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How to Leverage User Reviews for B2B & SaaS Lead Generation

The following article was prepared by Sebastian Lambert, CEO of FinancesOnline and an expert in the field of SaaS & B2B lead generation and growth hacking. All strategies are based on Sebastian’s personal experience, extensive research and opinions and data gathered from FinancesOnline users and clients.

 

If you’re like hundreds of other marketers stumped at how to generate more leads  with a saturated lead funnel, it’s time to look for new avenues to get more prospects. And one of the most promising lead sources is staring you in the face: SaaS or B2B review platforms.

In this article you’ll learn the 7 strategies on how to get leads from SaaS review platforms, which buyers trust more and Google ranks higher in organic search than vendor sites. With these strategies you can develop a source of leads that will provide you with a conversion rate as high as 24%!

Here’s what you’l learn:

  1. How to amplify positive mentions as testimonials
  2. How to convert really good positive mentions to case studies
  3. How to use negative mentions to showcase your customer support
  4. How to use negative mentions to explain your product
  5. How to use marketing tools available on review platforms
  6. How to leverage awards and quality seals
  7. How to add review platforms to your inbound marketing mix

Why B2B Review Platforms are Good Source of Leads

B2B platforms are strategically positioned along the path of a buyer’s purchase journey. In a Zendesk study, 88% of respondents admitted their buying decision has been influenced by user reviews.

Likewise, a 2015 Google study reported that B2B buyers start with a generic research. This complemented an earlier research by Accenture that concluded 94% of B2B buyers do online research during the buying process.

If you’re a buyer, it’s not difficult to imagine that one of the things you’d like to know is the experience of other customers.

Here’s a typical B2B buyer’s journey painted by the Google study:

Let’s take a look at John, an agency-based project manager, who needs to streamline his team’s workflows and processes as more clients come in. He may already know some project management tools, or he may never used them before, but the first thing he’ll do won’t be searching for a specific brand or tool. Instead, he will turn to more general search and google for “project management software for small business” as he’s not running a big company and doesn’t need complex solutions. He just wants to find out what his best options are. This is what he sees in search results:

SaaS review platforms will usually rank high in google search results

He’ll most likely to go past the ads and check the first organic result that seems trustworthy, which in this case is a popular guide on top project management solutions for small business prepared by Sebastian Lambert.

This is a great resource that John was looking for to get some general knowledge on what solutions are worth checking out. Once he reads the guide, John will most likely stay on FinancesOnline and do some more research (SaaS buyers are methodical people) by reading detailed product reviews, comparing products and checking user reviews and score lists. At this critical buying stage he’s forming a mindset about the popular products, including your product.

Independent rankings at FinancesOnline are a very efficient way to attract leads

By the time he’s done reading and analyzing reviews, he’ll be ready to visit your vendor site halfway decided. That’s why leads from B2B review platforms have a very high conversion rate (up to 24% turn into signups).

During SaaS purchase journey it is crucial to have influence over the buyer’s mindset and turn such high-value leads into clients. The following strategies tell you how to do that.

7 Ways to Get Leads from Software Review Sites

1. Amplify positive mentions as testimonials

No advertising can beat a customer’s positive testimonial. Word of mouth reinforces buyer’s trust and increases closure rate.

A study by Blanc & Otus, a technology communications firm, found out that word of mouth impacts both your top and bottom of the funnel: lead generation and deal closure. Client respondents said 86% said peer recommendation is a top factor in their buying decision, while 83% of vendor respondents said word of mouth is one of the top factors in being shortlisted.

Meantime, a B2BNewsNetwork article cited that 87% of business decision-makers look for reviews to back up their purchase.

You can go after your customers one by one for some good words on your product or you can simply check B2B software review sites for user testimonials. You may already have a few gold nuggets in them waiting to be mined.

Any positive testimonial is a good one. But it’s the specific feedback that’s worth shouting out. Maybe someone finds your dashboard neat or your pricing tiers intuitive to a fast-growing startup.

Watch out, too, for buried positive comments. Someone may be grumping about a bug but commended how awesome your support is.

How do you amplify these good words? By replying to these comments, posting them on your Facebook, blogging or tweeting about them. You can also include them as quoted testimonials in your newsletter or landing pages.

Your replies are also an opportunity to pitch your value proposition and commitment to user satisfaction. Positive testimonials are rich advertising content. Spread them out across your channels and they may hook one or a hundred leads.

Likewise, encourage your current user base to post their reviews on SaaS review platforms like FinancesOnline. Products with a high number of positive user reviews earn more trust and popularity rating. This in effect improves your score and ranking on such listings and will have a positive effect on your conversion rate.

