Sales Techniques, Sales Training

Don’t sell on product features, sell on customer success stories

In the last four weeks, 6 different companies have pitched to me their product online.  Not one of them mentioned any client success stories as they pitched me their product. Only 1 followed up with a case study after.

They spent 90% of their time talking about themselves and their product rather then relating back to me real examples of how they are helping their clients to achieve their goals. I’ve always pitched my client success stories when trying to win new business and I’ve always found it hugely successful. It made me wonder if we’re doing enough to train and prepare our teams with, the stories they need to sell. Here are 7 ways you can start doing this today.

Client Service

The most connected team to success stories are your service team.  If you’re a growing business there’s most likely 10 new stories a week. Outline what’s important for your sales team to understand first of all.  Think about the clients buying reasons, their goals and what they are doing to achieve them, alongside where you need more success stories, is it in a particular size company? Industry? Or particular challenge?  Then work with your service team to create a way this information can be easily shared. Is it through a monthly lunch & learn? Is it a webinar? maybe it’s a SlideShare? Most importantly think about how you collate the information and store it somewhere people can access it in the future.

Prepare 3 case studies before the sales demo

Before any sales demo, I have at least 3 success stories fresh in my head to talk about during the pitch. I always pick one that’s a similar size or sector to the prospect, another that experienced similar challenges and one that I think would be an excellent reference. As I’m touring through products and features I’m explaining how other companies are benefiting from them and I make sure stories are backed up with data.

Create a desk hint sheet

For those times when you’re not in a big pitch and you’re just on calls with your prospects, a hint sheet can be incredibly helpful. It can be on your desk and just have headline info to prompt details about client successes that are good to talk about during some of those early conversations with prospective clients, It is particularly great for new starters and also handy if it doubles up as a pad to take notes on during your calls.

The Customer Service Target Market Support Assistance Concept

Demo your clients product 

Far too many times I get shown a generic system or the vanilla version of a product. If you are talking with passion about a real success story then show that prospect the clients program or service and how it works for them. This way they can see a real live example of how it is working for another client. This will bring it to life for them and really help inspire ideas on how it could work for them.

Let your customer do the talking for you

This can be as big as holding events where clients talk to your prospective clients or it can be as simple as getting product reviews on a website like G2 Crowd which is like TripAdvisor for B2B software.  One thing for sure, you need to be doing something to connect your prospect with your clients, your clients are your strongest sales tool and you need to be using them in your sales process.

Don’t pester your prospects after a pitch, add value

How many times have you heard a member of your team say ‘i’m still chasing that prospect, I’m still waiting to hear back’ There’s an odd relationship between prospect and salesperson. Pre-pitch, when the prospect still has lots to learn about your product they’re really engaging and feel like they could be your best friend. Then once they’ve got what they need from you, you can enter into a black hole of silence and start to wonder what’s gone wrong. Sometimes you’ve lost the deal, other times your prospects just really busy. One thing is for sure, just pestering them by calling constantly isn’t going to help. Add value on those contact points, and send them useful content that will help with their buying decisions, customer case studies should definitely be on that list.

I hope this helps

4 thoughts on “Don’t sell on product features, sell on customer success stories

  1. I love this post. I consistently tell people, “Nobody will sell better for you than your own customers.”

    I’ve also been encouraging companies to make sure all SDRs, AE’s, and frankly everyone in the organization should be “certified” in customer use cases, case studies, and white papers.

    You should never ask a potential client to read anything on your website that everyone else in your organization has not also read.

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