2.6: The #1 Driver to Having the Right Conversation with Your Prospects Via Drift (Kris Borja)

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This is a podcast episode titled, 2.6: The #1 Driver to Having the Right Conversation with Your Prospects Via Drift (Kris Borja). The summary for this episode is: <p>With a name like Conversation Starters, it's no wonder why we've been talking a lot about how to have the right conversations on this show. But the reality is that many conversations take place on a website before that human-human phone call, in-person meeting, or video chat takes place.</p><p><br></p><p>That's why a contextualized, personalized playbook strategy is so critical to your website experience.</p><p><br></p><p>Kris Borja is the Director of Conversational Marketing at Digital Reach Agency - a B2B internet marketing&nbsp;agency&nbsp;built for demand generation. He spends most of his day aligning his clients' goals to a Drift chat strategy. </p><p><br></p><p>In this episode, Kris explains why auditing your playbooks is critical to chat success, the playbook myths he's debunked through routine auditing, and he shares' the #1 deliverable that will help you make sure you're having the right conversations with your prospects at the right time. </p><p><br></p><p>Like this episode? We'd love it if you could leave us a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review! And make sure to subscribe, so you never miss an opportunity to learn more about starting conversations in the Revenue Era.</p><p><br></p><p>You can connect with Sammi on Twitter @sammireinstein and @DriftPodcasts and Kris on LinkedIn.</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 that 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. Good morning, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth: Good morning, Sammi. How are you doing today?

Sammi Reinstein: I'm good on this rainy Boston day.

Elizabeth: Still in Boston. We have not changed our location. Great. Well, I'm excited because we are making our way through season two, which has all been about having that right conversation. A lot of times when we talk about it, we talk about it like this, like me talking to you. But in reality, with Drift and in buying experiences today, that's all happening on the website and sometimes, many times, it doesn't even start with the human, so today, we're bringing in someone who is very pro at making sure that you're having the right conversation on the websites with bots that will then route to that right human. So, Sammi, who do we have on today?

Sammi Reinstein: Yes. I am so excited to welcome our first Drift partner to the podcast today.

Elizabeth: Yes, and first guest from South America.

Sammi Reinstein: Oh. Amazing. Chris is a director of conversational marketing at Digital Reach Agency, which is a B2B internet marketing agency built for demand generation. A little over a year ago, Drift's head of partner content and community, Nick Sal, talked to Chris about how Digital Reach audited a company's live chat habits. To take a Drift implementation from having low engagement to having a direct and accelerated upside impact on meetings, pipeline, and ultimately revenue in just four months. Chris has continued his work over the past 12 months, so today we're going to highlight some of the new ways he's found to be successful in auditing live chat and why it's important to audit live chat habits and make sure you're continuing to have the right conversations with your site visitors. Welcome, Chris, to the podcast.

Chris: Thanks. Happy to be here.

Sammi Reinstein: We're so excited to have you and I do hear that congratulations are in order. Elizabeth and I saw on LinkedIn that you were promoted to director of conversational marketing, is that right?

Chris: That's right. That's right. Thank you very much. I appreciate that. It's been quite the journey. Yeah. We're at an agency here and we... Our founder actually met with Seamus McGrath in person, back when events were still a thing. He came back to the agency and was like, "We need to do chat for our clients." And he was like, " Who wants to do it?" And I was the first one to raise my hand, so we've built this thing out from scratch for the last two years and here we are with a decent book now.

Sammi Reinstein: That's awesome. Isn't it so cool to see conversational marketing titles popping up? I've seen different companies hiring for a conversational marketing manager and now you're director of conversational marketing. It's very cool to see that evolution, that companies are more and more investing into conversational marketing.

Chris: Yeah, absolutely. The space is undoubtedly maturing and you're doing yourself a massive disservice if you don't have some sort of chat strategy for your digital presence, so yeah, happy to see people are finally catching on. Drift is definitely a category creator and excited to see where it goes.

