The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 1 month ago

Using Customer Testimonials in Your Sales Process

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Both sellers and buyers today recognize the power of testimonials when it comes to influencing customers to purchase a product or service—it’s ingrained in our society. However, it may be difficult for reps to determine where exactly they fit in when it comes to testimonials. What is your role? John Kaplan explains how to effectively leverage testimonials in a sales process to maximize the success and size of your deals.

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You have to tell the story of the testimonial in a way that connects things like positive business outcomes with proven results and proven success. Um, and hearing about clients who are similar to themselves always, always helps them lower this lower this risk. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your teams sell more faster. will feature sales leaders sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth, presented by the team atforce management, a leader in B two B sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the audible ready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Claud Miller. Today we are going to talk about using testimonials effectively in your sales process. John Kaplan joins me today. Hi John, Hey, Rachel, great topic. Yeah, we love this one. We...

...love talking about success, right. So, Um, I want to start with talking about testimonials, the purpose of them and what your responsibility is as a rep when it comes to them. Yeah, I mean if you self for a living, you know the power of a customer testimonial. If you buy, I mean nobody buys today without looking at the stars and the ratings and so we just it's ingrained in our society. Uh, it's so an effective client reference may mean the difference between a lost opportunity and a and a one deal. While your company may have great testimonials, if you don't know how to use them in a sales process, their value can can fall flat and that's on you. So they're they're numerous ways to leverage customer testimonials and Sales Organization and the most elite sales people look for the right opportunity to have the greatest impact and maximize the effectiveness of the proof points. So we're gonna...

...set up a conversation today which kind of talks about using the proper proof points at the right time. Yeah, you don't want to, Um, don't do, I say, waste them, or you don't want to minimize the impact by using them at the wrong time. So the first the first step really, John, is to understand the testimonials and stories. At my company. Some companies have a great system for this, others don't. What's my first step as a seller, if if I'm in that ladder group? Well, I think the first thing you have to understand this the seller is it's not about brand names. It's about the story. I would write that down if I were you. You know, reps throw brand names out like their chicklets like and they expect and they expect miracles. UH, they mean nothing without the context of the story. You have to learn the story of the success. Even if you're new to a company, you can still do this.

As a matter of fact, it's like one of the first things I would do if I was new in a company. I'd ask the best sellers what their favorite proofpoints are and why, and I'd learned the stories behind them, memorize them and understand them. So you gotta make it your mission to collect the right stories from your buyers. Ask for stories early so they're not caught off guard. And I'm speaking about you're working with a client now. You know, for example, you paint a picture of what life could look like when you both are successful addressing the business problem. You get them all excited and emotionally connected to this great future outcome and then you make it very clear that you're going to ask them for permission to share this story. When it comes to fruition, that's what the most elite sellers do. Yeah, I love that. You make a good point about brand names, because you want your customers to feel them or see themselves in the story that you're telling. And if you just pop up, like I'm in a sales process and...

...somebody POPs up a logo that says they worked with Microsoft or Amazon, I'm like, well, that's great, but they're huge and they're you're probably very expensive. You just got to think about it this way. Yeah, I mean, first of all, everybody has a logo slide. Every single company has a logo slide and, you know, everybody falls into this trap. You know, at some point in time companies fall in this trap. They just throw around names. I say, like chicklets. That might be a reference for people that are older. People don't know. I don't know if I was gonna let it go. Let it go. It's like, you know, it's like it's like, you know, throwing out you know, Bank of America or you know, big brand names to a medium sized company. It doesn't mean that it might not be relevant if something was happening in Bank of America. That's similar to the problem. But a lot of times people just they rely on the logos and, like you said, it just falls flat. Yeah, so and then the other point you made about owning...

...them. Get get your own stories from your buyers. I don't want to lose sight of that. Um. So let's shift now to John Talking about when you're using those testimonials, those stories. Um, we know we like them. When you're trying to get that initial conversation. They can be very effective when you say, Hey, we did this for this customer. Would you like to hear how? But how else do you use them in the sales process? What are those more nuanced ways? Well, there's I kind of break it down into three areas, you know, and it's I break it down into the way your customer buys. The way your customer buys is the first thing they're probably doing is understanding their problem and forming their requirements. So you have to have testimonials that fit in there there. They then, you know, start to evaluate different solutions and so they're focused on differentiation and you have to have proof points to do that. And then they're trying to minimize risks. So let's dive into each one of these quickly. So let's talk about the first one. So you know when, when, when you're...

