Many Sales Engineers believe references are the responsibility of the sales rep, so having a variety of reference stories is considering overkill by many sales engineers… I disagree, it is extremely important to be able to tell a RELEVANT reference story to your prospect.
You should have your success stories segmented by: 1) Industry/Vertical 2) Functionality/Scope 3) Company Size 4) Geographic Location and 5) Competitive Wins. I have seen savvy prospect in the prospect specifically ask for a reference during a demo, it was something to the effect of “Who else is using your software in our industry segment, will an employee count equal to or larger than use within 100 miles of our headquarters?” And of course, the questions was directed to the Sales Engineer…Ugh!…What a great way to kill a good demo, ah yes, and turn on the music as the Sales Engineer begins to dance to the Reference Dance Shuffle. Spend a few minutes, learning your competitive wins/success stories and you will see your conversion ratios increase!!!!