New customers can teach you a lot… if you just ask/
If you’re marketing and selling a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, feel free to ring a bell or do whatever it is you do when you win a new deal.
But don’t stop there.
Those new customers are worth more than just subscription revenue. They can tell you a lot to help your marketing.
Think about it. They’ve just emerged from the evaluation and purchase process, they’ve seen your marketing efforts up close.
They’re in a good spot to share some useful insights, such as:
What did they use before they bought your new solution?
Why did they change? What was wrong with the old system?
Where did they find out about your solution?
What other solutions did they look at and why did they choose yours?
That’s vital information that can help you market and win even more new customers.
How do you get this information?
But you do need to ask them. How?
You could conduct a customer survey via a questionnaire. There are lots of methodologies and software or consultants to help here.
Or you could ask your Sales people. After all, they’ve been intimately involved in the process with the prospect.
Beware though that Sales may carry a bias. When asked why a customer bought, you may hear a salesperson explain “it was because of the wonderful relationship established by the salesperson.”
Another approach is to simply talk to small sample of new customers. Even short conversations with a handful of customers can be useful.
These can be especially revealing if they’re conducted as conversations, not surveys. Tee up a few questions (like the ones suggested earlier) and follow wherever the customer takes you.
Though the handful of interviews from an individual month represent only a small sample size, over the course of a year these should yield valid information. You’ll gather insights that can help craft effective marketing messages and structure marketing programs that really reach prospects.
Worried about bothering new customers? In my experience, most customers are happy to talk for a few minutes and share their thoughts. In fact, they’re often delighted to know that their new vendor actually cares what they think.
I’ve seen these interviews done well by people within the company, though it’s best to have Marketing people call, not Sales. Using an outside person can also be effective. (Call me if you need help.)
When you win a new customer, go ahead and celebrate. But don’t miss out on the useful information you can gather from them.