This blog was co-written by Cece Lee, Chief Marketing Officer, Enable Us, and Lynn Pietryga, Chief Customer Officer, Enable Us.
According to Gartner, a majority of the B2B buying process is done without sales interaction. When sales finally get time with prospects, 17% of the buying process is spent with suppliers. In fact, when B2B buyers begin researching a solution, they cite web research (56%), vendor websites (39%) and peers/colleagues (35%) as the top three resources (Demand Gen Report, B2B Buyers Survey Report, 2021).
This is why technology and software review sites are an important part of a go-to-market strategy. While there are several available, such as Capterra and TrustRadius, we are specifically focusing on G2 Crowd. Positioned as the world’s largest tech marketplace with over 1.7M authentic customer reviews, both of us have worked closely with G2 Crowd currently and in previous companies.
With our combined experience, we pulled together this overview on how to get the most out of G2 Crowd for your sales and marketing programs. While G2 offers multiple services, we are focusing specifically on the following three areas:
- G2 Crowd reviews
- G2 Crowd Grid Reports
- G2 Crowd buyer intent data
Out of full transparency, Enable Us is a customer of G2 Crowd (check out our G2 Crowd reviews). We were not paid nor have we received any other consideration for publishing this blog post. Some of the features described below may require a paid subscription plan with G2. With that out of the way, let’s dig in.
G2 Online Reviews
G2 Crowd provides an efficient platform for users of your product to leave honest, transparent reviews of their experience — and for prospective buyers to learn more about actual user experiences as part of their discovery process in your company or product category.
How Do G2 Reviews Work
Users can either write unsolicited reviews or be incentivized by your team to submit a review. Each user is required to submit a score of how likely they are to recommend your product on a scale of 1-10, what they like about your product, what they dislike about your product, and what problem your product is solving. Users can then decide to answer optional questions - on topics such as quality of support, ease of use, whether the product meets their requirements — which do not appear on the review page but do impact the placement of your company on G2 rankings and reports.
Tips For Getting Your Review Program Going
Since prospective buyers may try to research your company on G2 Crowd, it’s important to start collecting reviews for them to find. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few tips to point you in the right direction:
- Identify initial contacts - Find your most active users, your customer champions, and most recently onboarded customers to help drive some early reviews on your page
- Use your team - Leverage relationships that Customer Success or Account Managers have with customers to ask them for reviews
- Build out templates - Provide an easy way for your teams to ask for reviews by giving them email templates to send or even send a campaign on their behalf.
- Define outreach moments - Decide ideal touchpoints to ask for a review, being mindful that some optional questions ask about ROI and implementation. If an ongoing program is too much to start, focus on campaigns ahead of a quarterly G2 Report deadline.
How To Use G2 Customer Testimonials For Your GTM Programs
The foundation of G2 Crowd is the wealth of customer reviews that is captured about your product, services and company.
- Support your customer advocacy program - G2 has a testimonials widget that enables you to identify and select testimonials to use and share. For example, you can create separate widgets by persona and product to embed on appropriate pages on your website. While you can customize the widget with your brand color, we found the functionality to be limited based on our website template. Our workaround was to use the quotes directly on our site and cite G2 as the source.
- Influence buyers on search results- According to research, reviews can increase sales conversion and impact, with a 15% increase in purchase likelihood for verified reviews. Since 56% of B2B buyers cite web research as one of the primary ways to find solutions, the G2 star widget brings both reviews and star ratings together on your search results.
- Inform product development - As part of the review process, users provide feedback on not only things they like about your product, but also what could be better. Your product team can leverage these comments to inform their product roadmap and enhancements.
G2 Crowd Grid Reports
G2 Crowd displays a real-time grid for each software category on their site that compares all companies with at least 10 reviews in that category. Every quarter, G2 Crowd also releases Grid Reports and awards companies with badges for their quadrant placement and any additional factors where they have the highest score, such as Easiest to Do Business With or Highest Quality of Support. The grid ranks companies relative to each other based on their Satisfaction and Market Presence scores (more on those below) and plots them into one of four quadrants:
- Leaders - High Satisfaction and High Market Presence
- High Performers - High Satisfaction and Low Market Presence
- Contenders - Low Satisfaction and High Market Presence
- Niche - Low Satisfaction and Low Market Presence
Factors for Satisfaction and Market Presence:
While G2 has a proprietary formula for calculating their scores, the top factors that go into Satisfaction and Market Presence can be regularly monitored by users on your G2 account. The top two metrics for both scores are your total number of reviews for that category and the number of reviews received in the last 90 days. So, a focus on collecting reviews and a process to collect reviews regularly over time are key components for your grid placement.
