B2B sales guide: 5 ways to build trust with customers before the sale

February 15, 2023
3 minutes

Today’s sales processes are so digitized and data-driven that it can be easy to forget that sales is ultimately about human interactions. Even within B2B sales, a buyer needs to be engaged in the conversation they’re having and feel like they’re being heard. The other important element? Trust. 

If you’re operating in a crowded market, having your prospect trust you could be the defining factor that ultimately leads them to choose you. So, how do you get there? 

In this piece, we’re sharing five tips for how to build trust with customers in B2B sales and exploring the key benefits of each approach. 

#1 Show the prospect that you understand their unique challenges

You’ve had countless conversations with customers, and you know that most of them face the same challenges — it’s why your product has a place in the market. That said, it’s important to research each new prospect to understand where they’re coming from, what their specific pain points might be, and what’s driving them to look for a solution now.

This accomplishes a couple of things. First, it ensures that you don’t waste their time, which is valuable in itself. Second, it shows your prospects that you’re paying attention to their experiences and what they’re saying to you. Lastly, it makes a really good first impression and immediately starts building trust. 

#2 Nurture your prospects with educational content

Your content marketing team has likely put a lot of work into creating educational materials that speak to your industry, your solution, and how companies can leverage its features to do various things. Once you have a better understanding of what the prospect is looking for, explore which of these materials make sense — it might be an industry-specific whitepaper or a datasheet that speaks to specific functionalities in your solution — and send them over. 

This will show your prospects that you’re invested in their learning and that you have credibility in the space. 

#3 Be genuine

Again: sales is an inherently human function. You’re talking to another person about a product that may solve a big challenge for them and the people on their team — and you also may be asking them to allocate a big part of their budget on that. As a leader in the procurement process, they may even be staking their reputation on this choice. With all that in mind, it’s important to show up genuinely and with humanity. 

Acknowledge their concerns. Actively listen to what they’re saying. Get comfortable saying “I don’t know, but I’ll get back to you” and showing a bit of humility. Show a bit of your own personality — that will give them room to share theirs. You may not end up becoming friends after your conversations (although that’s not unheard of), but you will have helped your prospect trust you and your brand.

#4 Rely on your customer stories

Your customers have intimate knowledge of your product and how it benefits them — and those are important stories to tell when you’re trying to get a sale. At the end of the day, this social proof that your product does what you say it does goes a long way to generating trust with potential customers. 

You can leverage these stories in a couple of ways: 

  • Written or video case studies: Look through your collection of customer case studies and pull out two–three that address your prospect’s pain points. This will make your product’s implementation more tangible to them.
  • A conversation with a customer advocate: You may have a customer that’s become an avid ambassador for your product and can speak eloquently about it. See if you can bring them into a chat with your prospect so they can ask any questions they may have.

Where possible, leverage stories from brands in the prospect’s industry. The information will be more relevant to them and they may possibly know the person you’re referencing.

#5 Leverage your security posture 

Today, security is a high priority for most business buyers. Cybersecurity attacks are on the rise and customers want to trust that the vendors they work with are keeping their systems and data protected. For B2B sales reps, it’s increasingly important to speak about their company’s security posture in sales conversations in order to ensure this trust. Our tips? Build a relationship with your security team and learn from them. Plus, if your company is compliant with any industry standards — like SOC 2 — make sure you talk about it and have the report ready to share.

Document sharing technology like Pima makes it easier than ever to share private documents like your SOC 2 compliance report. It helps build even more trust with prospects by running them through a simple process where they sign an NDA digitally and get immediate access to the documents they need. The added bonus? You get to show off that you take your security and compliance seriously enough to invest in this type of software. 

Ready to do more to build trust with your prospects? See how Pima can help.

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