When the experience management platform, Qualtrics, started ideating account-based marketing, they wanted to take something already good and make it even better. This story shows how Qualtrics used a phased approach to implementing ABM with a Drift and 6sense integration.
With myriad solutions and prospects visiting their site every day, the Qualtrics team wanted to make sure that their website was optimized for all visitors — and particularly target accounts. “We had all the traditional channels set up for users to get in touch with our brand, like filling out a form on our website, or talking to sales via phone or email,” explained Erin O’Neill, Website Marketing Manager. “But that digital aspect didn’t exist. Drift is a really low barrier to entry for users to get in touch with our brand.”
In 2018, Qualtrics launched Drift to ensure that no matter the channel, a user could get in touch with their sales team.
The team had two goals in mind in deploying Drift. First, they wanted to build incremental pipeline through the website, with Drift acting as an independent channel. Second, they wanted to generate net-new names from website visitors.
At the same time, marketing had begun rolling out a comprehensive account-based marketing (ABM) strategy. Peter MacArthur, Qualtrics’ Global Digital Marketing and ABM Senior Analyst, explained, “When we started ideating on ABM, the idea wasn’t to fix something that was broken. It was, ‘How can we take good things and make them better?’”
“Drift was an additional channel that we were able to integrate and optimize towards, without necessarily creating a huge amount of additional work. It built really easily into our website,” said Global Head of Conversion Rate Optimization at Qualtrics,
Qualtrics took a phased approach to their ABM strategy, implementing it little by little over the course of a few years. According to Peter, it wasn’t until they brought on 6sense that they had access to intent data from third-party websites. “Being able to know what topics our accounts are researching was our first step,” Peter said. Layering those insights into Drift was the icing on the cake.
One of the tenets of Qualtrics’ ABM strategy is that true personalization is deeper than simply using an account name or industry in a targeted message. That, and ABM done right should make it as easy as possible for website visitors to get where they need to go. As Peter explained, “The goal is to greet them with the message that is most relevant to them. To get them there faster, with fewer touchpoints.”
This was the ideology that pushed Qualtrics to segment intent-based audiences in 6sense, and use that data to create targeted Drift playbooks.
Erin O’Neill talks about the first test the team ran with the Drift x 6sense integration. “If we saw somebody had specific product intent in 6sense, then we would offer a playbook specific to that product. We’d offer them paths to talk to sales or offer them product content. That was the main test we launched and it was really successful in terms of conversation to opportunity rate in that specific playbook,” she said. “That was a great win and kicked off a deeper integration of Drift and 6sense into our ABM programs.”
If we know where a buyer is in their buyer journey and we use that information, it’s a lot more useful in meeting users where they are and getting them to engage with our brand. We’ve seen that convert a lot higher than just doing personalization for the sake of doing personalization.
But the Qualtrics team doesn’t stop their ABM motion at just targeting product content accordingly — they make sure their messaging reflects where that buyer is in their journey.
“6sense also tells us where contacts are in the funnel,” Peter explained. “So if an account is more top of the funnel and just getting familiar with Qualtrics, we might offer them a softer call-to-action, ebook, or blog post, versus a bottom-of-the-funnel account where we may be more aggressive with our messaging because they’re more familiar with what we have to offer. We can skip the fluff.”
Qualtrics has hundreds of products — which means it can be an overwhelming experience when a visitor lands on the website. But by using keyword data from 6sense, Qualtrics can see what products might be a good fit for that visitor, and customize the homepage bot based on that information — reducing the number of touch points required to find the right product fit.
“We have a fairly generic Drift playbook on our homepage,” Erin explained, “But I want to make sure that it’s really specific people getting to our sales reps. I don’t want to bog them down with a bunch of random chats. The Drift and 6sense integration has allowed us to be really targeted in terms of product interest and account fit. It’s allowed us to open the floodgates and reduce that friction to talk to our sales team.”
“It’s a better experience for our customers, for marketing, and for sales. It’s win-win-win when we can be smart about the marketing that we’re doing,” Erin said, “[The Drift and 6sense integration] has allowed us to prioritize better as a marketing team and deliver more quality leads and interactions to our sales team.”
Erin and Peter have some incredible results to share from that very first Drift x 6sense integration test:
Though Qualtrics is targeting a smaller audience with their 6sense segmented playbooks, the results show just how well this approach works in increasing email capture rate, and ultimately, turning those visitors into opportunities.
While Qualtrics has seen amazing initial success with the one-two punch of Drift and 6sense, they have big goals in mind for their ABM program as a whole — hoping to match their EMEA team’s success in driving 25% of pipeline through ABM. One particular use case Peter is excited to explore is using 6sense and Drift to suppress accounts outside of their ideal customer profile and reduce the amount of time and money spent on those accounts.
And as the team iterates on their ABM program, they’re excited to explore new product functionality. As Erin shared, “I don’t think we’ve fully explored all the capabilities of Drift yet. Our team is constantly amazed that Drift keeps coming up with new ways to use it.”