How to Turn Customer Success Stories into Sales Pitches
Customer success stories are a widely used marketing and sales tool, but to what level of success? Gartner recently did a study that found an overwhelming 87 percent failed to clearly demonstrate customer ROI!
Companies are telling lots of stories, but they’re missing the mark when it comes to leveraging their past customer successes to win new business. In this guide, we’ll explore why.
Then, we’ll cover six things you can do to make sure your stories are acting as compelling lead generators and sales pitches for your company.
- People retain 6-7X more information from stories than they do from statistics.
- It’s best to be honest with your current customers about your goals for the customer success story — who you’d like to hear from, results you want to emphasize, etc.
- Customer success stories should always focus on customer results (rather than solution features).
- Video can be a compelling alternative format to written stories — and one that many B2B buyers prefer.
- To get the most ROI from your stories, it’s essential to share them across channels.
The Power of Storytelling: Why Customer Success Stories Sell
A customer success story is a narrative that shows how your past and/or current customers used your product or service to solve a problem, achieve an important goal, or otherwise create value for their business.
They’re a powerful tool for two main reasons:
First, people respond to stories in any scenario — sales included. In fact, the human brain retains 65-70% of information shared through a story vs. only 5-10% shared through statistics, and recalls stories more than 20X more than simple facts. In other words: If you want your sales pitch to be memorable, the best way to deliver it is through a story.
Second, B2B buyers want to hear from other customers — even ones they don’t know. Today, a staggering 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to make a purchase after reading a trusted review (like the kind included in a well-crafted customer success story).
Let’s walk through ways you can create customer success stories that resonate with customers and motivate them to buy.
How to Turn Your Customer Success Stories into Sales Pitches
Align them with the right prospects
Customer success stories have the most impact when they’re relatable. Think about ways you can segment and target your stories to resonate more with each potential customer who engages with them. You can group stories by industry, by product or service used in the story, or by another company attribute like size, budget, business need (and more).
The ultimate goal: Make it possible for prospects to think, “If this worked for them, it can do the same for my business.”
Design your interviews well
Don’t leave the impact of your customer success story up to chance. Craft your interview questions intentionally and ask them in a guiding way to help your customers share the type of feedback you need for your story.
With trusted customers, you can be pretty honest about your goals. Most businesses create their own customer success stories and understand why you’re doing the same.
Don’t shy away, for example, from asking for a quote you can use from a company leader, or explaining that you really want to emphasize a certain business result. At the same time, leave room for your customer to share information you may not already know or realize can add value.
Focus on actual business results
Customers may respond to stories more than statistics — but statistics within stories drive your point home and support your overall sales pitch. Potential buyers want to engage with customer success stories to gain confidence in your ability to provide the right solution.
Use statistics and other hard facts to focus on the results your customers experienced from using your products and services, even more than you focus on the products and services themselves (after all, you do that in your other sales communications).
When we think about stories, we tend to think about a written format — like an email, article, or blog post. Those formats work really well, but another option is to use video for your interview to make it even more shareable and compelling.
Telling your stories on video also aligns with today’s B2B buyer preferences when it comes to content engagement — 88% of B2B buyers say they’ve watched a brand video in the past three months to learn about products and services, and more than 20% say they specifically watched a customer story video.
Share your customer success stories widely
Once you start creating compelling customer success stories, earn the most ROI by sharing them far and wide — directly with your potential customers, yes, but also on your website, social media, emails, and other channels you use to market your business. The more you showcase how other businesses are gaining big results from your solutions, the more likely you’ll see other new clients jumping on board.
Our outbound email software and lead generation services are custom-built for startups, marketing agencies. consultancies, and other B2B organizations. Schedule a quick call with us and find out how RevBoss can help you win more clients.