Sammi Reinstein: So speaking of at Digital Reach Agency in director of conversational marketing, can you tell me a little bit more about what that role means and what you do in a day to day?

Chris: Yeah. For sure. So first of all, DRA, we bill ourselves as a full- service B2B inaudible agency. And we've been around for about 10 years. We specialize in everything from paid search to social web dev design, marketing automation, and yes, conversational marketing. Everything from implementation to strategy, but in my day to day role, it really comes down to aligning with client roles and how those could be best supported inaudible Drift at chat strategy, right? So Drift has the revenue acceleration model. We heavily reference that in the crawl, walk, run. Making sure that we have the bases covered before we start to drill down with any other strategies like ABM and other things. But yeah, it's just me and a team and we like to blend our experience of all of the other services that we do, like paid channels and UX and web dev and make sure that Drift is just an assist in all of those other facets of B2B digital marketing.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. That's awesome. This season of Conversation Starters, on this podcast is about continuing the conversation and we know in conversational marketing that they're engaging, starting those conversations and understanding and recommending and what you have done more recently and what I'd love to talk about today and just pick your brain is auditing your playbooks, right? So once you've created all of those playbooks, how do you make sure that you have the right playbooks running? So in your words, what does it mean to audit your playbooks?

Chris: Yeah. For sure. So we take a look at audits through two main lenses. We call them structural and performance and so let's dive a little bit into what a structural audit is. So in a structural audit, we like to take a look at the inner workings or settings of a playbook. And we really like to answer the following questions. First thing, account- wide, on the right playbooks firing on the right webpages for the right people. Is my playbook ordering set up the right way, right? Sometimes we encounter clients that have 50 to 100 plus playbooks and every client is different but you definitely want to make sure that as you're producing playbooks that the intended audience is seeing those playbooks or else you're just kind of wasting your effort. I can't tell you how many times we've gone into a client's portal that has tons of playbooks and we just discover that some of their ABM playbooks for target accounts, like really high- value accounts, has never had an impression. Sometimes that catches people off guard. They're like, " Well, I told my marketing specialists,'Launch this for supporting our key accounts', but sometimes they never see the light of day." So making sure that targeting is dialed in is super important. That's the first thing that we like to take a look at. The second thing is on a playbook by playbook basis. We next aim to answer the question of is the individual page or the targeting for a playbook set up, right? So really high- value pages like your request a demo page or your contact us page. Are those bots firing on the right page? And then, ultimately, the last question we look to answer on the structural side is do I have the architecture in the Drift flow set up the appropriate way to capture meaningful data? So thousands of prospects interact with bots and maybe never send out an email or book a meeting, but there's tons of meaningful actions that should be systematically collected before an email or meeting ever gets booked or captured. For example, did someone raise their hand to speak to sales? If so, it's definitely important to note that. Did someone explicitly express an interest in one of your service lines? For us, did someone tell us that they're interested in SEO, paid search, or web dev, et cetera, et cetera. Definitely note that. And then, ultimately combining and use that data to continue to personalize their experience and continue the conversation as they come back to the website. So broadly, that's structural audits in a nutshell. And the next thing is performance audit. Making sure that we're taking a look at individual playbooks or groups of playbooks and asking, " Are these playbooks meeting our objectives that we set out in the scoping process?" We answer this by taking a look at how often this bot is showing up on the website. Again, how many meeting are booked, emails are captured, links are clicked, et cetera. And in there, we like to take a look to see how people are progressing through the flow and then also just comparing it against, again, the objective inaudible. But last but not least, the thing that I'd like to bring up in this whole audit process is archiving. The last thing that we want to see in our clients' instances are a bunch of zombie playbooks that never get any fires. In the process of auditing, if we just see that something's really not getting any traction with our intended audience, after a couple or rounds of optimization, we usually make sure to recommend that we archive those, just to make sure that there aren't zombie playbooks. But overall, that's what our audit process in a nutshell.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. It's so important. We actually, at Drift, we just went through an audit process, and going back into our instance now is like a breath of fresh air, because you know exactly what every playbook is doing an we've archived so many playbooks that we didn't need and it just feels better going in and the prioritization process is easier, knowing which playbooks should go where and getting rid of all of those. It definitely helps. And I love-

Chris: Yeah, it's like a spring cleaning. It's absolutely necessary.

