In the ever-evolving world of B2B sales and marketing, customer advocacy has emerged as a powerful growth engine to boost revenue. Customer advocacy is a strategic approach where power users and fans become brand ambassadors and champions who advocate for your products and services.
As sales and marketing leaders, embracing a customer advocacy platform and strategy will boost revenue and significantly enhance efficiency. In this blog post, we'll dive into what customer advocacy is and explore four ways you can use customer advocates to jump-start your sales and marketing efforts.
1. Using References in Sales Conversations
In the realm of B2B sales, trust and authenticity go a long way in buying decisions. One powerful way customer advocacy can boost your sales and marketing efficiency is by enabling your champions to become active references in sales conversations.
According to SiriusDecisions, just 35% of B2B companies have a formal process to identify and recruit top customers as advocates, yet 83% of those same organizations state references are “critical” or “valuable” to sales cycle. Our survey confirmed a similar sentiment towards the impact of references, with 81% of sales leaders and 65% of marketing leaders agreeing that deals close at a higher rate when references are used.
By strategically matching relevant references to sales deals, you provide potential customers with valuable information that feels authentic and trustworthy, significantly increasing your chances of closing deals and reducing time to close.
To activate your champions as references, you’ll need to make sure you’re identifying the right references so that you can provide personalized, authentic interactions between prospects and references. For example, when potential customers interact with active references who have faced similar challenges and achieved success using your products or services, they can relate to their experiences on a personal level. These interactions feel genuine and authentic, which helps build trust in your brand and offerings. Moreover, hearing success stories from peers in the industry adds credibility to your brand and product, giving potential customers the confidence to move forward with their purchasing decisions.
2. Leveraging Customer Testimonials and Case Studies
Customer testimonials and case studies are gold mines for driving new revenue. Real success stories shared by happy customers add credibility to your brand, instilling confidence in prospective customers. Through a customer advocacy platform, you can easily collect, manage, and showcase these testimonials, making them accessible to your sales and marketing teams.
Using a customer advocacy platform doesn’t just allow you to scale case study and testimonial output, but it instills trust and credibility with new prospects, no matter where they are in their buying journey. Not only can you showcase relevant customer stories and use cases on your website, but you can also encourage your sales and marketing teams to use them strategically as prospects get deeper and deeper into their buying journey.
3. Amplifying Social Proof
In today's digital era, social proof plays a pivotal role in shaping purchase decisions. A customer advocacy platform enables sales and marketing teams to harness the power of social media to amplify positive reviews, mentions, and endorsements. By curating and sharing this social proof, you enhance your brand's reputation and credibility, driving new sales.
Another way to activate your champions through social media is to ask them to join the conversation for your next product launch. Identify champions in target industries who would be willing to amplify your product launch to their network, or have them even post their own experience with your company in their own words. Not only does this continue to build credibility, but it also allows your product to spread through new networks that can lead to new leads and prospects.
Furthermore, this doesn’t just help your product, but provides a unique opportunity for your champions to grow their own brands in a personal and real way — facilitating their growth in addition to their success with your product.
4. Facilitating Thought Leadership
Customer advocacy can also help your company establish thought leadership within your industry or target market. When advocates endorse your expertise, it elevates your brand's authority and opens doors to new business opportunities.
For example, you might consider hosting a webinar with a happy customer who has built credibility and authority in a market you’d like to enter. By showcasing their expertise, success stories, and experiences, you position your own company as an industry leader, attracting potential leads and prospects who seek similar expertise.
Embrace Customer Advocacy With Open Arms
Embracing a customer advocacy platform can take your B2B sales and marketing efforts to the next level. By including references into your sales conversations, leveraging customer testimonials, amplifying social proof, and facilitating thought leadership, you can jump-start your sales and marketing efficiency and drive new revenue with the people who love you most – your champions.
A customer advocacy platform empowers your champions to become brand advocates, effectively expanding your marketing reach through their positive experiences and endorsements. As sales and marketing leaders, adopting this strategic approach not only elevates your brand's reputation but also strengthens your customer relationships — ultimately leading to sustainable growth and increased revenue.