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How to Turn a Case Study into a Customer Success Story [+ Tips from HubSpot Marketers]

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How to Turn a Case Study into a Customer Success Story [+ Tips from HubSpot Marketers]

Expression, passion, style, persuasion, authenticity.

These five elements encompass a customer success story — a transformation from a regular case study to an enticing piece of content that encourages a reader to explore what your company has to offer.

When people think about writing a case study, they might feel a daunting rise of tediousness, or perhaps writer’s block. In this article, we’ll dive into each step you need to take to create an engaging customer success story and convert leads.

Why should you tell a customer success story?

Case studies are more than proving your company’s achievements. Through eloquence and thoughtfulness, you can demonstrate your product or service’s power by telling a real story.

Think about it: Real customers use your product. Real employees deliver successful projects. Real customers, real professionals, real people.

What does that look like? Well, it’s educating a prospect through a thoughtful perspective, and answering the following questions:

  • How did the client feel at the beginning versus the end?
  • What struggles did the project manager face?
  • How did they feel when they overcame them?

These questions will help you pull the key sections of your story and craft together a compelling piece of content.

Turning a Case Study into a Customer Story

1. Find the right client.

To get started, ask your project management or sales team about their latest projects and which one stood out.

You’re looking for a client with a uniquely knotty problem, one that your company was able to solve. The more complex the project, the more you can show off your company’s skills.

If most of the projects seem standard, pick the client that was the most hands-on and the most responsive. The more involved the client, the more likely they are to give you more information in their interview.

Send an Enticing Email

Before you begin, get permission from the client and inquire about their interest in participating in a case study. You can incentivize them through social media publication, tagging their company on all social platforms, and including a link to their website at the end of the case study.

Here’s an example from Trujay that you can use to write an enticing email to your client:

Hi [Name],

My name is [Your Name], I’m a [Job Title/Position] here at [Company Name]. I’m so pleased to hear your experience with us was worth it! We’re glad we could make all the needs of your project happen and hope you continue to enjoy the results.

Since your project was such a success, I wondered if you would be interested in participating in a case study. We like to inquire about this opportunity to only a few select customers because we find some projects have a compelling story. Yours happens to be a particularly special project, and we’d love to promote your brand by showcasing the results.

All you would have to do is answer six questions about your experience of working with us. You may answer them directly in response to this email, or we can have a phone or video call. Whatever way you’d prefer! Most of our clients like to copy and paste the questions in response and simply fill in the answers.

If you would like to interview over [Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, Other], let me know a good time and date that works for you. The call shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes.

I’ve attached a few examples of previous success stories to get a feel for the final product. We also conduct a social media campaign so you and your company can get as much exposure as possible.

We thank you for using our services and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors! Should you ever need our services again, know that [Company Name’s] got your back. We hope you find interest in participating and look forward to hearing from you.

Warmest,

[Email Signature]

Once you have permission, let your project management or services team know that a case study is underway.

2. Create interview questions for both project manager and client.

You’ll want to create two sets of questions — one for the project manager, and one for the client. These questions will give way to both sides of the story, enlightening you on the experience from both ends.

Client Questions: The Background

The formatting of the client interview questions is essential. You want to get as much detail as you can without overwhelming the client with loaded questions.

Client interview questions are straightforward and relate to a customer’s company, goals, passions, and plans. You want to find out how your company solved a significant problem through the clients’ perspective. What did the project management team accomplish, in their eyes?

First, get four pieces of standard information:

case study client background information: full name, position/title, company name, company background/function

Here’s an example of how you’ll use this information in your introductory piece and throughout the success story:

bloom customer success storyImage Source

Once you introduce the interviewee and their company clearly and thoughtfully, the client interview questions will shape the rest of your story.

Client Questions: The Real Story

First, you want the client to describe what their previous experience was. What didn’t they like about it? What did it do to cause friction in their business process? And most importantly, how was their previous experience not serving their company’s needs?

Next, you want to get the facts. What was the name of their previous service provider, and what made them switch? How did they find your company? Was it a referral, a Google search, or something else?

By knowing how the client found your company, you’ll know which of your marketing efforts are working and which need improvement. For example, if the client found your company through a keyword search, that means your SEO strategy is working. Alternatively, if the client found your company by referral, that means your reputation is credible by word-of-mouth.