Sammi Reinstein: Yes.

Chris: You've got to clean out the junk drawer every once in a while.

Sammi Reinstein: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I'm a big fan of spring cleaning. I need to actually do it this year. Really. Get rid of all of my clothes.

Chris: Well, we're in summer, but it's never too late,

Sammi Reinstein: Yes. Yes. Yes. I love that you broke it into structural and performance. I think when people think of an audit, even outside of bots, when we're thinking about an audit of email or SEO or whatever that may be, we're really thinking about performance, but structural is so important too, making sure that those playbooks are firing on the right pages and making sure that you're getting the most when you're setting it up, because you're putting time into creating this, so you want to make sure that you're really getting the ROI from that playbook.

Chris: Absolutely. Absolutely. And like I mentioned in the previous answer, those custom fields, I think I'll touch on it a little bit later, but the data that you're actually specifically capturing when people are making it through your flows are so important. As inaudible, we know that the more targeted and contextualized your message is, the more likely it is to be engaged with. Delighting those prospects when they come back for second and third, fourth site visits, you have to collect that data to be able to graph that strategy.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. Absolutely. How often do you recommend that people go into their orgs and actually audit their playbooks?

Chris: Well, it depends. We recommend an account- wide ordering check at least once a quarter. Or once a month if you're launching a high number of playbooks and testing a lot. An individual box- specific audit is prescribed on a case- by- case basis. Some bots may not get enough traffic in a given day, week, or month to really be able to determine a trend. It really depends on the length of the campaign that the bot is supporting and, again, how often it's getting interacted with.

Sammi Reinstein: Right.

Chris: But we do have a recommend inaudible in a post- launch check in with every bot that you launch, so not just launching something into the abyss and never checking it again, making sure that it's, again, getting displayed or getting interacted with and firing on the same page, but those are some of the criteria that we recommend before popping into an account- wide or bot-specific audit.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. That's really important. We actually, at Drift, in our Asana tasks, when we are launching a new campaign or launching a new offer and we need a bot, we have specific tasks that say, " Test before and test after", just to make sure that everything is running the way that it should be.

Chris: Yeah, absolutely. Q& A is what sets the big dogs, so to speak, apart from the inaudible hobbyists, especially if it's some massive global brand, the last thing you want to do is launch a bot with a typo or on the wrong page.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. So having done a lot of audits and going through playbooks, what are some common, maybe myth, that you've been able to debunk? Maybe you had a hunch that something would work, performance- wise, but actually something else worked. What have you seen?

Chris: So the first myth that I'd like to debunk is the have to ask more questions in our bot flow. We need to capture absolutely as much information before we send it over to sales. There's a sweet spot, usually. And truth is everyone is just getting more impatient. It's what it is. Apple and Amazon and Facebook are training us, and Instagram, for that inaudible and so when people actually sit through five, 10 questions in a bot, they're just like, " Ah, screw this." So to combat that, and become more relevant, we recommend our clients do the following. First, use third-party data to get the right playbooks. First and third- party, pardon me, data to get the right playbooks in front of the right people. For example, does someone already exist in my marketing database? If you're using Marketo and Drift, you have a massive advantage because you can build smart lists of people that have already identified themselves. Right then and there, you can basically cut out the need to ask their email or the first name and last name, et cetera. So that's what we mean by using first inaudible data. And then you could ask yourself is someone from this a key account? Are we making a massive push into these one- to- one few named accounts or these verticals. Well, if that person is from a named account, don't make them jump through hoops. You want to roll out the red carpet, so to speak, for them. So, essentially get out of their way. So I guess, first and foremost, the biggest myth is just that we need to ask a lot of questions. We recommend approaching it in a very balanced way.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. I think that's very important and I think the point that you brought up with, in our consumer world, we're very used to instant gratification. That has to transfer to B2B and we see that in so many ways. We see that in the sales process, that we need personalization and we need trusted advisors. As B2B people who are trying to create an experience for buyers, we really should be mimicking everything good that's coming in. So asking more questions, that's a get for us, if we're just asking, asking, asking and we always recommend give, give, give, rather than get, get, get.