...using UH proofpoints early to demonstrate your value. You've got to be prepared to share stories of others who have had similar challenges to the ones that you've discovered early in the sales process and then be confident and convicted that you have solutions that will solve these problems that will help a customer kind of stay in the game with you early in the sales cycle. You know, for example, Um, you know, telling them that you can cut their processing costs, you know, by is one thing, but hearing that same metric from three of your customers is much more impactful and can be what converts someone from a suspect to a qualified prospect. Well, the next thing that they're doing is they're kind of evaluating different solutions. First thing they're doing is trying to understand if you're relevant for their problems and challenges. Now they're really digging into the differences in your solution versus others. So competitors are always going to be a...

...part of any sales process. So if your prospect is considering a major purchase, um it's it's highly likely that they're evaluating other solutions and a testimonial that demonstrates your differentiation is an effective way to show how your solution is more effective than your competitors. So differentiation proof points show customers those factors about your solution that are important and are in your favor and not in your competitives competitors favor. So you need to have proof points and testimonials that highlight your differentiation. Okay. Well, the next phase of their buying processes. They're they're now trying to really mitigate the risk of making this decision. So you have to have proof points and testimonials which focuses on minimizing risk. And obviously this happens later in the sales process. You know when you're buy is looking to to...

...mitigate that risk for a purchase. They want to feel more comfortable about doing business with you. So here's where you're probably giving examples of companies history of success and longevity and you know, as well as showing those logos now of your past customers. But in any case, you have to tell the story of the testimonial in a way that connects things like positive business outcomes with proven results and proven success. Um and hearing about clients who are similar to themselves always, always helps them lower this lower this risk. Let me just summarize that for a second. So there's telling proof points and sharing proof points. Just follow the way make them relevant, as the way your customer and where they are in the buying process, their understanding and gathering requirements. They're evaluating solutions and then they are minimizing the risk of of their purchase, and that's...

...a pretty good framework to use. Love that. Thanks rocking up walking through that, John. I think the other point is to remember that you don't always know when you'll have an opening to rattle off a proofpoint. Sometimes it just comes. And the name of this podcast is audible ready, and that's a phrase that that applies here. You know. You know I love that this podcast is called audible ready, and because that's what it's all about. We're always prepared and ready to speak about our solutions in way that's that have solved customer problems in powerful and impactful ways. And and this means you're not only prepared with great discovery questions to uncover these problems, you're also prepared with specific knowledge of your differentiation, so you can influence the decision criteria in ways that are more powerful, powerful for your customers and powerful for you. And audible ready also means that you are always prepared with great proof points, testimonials...

...and you know which are the stories of your customers success with your solutions. But you've got to commit yourself to learning the story. Don't throw names around, sit with it for a second and ask yourself, so what? What's the story behind that logo? Hold yourself accountable for that. I love that and there's probably a great way to summarize this. John, a great bottom line, and I would I think some of it will hit the point that great proof points make your job easier. Yeah, absolutely. You know, the more we learned the stories of our success in the form of proof points, the more confidence and conviction we will have in selling, the more confidence and conviction our prospects will have been buying from us as well. Don't forget the best proof points come from you. Don't sit around been complain that your...

...company does not have great proof points. Go Out and get them. So we talked earlier about the process of gathering positive business outcomes, required capabilities and metrics. Let me give you little heads up. The average sellers cut corners on metrics all the time. You know, they don't seem to want to hold themselves or their customers accountable for measuring success, and this is a massive danger. You gotta ask yourself, would you ever enter a race without first knowing how far you had to run or how fast you needed to be? Why are you doing that right now with your deals and Rachel? My last tip of the day. I would write this down. Today's metrics are tomorrow's proof points, so that's your job. Get Busy, awesome, get busy. Thank you, John, my pleasure. All right, thank you to all of you for listening to the audible ready sales podcast. Go be audible...

...ready. At force management, we're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your teams the ability to execute the growth strategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get started. Visit US AT FORCE MANAGEMENT DOT com. You've been listening to the audible ready podcast. To not miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

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