3 Ways to Increase Chat Efficiency with Jennifer Kordash

Reading Time: 14 minutes

Overview: Jennifer Kordash in charge of Enterprise Demand Gen at Quickbase shares how to make chat more efficient at the 2021 RevTech Summit.

About the speaker: Jennifer works at QuickBase. As the Field Marketing Manager she manages, builds and launches demand generation programs in line with the Go to Market company initiatives and campaigns. She is responsible for lead, pipeline and MRR quota per quarter and developed tactic mix. She also worked closely alongside sales to enable and equip SDR team on marketing messaging

Everyone, welcome to the RevTech Summit, or my living room. I definitely wish that we could all be in person, but this will have to do. My name is Jenn. And I hope everyone is staying safe and sane. 

Today, we’re going to talk about three ways to increase chat efficiency. So this has definitely been my bread and butter, and huge focus on testing and optimizing this with the end goal of increasing meetings booked and revenue. Really I want the goal for this session to be providing you guys with actionable insights and ideas to implement within the next 30 days, so you can start seeing results this quarter. If you try any of these, let me know.

And let’s get started. So first, who am I? I am Jen Kordash, and I work on the field marketing team at Quick Base. The last two years, I’ve been really focused on demand generation as well as account based marketing, and I’ve had the privilege of testing a ton of new tactics to help land net new logos. I’m also a Michigan State grad. So go green! I will drop my LinkedIn somewhere, I feel like a YouTuber right now. I would love to connect with you. Let me know if you have any experience with any of these things. If you tried any of them, or you have new ideas. 

So to zoom in a bit on a lot of the tactic testing that I’ve been doing the last two years, chat has been one of the areas that we’ve seen the greatest improvement. We have really optimized our chat function through personalization, segmentation, and enabling sellers. What does this actually mean? I’m going to break all of that down for you. First, why should we make chat focus? This is a really good question.

For starters, you’re really not going to get more engaged a visitor than someone who’s on your site in that moment. So let’s capitalize on that. Second, we want to make sure that we’re not just sending out a random message. We want to make sure it’s relevant. It’s relevant to their pain points or a problem that they’re experiencing. Lastly, we can essentially clone our best SDR. And have them on the site 24/7 through the bot, if we set it up, right. The bot can ask qualifying questions and book time directly on reps calendars for demos.

So let’s get into it. The three main focus areas for today, one, getting value realization to the visitor faster, through segmentation and personalization to align chat goals with your SDR schools, three, getting sellers excited about chat, this may be the hardest one, but I think it has the most payoff. 

So number one, getting value realization faster through segmentation and personalization. The way to do this is layering in intense data. You can use 6Sense or Demandbase, we use 6Sense, it integrates directly with Drift, and we’ve built out segments in 6Sense. So the segments are based off of some of the target industries or use cases that we’re going after. We also have one for opportunities that our sales team is working on that are in stage two. If you look at all of these different buckets, they all don’t have the same pain points, they all don’t have the same reasonings for being on our site. We tailor our opening messages accordingly.

We also tailor the content that we’re recommending by the bot differently. If we know that someone’s from a construction industry, then maybe we’ll show them a use case on construction. If they’re from stage two, and they’ve already had a demo with one of our sales reps. Maybe we’re promoting the buyer’s guide in the chat bot so that they can really evaluate different vendors. A huge win here is the increase in engagement rate. More people are chatting in with a bot if the message is relevant to them. We’ve seen a huge increase in the bot conversation rates. As well as conversion rates to meetings booked because of this.

So if this seems overwhelming, maybe you have a lot of target accounts, a lot of segmentation that you can do. Let’s not recreate the wheel here. Let’s leverage what you already have. If you’re running ads, or an email blast to a certain industry or subset of accounts, let’s marry that with chat and create a really seamless experience. The visitor is seeing specific messaging from the ads, they’re seeing the same messaging and an email blasts, and then the same mustering as an opening message when they hit hit your site. This is great and I really think it nails in that value proposition. 

So think of the bot as a way to easily and quickly test messaging to target segments to inform your other tactics that you’re doing throughout your program. Also, another way segmentation can really help is speaking to small business and enterprise companies differently. Being able to have a different opening message fire when an enterprise account hits our site. Versus a small business is crucial to providing value faster. Second, aligning chat with SDR goals. The way we have our chat bot set up is the SDRs each take an hour a day.

Their sole focus for that hour is to man the bot and respond to any incoming messages. Before we really optimized our chat bot, the visitors chatting in weren’t very high intent. And a lot of them just simply weren’t that interested. The reps ended up having to field a bunch of really random questions that really wouldn’t amount to meetings. This is so frustrating for the SDR is they have so much of their time. That they need to be focused on calling and prospecting and sending emails out. This was an hour where they really couldn’t do any of that. This caused a really, really high response time, you know, five plus minutes. And you know, by that time, the visitors gone.

