SalesTech Star

5 Steps to Accelerate Sales with Peer Reviews

By Alan Neal, Chief Growth Officer, SoftwareReviews

In their everyday lives, consumers reference peer reviews on TripAdvisor for hotels, Yelp for restaurants and Amazon for other items. B2B buyers bring this same mindset to the business world when purchasing software.

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Demos, testimonials, and marketing collateral are not a thing of the past, but their influence has lessened. Software buyers conduct research online, build a shortlist, and then contact vendors directly. By taking cues from consumer buying habits, expect that buyers already know the positives and negatives of your product. However, they’re looking for more than just features; they want to understand the full experience, support level, and emotions that come from being your client.

Integrate Peer Reviews in Your Sales and Marketing Processes

Quantitative proof that you will provide everything that the buyer needs is key. Integrating peer reviews in your sales process will support the conversations you’re having with prospects by showcasing proof of service, product innovation, product experience, conflict resolution, and ease of negotiation.

5 steps for marketing and sales teams to accelerate sales with peer reviews:

Step 1: Your prospects want insights from their peers: Marketing must evolve from broad messaging and value propositions, and instead insert the “Voice of the Customer” which speaks to how your solution resolves pain points. Learn to interpret reviews and act on them to significantly shorten your buyers’ journey.

Step 2: Focus on the right opportunities:  Incorporate data from unbiased and qualified reviews to offer meaningful insights, like profile views or vendor switching insights, which will validate your position as a long-term partner. By knowing your strengths and those of your competitors, you can focus on the right messaging to help sales teams close more qualified opportunities.

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Step 3: Increase profitability and MRR by prioritizing what matters to buyers: With the urgent need to address digital transformation, workforce management, collaboration and more, technology and business leaders must expedite the buying process while remaining cost-conscious and abiding by security and policy measures. Stop focusing on product features; talk about what matters to the buyer by looking at the data and leverage the power of user voices to show success, longevity, and business value. This allows both parties to spend less time qualifying, demoing, and negotiating, and more time implementing.

Step 4: Align feedback to product and service innovation: Sales teams need to share what clients are saying to product managers so that they can focus on the right enhancements. This provides the product team visibility into user reviews of their product, other products across the company, and competitor products. Insights gleaned can help shape what needs to be delivered, drive satisfaction, and improve emotional relationships with clients.

Step 5: Promote advocacy, not just loyalty: Always lead with your customers regardless of how quickly you’re growing. Engage them with user reviews and show them that you’re there during and after the sale. Your growth depends more on the transparency of individual peer reviews than on an aggregated annual customer satisfaction score. Create a metric for salespeople to promote advocates and give them the tools to articulate user, implementor, and decision-maker challenges.

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It doesn’t matter how great your presentations or demos look; prospects are looking for feedback from current clients. Your reviews shouldn’t solely be about product features; incorporate how your clients feel about your company, how likely they are to continue being a client, and their likeliness to recommend you. These emotional factors differentiate you from competitors and enable you to gain ground from those failing to tap into the power of peer reviews.

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