B2B Testimonials: The Art of Acquiring Them

BY Jessica Helinski
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B2B testimonials, some believe, aren’t that easy to come by or not that effective. But that’s not true; reps just need to know what to look for and how to ask. And, the extra thoughtfulness in procuring testimonials is worth it, as quality ones carry a lot of weight. “In the case of B2B companies, testimonials can be vital since they provide social proof to customers, no matter their position in the buying process,” writes Syed Balkhi for CustomerThink. “When it comes to making a recommendation to the C‑suite and management team, testimonials offer the balanced and unbiased feedback from the market they can relate to.”

So how can you make sure you get B2B testimonials that are high quality? Balkhi has some great advice in his article, but he first breaks down just what exactly makes a quality testimonial.

B2B testimonials must be effective and authentic 

When it comes to testimonials, you definitely need to value quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter how many you have if they are lacking vital components.

  • According to Balkhi, it’s necessary that each and every B2B testimonial you share is honest and real. “When a testimonial is too good to be true, it’s met with a lot of skepticism,” he writes. “Prospects are smart enough to recognize them and immediately ignore them.” When reaching out to a client, never encourage them to be anything but completely honest about their experience with you and what you sell. There’s no place for exaggeration or untruths, so you need to be able to make the decision of not sharing any that don’t come across as authentic. 
  • They must also be short. While it’s wonderful to hear an abundance of glowing words about your business, you really should limit the amount you share to a couple of sentences. A large block of text can be daunting to prospects looking to skim. If you do want to showcase lengthier B2B testimonials, Balkhi suggests using different colors or bolded text that you would like to stand out. 
  • It’s also important that each testimonial is specific. While a positive but general statement isn’t going to hurt, it’s more effective to share one that specifically highlights why the client commends you. The more details included in your B2B testimonials, the easier it will be for prospects to visualize how they too could benefit. 
  • Finally, Balkhi emphasizes the importance of garnering testimonials that illustrate what makes your product or service unique. “Most testimonials are gathered just after a purchase and mention only what was the tipping point for them,” he explains. “Instead, you want to encourage customers to speak about their experience earlier in the buying process since not everyone reading the testimonial is at the same stage.” Use your B2B testimonials to showcase what sets you apart and how your offerings are unique.

Use these four criteria to qualify which testimonials would be more influential than others. Now that you’re aware of what quality testimonials should look like, make sure to check out Balkhi’s article about how to ask for them. Once you’ve gathered and shared effective testimonials, you’ll be more likely to catch the eye and interest of potential buyers.

B2B testimonials, when acquired with thought, can serve you and your sales in so many ways, from showcasing social trust to establishing credibility and trust. As Balkhi writes, “A good testimonial outlines the benefits customers enjoyed, compares your products to similar ones, and offers social proof of the claims you’ve made about your products.”