Chris: Yeah. Absolutely. I think to maybe circle back on striking a balance, if I may, there inevitably are going to be people that come through the home page bot asking to talk to sales right away and we don't know anything about them, so there, we definitely want to make sure that we're qualifying people to not piss off sales.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah.

Chris: But really just periodically getting together with marketing and sales high- performers and marketing leaders and saying, " What are the critical pieces of information that we need before we route these people over to sales?" But I want to mention a couple of bonuses-

Sammi Reinstein: Please.

Chris: ...in terms of the myths. So we're still talking about asking a lot of questions and striking a balance, but I think bonus number one that I would encourage people to walk away with is make sure sales is brought in inaudible rather on live chat. In theory and in practice, when sales gets good at identifying which bots and conversations inaudible be in, they can cut the speed to lead to opportunity ratio massively. This avoids the back and forth of the email conversations and, " When are you free?" Et cetera, et cetera. So making sales bot into live chat is one of the first things that we recommend, but bonus number two is if your selling model is relatively self- service, and people at Drift may not like me saying this, but you can maybe get away with not having sales bought in completely and having Drift initially be a passive tool to show success with passive inaudible. Et cetera, et cetera. So let's say that you just can't strike a balance between the questions that sales is inaudible maybe just take Drift as a more passive way to ease them into the tool and show them value.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. Yeah. I think it's a great way... If you really, really want Drift and your sales team, they're just not bought in yet, still go for it and there are so many ways that you can have a bot on your site that are just the bot talking. For example, content downloads. Like you said, people are used to that instant gratification. Maybe they don't want to fill out a form, so you're using your bot to offer up that content. You can still provide a good buyer experience. But to your earlier point, too, when sales is bought in, it's just that perfect combination. It's like peanut butter and jelly when you have the bot and sales working together.

Chris: Yeah. Absolutely. One final myth that I'd like to just get out there that I encourage people listening to this podcast to think about is the quote, unquote, " We need a playbook for 10, 20 plus different segments, especially if they have the Marketo or their inaudible connected, because it can go crazy with those smart lists, like, " Hey, we should get a bot for our recent webinar attendees." And it's really cool, but not every organization can necessarily benefit from that. It really depends on your web traffic and how large your database is. But I would recommend that people just go with the core segments. One, being people that have demonstrated intent through Drift but haven't given us their email or booked a meeting, back to that data capture architecture that I referred to is making sure you have that in place will allow you to target those people with a more direct call to action inaudible come back to your site, so you can quote, unquote, "get out of their way." So that's one key segment. The second key segment is talking to people that have converted, that exist in your marketing database but haven't had a demo or talked to sales yet. Maybe getting in front of them and saying, " Hey, we notice you've converted but you haven't talked to sales. Why? Can we answer any questions or can we get more case studies from you?" And the third segment is people that have talked to sales. They've had a demo, but there's no opportunity. And all the segmentation is possible with Drift and several marketing automation platforms. And we've successfully targeting those three core segments, instead of going absolutely crazy with 15 to 20 other segments inaudible marketing programs.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. I love that recommendation. I think it's amazing to start there with those segments and then if there are other segments, just making sure you're using the data and making sure that before you put a lot of time into creating that for a segment, that you're looking into audiences and you're seeing how many people are coming there and using that data inaudible and I love those three segments and adding that personalization. And speaking of personalization, something that you touched on a little bit earlier that I want to double- click into is this concept of contextualization. So as you're building out your first bot with your home page might be different than the fourth time they come back to the site. Every buyer's journey is going to be different, so how do you think about contextualization as you're building out a playbook or playbook strategy?

