the complete guide to success story marketing

8 Traits of Sales-Win Stories

Author: ; Published: Feb 10, 2011; Category: Uncategorized; Tags: , ; No Comments

 

Savvy sales teams share customer success stories to move prospects further toward a purchase decision.

But customer case studies aren’t the only type of story that can help a rep close a sale.

Many companies create sales-win success stories to document what was behind a particular sale. Who did sales reps talk to? How long was the sales cycle? What approaches did they use? What challenges did they face?

It’s a story that’s created after the sale happens, and is captured to educate other sales reps about what it truly takes to sell the solutions.

Let’s take a closer look at the traits of the sales-win success story:

Share with internal eyes only
Stories that detail sales wins aren’t for public consumption (that’s why there’s no example here!). In fact, they’re quite proprietary. You certainly wouldn’t want a story detailing sales tactics to get out to competitors.

Once created, make sure to establish proper protocols for who and how reps can access them.

Conduct internal interviews
Sales win stories usually come from internal team knowledge about how the sale and customer relationship unfolded – not customer insight.

Interview all internal parties involved in the deal.

Focus on a single customer
Just as in a customer case study, a sales-win story typically features a single customer and goes into depth about the sales process. Your average sales-win story requires two-plus pages to collect all the details, so keep it focused on just one win.

Highlight challenges faced 
Every great story includes obstacles to overcome. What were they and how did the sales team navigate around them? How did negotiations come into play and were any concessions made on either side?

Document the details
Just as it’s important to include metrics in a public customer case study, include relevant numbers in a sales-win story:
– Length of the sales cycle with this customer
– The contract terms, including length of agreement and value of the deal
– Number of people you talked with at the customer company and their departments and titles
– Number of people on the sales team and their roles
– Number of trips to visit the customer on site

Discuss the competition
In a customer case study, it’s usually frowned upon to talk about the specific competitive solutions that a customer considered along with your solutions – the guys you ended up beating out. But it’s essential in a sales-win story.

Sales reps often have insight into the competitors also in the mix, and customers may even share why they chose you over others. If at all possible, get this critical insight into your story.

Tie the solution to the customer’s goals
Always connect your solution to how it meets the customer’s goals and what it will enable them to accomplish.

Capture it fast!
Sales reps quickly move on to other deals, and occasionally move on to other companies. Gather your sales-win stories while they’re still fresh in reps’ minds and they’re still around to share that information.

 

Create a rich database of sales win stories to help train new reps and keep current reps sharp and productive. How better to reinforce your best practices and winning strategies across the sales organization?

Has your company created sales-win stories? What tips would you add?