There's not a salesperson out there that doesn't love having a multitude of case studies and customer testimonials that demonstrate the value and differentiation of your solutions. Proof points help move individual opportunities forward, gaining attention of prospects and mitigating purchasing risk. Elite salespeople know how to use them effectively. Elite sales organizations have a process around capturing them and using them.
Here are a few methods top sales organizations use to make sure their proof points are a competitive advantage.
Ensure your have client agreement on how you're measuring success.
It's difficult to say your solution had a business impact if you don't have a mechanism in place to measure that impact prior to engaging with your customer. Identifying success metrics should be a critical component of your sales conversations. After you've identified the metrics, set benchmarks and review sessions to ensure you're gathering the right numbers and hitting them throughout the initiative.
Lay the groundwork for getting a proof point that you can publish
Just like negotiation starts at the beginning of the sales process, you can lay the groundwork for proof points at the start of your engagement. Let the decision-maker know that you would like a publishable quote or testimonial video when you meet the success metrics. It also may be a good idea to include it in the contract, so you can ensure you get what you need.
Make sure they're sales consumable
In many companies, marketing uses proof points in the content they develop. However, they may not be easily consumed and packaged for use by the sales team. Here are a few ways to make sure they're sales consumable:
- Develop a proof point database that tags proof points by qualifying characteristics like a value driver, differentiator, buyer-type, and/or product/service.
- Create PowerPoint slides that are pre-formatted with proof points aligned to the same categories
- Categorize testimonial videos in your sales enablement platform, not only by client name, but also by Before Scenarios, PBOs, Value Drivers and Differentiators.
Know your white space
As important as it is to know what proof points you have, it's just as important to know which ones you don't. Your organization should know where the gaps are and where your white space is as it relates to your customer testimonials. This analysis will allow you to prioritize future proof points, including where you may want to invest in testimonial videos.
Use them in a way that's relevant to your buyer
Your proof points won't do much for you if your sales organization doesn't know how to align them with the prospect. You need to ensure your salespeople know how to (1) uncover buyer requirements and positive business outcomes and (2) map proof points to those factors. Otherwise, they won't be an effective tool in the sales process.
Testimonials are a fundamental part of effective value-based selling. They can carry a lot of weight with your prospects. Don’t waste them. Leverage them at the right time to help you move an opportunity forward and eventually close the deal.