HOW TO INVOLVE YOUR CUSTOMERS
Customer involvement is a spectrum. While it would be great to get a marquee customer to show up and give a talk on how your product has impacted their lives, a video interview or even a review of usage are also incredibly motivating and helpful.
Find a specific reason why you’re having a customer participate, and hammer it home. Is it to educate the sales team on how your product makes a difference or motivate them to how important your product is to your customers?
- Work through your Customer Success team to facilitate customer involvement and make them feel like a key stakeholder in your kick-off. Remember, you can’t do it alone!
Meet Your Users
We spend most of our time wrapped in the day to day specifics of sales: the touches, how people are moving through the pipeline, buyer’s journey, etc.
What we miss, and what you have an opportunity to do in the sales kickoff, is bring it back to your customer. The people that have gone through your sales cycle already and where your product/service is making a meaningful difference in their lives.
Customer involvement can be a spectrum. Obviously it would be great if you could have a marquee customer come and give a talk or a presentation about how your product is making their lives better, but that may not be possible. If you can’t get that level of involvement, there are other ways to get customer input: you could have a member of customer success come and give a presentation or talk through a discussion on what customers have been saying/thinking, or go all the way to having a product person or another member of CS, look at product metrics and talk through the ways that people use the product.
Customer input can be both motivational, (your product is the hero making their lives better), but it also be informative (What are the struggles that customers had going through the sales cycle? What are things they don’t like about your product or, or what are things they really like about your competitors?). This information is going to ground your presentation and give you a tangible topic outside of just focusing on revenue.
Now, remember here – don’t try to do it yourself, you don’t have to be the hero. Get customer success involved early, and make sure everyone is on the same page.