and especially when I would rely on my champ to say, " Hey, it looks like someone's interested in X, We should set up a call to talk about that thing."

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. Awesome. Okay, last play, and then we are going to take some questions. So our last play here is called the Post Sales Expansion Lever. And in this play, what you're doing is after the deal has already been done, so this person's now a customer, you want to make sure that as a sales rep or account manager, first of all, you have a good relationship with your CSM. And second of all, that you're continuing that relationship and making sure that they're up to date on what's new and that they're doing everything they can do with your platform. So with this, after an announcement or a product launch, going into Drift Prospector and really keeping an eye out if they're looking at certain pages and then making them a video and sending them that video and saying, " Hey, I saw you were poking around our launch blog and here's what that can do. Do you want to set up some time to talk through this a little bit further?"

Sara Miller Blanc: Yeah, this is one of my favorite ones. As here at Drift, our AEs, enterprise AEs handle the accounts or own the accounts for a fairly long period of time. We also have account managers, CSMs, et cetera, who are helping with these accounts as well. And so really any one of those three people can be recognizing these signals. And we collaborate with each other constantly on our customers, how they're doing, how they're seeing success, where there is some points that maybe are, they're not doing as well as we want them to be doing. And so we are really strategically putting our heads together at all points in time to think about our accounts and our customers and how we can add value. What are the way, what are their main business problems, and what of these new launches might align well with it? And so seeing through Prospector, you can even set up alerts and notifications when certain people from your target accounts or on certain lists of customers are checking out certain things like a new launch blog post or something like that, and then sending a quick video or sending an email to open up the conversation. Or we have regular cadence calls with many of our customers, and so having the CSM start that conversation and then bring in the AE or AM is one of the main ways that we leverage this

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. And Sara, while I have you, and while I have you on this subject, what do you think makes for a successful AE to CSM handoff?

Sara Miller Blanc: That's such a good question. So some of the deals that I'm closing are 12 months, 18 months in process. And so I have so many notes, and I think one of the key things that's most effective in an AE CSM handoff is making sure that I'm making it really clear what's most important and what's the new relevant information, not just all of the long list of notes that were free flow as I was going through the deal cycle. We do a lot of deal reviews here at Drift. And so I typically have documents already built out that have the key goals for the customer, what ROI they're expecting from the product, what are the KPIs, how are they going to measure success. Those are conversations that we have with every single one, or I have with every single one of the prospects before they're allowed to sign on the dotted line even. I want to make sure that if you're going to sign up with Drift, that you're going to be successful with Drift, so we make sure that we're having these conversations early on. And I think that just sets your CSM up for success. And then making sure that the CSM is brought in, making those introductions, making it really personal. And one of the things we're trying to do right now is we're trying to do more in person things. Now that the world is opening up again a little bit more, there's value in being able to see people face to face. And there's something about sitting down, having lunch, and chatting about what their goals are and where Drift fits in, and having everyone strategically around a conference room table. That is so much fun and I really missed it. So we're trying to do more of that too with both our AEs and CSMs.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah, so we're talking about continuing the conversation, it's continuing the partnership and not making your customer having to repeat themselves or feel like they weren't heard throughout the sales cycle. So the CSM knows exactly what they need to do and what those goals are, and I love that. I'm a big fan of in person too, so I am glad that everything's sort of opening back up. All right. So we went through a lot of information there. Like I said, you can go to drift. com/ sales- plays if you want more of this. We have a few more inbound, outbound, and deal management plays that you can go and look at there, and you can get a downloaded PDF of those plays if you go through our bot. But if anyone has any questions at all for Sara or myself, we would be happy to answer some of them now. And Sara, thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

Sara Miller Blanc: Of course. This was fun. This is my first ever podcast.

Sammi Reinstein: Oh my gosh. Well, you should do more.

Sara Miller Blanc: Learning from the pros.

Sammi Reinstein: All right. Let's see. Any questions come through we said, let's see. What is the average size...

