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The Power of (Customer) Stories

The Power of (Customer) Stories

Anirban Banerjee
Anirban Banerjee
August 19, 2022
5 min read

This article is part of the Sales Secrets Uncovered series where we share key learnings from our analysis of 211k+ sales calls spread over 3.8 million minutes and 12 months. Why? To uncover the stats that will help you sell better in 2022 and beyond!

This article is from the desk of our Lead Content Specialist, Anirban.

PS: Use this data responsibly. Correlation is ≠ causation. 😇

So, how many here caught the first season of The Sandman on Netflix?

As the resident nerd of Wingman, there is no way I was missing the adaptation of one of the best comic books ever. I read the books years ago, but it’s like the stories are imprinted in my mind, forever a part of me.

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Which is interesting, because the power of stories is one of the central themes of The Sandman series itself. The way they affect the listener is akin to a kind of magic.

Also interesting, then, is that the topic of today’s newsletter is the power of stories in sales.

Customer stories are one of the most reliable and useful tools in a sales person’s toolkit. Based on our research, such stories were brought up by sales folks in over 40% of all deals.

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Customer stories are usually weaved into the conversation by sales folks to address how the solution they offer worked in a real-world setting.

It instantly provides credibility and makes it easy for customers to see how the solution could work for them as well.

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Some of the phrases we tracked

So how do they work?

Unsurprisingly, they work very well. Customer stories coincided with a 31% increase in win rate and a 9% decrease in loss rate.

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However, just because you have woven a customer story into the conversation does not mean it will work.

The stories that have a positive impact are almost always:

  1. Relevant: Goes without saying that the story has to be relevant to your prospects’ problems. Otherwise, you are just wasting their time.
  2. Engaging: Tell a meandering story and the prospect will lose interest really quickly. Even the most powerful story can land like a wet fish if the prospect is already bored.
  3. Clear: It’s not enough to just tell the story, you have to create the connection between the prospect’s problem and the one told in the story. Can the prospect work it out for themselves? Probably, but leaving it to chance is a risk.
  4. Verifiable: A story is good. A story backed up by a video testimonial in the customer's own voice? That’s good, with an extra helping of great and garnished with amazing.

Customer stories are a tried and true technique that clearly still resonates with prospects, perhaps because stories by their very nature will always resonate with people. Especially if they are relevant.

What are your experiences with customer stories? What’s your favorite technique when telling them? Sound off with your feedback (and your Sandman reviews) in the comments.

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