B2B testimonials are different from B2C testimonials.
You see B2C whenever you purchase a new winter jacket online or search for a place to eat.
For your B2B business, however, it's a little bit more complicated than "This restaurant gets five stars."
That doesn't mean they're not a high-impact element of the buyer's journey, of course. B2B testimonials are used to highlight your products and services, your professional expertise, and your ability to deliver on your promises.
Customer testimonials provide credibility, showcase your B2B's brand personality, and speak to specific pain points that your business addresses.
If you're not making the best of their potential to generate leads, then it's time to start.
In this guide, we'll look at seven effective ways for your business to use B2B testimonials to generate leads and sales.
Your "Perfect" B2B Testimonial
Your B2B testimonial should connect with your buyers, not only with logic but also with emotion. That may sound strange, as the general perception is that we make purchase decisions based solely on logic.
But that's not the case.
Back in 2013, in a study of over 3000 B2B decision-makers, 62% were found to rely on gut feelings to make a purchase decision, rather than logic or data.
While factors such as product data, functionality, and suitability are quantifiable considerations in B2B purchases, the reasoning behind our choices is far more difficult to measure.
At every stage of the buying process, your prospects must feel confident about the people with whom they're doing business. That means you.
And testimonials are simply the best way to demonstrate your business' trustworthiness and build confidence in your prospects.
A V.P. at Gartner recently stated that the key to B2B sales is "building customers' confidence in themselves and their ability to make good buying decisions." Essentially, you need to instill confidence in your prospective buyers to believe that choosing you is the right decision.
Because 88% of B2B decision-makers say that recommendations are among the most important drivers during the research phase, your testimonials will aid in generating leads and sales by establishing an emotional connection to you and the solution you offer.
Testimonial strategy caveat:
Remember that not all your buyers are the same, and you may have identified more than one ideal customer avatar for your products.
You'll need to tailor your testimonials to your clients by using specific exact words and phrases which resonate with them specifically.
When you understand how to speak in your prospect's language and where to place your B2B testimonials strategically, then you will generate more leads and sales.
B2B testimonial best practices (and an example)
- The perfect B2B testimonial highlights a problem your ideal customer faces
- It details how your product or service solves their problem
- You provide valid proof of the results
- You need a "perfect testimonial" for each ideal customer type you want to serve
For example, here's a great B2B testimonial from Robin which encompasses these best practices:
Now let's look at a few ways to generate leads and sales with your B2B testimonials.
How To Use B2B Testimonials To Generate Leads & Sales
We'll start with the obvious place to focus your lead generation and sales efforts—your homepage.
1. Add video testimonials on your B2B homepage
As the online face of your business, your homepage is likely to receive the most visits.
So what do people see when they get there? How do you keep them engaged?
Because engagement is what it's all about...
When you keep visitors engaged on your homepage (as in, prevent them from bouncing), you'll increase your search rankings and drive more conversions from the top of the funnel stage (TOFU) through to the completion of a sale.
So, what type of content best engages your target audience?
While text-only customer testimonials are commonplace, 66% of your prospects prefer to watch a video than read about your products and services.
Start thinking outside of the usual text-box format for your B2B business homepage reviews and try a video testimonial that includes a call to action (CTA) at the end. A clear CTA may lead the viewer to signup for a product demonstration, a sales call, or to download a whitepaper or case study.
Remember to keep your video short. 68% of viewers will watch an entire business-related video if it's less than 60 seconds, whereas videos longer than 1200 seconds can only expect about a quarter of their viewers to watch to the end:
If you already use testimonial videos on your homepage, then consider the following two ideas:
1. Add client testimonials to your explainer videos:
It's one thing for you to highlight the benefits of your product to a potential buyer, but it's quite another when a happy client explains how it adds value to their business.
The opinions and perspectives of buyers' peers are trusted and valued. Use the power of their influence.
2. Incorporate testimonials in your brand videos:
The intention of brand videos is to introduce yourself and your brand to potential clients.
It's usual to show the key people in your business and to tell your website visitors about your brand vision. What is unusual is including B2B client testimonials in this common and effective marketing tool.
Think about strategically placing a few selected clips from loyal clients throughout your brand video.
For instance, this example from Cloudflare uses video for maximum impact and links to a related case study:
2. Landing page B2B testimonials
Whether to improve the ROI of an ad campaign, generate leads from an ebook, or drive conversion from a promotion, almost every business with an online presence uses landing pages.
Their purpose is to get a visitor to take one specific action, e.g., subscribe, register, or purchase.
If you sell exclusively online, a landing page may be where the majority of your sales occur.
Whether you aim to generate leads or to make a sale, you need a way to build trust with your visitors.
And testimonials do precisely that.
Most visitors won't trust your product or offer blindly, so you need to show them that other people (people just like them) use and recommend you.
Your B2B testimonials act as trust signals for prospects who are hesitant about downloading an ebook or signing up for a demo, free trial, or subscription.
Wyzowl's research shows that 83% of video marketers say video has helped them generate sales leads.
Here's a great testimonial video example from NewStore (omnichannel platform for stores):
What's smart about this video is that it serves two purposes at the same time. UNTUCKit is simultaneously saying the approve of NewStore while also showing they're a leader in the retail space.
The video serves as a brand demonstration for both companies—clearly showing many of the best features of UNTUCKit and NewStore.
Pro Tip: Place testimonials on your most visited pages for maximum visibility.
