onceuponatimeWould you be surprised to hear that 94% of marketers say customer stories are the most compelling and effective content you can use? In fact, peer recommendation and endorsement is one of the most influential marketing tools for many B2B high-tech, healthcare and professional services firms.

If you’ve got satisfied customers then chances are you’ve got compelling stories to use as sales and marketing resources. All of your customers have a story to tell about a time your company helped or impressed them – whether it’s as small as a quick phone call or as big as saving them thousands or millions of dollars. Bottom line: There’s a reason your customers stay with you and love you. Use that to your advantage.

Where To Start

Start looking at your customers as potential case studies, then trim down to the ones who have the most influential story to tell. Once you have a great story, you need to make sure it’s not going to waste. Your story needs to be told to the right audience, in the right format, at the right point in your prospects’ buying cycle.

How to Use Customer Stories Effectively

This brings us to a sales enablement best practice: mapping customer stories to your prospects’ buying cycles. One-size-fits-all marketing rarely works, and often ends up causing a lot of frustration and wasted time. Ideally, your sales enablement strategy should include mapping one or more customer stories to each challenge a potential customer faces in their buying cycle. So even when it’s not possible to have in-depth conversations with your prospect, your message (which gets delivered through your customer story) is relevant and valuable to your prospect. Is a prospect concerned about cost after talking price tags with you? Send them a customer story about someone who saved a significant amount of money in the long run by using your product. Think they’re hesitant to switch because of the time it takes to get set up? Share a story about how quickly and easily your company was able to get a current client onboarded. Determining their struggles at each stage in their buying cycle will help you match the right customer story/message to each individual prospect.

However, if customer stories are not in a format that is easily searchable and quickly deployable for your sales team, it’s all for not! To meet clients where they are with the least amount of legwork on your end, we recommend sending customer stories through pre-built micro-site templates that can be quickly personalized – this provides grab-and-go convenience for your busy salespeople while ensuring the right story is delivered at the right time.

Future Proof Your Strategy

Another consideration is “future-proofing” your stories and protecting the valuable relationship you have with your customers. Recording video of client testimonials and success stories allows you to use their stories over and over without risk of burning out your best clients. Make all of your customer story assets easy to control with asset library management tools that keep everything centralized and organized for quick, easy searches. Integrate tools like RO|Enablement with email, Salesforce.com and social media to maximize reach and easily disseminate customer stories to potential customers. Want to see how you can streamline sales enablement workflows and stop wasting your best customer stories? Contact RO Innovation today to find out more.

Nichole Auston
Customer Marketing Director at RO Innovation
Nichole Auston is the Customer Marketing Director at RO Innovation. With a background in digital marketing and nearly a decade of experience managing marketing programs for a variety of SaaS companies, she’s passionate about sharing insights, best practices and stories about sales enablement and customer reference management, and the people and technology that power it.