Growth Hacking Trust in a B2B Tech Startup
As any B2B tech startup should already know, one of the biggest enablers of sales is the creation of ‘trust’. The creation of trust is fundamental as a marketing goal, ensuring your leads make their way through your sales funnel as effectively as possible. Without trust, you are unlikely to close prospects.
Why is this? Well in almost 100% of cases, you will likely be selling in against an incumbent solution. That incumbent might not be another SaaS platform, or tech startup. You might not even be up against a well know competitor, but you will be up against the existing process; even if this is a ‘head in the sands’ do nothing approach. As we all know, it’s always easier to ‘do nothing’, than it is to ‘do something’.
With ‘trust’ as your marketing goal, it is easy to spend a fortune trying to achieve this but most B2B tech startups I know don’t have a fortune to spend. And as 65% of B2B buyers usually engage a sales rep to close a sale after a decision has already been made, it’s the role of the marketing effort to create this demand.
Below, you’ll find 3 growth hacking tips for creating trust amongst B2B buyers!
1. Utilise your first advocates, your employees/investors/ex-colleagues
95% of B2B buyers place trust in what their peers or colleagues tell them*. It’s no surprise that you’d trust someone you know or respect, over someone you’ve never met.
Before you get your first customer on board, you’ll need a set of advocates and influences. These will be the influencers that you already know, who already have a relationship with your B2B tech startup. Don’t just ask them for any relevant intros, it’s the marketing team’s role to manage the communication, even in this scenario. Do the leg work for them. Research their connections on Linked In and other social platforms. Give them the messaging to feel confident in making the introductions. Depending on how well they know your prospect, suggest that they make the introduction because you’re keen to approach experts in the industry; to get some genuine feedback on your brand or product.
2. Stop frequenting startup meetups, start frequenting industry meetups
You need to be where your customers gather and there’s no better opportunity than an industry meetup. Identify all players in your sectors eco-system from trade bodies to other vendors such as marketing agencies. Look out for free events using the likes of Eventbrite to target events where you know your target decision makers (or influencers) are going to attend.
When it comes to paid-for events, try and negotiate access to just part of the day. Or, if the event doesn’t have a ‘no students’ policy, pose as a student and try to negotiate free entry. Again, you’re not necessarily looking for access to the full day, you’re just looking for access to the networking.
Meeting your future customers when there guard is down is good for building relationships based on trust. Don’t sell in this scenario, engage! Engage with question, and encourage them to talk about their role, responsibilities, and views on the topics of the event. You want to walk away with as many connections & knowledge on as many potential leads as possible. Starting relationships are what you’re really after so once back in the office, you can integrate this back in to your CRM and put in place your follow up communications. This should be from you, not the company; as you started the relationship, not your brand!
3. Get it in writing – open letters of reference
Using the words of clients to give your business or product credibility, leads to a huge trust growth hack. Indeed, you need a client first before you can pursue this tactic. But after your first successful client is on board, this tactic can really scale your trust amongst B2B buyers.
Don’t be afraid to ask for this. An open letter means the author is in effect providing you with a reference. This can then be used openly without further permission (give or take a few scenarios).
Try and make these open letters relevant to the sectors you’re selling in to. Ensure decision makers job titles are aligned, & target the tangible benefits/pain points that match the sector characteristics. If you’re done your market segmentation correctly, you’ll already have your persona. Match each letter of reference to the most appropriate persona. Each letter should give you some content for each stage of the sales funnel.
Use these letter within your PR strategy. The letter is a hook for any blogger, journalist, or trade body to follow up with your client, and write an article, case study or white paper. This is gold dust! Over and above your own marketing efforts, it carries the weight of being published independently, outside your own marketing channels. Within your own marketing activity, use quotes in content for the early stages in your sales funnel such as web sites, whilst producing the full letter to turn interest in to desire at the latter stages!
Got any ‘trust’ growth hacks useful for a B2B tech startup? Why not add them in the comments section!
If you’re a B2B tech startup who needs help with marketing strategy and implementation, Go To Guy have a ton of corporate & tech startup experience to throw at your business. Contact us today for a chat today