3. Use B2B testimonials on social media
Social media is a powerful channel. It's both a means to reach your target customers and to engage with your existing clients.
It's also a way to increase your brand awareness—which makes it prime TOFU real estate for gaining or sharing user-generated testimonials.
Spontaneous testimonials from social media do not come across as carefully devised by a faceless corporation—and that's the exact reason why they resonate with your business' prospective customers.
Honest and believable testimonials make a change from your more formal B2B content and are a means to keep your followers and leads engaged.
Social media offers a chance to use a variety of testimonial types, including:
- Quotes posted on another platform or received directly from your clients
- Comments on your posts, articles or twitter feed
- Video testimonials
These induce curiosity in visitors who may click through to your website to learn more about your business.
Once they reach your website, you have the opportunity to generate new leads by inviting them into your sales funnel.
Pro Tip: If you post a quote or comment, it's best to link this directly to a landing page for a specific offer. Just make sure that the same testimonial appears on that landing page.
4. LinkedIn & B2B testimonials
Would you be surprised if we told you that LinkedIn has outstanding figures when it comes to B2B lead conversion?
For B2B, LinkedIn is the clear winner for lead generation because it's jam-packed with professionals and business people like you.
Over 80% of B2B leads generated through social media come from Linkedin:
A major strength of LinkedIn is that you're able to publish original content as well as content directly from your business blog.
Share your latest case study, free resource, or product video.
If you have a Premium or company profile, go ahead and show your peers what your clients are saying about you with selected testimonials.
It's not difficult to establish a group of connections and reach out to specific people who may be targets for your products or services. An even better idea is to join groups relevant to your industry.
You'll gain authority and get their attention by demonstrating your expertise, answering their questions, and commenting on their posts and articles.
Pro Tip: Encourage your employees to seek testimonials and recommendations for the results they achieve in your company.
5. B2B testimonials in email
Email is not dead.
In fact, 79% of B2B marketers credit email as the most effective distribution channel for demand gen efforts.
It's the main component of lead generation and the core of your continued interaction with your prospects.
And email still provides an extremely high return on investment (ROI).
It's easy to incorporate B2B testimonials into your email marketing by featuring them in the body of your emails.
This tactic is especially useful when you are promoting a paid offer because your subscribers may be skeptical about achieving the outcomes you state.
But including a credible testimonial that shows actual results, will allay misgivings in your prospects.
Here's a prime example from Talia Wolf's newsletter:
Pro Tip: Always include verifiable details in your B2B testimonials. To maximize credibility, display your client's name, location, company, and a headshot.
6. Case study B2B testimonials
Here's an interesting fact for you:
42% of B2B buyers state that case studies are important considerations in the mid and late stages of the sales funnel.
Case studies prove your value by telling the story of a client's experience with your product.
These success stories detail the journey your buyer took to solve their problem and how they accomplished their goals after purchasing from your business.
That in itself is a B2B testimonial.
With this in mind, you should consider using case studies that feature clients who are similar to the personas you're trying to attract and what they want to achieve.
Case studies work best if you provide greater detail, so this makes video testimonial a logical fit. You might combine video and text for variety and to keep your reader engaged throughout your article.
Pro Tip: Try naming your case studies "Success Stories" to boost interest, clicks, and leads.
7. Third-party site testimonials
Third-party review sites are not only for B2C businesses.
B2B businesses are increasingly using third-party sites in their lead generation strategies.
Software review sites such as G2, TrustRadius, and Capterra are developing into a dependable resource for buyers as well as B2B marketers.
That's because buyers use these sites as a research tool to determine whether a particular SaaS product is the right fit for their organization.
They're a place for B2B buyers to compare numerous software applications and assess the feedback on the available options.
Vendors who infuse customer reviews into their content see conversion rates rise by an average of 30%.
Clever use of these sites enables you to build trust, boost conversions, and grow a network of clients who actively support your business.
Given that 71% of enterprise buyers are willing to advocate and share feedback on their purchases, it makes sense to harness the power of their testimonials for your lead generation.
How do you do this?
- Find - and become familiar with - the relevant review sites in your industry. You could start with the three platforms mentioned above.
- Decide which sites are best for your needs and create a comprehensive profile to showcase your software or service.
- Equip your loyal clients to leave reviews. Reach out via your email campaigns, on social media, or through personal contact and tell your clients that you would appreciate their authentic testimonial. Most review sites offer a way to leave both text and video testimonials.
- Encourage satisfied customers to leave a review. Products with large numbers of positive reviews earn more trust from potential buyers. When your ranking improves on these listings, it will have a favorable effect on your conversion rate.
A 2018 report clearly shows that B2B buyers give credence to reviews and other user-generated content. 64% of buyers state that they use reviews to gain insight into potential purchases.
Pro Tip: Make reviews part of your lead generation flow using third-party sites and integrations.
When B2B buyers research a purchase, they spend a significant amount of time considering the expense, product effectiveness, service level, and the B2B testimonials of other professionals.
They want balanced and unbiased feedback from people like themselves.
If you implement testimonials into your lead generation strategy, then you will satisfy one of the top priorities of B2B buyers in their pre-purchase research.
B2B testimonials strengthen your relationship with your existing customers as well as providing your prospects with the credibility and confidence to buy from you.
If you're a B2B business, then you need to make testimonials a part of your lead generation flow.
A well constructed and well-placed testimonial may help you get the edge over your competitors.
That's one excellent reason to include some form of B2B testimonial in your marketing plan.