Episode 23 - Gabi Contreras - High-Impact B2B Customer Marketing Strategies

Gabi and I talk about building great relationships with your customers and the one thing keeping us from making more sales. We also talk about customer exchange sessions, how to build value quickly, repackaging existing content, and arming your sales team with tools to get more sales faster.

Full Transcription

[00:00:00] **Gabi:**

I maintain a deck called, “A use case repository” for the sales team. It consists of early-stage customer stories. So, you’re arming your sellers with ways that customers are using the platform.

Maybe it’s not an approved case study. Maybe it’s not long-written form or on the website, or in all these fancy formats, but you’re offering your sales team ammunition they can work with, use quickly, and run with. 

[00:00:32] **Sam:**

Alrighty folks. Welcome to another episode of the State of Customer Storytelling podcast. The show that is all about helping you, as a B2B marketing leader, get the download on the most current practices and strategies related to all things customer marketing and customer advocacy.

The State of Customer Storytelling is brought to you by Testimonial Hero. Testimonial Hero helps over 300 B2B software companies easily create stunning video testimonials that close deals faster. You can view examples and find out more at TestimonialHero.com.

Our guest today is Gabi Contreras. She is the Customer Marketing Manager at Observe.AI.

Gabi, it’s great to have you here. Welcome to the show. 

[00:01:24] **Gabi:**

Thank you so much for having me, Sam. It’s genuinely a pleasure. 

[00:01:28] **Sam:**


To kick things off, why do customer stories matter? Why do customer stories and customer advocacy matter more than ever?

[00:01:41] **Gabi:**

Our goal as marketers is to build that human connection with our customers, our brand, and everything we can do to better drive that connection and really humanize ourselves.

In the tech industry, where I work, it’s really important to lean on those stories and those genuine customer anecdotes to drive not only conversations between prospects and your sellers, but also in the relationships between your customer and your overall brand.

So, I’m a really big believer that customer stories are the lifeblood of an organization and they can play a critical role in differentiating marketing efforts, especially when you’re in a really saturated market like I am with Observer.AI.

[00:02:30] **Sam:**

I love the term humanize. It’s such an accurate and telling term. Tell me more, a little bit about that. What does humanizing it mean to you in this context? How do you think about that?

[00:02:44] **Gabi:**

Yeah, well, I mean, taking a step back to the current state of things that we’re in now, right? We’ve been in the pandemic now for two years. And I think it’s really shown us the power of staying connected through technology, through things like zoom, like slack and. 

I would say humanizing, it just kind of has taken a new level now with, you know, all these different tools that we have in place.

And I think it’s also just shown that when humans are really looking to connect with each other, they’re going to find a way. and I think that that’s where, you know, things like driving a connection between maybe a story where a prospect can connect with that story and draw parallels between the things that they’re looking for and the things that maybe a customer has already seen valuable.

That’s kind of where those synergies can start to build.

[00:03:34] **Sam:**

It makes a ton of sense. And speaking of stories, I want to hear a little bit more about your story and, you know, kind of how, how you ended up, you know, where you are now as, you know, customer marketing manager at, Observe.AI.

[00:03:50] **Gabi:**

Yeah. Well, just to give you a little context on, on observed to start things off, you know, we’re in an intelligent workforce platform that helps support sales and support teams to improve performance through conversation intelligence. So I operate, we operate in the context in our industry, and work really closely with, contexts in is all over the world and teams that are also just looking to.

Sales and drive revenue. but before I joined the context center space, my journey has been been interesting. I actually started out in the nonprofit world, so I worked in communications and on the development side, At nature bridge, which is an environmental education, nonprofit based out of San Francisco.

And I would say that in that role, I really learned how to start telling those stories, right. And how to start building those connections, between our donors and, you know, our, our, our organization and our mission. And I like to say that, you know, all the learnings that I had there have really translated into what I do now with, with observed in our customer marketing world.

[00:04:54] **Sam:**

That makes a ton of sense and, you know, observe, it’s a startup, but also, you know, significant company, I think like 250, you know, employee size. 

