B2B Connection

Information and resources for technology buyers

2023 B2B Buying Disconnect: The Self-Serve Economy Is Prove It or Lose It by Megan Headley
Top eCommerce Strategies for 2023 by Neil Chandavarkar

Millennials are used to being considered the ‘others.’ They have negatively been seen as self-absorbed and entitled from older generations. Why? We do things differently than older generations, we think differently, and we were shaped differently. But the fact is we are no longer the “others” in the workplace. We are the ones driving business and consumer behavior. We are the up-and-coming executives, experienced developers, and buyers. Lastly, we are the driving force of growing businesses. One key trait of millennials is that they love sharing and reading (or watching) others’ opinions. Millennials publicize their opinions on everything. Their thoughts on coffee shops, travel spots, politics, customer experiences, and favorite products are all on public display on the Internet–a medium millennials grew up with. In turn, they appreciate the opinions of others and engage with others before coming to a conclusion. They use public forums, social media, and review sites to interact with the world around them and make informed decisions. This is true not only of experiences and preferences in millennials’ personal lives but also in their professional lives. Millennials use these same online avenues to give and receive career advice, job offers, feedback about employers and company culture, […]

TrustRadius will be awarding the Top Rated products within popular categories. This award is based entirely on user feedback via reviews. This means that these awards are based on your personal accounts of the products as professionals who use them day in and day out.   How Exactly Are Top Rated Products Chosen? There are three key criteria behind which products earn the Top Rated award for a category: 1. Recency: To receive an award for 2019, products must have at least 10 reviews written or updated in the past 12 months.This ensures enough users have shared feedback recently about the product for buyers to find the information they need. Each round of awards will have a different 12-month mark, so check below for the correlating dates. 2. Relevancy: A product must have a meaningful market presence in the software category (more specifically, it must receive at least 1.5% of the category traffic, which means it’s a product that enough buyers like you are interested in). 3. Rating: A product must have at least 4 stars ( a trScore of a 7.5 or above). If you are concerned with bias in these selections, keep in mind that the scoring algorithm […]

From web developer to circus studio co-founder Alison Headley is a web designer with 20 years of experience. She’s no stranger to technology, but up until last year she didn’t really have any experience running a business. What she did have was a passion for aerial and circus arts.  Two years ago, Alison became a rigging apprentice at an aerial studio in St. Louis. For a year, when she wasn’t coding web pages, she was learning how to safely hang aerial hoops, silks, and trapeze equipment to hold the weight of a human. During that time, Alison and her rigging teacher found they shared a common dream: to open their own aerial studio, with fitness classes, practice space, and performance opportunities for adult beginners and circus professionals alike. Thus St. Louis Aerial Collective was born. As business partners, they spent 8-10 months looking for a space and working on their business plan. In September 2018, their studio finally opened its doors. Start thinking about tech early A crucial part of the early planning process was thinking about the Collective’s tech stack. It would need to include four components, standard for a small business in the fitness industry: Booking system Payroll […]

Do you struggle with picking the right technology product for your business? Cutting through marketing noise, figuring out how products are actually different from each other, checking in on some of the claims from sales reps, making sure you’re investing in the right choice for your organization or making the case internally to ensure the check gets signed are just some of the challenges you might face. Reviews could be the secret to vanquishing your buying process blues. Buy Right: Using reviews to make better buying decisions TrustRadius recently hosted our first-ever buyer webinar. We hosted three buyer panelists: Chris Salles, Director of Learning & Knowledge Management at Audible, Dana Mortimer, Human Resources Manager at Milne, and Bethany Chan, Customer Success Manager at Supplyframe. Chris, Dana, and Bethany each played a major role in helping research, evaluate, and select new software for their companies this past year. (One of them is actually still working to get the deal done – shhh!) They talked with us about their particular trials, tribulations, and triumphs as buyers, and shared tips for others working on buying projects. If this sounds like you, read on. You’ll learn from Chris, Dana, and Bethany’s experiences so that […]

In order to grow a business, entrepreneurs need to stay on their toes, keep an eye out for new opportunities, and even put in extra hours. For small and new businesses, in particular, staying focused and improving productivity can make or break a company. Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors that can slow down productivity. These can range from chatty colleagues to non-essential tasks, causing productivity levels drop throughout the day. According to a recent Irvine study, interruptions can have serious repercussions. The study showed it takes up to 23 minutes to refocus your efforts and recover from a distraction. Working in distraction-rich environments is a significant problem when it comes to maintaining work efficiency. Here are some helpful tips for avoiding distraction and staying focused on your most important projects: Use the 2-Minute Rule Most of us have a tendency to react to something the moment it comes up, whether it’s a question from a colleague or an email from a client. But letting questions and new tasks interrupt your workflow only make you less productive. They take away your focus from the task at hand. Still, it can be stressful to not address tasks right away. Small […]