Below are six questions you can ask your clients:

  1. What company and/or product were you previously using, and what were the issues?
  2. What special requirements did you have that the previous company lacked in delivering?
  3. Which solution did you switch to, and what made you choose it?
  4. How did you find the new company/solution?
  5. What was your experience throughout the project? (Orientation, beginning stages, experience with your account manager, understanding the tech if applicable, etc.)
  6. How were you satisfied with the results, and what was your favorite part? (Could be anything from communication to a more technical logic.)

Project Manager Questions

The project manager questions should inform you of the entire technical and onboarding process. These questions aim to prove technical savviness and expertise, showing the reader that your product or service works excellently.

Below are four interview questions you could ask the project manager or technician in charge of the account:

  1. What were the challenges the client was facing? Is there a main one in particular? Be as detailed as possible over what problems the client had, including but not limited to their project experience, current issues, and dislikes.
  2. What were the biggest challenges of this project, and what did you find most challenging in solving the problem? Were there complications you have or have not seen before? Be descriptive.
  3. What did you recommend, and how did you know to suggest that plan? Was there anything peculiar about their use case, or was it pretty standard? How do you know what actions to take for a specific project, precisely the one in question?
  4. What was the execution plan, and how did you use it to satisfy the client’s needs?

Make sure you’re interviewing the team leader of the project and other colleagues who worked on it. You’ll want to do this to make sure you get the whole story and the perspectives of everyone involved. The more information you have, the easier it will be to write the story.

When interviewing the project management team, analyze their responses in a marketable way. What about their answers gives appeal, and where is the sweet spot for authenticity?

Every project is unique, even if there is a standard method in place. It’s the client’s problem that makes the project unique, and how the services team solved that very problem to the fullest extent.

Below is an example from Trujay of how you can integrate the project manager’s responses into a well-written overview of the problem and its challenges:

customer success story how to present the problems and challenges

3. Tell the story using a standard outline.

The responses to your interview questions don’t necessarily need to be in a particular order. You can either start with the project manager or client questions.

Let’s say you get the client’s responses first. What are you looking for, exactly?

You’re looking for the message behind their words. Some call it reading between the lines. I call it the sweet spot of authenticity. What about their responses jumps out at you? Here is an excellent place to know your buyer personas and identify what kind of client they are.

After reviewing both sets of interview responses, try telling the story to yourself from beginning to end using the questions below. In your own words, speak the story out loud. Doing so will turn fact into fiction and organize your written outline.

Screen Shot 2020-09-28 at 2.21.25 PM

Place Quotes in Your Outline

Quotes from the client are paramount. Words that come directly from the source are vital to proving your company can achieve results and make customers feel cared for. The more quotes you have, the better you can showcase your customer’s achievements.

Quotes of high-quality give prospects significant confidence in choosing your services — almost as much as referrals.

Ask for Video Testimonials

If and when possible, getting video testimonials from your client can make your story go above and beyond. If the video content editing is just right, you can move your readers in a heartfelt way. That might sound odd, so take a look at the video below. It could very well be the beacon of your success story and the element that sets it apart, like this example from HubSpot, below:

Testimonials of this kind of caliber make your success story real. Additionally, consider placing quotes in various and relevant areas of your success story — you can have a quote for each one of the aspects that make up a standard, outlined case study.

4. Use concise, clear language to tell a story.

You don’t need to use fancy jargon to create a compelling customer success story — in fact, it’s preferred that you don’t. You’ll want to make it so the reader can clearly understand how your company helped solve a client’s problem, which doesn’t require superfluous language.

Here’s an excerpt that’s written clearly, and without jargon:

James felt that [company 1] had way more “bells and whistles,” which can be extremely healthy for some companies. In James’s case, however, he was only using a fraction of the features. Sometimes, too much of anything is never a good thing. Just because a system has more features doesn’t mean it will serve a specific company to its highest degree. Sometimes, less is more, and for James, “it was time to change.”

We recommend using case study templates to help turn your customer story into a coherent, well-organized publication.

Case Study Template

Download for Free

5. Design your story for visual appeal.

Ultimately, visuals are powerful opportunities to support and strengthen your story.