Right. So it’s not like, you know, it’s not brand new. I love to hear more about like, how, like, You know, customer average C functions and, you know, add, observe, and then maybe we can even just kinda, you know, roll it back a little bit and you can share a little bit of the story. Because it’s I, if I believe correctly, you’ve sort of been building the program there from the ground up.

[00:05:29] **Gabi:**

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I mean, first of all, I guess I’ll kind of scream out to the opportunity that existed when we first even started, you know, doing customer marketing activities, which can really be a range of so many different things. I know it’s it’s in and of itself a very new function. Right. and it typically, like we were speaking about earlier, Sam, you know, you see it a lot in bigger companies, but in smaller. Sometimes it can be kind of tough to know when is a good time to start, you know, building out customer marketing. And I would say for. It really happened very organically. my role started as a generalist marketing role. I’d observe I was the third marketing hire. So really my role consisted of PR social media webinars.

You know, just the list goes on and on right content as well. And for us, it really, I would like to say it all started with a customer panel that we decided to put together. with three of our, you know, our biggest champions, our biggest executives. And, just throughout that process, you know, building those relationships with those customers, helping them prep for the call, and also just really celebrating them on that, on that conversation.

And, and also being able to highlight them as thought leaders in their own respective industries, it really was kind of in a hot moment for us where it was like, okay, This is something that is it’s working. It’s good. Let’s keep figuring out how we can replicate this. and then from there, it really was just about focusing on the relationship building aspect of, you know, how can we just kind of build a stronger connection between our customers and our brand, you know, not only so that we can feature them on, on our marketing materials, but also.

So that they can have an opportunity to showcase themselves as innovators. And I would say that’s one really special thing, with our, you know, our ICP at observing. W these customers, you know, a lot of them operate in a very legacy industry. The context in our industry tends to be a little more outdated and, it’s been a little bit slower in embarking on digital transformation.

So for a lot of our customers, you know, working with a platform like Observe.AI, which brings automation and artificial intelligence to the forefront is really helping them also, just pink themselves as leaders in digital transformation. 

[00:08:04] **Sam:**

Do you have any examples of like how it’s benefited them or like feedback that you’ve heard from the customers like, oh, like I got a promotion or like I was invited to speak at this conference. 

Yeah. That, cause that is such a good point. Like making, you know, your customer MC a two-way exchange of value. 

[00:08:23] **Gabi:**

Yeah, it has, it has, I can definitely think of a couple of customers. Well, I guess there’s, there’s two examples, right? I have one customer that I’ve worked with. and you know, he, initially he came and spoke on whenever webinars. I kept in touch with him. Right. You keep checking in with that customer, building that relationship.

And eventually it was able to offer him opportunities, to be mentioned in some PR placements that we were doing. And that was really exciting for him. And it actually helped him build out his portfolio and then move into a role in the new company where he’s at now, where he’s in a very, very focused, digital first role that he wouldn’t have had that, you know, acumen to be in before.

And, you know, first before using a platform like observe and second just amplifying and I guess promoting his own work and, you know, organically being able to showcase what he’s been able to do successfully. So I would say that’s one example. And then the second is more so peer to peer connections, right?

Because I think that’s another very, very valuable aspect of customer advocacy. You know, it’s not just about having your customers evangelize on behalf of your brand. It’s also about enabling them to share best practices. And to learn from each other. And just last week, actually, we had our very first customer exchange sessions where we brought in customers, who were, you know, in similar industries have similar pain points.

And now they are able to kind of connect with each other. And I’ve had them ask me this week, I’m connecting two of them that are in the logistic space. And, you know, so it’s just really rewarding to see not only them grow in their own careers, but also seeing them connect with each other and also build relationships outside of observe and expand their network outside of you know, what, what we have to offer them as, as an organization. 

[00:10:20] **Sam:**

I love the phrase customer exchange session. 

