What drives your sales? You might be tempted to say "our marketing," "our tech stack," or "our all-star sales team."
And you'd be 100% right. But you're missing one crucial element: your customers.
91% of B2B buyers say they rely on word-of-mouth when making purchase decisions (though, really, I doubt the other 9% are out here making major investments in enterprise software without at least checking a few reviews).
No matter what, hearing how great your product is from someone your prospect can relate to will always have more of an impact than telling them yourself through ads, cold email, and a product demo.
In this day and age, whether or not you convert a healthy number of customers is directly tied to your ability to leverage your current customer base at every stage of the sales process.
Several variables impact how your customers can help you sell...
The biggest problem companies run into when scaling their customer advocacy program is taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
The truth is, like every prospect in your pipeline, every advocate is different, and a successful customer marketing strategy plays to each of their strengths.
- Use cases
- Pain points
- Business goals
- Tech stack
- Company size
All these, plus a particular advocate's communication/contribution preferences and their role/level of seniority within their company, change how they can support your sales process.
To use your customers to their fullest extent, you have to think, "How can I use my customers' experiences to connect with my prospects in a way they'll trust and relate to?"
Then, you have to gather the right mix of content to address your customers at every stage of the sales cycle.
Tailor your approach with these five levers:
1. Invite customers to share their experiences across the web.
G2's 2023 Software Buyer Behavior Report found that ~84% of today's decision-makers use third-party review sites as part of their buying journey. And, according to research from Gartner, they collectively hold roughly 1.4x the weight of anything you'd publish yourself.
They're authentic, transparent, and segmented based on what the buyer cares about as opposed to what you want them to see.
The good news: This is something you can do right now.
Start with highly engaged customers who have been with you awhile and have a lot of good things to say. Identify them based on product use, payment/order history, and NPS/customer satisfaction scores.
Send them an automated email inviting them to leave a review on G2, Capterra, or TrustRadius (you can set this up by making a free account). Include a small incentive, like a $20 gift card.
Deeto’s new G2 integration makes this even more frictionless for your customers. You can invite them to leave a review within the platform. They don’t have to switch screens or spend 15 minutes setting it up.
Your buyers are 57% to 70% through the decision-making process by the time they talk to your sales team, and most of their research is done online. So, the impact of this contribution spans several stages of the sales funnel — from Awareness to the final decision.
2. Integrate dynamic customer reviews into your web content.
Since most of the sales process happens without intervention from sales, you need adequate web content to guide decision-making.
Incorporating ratings, testimonials, quotes, and stats into your landing pages, product/service pages, and articles will definitely boost your web conversions. But personalized UGC takes it a step further.
Use a tool like Deeto to efficiently create customer content, then display your reviews, user stories, and video testimonials live on mobile and desktop.
Depending on who is visiting the page, which page they visit, and their previous site behavior, they'll see content that's most relevant to them.
3. Share customer success stories in your sales conversations.
If your sales team has problems with low open and click-through rates, it's probably because they're sending generic emails and InMails.
Sending out messages by the 1,000s might have worked in the '90s. These days, being in a decision-making capacity means your inbox is flooded with stuff like this:
No, the email didn't find me well. delete
The fix: Give them a reason to respond by making it personal and contextual.
Deeto's smart-matching algorithm shows your sales team which of your current customers have similar use cases and jobs, plus all the content they've left in the system.
From there, reps can personalize their conversations at every stage of the funnel — Awareness-stage prospects, lead nurturing for mid-stage buyers, and consultative sales late in the game.
4. Match up customers with prospects for live conversations.
Once you deliver a personalized sales demo, your prospect's buying group will have plenty more questions.
- Technical buyers want to know about integrations and automations
- C-level execs are starting to ask about cost vs. benefit
- Users are concerned with functionality
Allowing later-stage prospects to chat live with current customers will give them the real story. It answers their questions in a way your sales team can't.
The same smart-matching algos used to personalize sales outreach also connect prospects and references, so your sales reps don't have to play Matchmaker when setting these conversations up.
5. Facilitate customer retention through your advocacy program.
If you think the sales cycle ends when someone signs the dotted line, you're wrong. Especially if you use a recurring revenue model (SaaS, I"m talking to you), customer engagement is the name of the game.
Your advocacy program is the perfect way to (a) keep happy customers engaged with your product and (b) turn your customer base into a lead generation tool.
- Offer incentives for customers to refer new business.
- Collaborate with advocates on in-depth product content.
- Invite your best customers to test new features.
Over the long term, that's what really increases sales velocity and CLV.
If you're reading this and thinking, "I can't manage this all in a spreadsheet," you'd be 100% right. Software really is the enabler, here. Run your whole customer advocacy program with Deeto.