It's not about volume in SaaS sales, it's voice.Jun 09, 2023
Shout as loud as you like, if it's not in your ICP's voice, you're wasting your breath.
To increase SaaS sales I'm going to zoom into something I don't hear many sales leads talking about: voice. Specifically, your customer's voice.
Skip to the end of this article if you need definitions, we're going to be talking Voice of Customer (VOC), your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and Brand Voice today.
Voice, not volume: for familiarity
Simply: talk the way they talk. It's easier said than done though.
The first step is identifying the VOC. It is 100% about building a level of familiarity. Our minds are association machines so we are constantly looking for how something is familiar. The Law of Familiarity has been doing the rounds of SaaS sales teams for years, with good reason.
Our subconscious doesn't like new. It requires more effort to relate it and or learn it. The more we can align with how our ICP talks, how they think, but especially, how they think about the issue you’re solving, is when you get responses from customers like: “I just feel like it was made for me.”
Brand above all: for consistency
If you've never worked in corporate, you don't know the headache it is to be told something is not "on brand". So why do marketing people get on their high horse about brand voice?
Because they're right — it's crucial. It quietens the noise.
Brand voice ensures everything your ICP sees, every single piece of sales collateral, email, networking event invite and even little bits of spam you send them, all speak with the same voice. Consistency = reliability.
Reliability leads to your ICP thinking: I can trust these guys with my money. Remember, new is bad. For an unsure prospect, every subtle difference will throw up a tiny red flag.
There's an immediately-tangible outcome too: Having a solid brand voice makes content and sales collateral creation 10x easier.
How can your SaaS sales team nail down your brand voice?
Tough love time: You're gonna need to work closely with marketing on this. And also product, the C-Suite, investors... but most of all, your customers.
Are you going to come away from this blog with a consistent brand voice? No.
Keep reading if you want to give yourself a hefty — incredibly worthwhile — list of tasks.
1. Agree on your company's mission.
For example, Selling SaaS exists to coach and inspire B2B SaaS sales leaders and founders to improve their impact, reach, and revenue numbers.
2. Make a list of words you use to describe your product, and "never use" phrases.
Another example: We describe the Selling SaaS outreach as the Selling SaaS podcast, Selling SaaS newsletter, Selling SaaS Playbook... Never the SS pod. Or, simply removing industry jargon that’s only used internally.
3. Write boilerplates for potential requests from third parties and partners:
About your company, 3-5 sentences
About the founders, 3-5 sentences
Product descriptions, short and long-form
Company promotional statements, 1 tagline and 3 sentences
Having steps 1-3 mapped out is going to take longer than you think, but I encourage you to start before outsourcing because YOU need to decide these things.
That said, do rope in outside support if all the above becomes daunting. Plenty of branding experts would love to help you.
But wait, there’s more! Next, get feedback. Our most feared yet most effective way to make this great.
4. Interview your ICP. Show them:
Your best-performing content and ask them, which of these do you most want to read?
Your boilerplates and ask them, do any of these describe a solution you need?
Rinse and repeat steps 1-4.
Then you can get into fonts, colors, formatting etc. You know, the usual arts and crafts stuff marketing likes to do.
I hear you say: That's a lot of work, does speaking in the VOC even impact growth?
If you hit the right brain cells with your prospects, they can easily become more emotionally connected with your brand.
To back me up, Sogolytics cited the story of 1-800 Contacts, a digital service business that launched "an intense program to enhance the customer experience by responding to direct feedback". The company literally listened to the Voice of Customers, and improved its Net Promoter Score by 13 points plus reorder rate by nearly 4%.
The stats prove that brand voice is pivotal to SaaS success. So what's stopping you from achieving consistency, more sales, and customers-come-ambassadors?
Before I sign off, here are those definitions I promised:
What is ICP?
Your Ideal Customer Profile means the important characteristics of the kind of customer you want to attract. Forget age, gender, and location; think interests, loves, and hates.
What is VOC?
Voice of Customer is the way your customer talks. Their level of formality, the vocabulary they use, the energy they put into their words, and even the places they talk (think social media versus in-person events) can influence the VOC.
What's a Brand Voice?
Your brand voice should not be too far off the VOC. It can be slightly more or less formal, faster or slower, but your vocabulary needs to be very similar. Do they talk about return on investment? You should too. Does your ICP prefer calling "communications" what you might call marketing? Suck it up — and call it comms.
Want more guidance on understanding your ICP? Drop me a line.
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