I’ve never heard that I’ve heard, you know, I think a lot of people refer to customer advisory board, you know, in, is that similar to a customer advisory board or is that w do you think of it, you know, separately And it’s, you know, 

[00:10:37] **Gabi:**

Yeah. So I would say it’s, it’s separate for us, right? Because I think for an organization like us, and I think maybe a lot of listeners can also relate. you know, your user persona and your buyer persona are two very different people, right? So, you know, it’s, and it’s, there’s also a difference between user testing on the product side and, you know, just allowing customers to learn from each other to deepen their usage.

And so that’s kind of that sweet spot where we’re kind of exploring these customer exchange sessions. basically they consist of us bringing together between 10 to 12 customers. So no more than that, we find. Bigger numbers and that kind of dilute the experience or 90 minutes. you know, we’re still remote.

So 90 minute, zoom call and we will have one or two customers, lead a presentation about what they’ve been able to gain out of the platform. and specifically, you know, how are you using these features? What are the ways that it’s helping you? What are the blockers that you’re facing? and we had such great receptiveness to the exchange sessions. We had customers really engaging And, asking each other questions, particularly around. And new feature that we’re, that we have some beta users on and it’s going to be launching the next couple of months.

So just allowing that excitement to generate about an upcoming launch and allowing them to share their learnings and, just flying them to connect with each other and, and really here beyond just the customer success manager. Okay. The, this is a real life example of how a customer is using, you know, this feature and this functionality.

And yeah, the response has been wonder.

[00:12:17] **Sam:**

That’s awesome. that is it. I loved it. That’s just a tactical tip that anyone can, that’s like a whole new format of customer vet, and I love how you just laid it out. And so that being said, I’m sure you didn’t start there immediately. There was probably some quick wins that you had to get, you know, before you, you got to this point, tell me more about that.

You know, how, how, how have you learned what, you know, what have you learned about, you know, how to be scrappy with limited resources and get those quick wins when you’re starting, your in building your, customer marketing and customer advocacy for.

[00:12:52] **Gabi:**

Yeah, well, I mean, I think first and foremost, it all starts with the relationship. The relationships or the number one thing, the relationships between you and your customer success team, the relationships between you and the customer, obviously the relationship between you and the sales team, all of those things should be your first priority when you’re starting out.

And I mean, if you’re still in like the first 30 days of a, of a, you know, a customer marketing role and trying to figure out, you know, where do I w which way is up the thing, one of the best places to start. I still look at what you already have, you know, surprisingly, we often have. You know, old content that we look at with, you know, disdain, but really it can be repurposed and repackaged.

Think about how you can maybe redesign the case study slides so that it tells a better story. Talk to your sales team, understand what are the formats that they’re looking for, you know, is maybe a PDF document going to be more helpful to them. Maybe building out a format in PDF as well, or having a lookbook of some of those top anecdotes.

One of the things that I do. You know, obviously getting case studies approved takes between six to nine months. It’s a long cycle. So I maintain a deck called a use case repository for the sales team. And basically it consists of early stage customer stories. So it’s about, you know, here’s this customer, this is how they’re using the platform.

Maybe here’s a quote. And the whole idea is that you’re arming your sellers with ways that customers are using the platform. Maybe it’s not an approved case study. Maybe it’s not long written form or on the website, or, you know, in all these, these fancy formats that we as customer marketers like to lead with, but you’re offering them ammunition that they can work with and use quickly and right.

‘cause ultimately that’s, you know, the biggest thing, right? You want your sellers to be able to run with these things. So I would say lean into slides a lot. those are going to be easier for you and easier for them to also leverage quickly. so yeah, repackaging slides. the other thing is, well, I guess that’s the first phase, right?

Those are kind of the quicker, quicker wins. I would say the next phase is. You don’t build out a reference selling motion. it sounds more complicated than it, then it can be right. It can just be, you know, a matter of putting together a list of maybe five customers who you want to talk to and get permission from.

