Your customers have the same problem. If they don’t use all of their departments’ funds now, their C-suite may think that they don’t need the money. Then they may slash your customers’ budgets next year—and this could bounce back and hurt you.
However, there’s a way to get a larger slice of your customers’ budgets.
How one question can boost revenue fast
Our Customer Strategy team recently spoke with a customer that had achieved amazing results from their advocate marketing program. They had used Influitive Experiences to engage hundreds of advocates and quickly generate 30 referrals and 50 product reviews. They liked their results so much that they wanted to invest more of their marketing budget in advocacy.
Not surprisingly, we love hearing this type of news! Then we wondered if other customers might feel the same way.
So, the Customer Strategy and Advocate Marketing team posted a challenge in our advocate marketing program, Influitive VIP, that asked our customers to consider spending their extra budget on an Experience (a product feature that can be used to engage advocates around a specific event or campaign). Here’s what the challenge looked like.
On the day that we posted this challenge, we heard from eight customers who wanted to use their remaining budget to beef up their advocate marketing program. Four customers ended up purchasing more Experiences from us. Without this ask we wouldn’t have found this hidden revenue and our customers may have had their budgets limited the following year.
- Build relationships with your customers. If you come out of nowhere and ask customers to spend more, you likely won’t get them on board. The key is to build a strong relationship first. A great way to do this is through advocate marketing. The more you engage with advocates, the more they will benefit from your relationship. For example, you might offer your advocates special training that helps them succeed with your products or services. These successful advocates may become your best customers. Then when you ask them to spend more, they’ll consider it. Since these advocates see the value in what you offer, your ask won’t seem intrusive or needy.
- Remind your advocates of the benefits. When you ask for a larger investment, remind your advocates about what they love about your products or services. Talk about some of the results they’ve already achieved, as well as the results they can achieve when they increase their investment. This is also a great way to uncover case studies!
- Work with others in your organization. Speak with your customer success and sales teams to find out how you can uncover hidden revenue opportunities. For example, ask your customer success team to help identify happy customers who may be game for an upsell. Your sales and customer strategy team can suggest ways to use your successful advocates to cross-sell into other parts of a company they work for. By working together, you’ll help other departments reach their targets—and look like a rock star for boosting the bottom line.
- Just ask! The only way to get anything is to ask for it. Post a fun ask in your advocate marketing program, and make it easy for customers to respond. For example, we used a cute image of a puppy to catch our advocates’ attention. (Who doesn’t like puppies?) We also made our ask relatable by talking about budget cuts—something that all marketers face. I recommend that you try this approach twice a year: first midyear, when your customers are reviewing their budgets to see whether they need to make any changes, and at the end of the year, when your customers are rushing to spend their last dollars.
If you don’t have an advocate marketing program, you can still make this technique work for you. Simply email your customers and ask them to respond if they want to invest their remaining budget with you.