It is becoming more challenging every day for startups to stand out from the crowd in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Whether those challenges are competitors changing their pricing or customers dealing with reduced budgets, you need every edge you can get to meet your targets.
We all have quotas to hit with the close of Q4 in sight—but meeting those targets in uncertain economic times can be challenging. We thought it would be a good idea to explore ways to help stay top of mind for your prospects as well your customers.
One tactic we’ve seen more startups use to make an impression on prospects and customers is personalized gifting. We’ll look at how gifting platforms work and how they can help your sales and customer experience teams create deeper relationships for success.
What are gifting platforms?
Gifting platforms take on the heavy work of sourcing, packing, and shipping gifts to your prospects or customers. Instead of searching high and low for unique gifts, they curate games, activities, snacks, drinks, and more. These gift boxes can also include branded swag or gift cards, which are easy to do, but not very personal.
Often, gifting platforms act as aggregators of gifts. They source items from large catalogs, but they can be generic (hello branded Bluetooth speaker). Then there are platforms like Chocolate Soup that source locally-made gifts from small businesses. Choosing a platform with local gifts is a great way to support up-and-coming businesses while making an impact on your customers.
How can gift boxes help in sales?
Every B2B sales cycle is different, and moving a prospect through each stage has unique challenges. Experienced reps know how long each stage should take and what roadblocks might come up—but it still feels like a gut punch when a prospect ghosts you between stages.
Personalized gifts can help your BDRs make an impact along each stage of your sales process. With prospects, the goal is simple—get your virtual foot in the door with a new potential customer. But getting your prospect from introduction to demo is more complicated than it sounds. How can you move them towards a close in a way that doesn’t come across as a one-size-fits-all pitch?
Sending a personalized gift is a great way to introduce your company, your brand, your product or service, and yourself. Many platforms offer the ability to include a personalized message too. It’s a little touch that can go a long way to start building a long-term relationship and move your prospect to the next stage of your funnel.
Personalized gifting isn’t only for new prospects either. More often than not, your product or service is only being used by a team or two within a larger organization. Sending a personalized gift to an internal champion is a great way to engage them to spread the word and potentially introduce you to new contacts.
How does gifting help in customer success?
Your customers are the lifeblood of your startup. While getting new customers can be expensive, losing them can cost you even more. Your customer success or experience team can use personalized gifts to help with everything from reducing churn to smoothing out a technical issue.
The key is sending a gift that ties back to the customers and how they use your product or service. Say your customer is using a new feature and found a bug. You could send a gift that includes an insect-related item like a beeswax candle or honey-flavoured popcorn — along with a handwritten note from your Customer Success Manager. It’s a great way to show your customers that they’re more than just an entry in a CRM.
Personalized gifts can also help you celebrate your customers’ successes. If a customer hits a significant milestone, why not send them a gift to help them celebrate? It could be something as simple as a bottle of champagne or as unique as a gift box full of their favourite things. It’s a great way to show your customers that you’re invested in their success.
What to look out for?
There are several gifting platforms out there to choose from. Each one offers its selection of gift boxes, items, and add-ons like handwritten or printed notes. One thing to consider is the gifting fees these platforms charge.
These chargers can sometimes take up 20% of the total cost of a gift. Our friends at Chocolate Soup offer sales and customer success gift boxes without any platform fee, so all of your gift budget goes to building deeper relationships with your prospects and customers.
Another thing to think about is the environmental costs of shipping gifts. Many gift platforms offer carbon-neutral packaging to help reduce their environmental impact. It’s another thing that shows your customers you’re more than a branded water bottle type of startup. Those generic gifts can end up in the landfill too. Choosing a platform that sources locally-made, useful gifts can help ensure your brand doesn’t end up there too.