If you want to persuade prospects that your company is the right choice for them, you’ll want to have a well-written story, but you’ll also want to create visually-appealing materials to help support the story.

Design applications like Canva are great for combining text with imagery. Create beautiful and eye-catching case study e-book covers, or create designs to highlight quotes throughout the piece. Alternatively, consider using images related to the client and company — with permission, you might even consider using clients’ LinkedIn photos to put a face to the text.

Here are some examples of customer success stories with a design for visual appeal:

1. CoSchedule: UMass Memorial Health Care

customer success example

2. Lightico: A1 Comms

customer success example

3. Hourly.io: Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels

customer success example

What do they all have in common? When you get to these landing pages, key details are immediately prominent: The issue the company was facing and/or the results they generated.

This is a great way to hook in the reader and get them interested to read on.

By showing the results, you highlight the benefits of using your brand. By emphasizing the problems, you can help prospects identify issues and understand why you’re the solution.

Both strategies can generate positive results, it’s just a matter of figuring out which method converts best with your audience.

How to Leverage Customer Success Story on Social Media

1. Figure out which case studies will translate well.

The “right client” will vary from brand to brand.

Samuel Mironko, associate marketing manager on the HubSpot brand marketing team, says that this is what they look for: brand recognition, buzziness, and relationship.

The bigger the brand, the more buzz it can create to share its story. This doesn’t mean that you should only highlight stories from recognizable brands. However, it could be a way to prioritize them.

The second is buzziness – how much interest will this story generate? Is the brand in a booming industry? This is another plus for you.

Lastly, and perhaps the most important according to Mironko, is your relationship with the customer. Building a customer story requires a lot of collaboration between the two companies. If your relationship with the client isn’t solid, you may face several obstacles as you attempt to deliver the product.

“You get a better story knowing more about the customer. You know what questions to ask, how to guide the story, and more details,” said Natalie Gullatt, marketing manager on the HubSpot customer marketing team. “The customer tends to trust you more if you have a relationship with them so it makes the process better for both parties.”

To narrow down a list of options, you will likely need to work with customer advocacy and/or customer success teams at your company to connect you with the clients.

They can also offer some insight into the problems that the company faces and the issues they were able to solve with your product/service.

2. Write a script.

Once you narrow down your list, it’s time to write the script for your social media campaigns.

While you follow the same format as the case study, you have to adjust it for social media – taking only the key details that will help you tell a story in an engaging but concise way.

Mironko says that this format works well for customer success stories because it tells a story. You leave knowing the problems the company faced before, how they attempted to solve the issue, their new experience, and how that has addressed their main pain points.

3. Get feedback from the client.

Once you have a draft, you’ll need to send it to the client for approval.

They may provide feedback on anything from the visual design to the way they’re portrayed.

Because this is a collaborative process, it’s essential that both parties are satisfied with the end result.

“Make sure to have the customers approve the drafts before publishing – that’s so important,” says Gullatt. “Customers may have to ask their marketing teams, legal teams before they say certain things publicly so you don’t want to burn bridges.”

This is why having a good relationship with the customer is key – this will make addressing issues with the content so much easier.

Gullatt adds that flexibility is key. 

“Be flexible even when it’s inconvenient because customers doing stories is a favor to you and your organization,” she says. “Making it easy for them and being patient goes a long way.”

4. Post and measure success.

Once the content is finally ready and published on social media, you’ll want to track its success.

How are people responding? Are they engaging with the content? Did it help you generate more leads?

Establishing KPIs before publishing on social media allows you to gauge your success accurately. From there, you can review the data to assess improvements for future success story campaigns.

Case studies work to showcase a company’s function to the fullest degree. They represent the facts of what happened, who was involved, and what the outcome was.

The main goal of a case study is to earn prospective customers’ trust and motivate them to choose you over your competitors.

Turning a case study into a customer success story is done through a meticulous and investigative process.

Now that you have everything you need to get started, design a visually appealing piece of content that gives the reader more than just words, but sparks their imagination of what it would be like to work with your company. They’ll want to reap the benefits of your services — and may even become the star of your next customer success story.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in Oct. 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

​​

via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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