In this episode of SaaS Connect by Cloud Software Association, Michele Albanese, Partner Programs Manager at Drift—a revenue acceleration platform utilizing conversational marketing—shares how Drift used the tactics of an ex-FBI lead negotiator in international kidnappings. Drift employed the ‘Black Swan’ method that Chris Voss describes in his book Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, to build three powerful integration alliances. 

But first…

What is ‘Black Swan’? It’s the thing that you discover through conversations with another company that neither party is aware of and that can help bring that company to your side of the table.

The three alliances that Michele uses as examples of ‘Black Swan’:

  1. Marketo – With the two-way integration between Drift and Marketo, clients can automatically personalize conversations with existing leads and then sync that engagement data back to Marketo.
  2. Sales Navigator – The two-way integration between Marketo and Sales Navigator means it became easier for sales reps to email people right in the Drift platform, which drives up credits for LinkedIn. 
  3. Demandbase – Here, the alliance provides the ability to target accounts through Demandbase data, and then show an ad. When somebody clicks on that ad, it goes right into a conversation instead of a landing page.


The result of ‘Black Swan’ theory in all three of these partnerships resulted in these initial maybe-/maybe not-interested-partners evolving into wildly enthusiastic, “Let’s do it now!” associations.


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