Chris: So I touched on it a bit, but it bears repeating. First and third- party data are your friends, so making sure to incorporate Drift's own clear bit data and in the crawl, walk, run, again, approach to contextualization. If you're in the crawl phase and you're just getting started, I'd recommend inferring and contextualizing, maybe based on industry, 90% of my clients have an industry- based approach to how they build up their content and inaudible similar case studies, et cetera, so that might be a great place to start. As you're building up those flows and inferring where people are from, maybe inferring and placing that in the copy and some of the assets that you're featuring. If you're walking or you're running, I'd recommend blending the marketing inaudible platform and the CRM data for role- based contextualization. So titles, whether or not this person is a decision- maker or an influencer in the committee, et cetera. Those are all things that you may be tracking inaudible platform and your CRM. Then you can start to look at contextualize around. Lastly, using sixth- sense and demand base for firmagraphic and surge or intent- based targeting and contextualization. Drift has a massively powerful integration with those two platforms, so if you're putting all this effort into building out those lists, it's a no-brainer to import them into Drift and build out a segment.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. The crawl, walk, run is such a great way of approaching it because it just makes it a little bit easier to come at. I can start here and then I can continue to layer on personalization and, like you said, that firmagraphic data. But taking it back to basics in where my playbooks are, we talked about the home page. Maybe in the home page, you don't know who this person is and you might have to do a little bit more qualifying. And then there's different pages, where you can contextualize why they're there, the contact us page. So how do you differ a playbook like a home page playbook vs a contact us playbook?

Chris: Well, if you zoom out and are empathetic about the buyer journey and where these people are across your website, it can be rather simple. So if someone has decided to make it all the way to your contact us page, you have less condensing inaudible than, say, someone browsing atop of your funnel, like on an SEO blog, still educating themselves about the problem that they have and how you can solve it. So with that in mind, for a contact us page experience, it's mainly we like to just simply get out of their way and do our damn best to get sales to understand that if they get a notification from this bot and a chat comes through during office hours, they should do everything in their power to reply within 60 seconds. So that's the way that we frame the importance of the contact us page bot and the strategy of when we go up flow. But if someone's on your home page, they very well may still be educating themselves and so we like to give them an opportunity to get directly to sales with the appropriate qualification flow, of course, because we don't want to piss off sales with a bunch of crappy leads. But in those experiences, we also like to offer them some educational bots to highest- performing content, so taking a look at your inaudible, seeing what's resonating with our audiences, maybe logs with inaudible all times or case studies or PDFs with a high download rate, et cetera, et cetera. We like to feature those in our home page bots. So yeah. That's basically how we would mentally think about those two different experiences and how we would approach them.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. That's awesome. Speaking of form fills. Form fills are something that have been here since the beginning of time with marketing. They're very ingrained in peoples' sites and it's how we get MQLs and marketers can feel very attached to their forms. So how do you recommend, if you were to say to someone who is really attached to that form on the contact page or is really attached to that form on the in- offer page, whatever that may be. What do you recommend they do and how can Drift help, even if they want to keep that form there?

Chris: Yeah, for sure. So in a very prescient move by Drift, Drift rolled out a product called Fast Lane, I think it was a year ago, maybe a bit more. They realized that forms were here to stay for a while. I think in an ideal world, we just have every button click tied to a bot. That would be awesome. I think that's Drift's world of the B2B sites. But yeah, forms have a lot of stakeholders. Marketing people, leadership, et cetera live and die based off of inaudible form fills and then ultimately generated revenue from those form fills. But with Fast Lane, look, we have seen it rise to the top of... It's become the number one driver of incremental growth for our clients, so a lot of our clients started on a Drift account or a Drift tier, where they didn't have access to Fast Lane. We demo implemented it. They saw such a good response from their net increase of meetings booked and inaudible they're like, " Yeah. We got to upgrade. We need access to this." I think capitalizing on that key moment of the form fill and allowing and displaying that calendar to qualified prospects has allowed us to drastically lower that speed inaudible metrics. So if you really think about it, instead of that form fill to Marketo processing to automated email to week- long email chain potentially trying to find availability, you're allowing that prospect to choose their own time in the moment right after that macro-commitment of a form fill. So it's really a no- brainer to implement across most of your key forms if you have Drift and you have access to Fast Lane.

