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Are you ignoring the most important B2B SaaS growth component?

5 Views • 03/24/24
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⁣Someone has to talk about word of mouth…

First the data…

Research from Jay Baer shows that in B2B, 91% of every sale is influenced by word of mouth in some way
Jason M. Lemkin estimated that when BILL IPO’ed 80% of its customers came from word-of-mouth
Research shared by ThinkImpact shows that 88% of the potential customers of B2B businesses seek word-of-mouth assurance before purchasing

I have long been a big fan of net promoter scores (NPS), but the power of NPS scores is not in the score, it is in the mindset that companies can create an experience that their customers would be willing to share. NPS scores are often discussed as a customer satisfaction metric, but I am more interested in what it literally measures, quantifying how likely customers are to refer a company to a friend or family member i.e word of mouth. Companies don't increase word-of-mouth sales because they implement NPS, they improve because they adopt a mindset that they will do something that people want to share and then enable users to share. Companies can do this without NPS or with NPS, but it starts with the mindset.


Word of mouth is not a simple marketing tactic but we can do things to enable it. There are a few products that I use that demonstrate how to enable word of mouth:


Consistent, strong brand: This is not just about the logo and messaging, it is about how customers experience your brand throughout the customer lifecycle. People won’t refer your brand if they think there is a chance it will be a poor experience. We have referred quite a few of our clients who are relatively immature from a marketing perspective to Hubspot, because, over the years, HubSpot has done a terrific job of consistently creating a brand experience that suits those who are looking for a solution that is relatively easy to implement, use and gain value from.

Wow your customers: A consistent brand ensures that people will be willing to refer others, but an amazing experience will make people want to refer your product. For instance, over the past few weeks, I have had several people proactively recommend Opus Clip because they were amazed at how easily it can create small video clips from a larger video.

Make your product easy to share: Even if customers are willing, referring a product is not top of mind for them, so make your product easy to share. This could come in a wide variety of forms, but here is one example from a product I use, Semrush. By making their reports and data very easy to share, they have enabled many word-of-mouth discussions about their product with our clients.

Make your product easy to experience: People being referred to you should be able to experience your product without significant effort. Bill.com provides a great example. My first experience with Bill.com was when we received a payment from a client. After a simple registration to accept our payment, I was able to easily see the functionality the platform offered.

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