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Drift, the company that claims to be the originator of the currently trending conversational marketing IT sector, yesterday unveiled at its FLASH Miami customer event the Drift Conversation Cloud. The product is a mashup of the company’s three core software packages: Conversational Marketing, Conversational Sales and newly launched Conversational Service. 

The Drift Conversation Cloud is designed to enable companies to deliver personalized ecommerce experiences at all points in a customer session, keeping the potential buyer in the right place at the right time and with the right conversation, Drift’s chief product officer, Leo Tenenblat told VentureBeat. It does this by smoothly integrating sales, marketing and service, he said.

According to Forrester Research, buyers of business solutions complete more than 70% of their buying processes online before connecting with a salesperson. Throughout the customer lifecycle, from first contact to product implementation, savvy buyers expect speed, convenience and excellent service, the researcher said. At the same time, the shift to digital-first and increasing competition in all markets means it’s harder than ever to sell, market and service effectively, Forrester’s research showed. 

Most businesses don’t connect these experiences very well, resulting in a poor buying experience, Forrester said. To help solve these issues, Teneblat said, the Drift Conversation Cloud is designed for the buyer, providing sellers, marketers and service professionals with actionable intelligence to meet buyers where they are and offer a highly personalized customer experience. 

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Sales almost always begin with conversational marketing

“Everything starts with a conversation, and in-person communication and experiences are taking a back seat to the conversations we have online, especially in our business relationships,” Tenenblat said. “Businesses are relying more and more on digital experience platforms – or in our case, conversational-experience platforms – to bridge these connections and manage key customer interactions, touchpoints and engagement.

“Our guiding philosophy at Drift is to put the buyer at the center of everything we do.”

Drift, whose AI engine senses and collects a high amount of intelligence data on each customer, has grown quickly since its founding in 2015, with six global locations, 600 employees, 5,000 paying customers and more than 200,000 users of its free tier – which is plainly the company’s key to success.

The Boston-based company’s revenue-acceleration platform is powered by Drift Conversational AI, which guides visitors on a personalized journey where they can voice their intent with open text questions, find answers to their questions, get personalized recommendations or book a sales meeting — day and night, Tenenblat said. 

The platform enables businesses to engage with buyers in a personalized way at every stage — from researching to chatting with sales to post-sales support. This includes the following:

  • Drift Conversational Marketing: Conversational Marketing connects marketers and website visitors in real-time conversations to surface the appropriate content for visitors, answer their questions, or qualify and convert best-fit buyers through the funnel.
  • Drift Conversational Sales: Conversational Sales helps sellers close deals faster by giving them a unified place to get real-time buyer insights, collaborate with teammates, and jumpstart personalized conversations through chat, video, email or phone.
  • Drift Conversational Service: Conversational Service provides real-time personalized customer care and helps support agents focus on high-priority customers by deflecting low-level issues or empowering customers to answer their questions and routing in a service agent to chat live when they need human help. 

Drift has grown quickly, steadily

“The growth (of the company) has been quite explosive,” Tenenblat told VentureBeat. “We started by creating this category called conversational marketing. And we started off by seeing that there’s a lot of friction in the process. You know, the process for marketing in the old days was you see an ad, you go to a website because of that ad, you’re trying to get some content, but they make you fill out a form. You fill out the form, nobody responds to that form. If they do, it’s like multiple days later, by the time that happens, the person has moved on. So, we saw a lot of friction. 

“These systems are based on what is good for the vendor as opposed to the buyer, and so we changed that by bringing the conversational experience to [business-to-business] B2B websites,” Teneblat said. “That was how we got started.”

Drift is described as an “emerging favorite” on the Capterra product review site. It competes with RocketChat, LiveChat, Intercom and others in this market.

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