Why Sales and Marketing Deserve To Be Disrupted

Having the best product isn’t enough.

The strongest brand? It’s not the only thing that’ll make your business successful.

Even outstanding customer service won’t seal the deal.

So, what can you do to stay one step ahead of the competition?

Get as close to the customer as possible. It’s one of the most important things a business can do to drive growth today.

See, times have changed. We’ve shifted away from a supply-oriented market to one that’s driven by demand. But when people have more choices than ever before, owning demand gets harder, and it’s simply not enough to have a great product. If you truly want to stand out, you’ve got to find a way to connect with customers: listen to them, learn from them, and by all means, build for them.

Earlier this year, David Cancel put it best when he said,

“If you look at the world today, hotels own the supply, but Airbnb owns the demand. Cabs own the supply, but Uber and Lyft own the demand.

This is good news for all of us as buyers and consumers. Because in a world where demand is the most valuable thing, we get to dictate to companies how we want to be served, what products we want, and what we value.”

The Conversational Marketing Revolution

Back in the day, content marketing transformed the way we market and sell. Content became a game-changer for building relationships with prospects. Then marketers started gating content, and prospects forked over their information in exchange for access.

That worked for a while.

But soon, buyers grew wary of the spammy emails and irrelevant messages that followed a form submission. These days, prospects can sniff out a hard sell a mile away. What’s more, there are a million companies competing for attention all at once.

The cold, hard truth?

The way we market and sell products deserves to be disrupted. The old way no longer aligns with the way people shop for anything, much less software designed to drive business growth.

That’s why I’m so excited to join Drift, and be a part of the conversational marketing revolution. Much like how content transformed marketing a decade ago, this movement is poised to alter the way we market and sell products, and optimize for business growth.

The Right Conversations Matter

How much do you enjoy getting a cold call–or several–from a sales rep randomly?

What about getting dropped into a drip email sequence after downloading a single piece of content?

If you’re like most buyers, both of these scenarios are seriously unappealing.

And yet, we continue to use these tactics indiscriminately in the name of growth. It’s not that calls, emails, or content are broken–it’s that the way we’re using them is counterproductive to building real relationships with prospects.

Bottom line? Sales conversations need to be on the customer’s terms.

Sales has always been about relationships. But if you’re treading on that relationship from the start, it’s probably not going to be a good one in the long-term.

So what do smart sales and marketing teams do to 10x growth?

Assuming you’ve got the table stakes covered–the best product possible, the strongest brand, and outstanding customer support–you need to get closer to your customers.

Instead of forms and gated content, free your information to the people and businesses who want it.

Instead of rigid sales processes and requirements, make prospects work less, and force technology to work harder.

Let people ask questions–no strings attached–when they visit your website. Tailor conversations with visitors based on the frequency of their engagement. And then, get them to a sales rep when they’re ready to buy.

This is the vision that guides what we’re building at Drift. It reflects the way real people and businesses buy today.

But ultimately, it’s not about us.

It’s about giving businesses the power to do exactly what the Airbnbs, Ubers, and Lyfts of the world do so well: Stay as close to the customer as possible.

P.S. Can we send you an email?

Once a week or so we send an email with our best content. We never bug you; we just send you our latest piece of content.

3 thoughts on “Why Sales and Marketing Deserve To Be Disrupted

  1. Hey there Sonja! Congrats on the new position! Something I’d like to hear a conversation on: how does conversational marketing approach discoverability? Inbound and content marketing had a clear connection to discoverability through both SEO and SEM, as well as connecting to 3rd party email marketing partnerships through relevant content, etc. Where are the natural connectors for conversation marketing? Will Drift find ways to enter earlier in the customer/educational journey? Eg, chat embedded in video? Tools connected inside of Facebook? Ways to capture AdWords click information that immediately informs Driftbot conversations or live data to chat teams?

  2. First five years of my career were spent in hotel operations – mostly at the front desk. Three years ago, I had the opportunity to work with a company that disrupted hotel guest communication by allowing guests to freely text with hotel staff (no app needed).

    It’s great to be a part of a time where a company like Drift is pushing this conversation beyond the techniques taught in Challenger Sales and Sandler Training manuals by enabling AEs (like myself) to have real conversations in the preferred format of our buyers. Reps need to rebuild some of the trust in our profession lost to old techniques. Live conversations will undoubtedly help 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the post and looking forward to being a part of the convo at SaaStr and throughout this year – it’s a change that needs to happen.

  3. Interesting. We just on-boarded Drift, and it’s nice that they’re putting out strategy overview content that focuses on the benefits of the platform, and more accurately on the philosophy driving it.

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