Sales was all about closing more customers and increasing revenue. But not anymore. Today salespeople are influencing the product roadmap, improving the customer experience, and bringing in team alignment.
If you and your sales team are just focused on hitting sales quotas, you aren’t utilizing the work you have already done to the fullest extent possible.
Besides, in today’s competitive market, it has become imperative for startups to think about customer experience, product innovation, and ensure everyone in the team has a shared understanding of the customer. Sales teams have the opportunity to contribute in all the areas as they talk to customers — day in, day out.
In this post, we’ll walk you through how, as a salesperson, you can leverage the voice of the customer to influence the roadmap, improve your sales performance, and align cross-functional teams around the customers to unlock exponential growth.
“Capturing the exact Voice of the Customer is like striking gold”
- Kai Yang, Author of Voice of the Customer: Capture and Analysis.
Before we get into leveraging VoC, it’s important to learn how to capture it. While there are several methods and tools to capture the customers’ voice,is the best tool for sales to get the job done.
Why? For starters, it integrates with your existing workflow.
In other words, you won’t have to do any extra work. No need to create surveys using unfamiliar email software, send follow-ups, collect feedback, and then extract insights manually. Grain allows you to effortlessly clip and share the important moments of your customer conversations happening over Zoom.
You can just get on a Zoom call with your prospects and customers as you typically do and use Grain to capture the insights and feedback — in the form of video clips (here’s how).
Here’s what a Grain highlight clip looks like in the wild:
Two, it’s free to get started and is affordable to upgrade as your needs scale. This means you don’t need to allocate a dedicated budget or get buy-in from your executives. It takes a minute to sign up and get going.
We’ll use Grain to show you how to capture and leverage the VoC throughout the article. So, feel free to set up your account and tag along.
Alright, let’s get started.
The better the product, the easier it is to sell it. Sales, of all people, want to ensure that the product has the right features on the roadmap. It’s the only way to get your prospects’ interest piqued and make them choose your product over the competitors.
But it’s not easy to influence the roadmap. Product managers and sales teams often don’t get a chance to collaborate, and in most cases, both teams are siloed in such a way that it’s hard to just pass your feedback and get it included in the roadmap.
You need to get buy-in with evidence.
Extracting the voice of the customer from the source enables you to present your ideas to product teams with conviction and more importantly, back your suggestions with customers’ quotes.
Here are a few ways to use the voice of the customer to influence the product.
1. Get into the habit of capturing and sharing insights from your users/customers via a dedicated Slack channel.
All you need to do is set up a Slack channel (for instance, #feature-requests) and then drop the highlight Clips.
2. Embed highlight clips in your presentations or internal documents.
You can curate insights and feedback from customers and embed them in a notion doc or presentation that could be shared internally. Having Grain clips drives the point home! For instance, if you send a monthly report, include a few Grain clips to convey what the customers are expecting from the product team.
3. Send the insights directly to Productboard.
This comes in handy if your product team is using Productboard to collect, organize and prioritize customer feedback to build the roadmap.
When you hear a request or an interesting idea from a customer, you can capture it and send it directly to your productboard.
The best part is, every time you help your team to prioritize and work on the right features, you are enabling users to become product qualified leads (also known as, PQLs). Product qualified leads tend to convert into customers, so you can hit your revenue goals consistently.
You can also improve your sales performance with the help of the voice of the customers. When you record your sales calls using Grain, you gain the ability to identify the areas of improvement and get help from your peers to improve the process.
Grain helps you to build a knowledge base where you can tag and save your customer conversations — with notes and highlights. You can instantly search, discover, and view the highlights, notes, and recordings.
1. Record your customer calls using Grain and note down the moments you face objections using the Grain app. Once the call ends, log in to your Grain workspace and get to the moment to review and create a highlight clip.
Finally, send the highlight clip via Slack and ask your peers to post their suggestions.
2. Ask your peers to note down the moments they are faced with objections using the Grain notepad (your team can use a common keyword like ‘Sales Objection’). So, you can search and see how they’ve handled it*.
*As you are a team, everyone will be in the same Grain workspace and you’ll be able to search and access all your team’s recordings as long as they share them.
2. Search through the conversations to see if there’s a pattern or any commonality in all the deals you have closed successfully. Repeat the same process for failed deals to ensure you are avoiding the pitfalls.
Sales need content.
You can’t constantly be in touch with your prospects around the clock and answer their questions whenever they need to. On top of it, your prospects probably need to get buy-in from their executives and ensure their teams will use the product as intended.
That’s where having a library of content comes in handy.
Since you can’t be available all the time, you can turn your demos into assets if you capture the voice of the customer using Grain. From hard-hitting video testimonials to training videos to product walk-throughs, you can spin off several assets from your existing customer conversations and maximize the impact of your work.
1. Once the call’s over, use Grain to create hard-hitting video testimonials and use them in your sales pitch and email signature.
2. You can turn your demos into a product walk-through Story* and send it to your prospects and customers. It saves you a ton of time and makes it easy for your prospects to share internally.
*Grain Story is a reel of highlights that helps you to share important moments from the meetings. Here’s an example story.
3. Sales calls can last anywhere from 30-mins to an hour. So, the important insights you have shared and answers to your prospects’ questions are typically spread throughout the call.
Create a follow-up Story with a reel of important moments (captured as Grain highlights) that could help your prospects to take away the essential info.
You can help your company to become customer-centric and get everyone on the same page as the customers.
If you’re a product-led company, product and engineering teams will likely have a hypothesis on how the product solves a particular problem. And, if there’s no feedback loop between customers and internal teams, everyone will envision their own version of how the product is being used.
Sales can ensure that they are constantly sharing the learnings and insights from the customers with the rest of the company and rally everyone around the voice of the customers.
1. We have #voice-of-the-user Slack channel where requests and insights from customer-facing calls are shared with the rest of the team.
From product to engineering to marketing, everyone actively takes part in conversations and shares their suggestions.
2. Capture feedback, questions, insights, and use cases from your customers, and then share it as a Grain Story that your team loves to watch.
No one watches an hour-long recording. But if you drop a Grain Story that has a reel of best moments, everyone will be onboard!
You don’t need to increase your effort. In fact, it’s the opposite. You have to come up with creative ways to get the most out of your work (i.e., customer conversations).
With Grain, you can capture and leverage the voice of the customers to influence the product roadmap, create sales assets, improve your sales scripts and pitches, and more importantly, maximize the impact of your work.
Use the workflows and examples shared above to kickstart your process or create your own workflows based on what your goals are. Interested in automating the workflows? Use Zapier and integrate Grain with your favorite work tools.
The best sales teams have embraced the change and rely on the voice of the customer to ensure consistent revenue flow. The question isn’t “how” but rather “when” will you start leveraging the voice of the customer!