TrustRadius report: Demos, trials and customers’ opinions count most for B2B buyers
Less effective in making the sale: websites and marketing materials, unless validated by third-party sources.
B2B marketers: You know all that product info on your website?
It doesn’t carry all that much credibility with buyers because it’s seen as intended to generate leads rather than inform about a product, according to a recent report on how B2B buyers make decisions and how vendors influence those decisions.
And it turns out vendors know such material is not very effective.
The report, “The B2B Buying Disconnect,” was conducted by TrustRadius, which says this is the first comprehensive study of the topic. TrustRaidus provides B2B tech research and product reviews, and VP of Marketing Bertrand Hazard told me that his company intends for this report to be released annually.
What does carry the most weight?
As one might expect, hands-on experience through demonstrations and trials. The report quotes one surveyed customer:
“The vendor really caught my attention with a couple of well-thought-out demonstration steps. I could immediately see how the product would be easier to use than all of its competitors. “
While buyers generally distrust vendor claims, they do use other sources to verify — or counter — them. Sources like analysts’ research and “user reviews on third-party sites,” which is what TrustRadius provides.
Referrals or validations from satisfied buyers of the same product are not used by vendors as much as they could be, the report finds.
Half of surveyed buyers give their chosen product a 9 or 10 in satisfaction rating, out of 10, and 91 percent are ready to renew. And almost half of those surveyed users say they’ve already recommended the product to someone else.
Many B2B vendors understand that online customer communities have many benefits, not the least of which is sharing enthusiasm for the product with others. But the report suggests that product advocates are underutilized for convincing new buyers.
“The majority of buyers are satisfied,” Hazard said, “but few companies are taking advantage of that.”
The report was based on survey responses from 608 tech buyers and vendors.