And then you work with the sellers. You can set up maybe group reference calls, right? If, if you don’t really have a lot of customers to go to that’s okay. Set up group calls where the seller can invite one or two customers on the call and you’re not, you know, using up too many asks with these references, and just communicate with the customer.

Right. You know, you always want to make sure that you’re not, You know, making too many asks. So just keep that candid line of communication and just let them know, you know, Hey, if this is ever getting too much or too overwhelming, if wherever making too many asks, please just let me know. and you’d be surprised a lot of them, once you’ve built that relationship, they’re really willing to help.

[00:16:07] **Sam:**

That’s fantastic. And you’re so right. That like relationships are the lead domino that kind of starts everything. Right. 

That’s such a good point. and let’s see. In terms of, you mentioned also like having a bias for action. you know, tell me more about that. Like, what is, what, what does having a bias for action mean?

You know, in this context,

[00:16:33] **Gabi:**

Yeah. I mean, in the startup world, you have to have a bias for action first and foremost. And you learn that very, very quickly because you don’t have all the resources that you do at a big company. You’re expected to move faster and you’re expected to deliver a lot of results. and I would like, I’ll give an example of a way that I started kind of implementing bias action quickly in ways that listeners can too.

When a deal closes, right? That is an opportunity for you to connect with that new customer. Right. And, we started building out, I guess, what you would call a win-loss program, primarily with the objective of connecting with customers right after the deal closes. And so essentially, you know, by setting.

30 minutes, maybe 45, if you can, if they are willing to meet with you for 45 minutes, that’s ideal. but it’s an opportunity for you to not only learn about their buying experience. So, you know, why did you buy with us? Who else were you exploring? you know, what would you say is the biggest difference between us and the competition?

But you’re also, you know, kind of building rapport with that person, with that buyer champion. And at the end of that call, I wa I will always ask you always just ask, you know, we love to showcase, thought leaders and innovators, like. Would you be open to participating in any marketing opportunities with us in the future?

And you’d be surprised a lot of people are willing to participate and take part in that. And a lot of times you’ll get a yes and sometimes I will even. All right. Even, you know, just from that conversation put together like a short little blog, or just, it can even just be where you can capture, grab some nice quotes from the conversation.

And you just ask that the customer for approval and it’s. case study, right? You’re just kind of wanting to showcase a customer voice and, or a buyer’s voice, like why this person went with observed AI, why this person went with your company. and it’s just an opportunity to just not only start building those relationships, but also.

Get content going, you know, it doesn’t have to be a long-form narrative. It can just be a small quote card with their picture and their company logo. And sometimes that can just be a way to kind of move quickly and, get more, more things out there that are gonna help humanize your brand. 

[00:19:04] **Sam:**

I love that. And w what did you call that? it was the post-sale buyer experience call, or what was, what was the term.

[00:19:11] **Gabi:**

Yeah. Yeah. It’s I mean, it’s really, it’s a, a win-loss call, right? Because your win-loss program, really the main objective of a win-loss program is to understand why you win and also why you lose. So I really do recommend if, if you want to go that route, you know, think through it, think through it a bit and also find ways to send out surveys to deals that have also been closed, lost as well as deals that are closed one so that we can get a full perspective on, why are we winning?

Why are we losing? What are the gaps that we need to fill? And it’s going to help build a really strong relationship between you and your sales. And you’re going to be able to have kind of that, that trust with them, that you’re sharing those, those very, very, it’s very, very valuable information. So it’s like killing two birds with one stone and you’re building the relationship with the customer.

You’re also sharing insights back to sales and you’re helping to inform the selling motion right. And improving it, which when you’re early stage, you know, any of those insights are really going to help play a big role.

[00:20:20] **Sam:**

You mentioned building that relationship with sales, which is so key. yeah. Let’s dig into that a bit, you know, how do you, you know, we hit on a few things, but how can, you know, customer marketers, build that trust in that relationship and where does that. 

