Hi, my name is Shawnna. And I am a shopoholic.
OK, maybe it’s not that extreme. (Even though my husband, in his battle against my ever-growing wardrobe of shoes, may disagree.)
As an avid online shopper, one thing that has become a must in any of my purchasing decisions is reading customer reviews. Hearing from actual customers that have not only purchased the shoes, but have also tried to walk a mile in them, is invaluable for me. I do my online research, find the best places to shop, and then dive deep into reviews of products to ensure that my purchase is the best one for my specific scenario. Every shoe scenario is a little unique.
The same holds true for my professional purchasing behavior, and this same standard now applies when evaluating investments in marketing or sales technology. Research from a Demand Gen Report found that 97% of B2B buyers find peer reviews and user-generated content to be more credible than anything produced by the company itself.
Take, for example, evaluating a CRM (customer relationship management) solution to help companies track and manage sales interactions in a single system of record. Salesforce, anyone?
Marketing automation is another prime example. Hubspot: Used it. Pardot: Used it. Marketo: Used it. MailChimp: Abused it. ActiveCampaign: I am shamed as a marketer for never having even evaluated it. Reviews hold this much weight in my world. As part of my career, and the critical role that technology plays in its success, I consider it my responsibility to be an “expert” in that area.
But what makes these vendors leaders? We dug through the G2 Crowd user reviews of vendors who were clear leaders in their spaces to find out what people actually value in a platform and what sets them apart from the rest of the pack.
1.) Don’t Be Difficult
“Sales process was low-pressure. The user interface is easy-to-use, and Octiv’s training/onboarding set us up for success from day one. Great company with great people!” -Steven S., Octiv customer
Nobody wants to use a platform that’s difficult to use. Period. Leading solution providers understand that difficult user interfaces never get adopted. One key theme across G2 Crowd leaders is ease of use. A good system is one that your customers love using.
2.) Save Time
“It is a great time-saver to scale the search to just what I am looking for rather than having to filter through big data on my own.” -Carie R., Dun & Bradstreet customer
Time is money, and people like using things that save them time. Instead of digging through data, searching through files, or fighting with legacy systems, people want to use systems that help them get their jobs done faster.
3.) Get Friendly with Mobile
“Their app allows you to do a lot of things at the touch of your finger. It is a very helpful tool to have when you’re on the go and need to manage your pages.” -Benjamin P., Hootsuite customer
People need to be able to access their work anytime, anywhere, and on any device. We’ve seen mobile capabilities become more and more prevalent every year, and this demand will only increase in the coming year. Your customers are mobile — you should be, too.
4.) When Your Customers Win, You Win
“With a small team size, I feel like they are an extension of our team and always working for us. Great energy and quick responses when I need help.” –Terminus customer
People want to have a helpful team to not only onboard their company, but also see them through to success. It’s not just about having a good team to get you started. Companies that go above and beyond for their customers are the ones that really shine.
These reviews hold weight because — let’s be honest — it takes quite a bit of time and energy to stop and write a detailed review on technology that you use.
I love digging into the nitty-gritty and reading reviews at various star ratings to see where the solution really shines and the areas that I should be a little wary of during demos.
Here are a few other solutions that have been clearly evaluated as leaders in their respective spaces:
Kudos to these High-Performing Leaders in their respective spaces! Leading solutions are leaders for a reason, and customer reviews can help you find out why certain vendors stand out above the rest. Based on what I read from my peers, I can usually tell which solutions are at the top of their game in their space. And you can bet that these are the vendors that I’ve got on my short list — if I haven’t already implemented them!