Customer Success Sells. Product related companies are strong believers that customer success stories promise a shorter sales cycle and many happy returns. Though what kind of customer success content moves the needle towards new sales? Success stories, testimonials and case studies about how others overcame their challenges? Or, is it a sneak peek at someone else’s analytics and data? a benchmark to ourselves to know if we rock got more work to do.
The challenge: content based on customer success
As marketers, we are the first to run after these success stories. However, are we sure that’s the best way to go? After all, if anyone of us has ever pulled up their sleeves to go fetch a case study, testimonial, let alone statistics they know obtaining this type of content has the word challenge written in big bold fonts. Especially if we are after a high clout persona or organization. In that case, it’s even more challenging as every word needs to be tested and approved by a whole internal brigade.
However, as we’re always on the hunt for higher conversion rates, and optimizing our marketing funnel how about looking in a different direction? Maybe there is another way to tease and engage with leads. Still using the values of success, though drawing inspiration from a totally different vertical and personas.
At Growthanomics, we tested a new approach of customer success content to drive awareness and boost sales with a few of our customers. We chose to use tactics from self-help and personal growth coaches. We implemented tactics coaches use to drive their trainees to their success.
Be yourself, everybody else is taken
Coaches preach that if one sticks to other people’s success stories and aspires to live their accomplishments they will never truly find what makes them unique and live to their full potential. One must create a vision of their success and break it down to KPIs, and small action items – be it personal or business.
But still we need help to create that vision, right? That’s why coaches, initially help their trainees define what success means to them. Sometimes, it isn’t very straight forward. So, they use an anchor. Usually a person. They help the trainee find the essence of success in their perception by finding their role models. They then understand what they idolize in these role models. These values can be the basis to our own vision, our own story. Again, without the goal or outcomes of those we admire but rather our own.
For example, many claim Jeff Bezos is their role model. Not because they all want to build an Amazon. Maybe so-which means they want to build a big company, maybe it’ his customer centric approach. But if you dig deeper it’s about someone seeing his vision through every detail of his company. Or, his passion for experimenting. Constantly experimenting. That’s a value we can take into anything we do.
My success role models on the other hand are totally off tech. They’re Lady Gaga and Phil Jackson. I admire Lady Gaga for the ability to constantly re-create herself, her sincerity about the need for self-motivation every day and her hands on approach to every project. Phil Jackson rocks! I admire his ability to build great teams. His emotional intelligence, and empowering attitude are unique. Combine that with the ability to map anything on the spot – be it a make or break play in the 4th quarter or Denis Rodman’s mood – the guy is a genius. I don’t want to be a blond pop star nor basket ball coach. I do however see a successful person as one who carries a combination of these traits and values.
To reflect on customer success content, we work along these lines. We first understand what success would mean to our persona. What their vision is. Now we ask ourselves what would make them shine and help them take a step towards their own personal success. Usually we don’t directly relate this exercise to our product or brand. What we then do is ask how our ecosystem can help them move a step forward to their personal success – and give it to them. Our product and features are part of the stepping stones and it is obvious.
Airbnb. A brand I totally admire. It understands the meaning of two-way customer success. One of their KPI’s is closing a deal between a visitor to an owner in the shortest journey and time. When breaking down what success means to the audience who is on the hunt for their dream vacation it’s clear: get the vibes and experience of how it would feel to live in ‘that’ place. Since most home owners didn’t manage to create that experience Airbnb decided to hand it to them on a silver platter. A huge team of photographers comes to selected locations for a photo shoot. A great experience to both ends of the market place. A unique hack.
One of our B2B clients, Lusha, sells to SDR team managers, and leaders in large sales departments. We broke down the sales team managers KPI for success. Their success was reflected by their teams achievements and performance. So, we helped our sales team leader define their team’s performance and most of all the path to improvement through assessments and quizzes. Then we offered automated tools to help them motivate and empower their team. We helped them shine, created a high level of awareness and connected our solution to a parameter the sales rep was measured upon.
Another example for a really empowering our audience’s success through our offer was the customer success academy we built for NICE. CMOs were a new persona to NICE. We had to get them to appreciate NICE as a leader in the customer experience world. A green field for NICE. We gave the CMOs and customer experience leaders the tools to identify the stage in which their company was in, define goals which would indicate their success and then enjoy an automated and unique set of actions that was relevant to their goal.
In addition, we offered cheat sheets and even project plans and status decks that would get them there. We helped our prospects find the essence of their success. Then, we gave them a memorable experience by showing them the short cut to their success.
There is a hack of how to use insights and stats to strategize and plan your customers’ success. It certainly is not about copy and pasting someone else’s moves as shown in a case study, a message or campaign that lead others to achieve their goals. Every company who ever succeeded found their own hack. Find yours and the rest will follow. Help your customers find theirs and you have a new champion.
The hint to the yellow brick road of customer success: Understand what success means to your customers, Reverse engineer their success and help them get there. Then, connect your product.
Otherwise, you are just showing off your success in sales and your success with the product you built in the disguise of clients. (that shows you are successful in your business too).