The Ultimate Drift Starter Guide for Sales Teams

Let's talk about the elephant in the room- it's always tough to learn how to use a new product. Especially when you need to get your entire team up and running ASAP to meet your sales goals.

As a Customer Success Manager at Drift, I've worked very closely with a number of Sales teams, making sure they crush those goals. After understanding these teams, their workflows, and commonly asked questions, I've created the ultimate guide to getting your team started with Drift.

Let's start with the basics.

The Invite

When an invitation is sent out, this is the email you receive:

Next just create a password and sign in!

Account Setup

Now to fill out your account info. You can demo our data enrichment and let Drift fill some in for you, or you can manually input the information. Let's say you want to start from scratch, where you clicked "Skip this."

    Conversation Overview

    This is what a conversation will look like from a customer's POV.

    Keep in mind that our routing bot is turned on in that video. The bot acts as the initial contact when conversations are started. The customer's chat experience on sites without this feature turned on will look more like this:

    On the rep's side, this is what the conversation will look like:

    On the left, you'll see that all new conversations come through in life time. When someone "unknown" starts a conversation, they'll be shown as a "Site Visitor." Once they enter their email address, we'll enrich the data on the customer to give you a more robust understanding of who they are. 

    On the right (if you click on the attribute card icon), you'll see a slideout that houses all of this customer information. That's my enriched profile over there  

    You can ask for someone's email address at any point in the conversation (even outside of the email form!) and it will update in their profile. You can also edit which attributes are shown on the right from any customer's profile.

    Conversation Status

    Changing the conversation status is the primary way to organize your chats. Ideally, you would keep all new, active conversations in their "Open" state.

    Any chats that require follow-up or are incomplete for some reason should be in "Pending."

    "Closed" status speaks for itself. Whenever a conversation is over, change the status to "Closed" and it'll go into the closed queue. A conversation won't ever be entirely deleted, it'll remain in the customer's profile timeline. If they continue the conversation, it'll reopen and come through the "Open" queue.

     Choose a status directly from the conversation view:

    And you can toggle between different conversation queues really easily:

    If you're using the Salesforce integration, a conversation is only logged when you close it. Make sure to close 'em out when you're done! 

    Set Your Status

    Rep status is important to understand as a team, in order to organize who's responsible for new chats coming in, etc. 

    To change your status, click on your avatar in the bottom left:

    Here are the status types and what they mean:


    • You will get the normal notifications that you have turned on in your notification settings.
    • No new conversations will be assigned to you unless you are the account owner of a contact or if your company is using the Catch All rule


    • If you use lead routing, you’ll only be automatically added to conversations when you’re “Active”. You won’t be added to any conversations when you’re “Away”. That’s it!

    Food for thought: Here at Drift, we have something called "chat duty". During "chat duty", one person is on-call and is responsible for all incoming chats. However, you might want to have all reps online at the same time to fairly divide new leads among the team.

    Conversation Participants 

    When a conversation comes in and no one is in the catch-all rule, the conversation will go unassigned. These conversations will exist either in the "Open" or "No Participants" queue.

    If you want to add another participant from you team to join the conversation, you can do so right in the view!

    You can also remove other team members from the conversation in this view as well. 

    Operating Out of Your Queue 

    As you can see above, there are several different conversation queues. All new conversations can always be found in "Open."


    • If there's one person in the catch all rule, operate out of the "Open" queue.
    • If there's more than one person in the rule, operate out of the "Your Conversations" queues. This will keep reps from stepping on each others' toes.
    • If you have a lot of bots running, where technically there are no participants in the conversation, then always check the "no Participants" queue and make sure every conversation has a participant. No lead left behind!


    You can customize your notifications under My Settings > My Account > Notifications. These settings are at a rep level, so each person can adjust them to their liking.

    You can be notified in 3 ways: Email, Browser, and Mobile.

    Recommendations: Only set notifications for conversations assigned to you. If there's always someone monitoring incoming chats in the app, there's no need to be notified whenever any new conversation is started.

    Email Fallback

    Email fallback is a feature that allows for conversations to be continued, even if a customer leaves the page.

    If someone doesn't read your message for 15+ minutes, you'll see this message in the conversation (only visible to you):

    The customer will receive an email that has the chat transcript included, like this:

    The customer can then either respond via email to continue the conversation (it'll continue in the same thread) or they can click on a link that will take them back to the website page.


    Tagging is just another way of organizing conversations. We use it for a variety of different reasons, including marking new leads, feature requests, bug reports, follow-up required, etc. It's really up to you to create a system that works best for the team.

    Here's what it looks like when you choose a conversation tag:

    The beauty of tagging is that you can filter based on them. For example, if I wanted to view all conversations with a "follow-up required" tag, I can filter and then work through the list on its own.

    Here's what it looks like to select a custom filter with tags:

    Saved Replies

    These are great to use as a quick way to answer common customer questions. If you click on the + sign in the conversation view, you'll see the option to enter a saved reply. You can add one really easily and .  

    Check it out:

    Internal Notes

    Internal notes are a great way to communicate the state of a conversation with your team, or just a way to make a note for yourself later. 

    For example, if I have a customer who wants more information on pricing and we decide to take it offline, I can make a note that we have a call. Or, if someone wants to follow-up with a customer, notes are helpful to know the last action taken on someone's account.

    This is an example of what it looks like when you're entering an internal note:

    Customer Profiles

    A customer's profile is a complete timeline of any event that has happened via Drift (and some native integrations).

    They look something like this:

    You'll notice that you can send a message directly to someone via their profile, or you can "follow" them. What this means is that you can be notified whenever a customer is on your site. So if you have a big customer who you're working with, this is a great way to reach out to them via Drift, at the moment they're most engaged.

    See that "Edit" link next to the "About" section? That's where you can pick and choose which attributes you want showing in the Conversation view. 

    Drift Profiles

    Drift Profiles are like a digital business card. It gives customers a direct channel to reach you. They allow customers to chat with you directly, schedule meetings, etc. You can and they'll look something like this once they're live:

    Visit my actual Drift Profile here! 

    Drift Scheduling

    Want to get more leads without really having to do... anything? Well, now you can easily provide someone with a link to your Drift Profile and they can book a meeting with you directly on your calendar.

    They can choose a day and  time and you'll both get an invite. 

    Live View

    Live View is a tool that allows you to see a live feed of identified customers, as they're on your site. This is another way to proactively message leads or customers while they're most engaged and high intent.

    You can view what page an identified customer is on and tailor a unique message to them at the optimal point of contact.

    Mobile Apps

    Close deals from your Uber! We have native apps for both iOS and Android. 

    So that's a good place to stop for onboarding on an rep level.
    As an admin, there are a few things that are good to know...

    Inviting New Team Members

    You can manage your team and invite them to your Drift account here. Once they receive the invite email, they can go through the signup steps on their own.

    Customizing Drift

    You can customize any aspect about your Drift widget by going . You can set your hours and availability, manage the online/offline messages, set your colors, etc. all from here. 

    Have fun!


    Setting up integrations is the best way to build Drift into your existing workflow. , you can setup your Salesforce integration, knowledgebase integration, or use Zapier to build almost any other integration you might need.

    Not using Drift yet? Get your free account here.

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