The more user reviews you earn the better your rating is.

2. Convert really good positive mentions to case studies

Some of the positive testimonials you’ll get from B2B user review platforms are in-depth and specific to a problem-solution scenario. These are prime feedback you can possibly squeeze leads from. How? Turn them into case studies that other prospects may relate to.

Case studies are one of the top three most effective B2B tactics, according to Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America. They’re not far off from webinars and in-person events when it comes to delivering leads.

There’s no need to create a detailed academic paper for a case study here. You can simply frame the user’s background, state the specific problem and present the solution. Plus, the main part: how your product has helped solve the problem.

For this, of course, you need to reach out to the user to expound on the details and ask permission. You may even have to offer a hook, a freebie or something, to motivate the user.

HubSpot excels in creating case studies out of their user base. They back positive user reviews with key metrics like increase in revenue rate, organic traffic and lead conversion and turn them into case studies, such as this Casio case study.

How do you get leads from a case study?

  1. Pitch it to relevant sites
  2. Distribute it as a press release
  3. Create an opt-in for free download
  4. Turn it into a free webinar
  5. Feed it to your mailing list

However you use the case study make sure to embed a CTA backlink to your landing page. Then wait for the leads to come in.

Here’s an idea: B2B user review platforms usually have a blog. Since these sites will naturally seem more objective and independent it’s an excellent strategy to get your case study published on a SaaS review platform. Most sites will happily share a well-written study and you’ll get your share of leads in return.

If you have an interesting article in mind, you may reach out us to propose to publish the case study on our blog where it can reach over 2 million readers (and potential clients) every month. 

3. Use negative mentions to showcase your awesome customer support

Let’s be honest. You’ll be getting more negative reviews than positive ones. It may not be your fault. It’s just users are more likely to post a negative experience. In a survey by Dimensional Research and ZenDesk, 95% of respondents said they would tell someone about their bad experience compared to 87% who would about a nice one.

Negative reviews do drive away leads. But you can also seize negative comments as an opportunity. Yes, it’s a chance for you to showcase your awesome customer support, as long as the comment is not about your outright negligence or blatant product fail.

Some negative reviews are borne out of a customer’s wrong expectation or misunderstanding. A user may find your UI design “difficult” when, in fact, it’s a case of changing behavior to reap the full potential of technology. For instance, shifting from spreadsheet to cloud. Or a user may be asking too much from a freemium.

Don’t rebut these comments, but reply with empathy by explaining the situation. You can top up your comment with a CTA to your tutorial or white paper.

Okay, many negative remarks are likely about your product shortcomings. Don’t rebuff these comments. Rather, be honest and let your users know you’ve noted the issue and your team is working on it.

Remember, there are ears listening when you reply with sincerity on B2B user review platforms. Other readers are taking note and measuring up your customer support based on your replies.

More importantly, by showcasing you’re working on a customer’s goal, you’re aligning your value proposition along one of the major factors that influence B2B purchase decisions. The research firm Aberdeen reported in a study that 77.1% of respondents cite vendor’s goal support as the top reason for purchase decision.

But how do you monitor user reviews including the negative ones and respond to them fast?

On platforms like FinancesOnline, you’ll often see a “Claim Review” button or some variation of it. This allows you control your review with a vendor panel account where you can monitor and respond to user reviews quickly. If you’d like to claim one of the reviews on FinancesOnline as your own you can also contact us here.

4. Use negative mentions to explain product

Customers also trust a product more when they see both its pros and cons. Besides, negative user reviews have another purpose: it gives you the chance to explain your product.

In short, negative reviews is an invitation for a product pitch. That’s oversimplifying things, but the silver lining is there.

This works well with users who are confused about features or frustrated about the setup or comparing you to a non-competitor (for example, comparing Gmail to your CRM). This also works for vendors with a well-thought product and sincere customer support.

Negative reviews lend to you an opening to explain your product in detail and provide a CTA to one of your digital assets, maybe. Just make sure you’re answering the issue, not deviating from it, lest you escalate things really fast.

When you start looking at negative reviews as a product pitch opportunity, you’re actually selling to the other readers of the B2B user review platforms. You might just attract some of these passive onlookers.

There’s another productive way of looking at negative user reviews. They force you to look at your product from the customer’s pain point.

FastCompany made a good case why you need to develop product along customer pain points: you’re creating a solution that customers seek.