B2B Tech Buyers are Wary of Biased Information Sources As a B2B technology buyer, you seek sources you can trust to give you the full scoop on a product — how to use it as a secret weapon, all of its shortcomings, how well it plays with other tools, and what kind of ROI you can expect. You’re looking to feel secure in your choice. You know there’s no magic bullet — and you wouldn’t trust any source that claimed to be one. In fact, according to a recent survey we did of 438 B2B technology buyers, the average buyer uses 5 different sources of information, because no one resource is perfectly adequate or trustworthy. The top five resources used by buyers were product demos, user reviews, vendor/product websites, a free trial or account, and vendor representatives. Buyers also used resources like analyst rankings & reports, prior experience with the product, vendor marketing collateral, third-party publications and independent media, referrals from friends, colleagues or peers, communities/forums, vendor-produced case studies, vendor-provided customer references, solution consultants or agency recommendations, and vendor blogs. As buyers consult these diverse resources, they pay close attention to potential biases, evaluating not only the products but also […]

IT professionals want hands-on experience before they buy new products, but look to both vendors and peers for insights to guide evaluations. As an IT professional, you likely evaluate new software tools through a different lens than other leaders in your company. Of course, in any new system, individuals across all roles care about how well it can meet your company’s needs now, and in the future, and how quickly you’ll be able to see results. But because you intimately understand the complexities of technology, and because you will probably be more hands-on during implementation, integration, and troubleshooting, you take product evaluations further than the average stakeholder. You’re invested in understanding the nitty gritty of the product’s capabilities up front. And, you know how to push the system to discover limitations or breaking points to get the full picture of what a solution can and can’t do. You certainly aren’t going to take someone else’s word for it, and rely on that alone. You know your own technology environment best. But you probably do want some input on what to watch out for. You need an insider perspective on the product’s strengths and weaknesses, so that you can test them […]

Fake reviews have become a significant issue in the B2C world. To ensure reviews are authentic and unbiased, many consumer sites have banned the use of incentives, or in the case of Yelp, even prohibited businesses or third parties from asking customers to write reviews. These moves were driven by research that showed offering rewards or free products in exchange for reviews resulted in higher ratings. This has led to a perception among B2B buyers that the same is true for reviews of business technology. Yet in the B2B world, the opposite is actually true—invitations with small incentives actually lead to a larger, more representative sample, a more even distribution of ratings (not just promoters and detractors), and more detailed product reviews. Why do paid reviews in B2C and B2B look so different? B2B is on a smaller scale First, consumer-facing businesses enjoy exponentially larger customer bases, which translates to many more potential reviewers. Relying on a fraction of a percentage of customers to self-motivate to contribute reviews for B2C shops might produce enough quantity to be statistically meaningful. But many B2B vendors have just a couple hundred customers. At best, they could hope for one or two self-motivated reviews […]

There has been an explosion of news coverage around fake consumer reviews. As product reviews play an increasingly important role in buyers’ decision-making process, sellers are doing what they can to play the game—or game the system. Recent stories by BuzzFeed and the Washington Post dig into fake review schemes that Amazon sellers can (and sometimes must) buy into, paying for a slew of 5-star reviews of their product—or 1-star reviews of competitors’ products. For certain types of products on Amazon, as few as 33% of reviews of the top 10 products appear legitimate, according to an analysis in the above Washington Post article using data from ReviewMeta, a website that helps consumers spot unnatural Amazon reviews. The BuzzFeed article says, “Paid review writing is the modern lemonade stand.” The price per fake review can start small, but it adds up. At scale, the fake review hustle has a big impact on which product consumers buy. It costs sellers who are locked in an arms race, and consumers who choose the wrong product based on fake reviews. If you read through the comments on the above articles or others like them, you’ll find many stories that go just like this: […]

Today, we awarded the 2018 TrustRadius Top Rated badges for Telephony and VoIP Software. The TrustRadius Top Rated awards are unique in that they are an unbiased reflection of customer sentiment, based solely on user satisfaction scores. Here are the winners in each segment, listed in order of research frequency on TrustRadius. We have also provided insights on how to pick the right VoIP software based on your needs and current industry trends. Overall Top Rated Genesys PureConnect 8×8 NICE inContact CXone Google Voice Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Call Manager) Nextiva UberConference Top Rated by Enterprises Genesys PureConnect NICE inContact CXone Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Call Manager) Google Voice Top Rated by Mid-Sized Companies RingCentral Genesys PureConnect Jabber 8×8 Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Call Manager) Google Voice UberConference Top Rated by Small Businesses RingCentral Google Voice UberConference ShoreTel  What is telephony & VoIP software? Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology eliminates the need for conventional landlines and makes it possible to transmit voice, video, and media communications through an internet connection by using your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or VoIP conference phone. VoIP is the underlying technology that powers Unified Communications systems, which provide a fully integrated internal communication structure across […]

