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Transform Conversational Marketing into Sales Connections (and here’s how one entrepreneur is doing it now)


As every successful entrepreneur can faithfully attest, it all starts with your best good idea. And the best ideas that most often turn into successful business models are those which tackle a previous problem from an entirely new angle. As we are all aware, before Edison, everyone was using gas to light their world!

But the entrepreneurial spirit carefully examines the existing system, and then imaginatively plots a brand-new vision of lighting the way. In 2014, serial entrepreneur David Cancel was taking a close look at the standard SaaS (software-as-a-service) model. He then began wondering why almost all services seemed to be ignoring the more efficient sales channels which could be at their convenient disposal. This was the challenge facing this entrepreneur. And so he also began to imagine how best to streamline what he saw as a needlessly clunky process. In short, David was searching “to create the new way that businesses buy from businesses.”

That “new way” soon became Drift.

The Drift Conversational Marketing Platform Revolution

The son of hard-working immigrant parents based in the working-class borough of Queens (NYC) David briefly attended local Queens College before bailing out of higher education. He felt somewhat stifled by the world of academia and yearned to test himself in the real world (although he eventually gained his BA in Computer Science and Accounting). He then dove straight into the real-world trenches of actual business creation. His initial touchdown was at HubSpot, where he quickly became CPO, before venturing out even further and farther as founder/co-founder of both Lookery and Ghostery, among others (Performable, BuyerZone, et al).

Then in 2014 David and Co-founder Elias Torres, inspired by their combined hands-on tech experience coupled with David’s initial entrepreneurial successes, envisioned a faster, more direct method of B2B connection which could:

  • Connect business visitors to your site instantly.
  • Streamline your business pipeline.
  • Significantly increase close rates.
  • Significantly increase customer retention.
  • Allow for a greatly improved customer service experience.

And so, Drift was born.

David designed Drift specifically to streamline the online business pipeline even as it increases revenues and instantly enables/engages the B2B connection. This was the primary business challenge David sought to overcame. And he realized that his real-world experience provided him with the knowledge to overcome it. He saw that the real business challenge was connection. And he understood that, through technological innovation, they could turn connection into conversation.

Drift is now the industry’s leading “conversational marketing” platform. Drift’s service enables comprehensive automation of the lead qualification process, allowing sales teams to laser focus on the goal of closing! The service currently maintains 50K+ businesses thriving through the use of Drift’s innovative thinking. Arming themselves with David’s “flipped pyramid” management technique, the Drift team has grown from an initial 20 to a robust 200—and is still making room for continued growth—with each team member learning from each other as they continue their sustainable, healthy expansion.

As David sees it-

“Basically, the idea is to invert the pyramid that usually exists within companies where the CEOs and different VPs at the top and the individual team contributors are at the bottom so everything flows down and people want to rise within the organization because they want to eventually be a boss or manager. I leaned into this idea of inverting this pyramid so that the higher your title, the lower you are and the more you have to spend time helping the people above you. And always at the very top of the pyramid are the customers."

Case in point.

The TreeRing Triumph Deploying Drift

Due directly to David’s history of entrepreneurial success, Drift immediately enjoyed market awareness and business interest. When Drift first offered its services on the market, TreeRing was an online yearbook company struggling with the unique nature of their sales expansion. Given that more than 50% of all TreeRing’s sales were at that time dependent on existing clients within a seasonal sales period—a not uncommon service and sales issue—their challenges were significant but far from unique. But this was exactly the type of sales scenario in which Drift’s innovative entrepreneurial approach was poised to produce positive results!

Or, as TreeRing’s director of marketing Leo Strupczewski so succinctly summed it up-

“Drift helped us solve our biggest challenge: Connecting with sales-ready leads more quickly. Big bonus: It’s nearly fully automated and requires little day-to-day oversight.”

This was exactly the effect that David and Elias envisioned when they created Drift.
The TreeRing results right out of the gate were a gratifying reminder that the entrepreneurial spirit of innovative problem solving can reliably create its own opportunities, as well as its own rewards. In fact, deploying Drift’s systems, in just 2 months the TreeRing team rapidly gained-

  • A 10% increase in the value of TreeRing’s opportunity pipeline.
  • A 15x return on investment (ROI)
  • An 88% connection on Sales calls scheduled through Drift on the first attempt!

This is entrepreneurial innovation creating the business game plan, and then putting it into action on the field. It’s David and Elias’s innovative thinking that should absolutely encourage those entrepreneurs perhaps still sitting on the sidelines and drawing their good idea diagrams to take action.

Real Entrepreneurs Dive In

In 2020 it’s quite clear that David’s career path went from success to success—Hubspot to Performable to Ghostery to BuyerZone—and also that the NYC business pioneer could have certainly rested on any of the rewards he gained from his roster of robust business scores. But that’s just not what real entrepreneurs do! Because the “good idea” is the flame that burns at the core of those iconoclastic individuals seeking success where previously there was only the bones of picked clean business carcasses.

As David recently shared when referring to Drift’s very particular tech innovation-

“We believe that marketing and sales is coming together. We’ve been trying to do that for a long time and were organizing around two things, conversations and revenue. So we’re a platform that lets them do that. We all know that if you have salespeople on your team, no one’s going to be able to sell anything until they have a conversation. Salespeople and marketing systems and automation has been focused for years on putting hurdles between you, the prospect, and the salesperson. What we do is remove those hurdles and create a fast pass direct line between that prospect and the salesperson.”

Yes, Drift was created to directly address a very current need.

Yet this was a need that had gone largely either unnoticed, ignored or simply surrendered to the vagaries of business fates. It took a keen entrepreneur to stop for a moment, see the business opening that was there all along, and finally say-

We can do better!

Historically the US businessman has set a standard of successful excellence that’s been the envy of the world and one that’s carried our country through some of our darkest days. Now, more than ever before, our markets are global. Consequently, these markets demand that we step up our game on a much more competitive global playground. This demand absolutely calls for the forward thinking and innovative problem-solving ideas that continue to spark in the American entrepreneurial spirit, and building these sparks into the flames of success will light our way to our brighter future.

With creative, committed minds like David, that American entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, and thriving.