If you’ve got some burning questions about customer case studies and sales enablement, this week’s round-up is for you. From interview ideas, outreach templates and training tips, we’ve covered it all and more.
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Q: I'm planning to approach a few clients who love our service for a case study regarding an upcoming feature release. I want this case study to be more of a meaningful story, not just statistics or listing benefits. What are your favorite/most creative questions to ask clients for this purpose?
A: Here are a few we’ve hand-picked from one of our own resources:
- Before using our product, how were you managing the [insert solution] process?
- How much time, resource and money do you think that was costing you?
- Can you ever imagine going back to that kind of set-up now?
- What were the top three pain points you faced before us?
- What are the main use cases you rely on our product for?
- How has our product helped improve your process?
- What have you been able to do with the time, money and/or resource you’ve saved?
- What are your future plans for our product?
- Has our product unlocked any new opportunities for you? If so, what?
Spoiler: keep your eyes peeled for our membership launch, the original list has 80+ questions to pick and choose from - plus a tonne of other templates and frameworks too, of course. 🙌🏻
Q: Does anyone have any favorite resources for guidelines on sourcing customer testimonials? I've got a plan but want to double-check and cover my bases.
A: In a past life, we’ve had great success by reaching out to customers when we knew they were uber happy. For example, if someone left us a really complementary TrustPilot review, we’d reach out to them right away and catch them during that high.
Outside of keeping abreast of online reviews, we set-up a forum with customer-facing teams and asked them to let us know when they’d had a really positive conversation with a customer or received some great feedback. Again, we’d then either reach out to the customer ourselves or ask our colleagues to introduce us and then take it from there. We had great success with this and around seven in 10 people we contacted converted into a case study.
Disclaimer: it was tricky getting other departments to proactively help us at first but a month or two in we attached a £50 shopping voucher incentive to it and that worked wonders. The incentive only applied to case studies that were seen all the way through and published on the site, though.
In terms of the contact itself, it’s basic, we know, but just make sure you put the ball in the customer’s court. Video testimonials are great but not everyone’s comfortable behind the camera and if that’s the only option you give people you might turn them off right away. Let them choose whether it’s over email, on the phone or on camera.
It might also be worth checking this site out, it’s definitely an interesting way to up your personalisation level.
Q: We have a product release every quarter and our next one in January is a biggie. I'm putting together some sales enablement training and really want to get the team hyped about this particular release, does anyone have any ideas on how to structure the training in an engaging way?
A: Some fab tips came in on Slack for this:
- Incorporate use cases so they can see and imagine your product in action. If you’ve got quotes, videos or testimonials from your beta version, these would be great to use and back-up what you’re telling them too.
- Turn to data to illustrate the ‘why’. What exactly led to this new product? How will it help your salespeople beat the competition? And how will it help their personal objectives?
- Set-up mock sales pitches to make the training more interactive and less like you’re just speaking at them.
- Establish and stick to a good enablement cadence. To make it more digestible, consider splitting this into weekly sessions and focusing on one area in each - i.e. messaging in one, product demos in another, etc.
- Bring some of your salespeople into the process and get them talking about the new product. Whether we like it or not, salespeople are usually more like to listen to other salespeople.
Q: Does anyone have any good email outreach templates for qualitative customer research?
A: The key to getting people to take the next step here is letting them know exactly what you’re asking of them and relaying that over in a ‘this-will-be-really-easy-for-you’ way. Oh, and keeping it super short. No-one likes to open an email and see a wall of text.
Here’s one idea:
Hi [customer name],
We’re always looking for ways to make [product name] even better and to help us do just that, I was wondering if you’d be able to answer a few questions for us?
It’d be me on the other end of the phone, the call itself would take no longer than 20 minutes, and the feedback will be used to help us shape the future direction of [product name].
If you’re in, please book whichever day and time work best for you here.
As well as laying everything out on the table and putting the ball in the customer’s court, positioning it in a way that puts their feedback at the heart of future changes means there’s something in it for them, too.
Q: What stuff do you wish you knew at the start of your career that you know now? And what have been some of your greatest learnings over the last decade?
“Opportunities are rarely handed to you. You make them. Your experience alone won't always get you a new opportunity. Create the opportunities - if you see a need or a white space opportunity, start by sharing ideas with leadership, get a sponsor, ask for the runway to test, demonstrate results. If you're hungry for more, ask for more, show what you can do with more resources/responsibility/freedom. Embrace the hustle.”
- Madeline Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at LoopVOC
“I wish I would have know how valuable experiences that, at the time, felt random or unhelpful would actually be. I had a few different careers before I became a PMM and even though it wasn’t a straight line to where I am now, many of the soft skills I learnt along the way are essential in my current role.”
- Hanna Woodburn, Product Marketing Manager at FullStory
“Be the brand and introspect. A lot of answers come from within. Don't rush the introspection, it's a slow process.”
- Siddhartha Kathpalia, Product Marketer at VWO
“Take every opportunity you can to speak in public. That includes internal and external events. It builds confidence and the chances of becoming a leader.”
- Sean Broderick, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Altify