Sara Miller Blanc: Oh, this is about average deal sizes. So it's really interesting to think about how deal sizes and how you would tweak how you are doing these plays based on deal size. The thing I will say is at Drift, we have lots of different products, and different platforms, and different customer sizes that we are selling to, and so this can really range and works across many different types of sales sizes. So I work with, some of my customers have extremely transactional deal sizes and transactional deal cycles, and they're using these same types of plays as what I'm using for a much longer deal cycles. I mentioned one or two that I closed this year had been in process for almost 18 months. And so these are there, I would say on shorter deal cycles, you are adding value quickly and going for the close quickly versus these long deal cycles you're thinking more, or I am thinking a lot more about, okay, how do I get all of the stakeholders bought in, and so a lot more of the deal management versus the inbound outbound initially, because I'm trying to navigate these massive thousands of person sized companies that require a lot more of the in cycle management.

Sammi Reinstein: We have one question from Ray, and then after this we'll probably take one or two more questions. So Ray is asking, how often do you use video versus email/ LinkedIn? Also the same question for your inside sales rep. So you touched on this a little bit earlier on in the podcast, but I am curious, role- wise, inside reps, AEs, SDRs, what do you think that mix typically looks like?

Sara Miller Blanc: Yeah, so I'm not sure if the exact mix, but I can tell you kind of how the cadence works for me. So my BDRs will typically start with an email that's just plain text to, again, get through those email filters. And then we'll start to send things with links or with a video, which is through a link is how we send through Drift video. Versus through LinkedIn I can start with a video. I would never start with a video through email because it's almost always going to get caught in a filter, but it's probably not going to get... Well, I know that it doesn't get filtered out on LinkedIn. So when you think about getting the best bang for your buck or thinking about the efficiency of the work that you're doing, you don't want to spend a lot of time making a video if it's just going to get stuck in an email filter. So sending those videos in the places where they have the highest chance of catching someone's attention and getting through, which is typically LinkedIn has a higher chance with video if you're starting off with it.

Sammi Reinstein: Awesome. All right, I think that was most of the questions. So if you liked this podcast/ webinar, we actually have all four of our first episodes of the season of the podcast live now on conversationstarterspodcast. drift. com. So definitely go check those out and you can always ask Sara or I any questions via LinkedIn. I'm Sammi Reinstein.

Sara Miller Blanc: And I'm Sara Miller Blanc.

Sammi Reinstein: And like I said earlier, if you want to check out the sales plays, you can go to drift. com/ sales- plays. So again, Sara, I want to thank you for coming on the podcast. I really love talking to you and I could listen to you talk about sales forever, but at some point we have to let the people go back to work.

Sara Miller Blanc: Yeah, this was great. Thank you everybody for attending. And like Sammi said, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out, send me a Drift video on LinkedIn and we can chat.

Sammi Reinstein: Thanks so much for listening to Conversation Starters. If you liked this episode, please leave us a six star review by clicking the link in the show notes and hit subscribe so you never miss another one. You can connect with me on Twitter @ SammiReinstein and follow all of our shows at Drift podcasts.


Drinking our own champagne, eating our own dog food…whatever you want to call it, Drift’s sales team uses Conversational Sales every single day to prioritize work, cut through the noise, and win more deals.

But, as we all know, sharing is caring — and we’re ready to showcase a specially curated collection of our top sales plays to help you and your teams engage your buyers at the right time, in the right place, with the right conversation.

In this recording from Drift's first-ever LIVE podcast recording and webinar, Sammi Reinstein and Sara Miller Blanc (Drift's enterprise account executive) chat through their favorite sales plays for outbounding, inbounding, and managing deals.

The Highlights:

  • (3:48) Who is Sara Miller Blanc?
  • (6:05) Outbound Sales Plays 1: The Video Linkedin Message
  • (13:42) Outbound Sales Plays 2: The Not-So-Cold-Call
  • (22:08) Inbound Sales Play 1: The Paid Ad Converter play
  • (25:19) Inbound Sales Play 2: The Automation Converter
  • (30:22) Deal Management Play 1: Buying Committee Introduction
  • (34:57) Deal Management Play 2: The Post-Sales Expansion Lever

Like this episode? Let us know by leaving a review!

Read up on Drift's Really Good Sales Plays: https://drift.ly/sales-plays