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The voice that sways the buyer’s choice

Andrei Geralt

Apr 28, 2021

7 min read

With most of the world going digital, the buying process too has been swept by this wave. The majority of us have probably bought something online. It might be something simple like clothes or more expensive like laptops. As a B2B buyer, after going through the product features, you can see yourself slowly scrolling down to the comments section or calling up your peers.
There is one thing that frustrates people more than buying a faulty device. That is, discovering the faults of a product after purchasing it. Nobody wants to be surprised post-purchase. This feeling is shared between both a general buyer and a B2B buyer. By reading the comments left by other online customers, you can get a heads-up on any potential defects of the product. Even if the brand assures us that it is safe, we consider peer opinion as the more significant factor. This is what serial entrepreneur and CEO of TrustRadius, Vinay Bhagat says,

They (the younger generation) would rather hear from their peers than from the brand directly.

In our very recent Partner Summit, Vinay had a very informative talk with our CEO, Apu Pavithran, entrepreneur to entrepreneur. The topic emphasized the significance of B2B customer feedback and the need to provide proper content on the product to convince unsettled B2B buyers.

What do you need, Good Sir?

The first step as a vendor is to know what the customer wants and values. Put yourself in a buyer’s shoes and try to understand the decisive factors they consider before making on a purchase.

Behind the veil

There is something very essential for any sort of business. Trust. Every customer seeks transparency before a buy. The vendor should try to provide enough information to convince the person to go for the purchase. It’s exactly like what Vinay says

People want to understand the nuances and limitations of the product. They want to go into a relationship with their eyes wide open.

What did you say, friend?

More often than not, a B2B buyer will choose the word of a peer over a brand. It is only natural for a brand to inflate their products or services, so the customer will search for other ways to research the product. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth, a positive B2B customer feedback can certainly steer others further towards the buy. According to tech vendors, Customer referrals are considered the most effective marketing tactic in 2020.

Security is everything

With the pandemic forcing the entire workplace to go remote, security is more important than ever. Statistics show that security has become a very relevant factor for any B2B buyer looking for a tool or service. 73% of B2B buyers have data security in mind before finalizing on a purchase. With the recent string of data breaches and leaks, we cannot blame anyone for being a little too careful.

Customer giving a feedback on the product
A Customer giving feedback on a product

What Traditional Analytics and Third party reviews lack

Data Analytics and reviews are certainly effective means to research a product, but it doesn’t give you a complete picture. It is best to not restrict yourself to these resources.

Analytics and third-party reviews give us a more general perspective of the product. Their analysis of the product only covers its basic use. The customers using the product or service might have different use cases for the same. Without knowing how the product performs in each case, the buyer cannot proceed with certainty. Its just like what Vinay said,

Products can be inherently good or maybe bad. But you can have an inherently good product that’s not a good fit for you because it doesn’t work for your use case.

While analytics and reviews focus on product functionalities and features, they provide no clue as to what are the common defects of the product. Other key points like product longevity are not mentioned. When someone goes for a purchase, they’d like to see the whole picture.

The Perks of having Customer Feedback

So, when you are about to make a decision and your friends tell you to go for it, your confidence will go out of the roof. This is pretty much what customer feedback does. When people are all praise or highly recommend a product, buyers are assured that they are making the right choice. There are also some other gains in getting good B2B customer feedback.

Even if a product or service serves a basic purpose, every customer probably has a varying use for the product. When they provide feedback, other buyers can understand how well the product works for different use cases. A product or service purchase is a big thing for enterprises, whether they are small, medium, or large businesses. They need to know whether it could be a fit for them and B2B customer feedback can provide that.

Thought Process of your Everyday Millennial Buyer

Apu had pointed out that in most SaaS companies, most of the decision-makers are millennials. Every generation has its own way of thinking and so do millennials. Vinay talked about some interesting points backed with statistics, about what goes through the mind of a millennial buyer.

  • When you are going to purchase something, say a watch. What’s the first thing you’d do? Millennials would go towards their best bud when in search of answers. I’m talking about Google of course! Vinay states that millennials would rather google than rely on their past experiences. Social media also appears as a popular medium to obtain more information on a product.
  • Millennials are also more likely to be convinced for a buy after trying out the product. Giving them an option to subscribe to a trial service and check out the product themselves may prove to be fruitful. After all, you won’t be completely sure of something unless you try it.
  • Demonstration videos have been a very reliable strategy to convey how the product works to its customers. Vinay explains how at an earlier stage, it would be worthwhile to produce high-order demo videos or videos where the customer is trying out the product. The main purpose being, making a buyer understand how a product works for a particular use case after watching the video. Vinay believes that the first thing to do is convince the customer that the product could be what they are looking for.

Is it possibly right for them, such that they should continue to spend time with you and more.

So What Exactly Sways A B2B Buyer?

With the whole buying process going online, a lot of things have changed. The information a buyer relies on has shifted from data analytics and third-party reviews to demonstrations and user videos. The 2021 B2B Buyer Disconnect report published by Trust Radius, gives a great deal of insight as to which all perspectives a B2B buyer looks through. For the past five years, these five resources are the most preferred sources of information B2B buyers have considered, before making a purchase.

Demonstration videos
Vendor product website
User reviews
Vendor representatives
Free trial or accounts

A Final Note

Vinay is sure that the digitalized buy process is here to stay. The pandemic has forced this shift to accelerate and what was to happen in a decade, came about in a year. The buyer’s demand for transparency in the buying process has gone up and people want information to back them before coming to a decision. While there are many forms of marketing tactics to convince a buyer, relying on B2B customer feedback is considered very effective.

When people are moving in for a purchase, they would definitely be more motivated when other customers share their success stories after their purchase. A customer cannot truly relate themselves with a vendor, but they sure can with another customer. So as a buyer, give that user comments a read. You’ll get some great insights into the product and if not, it’ll still be entertaining whilst going through them. If you are a vendor, get some of your customers to share their success stories. After all, who doesn’t like a happy story?

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Andrei Geralt

Frolicking on the keys while appreciating the serenity behind the screen.

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