After reading the first part of this two-part series, you understand the importance of social proof and how it can boost your sales results.
Knowing that social proof is a great asset to boost your pitches isn't enough. To leverage the benefits of social proof, you need to generate some first.
The sales team can’t generate social proof alone. You must also involve your customer success and marketing teams. You require significant collaboration between teams, as shared data must be organised and quickly accessible at any time.
CRM provides your teams with shared folders, detailed and organised client cards, and increased collaboration. Not to mention, CRM provides a handful of tools to help you build better customer relationships, which is beneficial for generating social proof.
Keep reading to find out more about how you could generate the different types of social proof to strengthen your sales pitches!
Why is social proof crucial
Social proof is a powerful asset for marketing and sales teams to use when looking to bring more revenue to their company. We spoke in-depth on this topic in the first part of our series. Here’s a short debrief in case you haven’t read it…
- Social proof helps build trust with your prospects and customers
- It reinforces your customers' desire to purchase your product, making them more likely to act on it
- It helps your business build a favourable reputation, meaning the purchase of your product will be regarded with less risk
How to generate social proof
Knowing why social proof is essential and which social proof exists is only half the battle. You still need to know how to generate social proof effectively.
We took it upon ourselves to show you the best ways to generate social proof and strengthen your next sales pitch.
Ensure you provide stellar customer service
The best way to entice your customers to leave positive feedback about your product is to ensure they have a good experience using it.
But what do we mean by stellar customer service?
Think about how you would love to be treated as a customer, and times it by two. Your customers need to feel like you’re not only there to provide them with a product or a service. You need to show them that their success with your product is your absolute priority.
One of the ways you can do this is by checking up on your customers regularly…
Remember when Jim from Company X told you they were slightly understaffed during your last call? Send them an email asking them whether their problems have been resolved.
Suppose a customer contacts your customer success department. In that case, contacting them after a couple of weeks or even days is great. Ask whether they have encountered any other challenges they may need help with.
Of course, remembering every interaction with every customer is demanding.
Using a tool such as a CRM, can make the job a whole lot easier on your sales and customer success representatives.
NetHunt CRM features a dedicated timeline section where the details of all the conversations with customers are recorded. Through this, sales representatives have access to all the knowledge they need about a client’s previous experiences.
Another way that NetHunt CRM can help you remember to keep in touch with your customers is by utilising the automated task creation functionality of NetHunt CRM.
Suppose Bob contacts customer support with an issue. Once the issue has been resolved and Bob has been moved to the appropriate stage in the funnel, an automatic task will be created for the customer success representative assigned to him.
This task reminds the rep to contact Bob and ask whether everything is going smoothly. They can do this in a week and then again in another week.
When your service is excellent, your customers trust you more. When you ask them to leave a review, they are glad to help out a company that helps them.
➡️ Check out our article on how to ensure you provide stellar service to your customers.
Implement customer success and keep track of customers' achievements and milestones
More on the topic of Customer Success.
Helping your customers achieve their goals and successfully use your product is as important as selling them your products in the first place.
We all know that, but how does that translate into generating social proof?
When customers receive continued support and help not only during the implementation and onboarding of your product but throughout the entire period of usage.
They feel a deeper connection to your company, they no longer feel like your customers… but almost like partners.
This translates to them gladly providing you with social proof, either when asked or of their own accord. That social proof will no doubt mention your stellar customer service.
When new prospects have a look at the reviews, they see that you root for your customer’s success. They feel like the decision to implement your product is less of a risk.
➡️ More on the topic of using CRM for customer success and customer service in our guide.
Stay in touch with your customers
An excellent way to provide customers with a positive customer success experience is to keep track of their achievements and milestones.
When a customer posts about an achievement on LinkedIn, send them a message or an email congratulating them. When they speak about a challenge they experience, offer to contact them and explain how your product helps.
A few other milestones to contact your customers after are…
- X days using your product
- X users added to the workspace
- X months since purchase
- X months since last contact to customer support/success
- [Result] achieved with the product
All this data can be kept in your CRM to track your client’s progress with your product easily.
➡️ Learn how to automate customer service and customer success processes in our article. ️
NetHunt CRM features a LinkedIn integration. All that new data on that prospect is visible from their customer card in the database. Customer success representatives can also send messages directly from the customer card with these integrations.
What if your service is fantastic? What if a customer success department is doing the best it can? And still, you don’t generate enough social proof?
There are other ways to incentivise your customers to provide you with social proof by using the following methods…
Encourage customer reviews on independent resources
Reviews from independent sources are seen as more trustworthy.
Up to 72% of customers would write a review if the business asked them to.
Customers are busy people, just like you. They often need encouragement to leave a review about your product. Encouragement can take many different forms, like…
- Make writing a review as simple as possible. Leave links to the review platform on your website or send them via email
- Provide a template for reviews. The template can provoke them to think about the benefits of your product more
- Engage with your existing reviews. This shows customers that you’re actively engaging in
- Offer an incentive, like a gift card or product credit
Not so long ago, NetHunt CRM ran a campaign where we enticed our customers to leave reviews on Capterra. Every reviewer was promised a gift card, regardless of whether the review was positive or negative.
Run contests to generate User-Generated Content
Your company can collect user-generated content through contests.
By now, everyone has seen at least one contest run by a company with the rules being along the lines of…
1️⃣ Share your content with Product X
2️⃣ Tag us in your post
3️⃣ Have a chance to win
Contests like these are very effective in generating user content. They incentivise customers to create it. Often, creating content with a product isn’t difficult, but neither is it interesting. Developing interest in your customers creates a flood of user-generated content.
A company could also host events to stimulate the creation of user-generated content.
Or, just ask your users to provide you with any user-generated content through outlets like…
- Social media
- In-person meetings
Ask customers for reviews in person
When attending 1-to-1 meetings with customers, you can just ask them to provide you with a testimonial in person. The same applies to conferences or other networking events.
By asking to leave a review or testimonial in person, your customers feel more comfortable. They see it's a real person that asked them to leave the review, rather than an abstract entity such as a company.
Now you know how to generate social proof, using it to strengthen your sales pitch and boost your sales.
With this knowledge, your future customers will trust you more, and the presence of social proof undoubtedly increases your company's reputation among customers.
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