Customer evidence, such as testimonials and success stories, is among an organization's most important go-to-market assets. Reference management is the process of collecting this evidence to later use it to amplify marketing and sales campaigns. But with extensive customer lists spanning industries and demographics, this process is time-consuming and full of inefficiencies. Traditional means of reference management are no longer effective in today’s fast-paced world. With automated technology now an integral part of our day-to-day, customer marketers don’t have time to waste on menial tasks.
Peer pressure isn’t always a bad thing, right? When it comes to effective marketing, social proof can be the tipping point that turns a lead into a customer. Social proof is defined as evidence from previous or current customers that have found value in a product or service. For instance, buyers’ reference reviews, recommendations, and testimonials are all examples of social proof.
Customer marketing is all the rage these days (#3 fastest growing job in the US, according to LinkedIn) and it’s easy to understand why. Offering more than just case studies and testimonials, customer marketing empowers marketers to infuse the voice of the customer into their marketing campaigns and sales enablement content. Throughout the buyer’s journey and even past the point of purchase, customer marketing leverages the voice of the customer to:
The purpose of sales enablement is to empower sales with the tools, resources, and skills they need to sell more effectively. One of the biggest problems sales enablement leaders face is having a super limited library of customer success stories with major gaps in representation. Yet, organizations that leverage customer evidence experience a 10x greater year-over-year increase in annual revenue. With a lack of high-impact customer content, sales reps are often inhibited from closing deals and increasing win rates. The solution is simple — sales enablement leaders need to create a robust library of customer evidence across all industries, company sizes, personas, and use-cases.
Today, B2B buyers are sourcing purchase information about new products and solutions on their own. According to Gartner, 33% of B2B buyers want a seller-free sales experience (44% for millennials). This means that sales reps only get a short amount of time with potential buyers — 17% to be exact. With less face time, it’s up to customer marketing teams to communicate value through digital channels and establish brand credibility as early on in the buyer’s journey as possible. To do so, customer marketing managers must gather ample customer stories and social proof points that prove the success and happiness of current and past customers.