With the decline of trust among B2B buyers because of vendor over-promising, economic pressures, and shifting expectations, CEO Evan Huck (and his co-founder Ray Rhoades) have been evaluating the evolution of social proof in the buying journey.
Pulling from his experiences working at TechValidate and SurveyMonkey, Evan was inspired to create a company that could help businesses quickly and efficiently capture customer feedback and — leveraging the power of AI — automatically create on-brand content at scale, removing a significant source of friction from modern go-to-market teams’ sales motions.
M.R. Rangaswami: Trust is at an all-time low for B2B buyers. What’s causing this and why does it matter?
Evan Huck: B2B buyers are becoming increasingly skeptical of vendor marketing hype after repeatedly being burned by sales teams over promising and under delivering. Economic pressures have placed increased scrutiny on every tech purchase, upping the ante on the importance of making the right purchase the first time. Additionally, a recent Gallup poll found that greater access to information, lack of company focus on the customer lifecycle, and shifting expectations from a younger generation of buyers are all contributing factors to the breakdown of trust between vendors and buyers. As a result, peer recommendations and social proof are emerging as critical factors in the B2B buying journey.
Why this matters? Vendors are no longer in control over the buyer journey, and they get less direct interaction with the prospect. Buyers expect to see relevant customer examples validated by real-world data before making large technology purchases. To rebuild trust with buyers, vendors need more than a handful of curated customer success stories – they need a library of authentic and relevant customer proof points that prove the product’s value across different use cases, company sizes, and industries.
M.R.: More than ever before, B2B buyers now look to their peers, not vendors, when making buying decisions. How is UserEvidence helping B2B software companies use customer feedback to address this new reality?
Evan: Historically it has been very difficult to gather enough reliable customer stories – seeking out these proof points is often labor intensive, laden with approvals, and costly. In the past, companies typically have created their own content in-house or leaned on an outside agency for support in collecting and creating these assets. These solutions have left companies scrambling to fill in the gaps as buyers demand more real-world examples they can connect to.
UserEvidence resolves these issues by providing one platform that all go-to-market functions can use to capture customer feedback and — through advanced generative AI capabilities — deliver unbiased customer stories and beautifully designed assets for companies to use in their sales initiatives. Long gone are the days of analyzing customer data manually; UserEvidence processes these datasets quickly so that go-to-market teams can start creating content that attracts buyers. Companies can now easily collect and create these customer stories at scale, taking control of their most valuable asset: real-world social proof.
Another benefit of the UserEvidence platform is the ability to continuously capture feedback and sentiment from users and customers, at important junctures in the customer journey. Surveys are delivered at key moments throughout the customer lifecycle, creating a continuous stream of learnings and insights that drives good decision making.
M.R.: Getting feedback from actual customers helps not only B2B buyers, but every internal function across GTM teams. How does UserEvidence plan to bridge this gap?
Evan: Every function in a B2B company — from the functions that sell a product (product marketing, sales enablement, customer marketing, and customer success), to the functions that build the product (product, product management, strategy) — should be guided by the voice of the customer and customer feedback.
The problem is each function’s efforts to capture feedback are siloed, and the learnings from each effort aren’t shared between functions. Positive stories from a product management survey never make it into the hands of a sales team. Negative feedback from a marketing team’s efforts to find users willing to do case studies never makes it to product management or customer success.
UserEvidence helps unify feedback collection efforts across functions, and helps each function take action on that feedback. Marketing can create on-brand sales and marketing assets, while product management can get insights on how to make the product experience better. Several goals are accomplished with one touch to the customer making for a more elegant customer experience.
M.R. Rangaswami is the Co-Founder of Sandhill.com