Trust rules, especially in today's B2B world. Providers, your prospects are looking for validation about you from their networks, not yours.
Providers, when it comes to your prospects, you must understand that too much is outside your control. Hank Barnes explains that prospects usually research you, and your products / services before they contact you. The importance of trust doesn’t end with the purchase; customers are always looking for validation that their trust was well placed.
When we think about enterprise buying what we see going on is that it is typically done by teams, so we can’t necessarily think of journey mapping, because that typically is done for one individual in the path they take to order purchase. And here we have lots of intricacies, as different people get involved at different stages of the enterprise buying process.
But what we saw when we looked at how buyers told us they were influenced, is that we think at the start of the buying process there’s a certain level of trust that exists between a buyer and potential providers. If it’s someone they know, and they’ve worked with and had great results with it, maybe very high. If it’s a new vendor that they haven’t heard of it might be low to start with.
But then as they start their buying journey, early on in the process they actually don’t go to the provider that often. They start by going to their influencer network. They reach out to peers. They reach out to analysts. They reach out to academics. They look for information in other sources, and then as they start to get that validation, they’ll start to engage with the provider and in some cases engage very very early, but it’s about that clarification and confirmation of what they’ve learned. It’s looking for insights to go further.
This continues throughout the buying process and once someone has developed enough trust that they can deliver, then they become a customer. And from then on the largest thing that is going to impact their trust is the experience that they have working with your company. But they will always be doing that little bit of work with the outside influencer network just to have people check and say, hey I’m using this, are you using it? Is it good and is there anything else, because there is always that little bit of doubt.
At the end of the day, the level of trust that they have with you at the end of the process really dictates if they are going to buy more from you, if they are going to consider switching, or if they are going to look at you for other solutions.
Published Date: Jul 02, 2015
Author: Michael Krigsman
Episode ID: 158