Sammi Reinstein: And, Chris, one question that I really want to ask you before we wrap up here is about the right conversation. We talk a lot about how to start conversations, but it's important to hone in on having that right conversation, so what playbook details are you suggesting people look at to make sure that they're having the right conversation at the right point in the buyer's journey?

Chris: Well, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I want to triple down on something that I brought up earlier. It's really just to make sure that your systematically capturing the right interactions throughout all of your playbooks. Again, interactions like clicked on a button that indicated that they're interested in talking to sales, clicked on a button that indicated they were interested in solution X or Y, made it to the booked a meeting node, but didn't actually successfully book that meeting. That way, when people come back to your website, you're not tone deaf and you're not hitting them with the home page bot that's like, " Hey, how can I help you?" Because they've clearly given you actionable and useful data in previous interactions. So that's what I would say is the number one driver to having the right conversation at the right time via Drift.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. It's so important and, like we said earlier, the personalization aspects and, as a buyer, making sure that you're not getting those questions re- asked and all of that. That you feel like the bot is continuing with your buyer's journey and continuing to make sure that they're giving you the right pieces of content or recommending the right things. It can really make or break that buyer experience.

Chris: Absolutely.

Sammi Reinstein: Well, Chris, I think this is really a must listen for any Drift customers out there that are thinking about optimization and thinking about auditing their bot, so thank you, Chris, so much. Before you go, where can people find you if they want to connect with you?

Chris: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, and thanks for having us. And they can find us at DigitalReachAgency. com. Me and the team, we're always around. We do a pro- bono audit before any of our engagements to inaudible value and really validate that project plan. And if you want to get in touch with me, you can reach out to me direct inaudible.

Sammi Reinstein: Awesome. Thank you so much, Chris.

Chris: Yeah, you bet.

Elizabeth: Clearly, Chris has learned a lot in the past year auditing playbooks. A lot of trial and error, problems solved. Hopefully, he solved problems for our listeners, so that they don't have to experience the same things and can have an even smoother playbook implementation.

Sammi Reinstein: Yeah. Bots and playbooks and all of that are some of my favorite things to talk about, so I really enjoyed speaking with Chris, who is a fellow conversational marketing nerd, geek-

Elizabeth: Enthusiast.

Sammi Reinstein: Enthusiast. And I hope all the other conversational marketing enthusiasts enjoyed this episode.

Elizabeth: And if you have more questions about bots, playbooks, et cetera, feel free to let us know in the comments or chat into our bot on the podcast page.

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.


With a name like Conversation Starters, it's no wonder why we've been talking a lot about how to have the right conversations on this show. But the reality is that many conversations take place on a website before that human-human phone call, in-person meeting, or video chat takes place.

That's why a contextualized, personalized playbook strategy is so critical to your website experience.

Kris Borja is the Director of Conversational Marketing at Digital Reach Agency, where he spends most of his day aligning his clients' goals to a Drift chat strategy.

In this episode, Kris explains why auditing your playbooks is critical to chat success, debunks playbook myths, and he shares' the #1 deliverable that will help you make sure you're having the right conversations with your prospects at the right time.

The Highlights:

  • (3:58) What being a Director of Conversational Marketing entails
  • (5:35) What it means to “audit a playbook”
  • (12:55) Kris debunks three major playbook myths
  • (20:16) How Kris thinks about contextualization within playbook strategy
  • (24:33) How Drift can work alongside your website’s forms
  • (26:41) What playbook details you can look at to make sure you’re having the right conversation at the right point in the buyer’s journey

Read more about how Kris thinks about auditing live chat habits

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