They don’t want to wait around for you to respond! They’re interested in the moment they, they want a quick answer, they want to see if this is gonna work. So we realized that this was broken. And we needed to make sure that the SDRs were getting enough out of chat and create an awesome bot with segmentation, personalization, all of these layers into it. But if no one on the other end is going to respond to the visitor, it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters that sales and marketing alignment is so crucial here, you have to have a good relationship with SDRs and make sure that they’re getting what they need from chat, so that you get what you need from chat.

So we had a five minute response time. Finally, we have higher intent visitors coming to the site and more of them. Great! We saw the higher response time, because STOs aren’t incentivized on how fast that they respond. And we changed that through developing a leaderboard. We had the SDRs ranked on how fast the response time was. How many meetings they booked that week. We kind of gamified the situation and made it fun. I’ll get into a little bit about that in the next segment, but really making sure that the goals with chat are aligned with goals, the SDR. 

Three, getting sellers excited about chat. Getting sellers excited about chat is probably the hardest part of this puzzle. But I think it’s the one of the most impact. So to dive a bit deeper into the rep scorecard here, this helps in holding reps accountable for their response time. We essentially ranked the SDRs based off of their response time response rate, and how many meetings that they booked that week. I sent this out on Monday morning and it became kind of a competition between the reps. No one wanted to be last.

And it took our response rate from around five minutes to under 30 seconds. And we saw such big changes in how the SDR is viewed chat and their entire energy around the platform. It went from me pinging them. Hey, reminder, this is your hour on chat, I don’t see you online! To asking if they could download the Drift mobile app so that they could respond to chats on their commute home. And when it’s 8pm and they’re still working. They wanted the meetings that came from their time on chat, so they actually spent more time there.

We saw a big increase in meetings booked when we decreased our response rate. Because people weren’t getting the answers that they needed. And the time that they wanted. Last year when the chat time went from five minutes to under 30 seconds. I really wanted to award the SDRs for a job well done. It was definitely no small feat. So I created a little mini event. I branded it the Drift Met Gala, it was so funny and a great experience. But I awarded the top performing SDR from the leaderboard that I spoke about earlier. And it was just a fun event, they got a prize. We talked about the funniest chats that came in from that quarter.

It was just a really great event all around. Reps need to be celebrated for the work that they’re doing on chat. They take a lot of the times top of the funnel visitors and book meetings with them! This is no small feat, and they should be appreciated. So with that being said, I actually wanted to introduce a guest speaker, Brett Raymond, he’s an SDR at Quickbase and has been top of the leaderboard for two quarters in a row. 

Welcome, Brett. Thank you, Jenn. It’s good to be here. Thanks for having me. Well, I wanted to kind of dive into your experience with chat and how you’ve seen some success there. So could you describe how chat fits into your overall prospecting process.  

Absolutely, happy to. Chat has become an integral part of my prospecting process in my day to day. Our team consists of nine or 10 SDRs, we all get one hour of chat every day, and we are a part of a rotator that differs every day. So some days we’ll have morning shifts, some days, mid day, some days afternoon, and it rotates on a daily basis. But we essentially leverage chat to identify opportunities and problems where prospects and individuals, they’ll come to quickbase looking to solve those problems.

So we help guide them, point them in the right direction. Chat is very important because it’s also connected to our calendar, so it gives the prospects an opportunity to, if they don’t want to talk to a bot, if they don’t want to talk to a human, they can actually put time on our calendars directly, which helps speed up the process of getting us in contact with those prospects, which is wonderful and helps provide additional opportunities.  

Yeah, absolutely. And the point you made there about them being able to book time directly on your calendar that kind of allows you to have a SDR in a sense on chat 24/7, because you know, the bot is able to qualify those meetings, so it seems a little bit easier to be able to hit some of those quota numbers if you had someone there all day long. Oh, yeah, absolutely. It’s like having an SDR that works specifically for me. 

You gotta love that. Exactly. So, how do you leverage chat to hit your quota goals every month? 

Great question. Chat provides the company additional revenue, and it provides myself additional meetings for me to book. The reason it allows me to hit my quota much quicker is that by taking advantage of the chat opportunities, and given that there are days with less traction than others, but there’s days where there’s more opportunities, and I can even handle and I need to involve other team members. But it essentially shortens that gap with connecting me to the individuals who are looking again to solve some specific problem.

They expressed interest in quickbase, they’remon the website, they’re looking to gather some piece of information. So we leverage our prospecting skills to ask open ended questions to get information from them. We have one goal, and it’s to get that information from them and help assure they are in the right place. And then just get them on the phone and book a meeting with them. And so chat really  decreases that time it typically takes for me to figure out if I’m you know, speaking to the right person, contacting the right person, targeting the right person, and allows us to get that information and help assure that there is an opportunity that can be found.  

Right. And I love the piece that you talked about when you said that it helps me identify if this is the right person faster, rather than calling on all of these people that you know, maybe not the right person that would speak to that pain point, or that would be in the position to actually buy the software. So do you have any advice to ensure that chat leads are quality leads and not just junk? You know, I’m sure you’ve gotten time on your calendar from the bot that was not legitimate. How do you weed those out? 

