Personalized landing page experiences are no longer for marketing alone, according to Drift. Sales now can create similar experiences for their buyers through the firm’s new Deal Room offering.
The Drift Deal Room is a "shared digital space" where sellers can provide buyers with everything they need or want to know to drive a purchase to close. Think about the personalized content experiences marketing teams create for their account-based marketing programs. These customized landing pages provide prospects with all types of content focused on the information they are looking for when researching and learning about a product.
That is what Deal Room is, except it's not about content, such as e-books, blogs, or videos. Instead, it's a secure place where a selling team can store and manage all data related to dealing with a buyer (and buying committee) - chat logs, recorded phone conversations, emails, contracts, and recorded demos etc.
In addition, it includes a checklist of steps that need to happen and the ability to continue to share information and communicate with the buying committee, including scheduling meetings and sharing the space with other members. Notifications can also be enabled to let people know when something new is added, changed, or uploaded.
Of course, it could also include marketing content - because that content is often critical when trying to drive a sale.
Think about it this way. A potential buyer comes to your website and does some research. They decide to interact with your chatbot. They provide their email address or phone number, and an SDR reaches out to them. They request and have a demo of your product, and now they want to take the next steps - pricing, a security review, legal review, etc.
The Drift Deal Room is where you can bring together all that information and make it available to everyone on the buying team and everyone involved on the seller side (SDR, AE, etc.).
A modern selling experience
The Deal Room is a product in the Drift Conversational Sales solution, which is part of the Drift Conversation Cloud. It's a continuation of the company's plans to provide tools to help sellers streamline and improve the sales process.
Kimen Warner, VP of Product Management at Drift. is responsible for the apps (or components) Drift sells to marketing, sales, and service teams. She argues that there is a need to move away from traditional selling and leverage tools to put the buyer into control of their buying experience:
If you have a really great modern chat experience, and you get more leads more quickly, and then you send them down the old traditional path on the sales side, you lose a lot of the value that you've generated out of the modern chat experience at the front end.
The Deal Room is designed to make the sales process easier. I've written about expanding the content experience to support a more sales-focused content experience, but the deal room Drift has created goes even further to include all conversations from all channels into a single location by all people involved in the buying process. Warner says:
Once you've got someone interested in you, you have an open opportunity with them. We want to make it easier, and we want to put the buyer first and the buyer in charge of this journey which they typically are not when it comes to B2B sales. Let them understand more of what's going on, organize themselves more easily, which will hopefully lead to a better experience for them and more deals closed at a faster rate for the seller.
This raises the obvious question of whether Drift is considering the same type of experience app for marketing - similar to what Uberflip and other content experience platforms do. Warner reckons that Drift feels it can solve that requirement better in a chat experience, expanding to show more content as a prospect asks for more information and returns to the site again.
You can also draw similarities to what some sales enablement platforms, such as ShowPad and Mediafly provide. Still, these solutions look more like marketing-style content experiences than what Drift has created. Warner says sales enablement tools also provide "mutual action plans," which are similar to the checklists in the Deal Room but are seller driven and not always exposed to the buyer:
The intent here is that the buyer uses it as well and that they are in charge or at least equally in charge with the seller of driving the conversation, moving to the next step and taking the next action rather than being forced through a cadence which is typically what the sales engagement platforms focus on.
Bringing the right data together
All the data needed to create the Deal Room doesn't exist solely within Drift. It requires deep integrations with the CRM, marketing automation, and other systems. Drift includes an account view that shows the account information from the CRM, interactions in sales engagement tools, marketing interactions from the marketing automation system, interactions with the website, and other channels.
The account view is not the Deal Room; it's separate. But it shows how far Drift has come to create a sales environment that can help companies improve their selling processes. The Deal Room comes into play when an opportunity is established. It is automatically created when a meeting is held, and the transcript from that first meeting and the video recording are the first things added to the room. The seller can decide if they want to share the deal room with the buyer at that point or later on. Warner explains:
The more data you have from disparate sources, the more relevant you can be in your conversations. So the idea is not to flood the prospect with more stuff to read or a different website to go look at. I'm not saying that's bad, but the specific problem we're trying to solve right now on the sales side is where the SDR to AE handoff happens almost every day in the sales cycle, right?
You have an initial conversation with SDR or chat or whatever it is. If you're worthy, you get promoted to the AE, and then you start that conversation. And almost every time, you have to repeat your story to the AE that you already told that the SDR and it might be interpreted a little bit differently each time.
If we can provide enough information and help the SDR share that information with the AE because we know they're not writing it up in Salesforce like they're supposed to. It gives us a better opportunity for the buyer to have a good experience. "
I write about personalized content experiences a lot. It's a marketing tool that can help companies make a connection with potential buyers they might now otherwise be able to do. But Warner is correct in saying these experiences can't be built for every prospect; they are built for those with a higher potential of converting, especially at higher revenue. Tools like Uberflip can help build these experiences at a larger scale, but they still aren't built for every potential customer.
The Deal Room will be built for every opportunity. AEs must do the leg work required to gather all the information about the account and the sale anyway. Having a deal room where they can bring it all together and make it available to the customer to encourage conversation and collaboration is smart selling.