Advantage Takeaways: How Technology Is Expanding the Role of Finance 3
I recently sat down with my colleagues, Andrew Sevillia, Director of Customer Marketing at Sage Intacct, and Sameera Kelkar, Customer Marketing Specialist at Sage Intacct, to discuss the importance of customer advocacy, how a successful program is run, and why Sage Intacct’s customer advocacy program has become a critical tool in Sage Intacct’s overall marketing program. Check out what they had to say…
Brittany: Andrew, you’ve been in the customer advocacy and marketing space for a long time; can you share how you use to manage the customer marketing reference requests process and how things have evolved?
Andrew: For sure! I’d get requests from the marketing or sales teams that wanted to include a few customers in their marketing campaign or sales opportunity. The requests would include a few specifications of what the ideal customer looked like so that when I went into our CRM tool, I could pull a list of customers that met that criteria.
From there, it was a manually-intensive, time-consuming process of emailing and calling the list of customers, hoping that they’d respond. Then, once they did express interest, I’d follow up with them to share the specifics of the request. As you can imagine, this meant I had less time to spend on important projects like drafting new customer stories or planning the next customer video project.
Fortunately for me, Sage Intacct has a very forward-thinking marketing department, that is open to bringing on tools to help automate otherwise manual processes. When I presented a customer advocacy software tool to my senior management, they saw the value very quickly and were excited about implementing a formal advocacy hub
We selected Influitive as our advocacy hub of choice, and officially launched the Sage Intacct Champions program in February 2019 as a platform for Sage Intacct customers to utilize. The great thing about launching a customer advocacy hub using Influitive is that it has eliminated the process of manually searching for the right customer to participate in a marketing or sales opportunity. Instead, our customers tell us which opportunities they’re open to participating in.
The way Sage Intacct Champions works is simple. We invite our customers to join a private site called a “hub” and they engage with us to complete “challenges” whenever they see fit. These challenges including things like speaking opportunities, product feedback, and fun challenges like asking about their favorite Halloween candy. Who knows? We might just send them a bag or two of their favorite sugary treat.
Sameera: The Sage Intacct Champions program is an easy way for our customers – whether brand new or Sage Intacct veterans – to participate in opportunities that are specifically tailored to them and their business. These “challenges” are designed to help us learn more about our customers and how they’re using Sage Intacct.
The best part about the Champions program is that once we’ve uncovered key information about our customers, we can offer them a personalized journey, by presenting them with customized activities to fit their role, industry, or level of experience with Sage Intacct. For instance, we can source helpful tips and tricks from our long-time customers and share them with our newer ones.
The Champions program enables us to connect and engage with customers in a thoughtful way. It’s taken the guesswork away and allows customers to respond in a time frame that works best for them or pass over an opportunity if they don’t have the bandwidth at that moment.
As Andrew mentioned, the program is open to our customers, and users are rewarded with valuable points for everything that they complete. If they opt into a press opportunity, write an online review, sign up for a speaking engagement or webinar, or participate in any kind of testimonial, they will get points to redeem for swag, gift cards, or even a free pass to Sage Intacct Advantage. We feel that this is yet another proof point of Sage Intacct’s commitment to our customers and enabling them to tell their success stories in easy, powerful ways.
Andrew: Sage Intacct Champions has also allowed us to get to know our customers on a personal level, which is a vital step to building a strong relationship with them. Our customers are our strongest asset and our priority is ensuring that we are helping them however we can. We’ll put challenges in Sage Intacct Champions asking who they think will win the SuperBowl, the top issues they think that CFOs today are facing, or what their favorite podcast is. Finding out what is important to our customers – and why – empowers us to serve them better.
One of my goals when joining Sage Intacct was to elevate the visibility and success of our customers and our Champions program has been instrumental in making that happen.
Brittany: That’s fantastic! What has been the overall response from the customers that are participating in the Sage Intacct Champions program?
Sameera: It’s been overwhelmingly positive! A lot of our customers have noted that being a part of the program has been a great way for them to elevate their personal and professional brands by being involved in a community of like-minded peers and colleagues.
Not only have we built these incredibly strong relationships with the customers participating in the Champions program, but we’ve also seen an increase in customer loyalty.
Andrew: Yes, the Champions is also a place where we share educational resources, help them get in touch with their account manager, and make customers aware of new products or releases that Sage Intacct is rolling out.
Brittany: That’s fantastic! It sounds like the Champions program provides a very easy way for our customers to have an opportunity to share their successes in a fun, no pressure environment that is completely opt in. What a great tool!
If you’re a Sage Intacct customer and are interested in learning more about the Sage Intacct Champions program, please visit: https://www.sageintacct.com/champions.