By definition, the term “B2B sales” encompasses transactions that happen between two different companies: the vendor and the customer. The more accurate description, to us, is that B2B sales are intrinsically human interactions that happen between representatives of two businesses. As such, a lot of the same principles that apply to B2C sales — like trust building and brand recognition — are just as important in the B2B sales process, just in a different context.
The reality is, no B2B buyer is going to choose to buy or subscribe to a solution they don’t feel they can trust. What does this mean for sales reps? It means that they have to do a lot of upfront work to garner trust in the brand. And it’s not just up to the sales team to make this happen: there needs to be a concerted, strategic effort to position your brand as one that other businesses feel comfortable doing business with. Your marketing team, security team, and product team (among others) will all have a role in developing trust.
Here are three things you can do to organically and proactively build trust with your customers even before you make the sale.
Your sales reps likely have a list of bullet points they have to hit in every sales conversation. They know your product from back to front and upside down, and they’ve become well versed in the different use cases it’s used for. That said, when it comes to building trust with your prospects, it’s vital that sales reps first take the time to understand the business, their pain points, and how (specifically) your product can help.
By taking the time to listen and understand first, you’ll be a step ahead of sales teams that just barrel forward with their value proposition statements without personalizing the offer in any way. It will also give you an opportunity to source customer case studies that are similar (and therefore more relevant) to the prospect’s experience. Taking a more customized approach will take a little more time in the sales process, but it will be far more likely to encourage your prospects to trust your company.
Sales collateral is a sales rep’s best friend. With the right materials at the right time, you can proactively answer questions from prospects and come to every conversation with useful knowledge. If prospects feel like they’re learning from you, then they are far more likely to trust your brand and your product.
This is where your marketing team can help. Content marketing efforts can focus on creating educational blogs, whitepapers, and thought leadership that can be shared with prospects or customers as part of a nurture or renewal campaign, or to provide a use case for the product. In addition, this content will also help build trust with inbound leads that land on your website in search of information.
You can take this approach a step further by having your leadership featured in recognized publications so that they can offer their thought leadership and provide increased brand recognition and trust to other executives.
Today, it’s more important than ever for companies to protect their customer data and proprietary information. Enterprises that deal with massive amounts of customer data are under pressure from regulatory bodies and their customers to have the right systems and processes in place to keep that data secure. As such, enterprises are looking to work with vendors that take security seriously.
One way to help build trust here is by becoming compliant with SOC 2. Having a SOC 2 report is like having a stamp of approval from an industry-recognized body, and it immediately generates trust from your prospects. Because enterprises know that SOC 2 abides by best-in-class security standards, they can trust that you have the right controls in place to meet their requirements.
Plus, if you have a tool that helps you share the report quickly and transparently — like Pima — then you can make that trust building happen faster.
Beyond helping you increase your customer audience, building trust as part of the sales process is also helpful for setting the stage for a successful customer relationship. If your customers already trust you, then it’s easier for them to form relationships with your customer service and support representatives, ultimately increasing the chance that they’ll renew down the line. You can have the best product in your industry segment, but that won’t mean much if your prospects and customers don’t trust the people in your business.
At Pima, we’ve made it easier than ever for SaaS vendors to share security information quickly and securely. Learn more about our product on the homepage.