For B2B tech startups, customers are at the root of everything you do. Everything from their feedback to their validation helps provide direction for your next move. So it only makes sense that your customers can also play an essential role in your sales and marketing strategy.
When you build solid relationships with your customers by providing a solution to their challenges, they’ll be more than willing to vouch for your product or service. Use that to your advantage by involving those positive customer experiences in your sales process.
If you’re looking for new ways to lean on the customer relationships you’ve built and the results your startup has driven, here are five ways to get your customers to sell for you.
Share their success stories
When you produce powerful results, those results will speak for themselves. And the best way to showcase those results is by sharing customer success stories.
Success stories can take shape in several ways, whether through a case study or testimonials. If you’re going to create a case study, be sure to highlight the successful outcomes using key metrics and strong visuals. For testimonials, consider creating video testimonials instead of simply asking for a quote to display on your website. Video testimonials humanize the customer and allow them more space and freedom to express their positive experience with your startup.
But the work doesn’t end once you’ve created the content. Leverage your customer success stories by distributing them across all channels. Display the video testimonials on your website, and share them on LinkedIn. You can also include case studies in white papers or eBooks to further demonstrate the results you made happen.
Partner with them on marketing initiatives
Co-marketing can be a great way to deepen relationships with customers, but it’s also an opportunity to have them vouch for your product or service. Consider all of the marketing efforts you already do for your startup — webinars, eBooks, social media campaigns, blog content — and think about how nice it would be to have a customer lighten the load by partnering with you on some of those activities.
Invite them to take part in a joint webinar, interview them for a Q&A style blog post, or offer to do an interview for their blog if they’re in need of some extra content. When you’re considering ways to partner with customers on marketing initiatives, just think about all of the things you’re already doing and how they can contribute to the conversation in a way that shines a light on your offering while still being mutually beneficial.
Include them in PR campaign
Whether you have a product launch coming up or you’ve recently secured new funding for your startup, you’re going to want to amplify the news with a PR campaign. And while the campaign will focus on your brand by increasing awareness and solidifying your credibility, it’s also an opportunity to showcase your customers and their experiences.
If you’re working with a tech PR agency, connect them with one of your customers so they can get a quote to use in a press release. The quote should ideally be from a key stakeholder and should emphasize their positive experience with your product along with any impactful results they’ve seen from working with your startup.
Launch a referral program
If your customers are happy with your offerings, then chances are they’ve already let people know about them. After all, word of mouth marketing is proven to be more effective at driving sales than paid advertising. Still, it doesn’t hurt to give your customers extra incentive to sell for you.
Consider launching a referral program to boost customer engagement. A referral program not only incentives customers to sell for you, but it can also improve their loyalty to your brand by keeping them engaged in your success.
The key to incentivizing this opportunity, however, is to offer a reward that you know your customers will want. For instance, if you run a SaaS startup you could offer customers a discount on their monthly subscription for each referral they bring to you that converts into a customer. Think about what your customers could actually benefit from and turn that into an enticing reward.
List them as a customer reference
As you bring prospective customers further down the sales funnel, you’ll eventually need to provide them with social proof that will further validate your product or service. This is often in the form of a case study or another piece of content that will demonstrate real-life results you produced for your customers.
But another way to drive home that sale and get your current customers to sell for you is by listing them as a reference. Similar to testimonials, references take social validation one step further by giving prospects direct access to your customers who can then share insight into their experience with your startup.
If you’re going to implement this strategy, it’s important to get permission from your customers first before listing them as a reference. It may also be a good idea to provide a few talking points that you’d like them to address in the conversation. But as long as they’re on board, a customer reference is a near sure-fire way to seal the deal with leads.