Satisfaction scores also focus on:
- User experience (Ease of Use, Quality of Support, Likely to Recommend)
- Administrative experience (Ease of Admin, Ease of Setup, Ease of Doing Business With)
- If users think your product is going in the right direction
Market Presence scores also focus on:
- Your Company Metrics (Employee Size and Growth, Glassdoor Rating, Year Founded)
- Web Presence (Website Traffic, Search Ranking)
- Social Media Presence
Tips for Impacting G2 Grid Reports:
- Reviews, reviews, and more reviews
- Ask for reviews from all segments of your customer base (small business, mid-market, and enterprise) as reports and awards are also broken down by segment
- Regularly communicate with customers to fix any friction that might impact scores for ease of using your product and ensure they understand your product direction
- Make sure your company information is up to date on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Crunchbase - and that the correct details are reflected in your G2 account
- Review your website and marketing campaigns for opportunities to improve SEO and drive more traffic
What Is Buyer Intent?
Buyer intent is the ability to identify which prospects intend to purchase a solution as part of the buying process based on the specific behaviors that the prospect displays.
Based on the buyer behavior, sales and marketing organizations can determine:
- What stage that prospect is in their buying process - low, medium or high
- What likelihood that prospect will purchase a solution like yours
- Which companies or competitors are potentially being considered
What Buyer Intent Information Does G2 Crowd Provide
“6M in-market buyers come to G2 every month to research their next software purchase.” - G2 Crowd
G2 Crowd captures every interaction that buyers have as they research and review solutions on their website. With over 6 million visitors monthly, they can provide sales and marketing with an incredible amount of intel on potential buyers.
While the identity of individual visitors are anonymous, G2 provides the following information to refine your sales and marketing efforts:
- Firmographic information - Company name, employee size, revenue and more
- Buyer Location - city and country
- Buyer Intent Activity - highlights the number of times the buyer has visited the category, your profile page, and other competitor pages. All of this activity is date stamped
- Competitor research - which companies are most compared against your company
You can then set up notifications or search filters to identify the companies with the highest likelihood of evaluating solutions like yours. If you have ICP requirements, such as company size, industry or region, you can further refine the search to focus only on those companies.
How To Use G2 Buyer Intent Data
Due to the type of buyer intent information available, your sales, marketing and customer success team can benefit:
- Segment sales outbound efforts - Instead of using a single approach to all buyers, your outbound sales team can segment their approach based on different criteria, such as industry or company size.
- Insight into buyer journey - For product marketers, G2 intent data provides insight into the B2B buyer journey and ideal customer profile (ICP). Product marketers can use this data to refine buyer personas, messaging and positioning, and event GTM campaigns. For example, you notice an uptick of financial services researching your category and company. Marketing can quickly pull together content targeting this industry.
- Identify potential customer churn - use the buyer intent data to identify when current customers are considering competitors. This gives your customer success team an opportunity to connect with the customer, understand potential risk factors, and address them before a decision is made.
Conclusion: Customers are the Core
We’ve covered the minimum programs to experience the benefits of G2 from a sales and marketing perspective. This includes:
- A source of customer reviews to support your sales and marketing efforts
- Opportunity to demonstrate your product or category expertise via positive Grid Report placements
- Ability to identify buyers actively looking at your solution or competitors and more!
But at the core of everything regarding G2 Crowd are our customers. For us, the voice of the customer is key to driving our success as a company and product with transparent communications, feedback, and collaboration.
By incorporating the G2 Crowd user review and grid report process into our voice of the customer activities, we have another channel for objective feedback on our efforts.
And we’re happy to say that we’ve received top kudos by garnering multiple G2 Crowd awards for our product, ease of doing business, and more this past year - check them out:
- Fall 2022: Enable Us Garners 8 G2 Crowd awards in Digital Sales Room and Sales Enablement
- Summer 2022: Enable Us Recognized in Digital Sales Room and Sales Enablement
- Spring 2022: Enable Us Earns G2 Awards for Ease of Use and Highest User Adoption