When the tables are turned and they’re the ones buying something, marketers turn to peers before making a decision. As a marketer, you’re savvy to all the strategies that go into transforming leads into customers, and the tools you choose for your business are an essential part of your craft. But your own expertise in attractive branding and slick messaging may give you pause when it comes to shopping for those tools. You know how to sell the benefits of your product or service effectively, which makes you hyper-aware of being sold to by other vendors. So how do you go about researching the best marketing tech for your business? What sources do you trust? Where might your skepticism come in handy? Read on to learn how other marketers like you navigate their technology purchasing decisions. In this recent post, we pointed out the key findings of our 2018 B2B Buying Disconnect Report and highlighted the gap between technology vendors tactics’ and their target customers’ preferences. In a nutshell, across the board people buying technology crave more transparency from vendors to win their business. The full report contains the feedback of 438 buyers and 200 vendors, but we thought you […]

Project portfolio management is the organization and management of all projects within an organization from a high-level perspective. Project portfolio management (PPM) can sometimes be confused with project management. However, they are very different. To point out the differences, we’ll briefly go over what project management is first. Then, we will continue with an in-depth explanation of project portfolio management. What is Project Management? The most important thing to note about project management is that a project manager is usually responsible for a specific project’s tasks. The project is meant to result in a specific product, service, feature, etc. A project manager (PM) could have multiple projects that they are responsible for managing. However, each project runs separately. A PM usually works with a project team, and that person is responsible for task management and team collaboration. A project manager may have tasks including: Making project objectives, milestones, and tasks clear Assigning people and deadlines to tasks Planning and keeping track of a project’s roadmap Ensuring that tasks are completed on time and milestones are hit Keeping track of the budget and other resources Understanding and preventing risks Managing the project team to achieve success A project manager may have […]

This is old news. We’ve got new research for 2021. SEE THE NEW DATA Many B2B technology vendors claim to be buyer-focused and even “customer-obsessed” in their marketing, sales and product strategies. But in reality, most vendors fall short. Buyers don’t trust vendors to tell them the whole truth about their products, and it isn’t always easy for buyers to connect with customers who have relevant experience. Read on for tips and insights from the 2018 B2B Buying Disconnect Report on how your peers are navigating the buying process, including which resources they use to make confident purchase decisions, and why. Buyers Need the Whole Truth to Feel Confident Making a Purchase When you need to find a new tool at work, the stakes are high — both financially and in terms of your professional reputation. It’s a big investment, and you need to get it right. To explore how modern buyers approach this process, and how well vendors’ marketing and sales tactics align with buyers’ preferences, we conducted a survey of 438 buyers and 240 vendors. The most common cost for one technology product, purchased in the past year by buyers who participated in our survey, was $11,000-$50,000 annually. […]

With remote teams and long-distance clients becoming increasingly common, the challenges associated with project collaboration are on the rise. Thankfully, there is also an increasing amount of project collaboration software available to teams. Most projects these days cannot be completed by a single person. From proposals to consultancy to development, it is nearly always beneficial to have a team of individuals working on a project. Different team members will typically take on different aspects of the project in order to speed up workflow, provide feedback to the project manager, and avoid bottlenecks. This is where project collaboration tools come in. In today’s business environment, software can address many of the challenges that come up with collaborating on a project. More than that, project collaboration tools can actually make the project much more efficient and successful if used effectively. Key Areas Where Software Can Help Project Collaborations Typically, project collaboration tools address one or more of these three key areas: Communication: This allows free interaction between team members and addresses the headache of long email chains or lengthy meetings. It might be achieved via chat/IM, commenting, tagging, VoIP calls, video calls, etc. Project & Task Management: This is the core functionality […]

One of the main reasons B2B technology buyers like you come to TrustRadius is to find unfiltered and unbiased product feedback from real users. Our research shows that while buyers rely on vendors for information during the purchase process, they also know vendors aren’t always forthcoming about a product’s limitations. That is a primary reason why buyers use peer review sites like TrustRadius to get the full picture and ensure they are making the right decision. When it comes to B2B technology decisions, often thousands if not millions of dollars — and someone’s career — are on the line. We know it is extremely important for the reviews and ratings on TrustRadius to be authentic and unbiased. That is why we screen all reviews before publishing to ensure that the individuals contributing ratings or reviews are recent users of the product, with no conflict of interest, who are able to provide useful and detailed insights. We are the only B2B review site that has had these standards in place since launching our site in 2012. But soon after launching, we noticed a different but equally impactful bias seeping into our data: selection bias. When Vendors Drive Reviews All reviewers on […]