[00:20:36] **Gabi:**

It starts with talking to yourself. I think it can be a little intimidating at first when you don’t and you’re coming in, you’re new, you don’t really know, you know, what, you know, what to expect. I know I sure was intimidated when I first started working with the sellers and talking to them, but really that’s where you’re going to understand.

How like what, what they need from you. And, I always like to think of it as, as trying to connect with the three seller archetypes. Right. You know, the, the one that is kind of the all-star the rock, we all know wish that seller is the one that asks a lot of questions. Sometimes they’re off topic, but we love them for it.

And you know, the one that is really willing to work with you and, and the one that can gain a lot of help from collaborating with you on these stories. and I would say, you know, take it a step further and find one seller that you want to work with. Maybe one that, you know, could use a little bit more help, to move their, their deals along and test out, you know, the customer story with them, help them.

Le help them, you know, use the story in their communications with the prospect, help them draft up communications, help them practice their talk track. And if you’re able to work with the seller and bring that deal to close after having helped them and integrated that value selling of the story into the deal site.

You have an internal case study right there, proving out the value of customer marketing and then you, and that seller can go back and have maybe an enablement session where you can share with the rest of the sales team. Hey, this person, you know, saw success by using this story in this context. Here’s how you can do it too.

So it’s really about making them actionable. And I would say that that’s an area that’s kind of. an area of focus for me right now is I want to go from, you know, making just the case studies and the content and this, and really working with the sellers to integrate it into their process and get feedback and make sure that it’s really offering them value.

Right. Because if you’re just churning out content and they don’t even know, you know how to use the story or how to talk about it, then, you know, you’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot.

[00:22:52] **Sam:**

So true. And, you mentioned proving value, telling me a little bit more about that you know, how, it’s obviously, you know, different at different companies, but how, do you, how do you all at observe, you know, think about, proven value with all things, you know, customer advocacy and customer mark. 

[00:23:11] **Gabi:**

Well with our customers. I mean, yeah. So I’ll give an example. I would say for us, proving value has been really driven in large part by our investment in having a third party review strategy. So, what I mean by that is, you know, you’re probably familiar with Capterra. We use G2 Trustpilot all these third party review platforms.

They’re democratizing information for buyers in a way that was never accessible before. So. If you’re not investing in driving your presence in one of these platforms, you’re really limiting yourself, from building that credibility. And we’ve put in a lot of effort, collaborating very closely with the customer success team to get, reviews on G2 crowd and.

It’s hell it’s played a huge role In proving our, value, making us more credible. and it also motivates the team. So we recently got, so we’re in the, I mean, I think most quadrants, the upper right hand quadrant is the one where you want to be. Right. So we finally made it into the upper right-hand quadrant where, released.

In our, you know, in our respective category and, you know, it was really exciting to announce it. And our customers were excited. The team was really excited because they were the ones driving this. And the sales team was ecstatic, right? Because now they can, you know, include those badges, include that recognition on all of their discovery decks.

It gives them more ammunition to go into these calls and, you know, it’s, it helps us close more deals, like think 10% of our sales qualified leads came from G2 crowd last quarter. And that just kinda goes to show, you know, it’s, it’s a very, very good opportunity for you to do. Get your brand in front of people who are looking for solutions in, you know, in the categories that you operate in. 

[00:25:15] **Sam:**

You mentioned, collaborating with the customer success team. tell me a little bit more about that. You know, what have You learned to just really drive success with the review program? 

[00:25:28] **Gabi:**

So the customer first, the customer success team has all of the keys. They are the main person that you want to have very strong relationships with because ultimately when you’re doing advocacy activities in general, you know, they’re trusting you to not. Ruined their relationship with the customer, which is very valuable for them.

So I first off building the relationship with the CS team starts with, you know, setting up a one-on-one conversations, with your customer success managers. It starts with hopefully having shared okay, ours, because that way, you know, you’re both kind of working towards that same goal and it’s a shared goal.

So everyone is invested in getting and making it happen. And with the reviews, you know, I worked very closely with the CS team to make sure that we were, you know, this is before we had, gosh, it was a very manual process. It started out very manually because we just didn’t have a clean database when we started doing this.

