Signature of Approval!

Freud.pngWe just returned from the Cyber Defense Summit 2017 in Las Vegas.  Leading up to the Summit we worked with customers to create videos and quotes that were used throughout the event.  Our trip to Australia to film customers resulted in such great content we expedited processes and went from filming in one country to showing our videos on the main stage of the event 12 days later!

Love this photo, Freud Alexandre, the Enterprise Architect and Security Manager for the City of New Orleans, was so happy to be featured he autographed his banner.  That is the signature of approval! What we like to see with all our customer deliverables.

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Project ‘Find the Customer Reference!’

We were recently asked to do a special project for a new client.  They had a high priority need for customer references for a specific product.  A rather new product at that. And, of course, a very short deadline.  Major events were on the schedule where they needed speakers and new collateral because who better to tell your story than a happy customer?

Sometimes you need to call in reinforcements, which they did.  They didn’t have the bandwidth to take on this special project so called us.  We have the processes in place already, and the people.  We were able to supplement their staff and contact every single sales rep that had sold this product, discussed their customers, and then went on to talk with each customer who was a potential reference.  We were able to help frame the stories to highlight business benefits, not just the ‘speeds and feeds’.  Putting extra resources on this, in a very short window, was really successful.  We’ve uncovered several new references already and we’re not yet done.

While typically we run major programs for our clients sometimes we’re asked to do special projects such as this.  It can be a huge help to have extra bandwidth when you need it – big or small we can help with your customer reference challenges!

Case studies – your customers tell your story best!

The success of your existing customers is a powerful way to tell your story to potential customers. Case studies leverage your past successes and validate the effectiveness of your products and services through an objective voice, in a way your other marketing pieces cannot.  Even B2B executives looking at the most complex solutions are influenced by the opinion of their trusted peers.  Case studies give a voice to your customers to enable this positive influencing to occur naturally.

Here at Referential, Inc. we’ve seen a recent surge in demand for case studies from our clients.  We are able to leverage both engineering and business expertise to fully understand the business value our clients’ products and services deliver.  We know the right questions to ask to uncover quantifiable benefits and create compelling stories to help accelerate purchase decisions by your prospects.

Need a case study?  Give us a call!

An ex-customer as a reference?

Yup.  That’s what we had to find.  One of the requirements of a recent RFP was to provide a reference that is no longer a customer.   So a friendly ex.  I thought our recent blog post was a good example of people asking the strangest things, but this even is stranger!    

Finding a match seemed impossible but was actually easier than we expected.  First tip, never delete customer records from your reference listing.   Whether you use a spreadsheet or a DB keep them all.  You never know when even “not referenceable” accounts will come in handy.  Next tip.  Keep ‘qualitative’ notes about the status of your references.   That’s how we found our match. 

We reviewed  the records for companies not currently referenceable and found one that was perfect.  The notes from our outreach, plus additional information from the sales rep, told us they had done a pilot project, loved the product, but failed to get funding.  They were just the friendly ex we needed.  Not a customer, but with lots of good things to say to a prospect.    

Bottom line – keep your data, keep good notes, and expect the unexpected when dealing with customer references!

Many brains are better than one!

It’s happened to all of us.  We have an ‘opportunity’ at work and we need some ideas, our mind is a blank or what we’ve tried in the past just isn’t bringing the results we need today.   That’s something we’ve seen with a few of our clients.  Maybe the challenge is finding new sources of customer references, maybe it’s how to get the most out of your user conference.   The list can go on.  Our clients have found many brains are better than one!

We’ve done focused brainstorming  sessions, including key members of our team as we all bring different experiences and expertise.   The client brings the reference program lead and any important stakeholders.   One client even brought their brand new summer intern, what a way to give them a quick education about customer reference programs!  The sessions have been very successful, whether in person or over the phone.  At the end of each our clients have an actionable list of new ideas.   If you’re interested in a brainstorming session for your reference program contact us.  We’ve found this always results in a steady stream of new ideas. What other approaches have you used?