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Tips for Capturing Customer Stories on the Salesforce AppExchange for ISVs

Salesforce sells on stories, not features or benefits, but real-life ways a customer is leveraging a solution. As an ISV, it is your job to work this into your DNA. Whether you are an established in-market ISV or just starting out with a few beta customers, there are some easy templates and channels to get your story out to start to build momentum. 


AppExchange Reviews

 

You are going to want to have at least five customer reviews added each year, so you should train your team to prioritize this motion as a “give–get” with customers to build upon this portion of your AppExchange listing. This will help you maintain your current ISV partner tier or push to the next one. If a customer asks for anything non-standard like a discount or extra support in configuring a dashboard (this is a give), the rule of reciprocity that we, as humans, are hard-wired to follow will compel them to provide something in exchange (this is a get). This is a lower effort/quality get which should be fairly easy to execute on.


AppExchange Customer Case Study for Your Website (and More)


This one is a higher effort and quality get that your team should be asking for. The level of effort for the customer is a 30-minute call where you, a marketing person, or your marketing consulting firm interviews them about the problem your solution solved for them and the benefits they have seen. It is key to weave in ROI. People sometimes haven’t thought enough about it to know what the true value they are realizing from a solution is, so don’t be surprised if you have to ask two or three times to quantify it. Some customers will even take your lead in guiding them to the areas of ROI you would like them to highlight.

Here is an example email request I have helped ISVs use in the past:

We are seeing an uptick in INDUSTRY NAME companies using our products to help YOUR USE CASE, and as more and more come onboard, we are choosing to focus on this arena. Customer stories always help and will show YOUR CUSTOMER NAME in a positive, customer-focused light. Here’s an example: LINK TO EXISTING CUSTOMER STORY.com

What it entails:

  • 30-minute interview between a member of the ISV NAME team and you and/or someone on your team.

  • Ideally, you can share real-world examples of how our solution is helping to solve a problem—even better if you can quantify it with something like x% reduction in costs or y% in revenue gains.

  • We write up what we heard, capturing the business value provided in a draft.

  • You or your team review it for approval.

  • We put it on the website. 

If you are open to helping us out, please let me know a time you are free later this week or next. We can be flexible with scheduling. 


Leveraging that Customer Story in the Salesforce Ecosystem


Now that you have a documented story which has been approved for distribution, your team can re-purpose that for a variety of other channels and formats. Here are just a few:

  • Winning with Partners Slide (you produce)—A Salesforce-approved format which is intended for the go-to-market teams at Salesforce which your team produces. This should then be shared in your Org62 Chatter group and ideally comes with a Salesforce AE/SE quote. This is a template you can crank.

  • Winning with Partners Slide (Salesforce Creates)—Salesforce offers a no-cost option for them to take your story and put it into the correct format. This can be very useful for the first time you are doing it.  This slide is internal to Salesforce only.

  • AppExchange Customer Spotlight (Salesforce creates and distributes)—This story is customer-facing and is shared by the Salesforce team themselves. This is at no cost to the ISV and gives you quality evergreen content you can promote on social media or with ads that up-level your image.

If an AE helps you out with a quote for a Winning with Partners slide and they had a good experience, it is a normal request to ask for an intro to their manager to host a 20-minute presentation at a team meeting. (A future post will address how to nail these.) These tips are how you can jumpstart story-based product marketing in the ecosystem which will serve your prospective customers and the go-to-market teams at Salesforce and Sis/ISVs. If you want guidance on how to create a program to make this part of your team’s DNA, please schedule a time to talk here.

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