But it started out with, you know, having them. I gave it like, who are these customers that we can make an ask of? Here’s the email template for you to send them? Here’s, you know, make sure that you use this link so that it incentivizes them with a $50 gift card. Luckily now, and I really recommend trying to build out your database if you can.

Just to make things easier for you, just pulling a list based off of NPS scores, based off of, you, know, you want to make sure that customers have been live at least three months on the platform for us it’s three months, at least in order to be able to prove out that value. and making sure that the customers that are being contacted are ones that we feel are gonna, you know, give us. positive reviews. Right. You know, you don’t want to reach out to some customers who are maybe not having the best time and are working through, you know, some, some challenges with integrations or things like that. but I would always kind of take the list, review it with the CS team. Is there anyone on this list that you think should not be.

Reached out to, and then from there working with G2 to send kind of the automated outreach, and they have a phenomenal, you know, CST team on the G2 side and they really help us get the emails out, but we do it on a monthly. And it has really shown results instead of quarterly, every month I have a goal and you send out, you know, the email requests every month and that has really been successful for us and kind of reaching you always want to reach a little higher than where you think you can go.

Right? It’s always that stretch goal that you want to stretch goal is probably not the right word here. Just a goal that is a little bit higher setting the bar high so that you can really try to punch above your weight because that’s always, our goal is start ups, right? We need to be punching above our weight and we have to kind of hold ourselves accountable with that, with the goals that we set.

[00:28:28] **Sam:**

Such a good point in speaking of, you know, reviews and different mediums and formats for, customer content. And how do you personally think about these different, you know, these different media. And you know, where they fit into the mix, you know, third-party reviews, you know, the more traditional classic written case study, whether it’s online or PDF, you know, video customer, video, content, video, testimonials, video case studies, short customer, video clips.

Yeah. How do you think about all these kind of like different, different formats in media?

[00:29:07] **Gabi:**

I mean, first and foremost, you have to know your audience, right? Every company is going to be doing. Even though we are a tech company where I work, our audience, is a bit more traditional, right? It works in a little bit more of a traditional industry. So we have to find creative ways to still be able to take advantage of some of these more engaging formats, like video clips, but also make sure that we’re delivering the PDF case study format, which is not dead for our, for the buyers that we have in our space.

So. First knowing your audience. but then second, I really do think having a diverse, diverse types of content plays a really big role in just helping, you know, I guess allow readers and prospects to consume what they want to consume. So short video clips are very engaging. You know, they’re a great way to.

You know, leverage them on social media. they’re a great way to showcase customers. There are lower lift, so you don’t have to, you know, be overly produced with them. And I think in general, the time that we live in right now is great for a marketer because, There’s not that expectation anymore of having that highly produced studio video with a perfect lighting, you know, it’s, it can really be about sending customers, you know, a tripod and working with them to pull together a testimonial video.

Or I even at one point I was capturing, you know, just recording on zoom and, and using that as a way to turn it into a webinar or a podcast. Right. You don’t have. think that to create different types of content, you are forced to have all the resources in the world. I mean, you have tools nowadays, like Canva, which can help so much to just clean something up.

And I used, I’ve used iMovie to edit. I don’t know how many pots. Right. So there are just different ways that you can get creative and scrappy with what you’re doing. and also just create diverse types of formats. you can also do like audio clips, super laid on maybe a picture with a quote, or just turn that into an audio podcast.

No, no image. If maybe the video quality was not as good as you were expecting, but it’s all about just thinking outside of the box and getting creative. I have this piece of content. How many things can I splice it into and use forever and just rotate out.

[00:31:42] **Sam:**

It’s such a good point. And, in terms of that audio and video, I think the nice thing is like, yeah, you can. Take that, master medium. And then you can, you know, you can pull the text, you can pull the transcript and, you know, and, or you can pull the audio and yeah, such, such a good point. what do you think is changing in customer marketing And customer advocacy?