Today, we awarded the 2018 TrustRadius Top Rated badges for Collaboration Tools. The TrustRadius Top Rated awards are unique in that they are an unbiased reflection of customer sentiment, based solely on user satisfaction scores. They are not influenced by analyst opinion, the vendor’s company size, popularity, site traffic, or status as a TrustRadius customer. Collaboration software makes it easier and faster for teams to work together on professional projects. Companies use collaboration software to maintain efficient and convenient communication, manage projects and tasks, and share files. This can be especially helpful during bottleneck processes such as sending/receiving feedback and approvals. Collaboration tools work best when they are widely adopted and integrated with other channels of communication (like email) and systems of record. It is important to understand your options when selecting collaboration software, as products in this category take different functional approaches to collaboration, from coordinating projects/tasks to sharing and editing documents to UCaaS. Reviews from other users like you can help you understand which features and capabilities are in line with your needs, and how well different collaboration tools may fit into your company’s culture and tech stack. Here are the winners: Overall Top Rated Atlassian Confluence Confluence is […]

Today, we awarded the 2018 TrustRadius Top Rated badges for Web Conferencing Software. The TrustRadius Top Rated awards are unique in that they are an unbiased reflection of customer sentiment, based solely on user satisfaction scores. They are not influenced by analyst opinion, the vendor’s company size, popularity, site traffic, or status as a TrustRadius customer. Web conferencing software allows companies to conduct business remotely and are particularly helpful for companies that have customers and employees all around the country or globe. Web conferencing software often goes beyond video conferencing, extending into presentations, or webinars, recording, and collaboration. Audio and video quality, reliability, scalability, and ease of use–especially for participants joining a call from outside the organization–are major considerations for buyers, but they can be difficult to assess before implementing a web conferencing system. Feedback from users at other similar organizations allow buyers to get a sense of performance and usability ahead of time, so they can make a more confident decision about which product will work best for them. Here are the winners: Overall Top Rated Zoom Zoom allows for online meetings while simultaneously enabling collaboration and file sharing. Reviewers highlight the strong video quality for teams of all […]

Today, we awarded the 2018 TrustRadius Top Rated badges for Project Management Software. The TrustRadius Top Rated awards are unique in that they are an unbiased reflection of customer sentiment, based solely on user satisfaction scores. They are not influenced by analyst opinion, the vendor’s company size, popularity, site traffic, or status as a TrustRadius customer. Project Management Software is designed to increase efficiency by allowing users to organize projects and resources and delegate individual tasks, as well as assign deadlines for deliverables. Most Project Management platforms also support collaboration by providing communication and document management features. Different platforms are better suited for different departments, PM methodologies, workplace cultures, technology environments, and scales of work. Reviews from people like you can help you sort out which product will work best for your company’s needs. Here are the winners: Overall Top Rated JIRA Software Atlassian JIRA is specifically designed to help software development teams manage tasks. In JIRA’s framework, projects are a collection of tasks or issues that get prioritized, assigned, and tracked across team members. Reviewers find the time tracking features and the collaboration features helpful, and say JIRA supports an agile project strategy well.   “JIRA is a perfect […]

Generally, no product wins on all dimensions. When you’re shopping for business software, you’re probably weighing reality against a set of ideal criteria, and preparing to make a few trade-offs. You might not get all the bells and whistles if you have a tight budget, for example. Or the product that’s easiest to use may not have all the features you want. But what’s important to you before you make a purchase may not align exactly with your future self—the one that has to deal with making the product work for your organization. We recently asked buyers at two different stages what is (or was) most important to them. The results reveal subtly different priorities that are important to bear in mind as you make your selection decision. Learning from other buyers’ and reviewers’ experiences could help you feel more confident in your decision and know what to expect from your purchase. First we asked buyers who hadn’t yet made a purchase to tell us which three criteria (from a list of 11) were most important to them. The top three answers were finding a product that shows measurable results (chosen by 39% of buyers), can adapt to fit your […]

Slack is a popular team collaboration and group messaging platform that allows members of an organization to coact and comment on projects in real-time. Searchable message archives let new team members, or members from different departments, become easily apprised of ongoing conversations and developments on relevant topics. Recently, Slack added a feature allowing users from different companies to collaborate as well, via Shared Channels. According to Slack reviews from authenticated users, the tool features fun gifs, a user-friendly interface, and the notification functionality gets you quick replies from colleagues, making collaboration easier and faster. But every organization is different. Despite its trendiness and noted strengths, the pricing or features of Slack may not suit every company’s culture. If there’s a gap between your needs and what Slack provides, here are nine other collaboration tools to consider. The first few listed allow for more formal task and project management, while the others are more focused on VoIP and video calls or file sharing and document review. Project Management 1. Asana Asana is a free web and mobile project management app that can help keep an entire team in the loop on who’s doing what and when. You can organize your tasks […]