Great question. So luckily, when folks come to the Quickbase website, they have an opportunity to speak with the bot or speak with a human. And we are very thankful that the bot does a great job when speaking and having that conversation with the human and it can actually gather information from them. So for example, when an individual comes to the website, they want to book a time on my calendar, the bot will actually go out of its way to get the company information, the contact information to assure that that lead is somewhat qualified from a contact information perspective, because the last thing we want is for, you know, some student or some intern to book time on our calendar, where there might just not be an opportunity there.

It’s more so than trying to, you know, explore maybe what Quickbase is or learn some piece of information about the platform. So having the the chat get that information for us decreases that time it typically would take to get that information. It helps speed up the qualification process. And it helps ensure that the leads and prospects are, trying to solve some sort of pain or frustration, because if they do give us all their information, they’re more likely to actually have a conversation with us. So, it means they’re actively looking to solve for something or get some sort of answer.  

I think another tip and trick that we we’ve all learned is that personalization is really key on chat. If the prospect is energetic, you need to match that energy. So if they use one word answer responses, match their responses. And if they’re using texting slang, use texting slang. All of that personalization, I think really plays a massive role in the qualification process, because if I was on the other end, and I came to some sort of chat website, I would absolutely want to speak with someone who matches the energy that I provide in that chat. I think that just plays a crucial role in the qualification process.  

I like what you said about matching that energy as a good tip/trick. Do you have any other advice for SDRs that are just starting out on chat? 

Absolutely. Time to first touch is key as well. We’ve found that in, if you can respond in under 30 seconds, it’s a lot more likely and higher of a chance to convert that individual into an opportunity and also for that opportunity to convert to revenue. And so we do what we can to have the shortest response times as possible, preferably under 30 seconds, so that we can keep the conversation going, and then we can get them on the phone to speak more in depth with us. 

Do you have any big success stories that you can share from chat. Maybe a good lead that came through or something that you qualified? 

Yeah, absolutely. So it was actually one of my first, I’d say second or third month managing the chat. And it was with a net new logo, it was a very short sales cycle, it actually converted to closed one within two months, which was great to see, especially in the enterprise segment. 

And essentially, I was able to chat with an individual on the revenue team at a pretty big messaging platform and software. I was able to leverage my prospecting skills to get some information from the prospect, we ended up figuring out that quickbase was a great fit for their use case, which was around contract management.

We hopped on a call, I learned a little bit more about their processes, some of the challenges that their team was facing, and then the next day, I was able to hop on another call with one of our account executives, who helped kick off the the sales process. A few months later, it got over the finish line.  

Brett that’s actually a really good point that you just brought up as this company had a really short deal cycle length of around two months. But when I was digging into their activity with a bot, I had noticed that they had been chatting in six months prior to this engagement where they actually booked a meeting, can you kind of talk to how you can provide value to these visitors chatting in that aren’t ready to book a meeting or they’re not ready to take that next step? How do you handle those? 

Great question. I think one thing to note that it is very helpful having the chat history of intent, being able to look back, understand that they have been interested in in Quickbase, if came to the website before, but like you said, they’re just not ready to speak with an individual yet or book time with someone on the team. So I like to take more of a consultative approach and really just have a casual chat conversation with the individual.

The last thing I want to do is shove a software in their face, I’m here to learn as much as I can about their day to day about the challenges and problems that they’re facing, and help assure that they are in the right place. And really, it’s just my goal to get them on the phone with myself. So once you’re able to leverage some open ended questions, get some information from the individual, and assure to them that we have solved that problem before, that we can solve that problem, and that my goal is to make sure we are aligned.

I was able to get them on the phone to have another conversation a little bit more in depth. I think taking a consultative approach and letting them know that hey, we’re here to help. You know you’re on the website right now. You expressed interest. I would love the opportunity to grab a few minutes of your time to learn more and see if we can help you. Like we’ve helped similar companies around the same use case or in the same industry, whatever it may be. All of that plays a really big part in the qualification process and getting opportunities through the chat bot. 

Yeah, it’s all about building trust. Right and chat is just another way that you can leverage that through a consultive approach or or however you do it, it’s asking those open ended questions and, letting them know that we’ve solved those problems. So I love that point you made. And this was all really, really helpful. Again, Brett, I thank you so much for your time today. And giving your expertise here to some people who are new at chat or really want to optimize their performance. The best way to do that is through the SDRs. Making sure that they’re engaged and, they’re equipped to qualify those meetings. So thank you again, Brett, and great work. 

Okay, so let’s recap, shall we? First, getting value add faster through segmentation and personalization. We want to make sure we have some targeted segments that align with some of the other tactics that we’re doing, and easily test out messaging to this group of accounts. Second, putting chat goals in terms of reps goals. Why should reps care about being on chat? Make sure the meetings that they’re booking are quality, make sure their response time is quick.

Three, get sellers excited about chat, all the segmentation and personalization means nothing if no one’s there to respond on the other end and book a meeting. So whether you do this through gamifying the experience, a leaderboard, or even an event that recognizes the top performing SDR, we need to make sure that they feel appreciated. That’s all for me. That was three ways to increase chat efficiency to book more meetings and increase revenue. Let me know if you try any of these tips and tricks. Connect with me on LinkedIn and see you next time.