What do you, what do you see? You know, if you looked into your kind of crystal ball, you know, where do you see things going in the future?

[00:32:11] **Gabi:**

Yeah, that’s a great question. I would say customers are much more like they know What’s happening now. they know that, you know, you want their time and they also want to gain something from it too. Right. And I mean, I know that that’s how it’s been for some time now, but I think now there’s just more clear of a, of an expectation that, you know, it’s a two-way street, so the customers are more engaged in.

What’s it going to be for me and for my business. And I would say if you’re working with like mid-market brands, you know, that’s an even more amazing opportunity to create that two way street and, you know, be able to offer them that same brand recognition and brand visibility. But if I were to look into my crystal ball, one thing that I’m very intrigued to see how it pans out is the evolution of the metaverse.

Right. And I think we’re all learning what that means. What is the metaverse? What does that mean? And I think being able to create very interactive experiences where we can genuinely surprise and delight customers, the metamours, I’m very intrigued to see how that goes and how that will really change the way that, we connect with customers and that customers connect with each other.

Right. so that’s, I would say one area that I’m, I’m very, very curious to see how it goes.

[00:33:35] **Sam:**

Yeah, we, we might, be doing our virtual, customer advisory boards if you know, advertisers. And yeah, it’s a very, very exciting, and I love that point about, just more of a clear expectation, right? Like nowadays, like peop your customers aren’t surprised or like, you know, so it’s good. Like they’re, they’re, they’re open to it.

And like you said, like they just are expecting it to be a two way exchange of value as it should be. 

Gabi, this has been, this has been absolutely fantastic. 

Where can our listeners connect with you? Follow you, get in touch with you. If they want to you know, connect or learn more about you.

[00:34:20] **Gabi:**

Definitely feel free to find me on LinkedIn, Gabriela Contreras. I’m the only Gabriela at Observe.AI. You should be able to find me with a quick search. I’m very open to meeting, and just sharing my learnings and offering any insights or feedback as you’re building out the customer marketing function.

The biggest piece of advice is: don’t be afraid to move fast. Don’t be afraid to make the ask. Don’t be afraid to ask for permission. That held me back for some time, just getting past that fear. The reality is we operate in a favors-based world. That’s what marketing is. It’s all about the relationships that you can build and the trust you can drive. Then it no longer feels like a favor. 

[00:35:15] **Sam:**

Such good advice, Gabi. This is fantastic. Thank you again for being on the show. We may have to do round two sometime.

[00:35:22] **Gabi:**

Yeah, definitely, Sam. I really appreciated the time, and thank you so much. 

[00:35:26] **Sam:**

Alrighty folks. That’s another fantastic episode of the State of Customer Storytelling, with Gabi Contraras of Observe.AI.

I had a lot of takeaways there. This was a jam packed episode.

Just to quickly run through a couple of the top ones, everything starts with relationship building. That was something Gabi brought up again and again. It’s so true, it all starts with actually having that good relationship, and that takes effort. Also, don’t be afraid to move fast. There’s never going to be the perfect time. You just have to have a bias towards action.

We talked about customer exchange sessions, which is a really exciting format. I am looking forward to trying that with our customers. 10 to 12 customers, 90 minute Zoom call, having one or two customers lead that conversation. Really, really exciting tactical takeaway there.

A lot of really good stuff about how to get started and build value quickly. Can you repackage existing content? Can you redesign new formats with existing content? Can you arm your sellers with a use case repository and ways customers are using the platform? Even if it’s not an official approved case study that can be shared publicly you can still help them immediately on their calls with those stories.

We also talked about building out reference selling motion, and also the win-loss program. Really good takeaways around that. Last but not least, connecting with sellers is so important, and I love the idea of having a broad range of archetypes to connect with, from your sellers, someone who’s coachable or really wants to see improvement that you can help. So many good takeaways there.

That was Gabi Contreras from Observe.AI. Thanks so much for listening to the State of Customer Storytelling, and we’ll see you in the next episode.

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