5. Use the marketing tools available to you in B2B user review platforms

You already know your product has to be in the top B2B user review platforms to leverage their reach and influence. But adding your product to a listing isn’t enough. You need a competitive presence. Many of B2B platforms like FinancesOnline offer marketing and lead generation services. While they vary in details, they most often focus on efficient lead generation and brand awareness tactics. Let’s discuss what the best opportunities to get more leads for your product are.

Consider, for instance, the most popular form of promotion: having a direct link from a review page to your signup page. When prospects are reading user reviews of your product on a review site and they like what they read they will want to check your product page. Having a visible button encouraging them to try out your free trial is a great way to convert a lead into a signup.

It’s a moment of truth you’ve dreamed of, faced with these highly engaged prospects at a critical buying stage the chance they will convert into clients is very high. Depending on the power of your brand as much as 24% or readers can sign up for your free trial.

The Free Trial button and Visit Website button on your FinancesOnline product page can direct potential leads to your selected landing page.

You can also leverage premium placement on category pages and most popular lists. Because the SaaS market is very competitive most users will only find time to try out a few solutions that will grab their attention. Being listed among the most popular tools in your category will give you a significant advantage over your competitors.

Top software section on FinancesOnline category page is a place where you can stand out from competitors.

You can also tap the power of comparison pages where your product vies for attention with your fiercest competitors. Even if someone is comparing two of your direct competitors your product can still be suggested to them as a recommended alternative.

That Free Trial button can do wonders on our Comparison Page where your product is pitted against the competition.

By tapping into the available marketing tools, our clients are able to promote their product in front of more than 2 million visitors every month, all high-value leads from premium geographies who are looking for a SaaS product.

What is more, you can easily monitor your lead generation campaign, its results (including all key metrics) and budget with a professional vendor panel.

Advanced vendor panel will give you full control over your campaign

If you want to reach more than 2 million users interested in SaaS solutions every month you can easily request a lead generation campaign with FinancesOnline here.

6. Leverage awards and quality seals

Baymard Institute conducted a follow-up study in 2016 to check the latest in its most trusted trust seals findings five years ago. The most trusted seals were largely the usual suspects: Norton, Google Trusted Store, BBB and TRUSTe.

What took researchers by surprise was the fifth place, a fake seal they planted during the survey. They concluded, “What’s most important is making sure there’s some kind of visual seal or icon present

We can deduce two things from the Baymard study:

  1. Trust seals can increase the number of leads you get
  2. Displaying trust seals will increases buyer’s trust in your brand

Surprise! The fake seal at no. 5.

However, the fake seal might have worked because the study is focused on the consumer market, where the buying journey is casual and less structured. In B2B, your product and its claims will be scrutinized to the bones not just by a buyer, but a team of buyers.

Similarly, instead of using the usual trust seals, which appeal to the broader consumer market you’re not targeting, you can turn to industry awards offered by Saas review sites.

On our platform, our experts ofter review the specific elements of each product and, if they found something really excellent, they reward the vendor with various industry awards. We also understand that many products may not be the best in the field, but they can be the best in specific features and that may also merit various awards for your product.

Industry awards draw the prospects’ attention to your best features. They also distinguish you from your competitors. When a prospect sees two products, one with an Expert’s Choice Award and the other with no industry recognitions, which one you think they’re more likely to get interested in? Awards can significantly increase your lead conversion rates.

If you want to try and leverage the power of awards, you can contact FinancesOnline review team and ask if your product is fit for any award that will boost your lead generation campaign.

Some of the Quality Certificates available to your product on FinancesOnline.

7. Add B2B user review platforms in your inbound marketing mix

Not many marketers realize they can enhance their inbound strategy by adding B2B user review platforms to the mix. Inbound has one of the highest conversion rates, as evidenced in this Marketo study:

You can further increase conversion rate by adding platforms like FinancesOnline to the inbound mix. That’s because we also act as a B2B media site for your content marketing. The same is true with most B2B user review platforms.

We’re not all product listings. We have high-quality guides, in-depth product reviews and other industry-specific content that are useful to our marketers, managers, business owners and professionals.

For instance, our Top 20 Payroll Software for Payroll Service Providers is read by thousands of readers every month and is recognized by Google as a featured snippet on search results for popular keywords. Our guides like “How To Build A Sales Process That Drives And Improves Growth,” are also a great place to promote your product.

Leads from educational content generate high conversion rates because they address the pain points of B2B buyers, who seek information to help them shortlist their options.

That means you can tap platforms like FinancesOnline to project thought leadership or share a value content and increase your lead conversion to as much as 24%. If you’d like to join many successful brands such as HubSpot, Sisense or Freshworsk who trusted us so far you can start your inbound marketing campaign here.

Category: B2B News, Featured Articles

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