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User Reviews are the Key to Selling in 2023

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Alisa Ligman headshot - TrustRadius
Alisa Ligman
December 14, 2022
Blog, Marketing & Sales Best Practices

User Reviews are the Key to Selling in 2023

Win More Deals in an Oversaturated Landscape

Finding and closing deals during an economic downturn is no easy feat! After all, you have to find the right buyers at the right time, adapt to their ever-changing preferences, and move them along the buying journey. And in a year when virtually 100% of buyers prefer to self-serve part or all of their journey, it’s hard to get ahead of this process. 

But alongside these shifts in buyer behavior come some exciting opportunities for sales and business development teams. Based on recent research, we’ve discovered shifts in today’s buying preferences that affect the sales cycle. We’re helping B2B tech providers stand out from the competition, maximize their sales efforts, and ultimately, win more deals.

Challenges for today’s sales and business development teams

Sales and business development are complex in a digital world headed up by savvy, no-nonsense decision-makers. These buyers don’t want to reach out to sales teams until later in their journey, and they’re strongly averse to cold calling. Plus, they’re getting more difficult to find. Today’s buyers tend to hang out on third-party websites like forums, communities, and review sites, making it especially hard for your sales and business development specialists to engage them. It’s the age of the self-serve buyer, and these buyers don’t want to interact with you until they are ready to make a purchase. 

Cold calling turns off today’s buyer

As we mentioned, today’s buyers are not answering cold calls. In our annual B2B Buying Disconnect report, we asked respondents, “what are the top 3 things technology vendors do that make you less likely to buy?”

A few of their top responses:

  • Cold Calls (64% of respondents)
  • Must contact sales for a demo or free trial (40%)
  • Sales emails (32%)

This is a major shift in buyer behavior, as compared to previous years. And it means that in order to succeed, sales and business development teams have to find different ways to conduct outreach. 

Buyers are using more third-party resources 

Millennial and Gen Z buying behaviors have spread to other generations. The biggest indication of this is an increase in use of third-party resources to conduct research. Habits from the B2C world, like checking blogs and review sites like Yelp and Google Reviews, have quickly transcended into the B2B world. According to our report, all vendor resources are on the decline, when it comes to preferred research resources. And independent sources, such as user reviews, communities/forums, and analyst ranking/reports are more commonly used than ever. 

b2b buyer

What does this mean for sales/BDRs? Well, it means that if you solely depend on your marketing collateral, website, and sales reps to find and drive sales, you’re missing a lot of your in-market buyers.

Buyers want social proof—and lots of it

Why do buyers value third-party resources so much? Because they’re on the hunt for social proof. They want to hear from their peers about your product—not you. Vendor-written descriptions aren’t cutting it anymore; your audience wants to hear about real-world experiences with your products from other users. User reviews, in particular, are being used by buyers more than ever before. And this is the case across all company sizes, purchase prices, and generations. 

How TrustRadius helps sales and BD teams

Buyers want proof to back up the marketing claims about your products – what if they could find exactly what they’re looking for, on your website? And what if you could also get a behind-the-scenes look at which buyers are researching your product and your competitors on a high-traffic, third-party site? 

TrustRadius empowers sales/BD teams to make both of these possibilities a reality:

  • Identify hand raisers or buyers that are considering your competitor and not you
  • Use social proof and customer voice generated on TrustRadius to build pipeline and close deals

Our downstream intent data gives you the inside scoop on who’s looking at your product profile, and at any other businesses within the same category. You can then import this data directly into your CRM or ABM platform. Plus, we enable you to find and create high-quality social proof to display on your company assets. 

Of all the TrustRadius solution modules, here are the one’s other sales and business development experts have the most success with.

  • Intent Data: Using Salesforce, Demandbase, and 6sense
  • Reference Generation and Management 
  • TrustQuotes Library: Chrome Extension
  • Awards
  • Premium content assets

Downstream Intent Data

Downstream intent data is a collected set of buyer signals from TrustRadius indicating that someone is researching your product or your competitors. It can be gathered from sources such as product profile pages or buyers researching pricing or comparing you to an alternative solution. Our downstream intent data actually allows you to access in-market buyers who are actively evaluating both you and your competitors on TrustRadius.

We have enabled the Sales Team to use TrustRadius’ buyer intent data during prospect research. We have also used TrustRadius’ intent data to target in-market buyers via LinkedIn Advertising. We were able to drive a cost-per-click under $10 with TrustRadius for Vendors’ intent data audiences, and add net new buyers to our database.

—Director of Growth Marketing, Enterprise


The powerful intent signals from TrustRadius produce the biggest ROI when imported into relationship management (CRM) or account-her platforms, such as your team’s customer-based marketing (ABM) solution.

Salesforce Connector

With the Salesforce Connector, you can integrate downstream intent data into your sales pipeline, optimizing your ABM strategy and mitigating churn risk. Combining the features of Salesforce with TrustRadius’ powerful insights of your customers means you can monitor behavior indicative of churn risks or expansion opportunities. 

In fact, TrustRadius customers who integrated our downstream intent data with the Salesforce Connector find that on average, 31% of the accounts researching them on TrustRadius are known accounts in their Salesforce. This means you can identify customers or potential buyers to target based on your TrustRadius presence.

After installing the Salesforce Connector only one month prior, an enterprise client attributed four new accounts and influenced $44,000 in pipeline, which the customer marketer said “paid for the program!” Another well-known revenue intelligence tool discovered that 61% of accounts that were researching them or their competitors on TrustRadius fit into their ideal customer profile (ICP).

ABM platforms

Both 6sense and Demandbase allow you to serve ads through their display networks leveraging this data. Additionally, intent signals can be served straight to your sales reps allowing for immediate, intelligent, ABM-geared outreach. This increases speed to lead and overall pipeline acceleration.


intent data sources for prospecting

Reference Generation and Management 

Through TrustRadius’ reference identification, buyers who leave reviews can also opt-in to be contacted and used as official references in the future. This allows you to identify customers who are willing to participate in case studies, provide more in-depth feedback, attend events, etc. And most importantly, they provide the rich social proof that your buyers want to see! 

Our reference identification tool organizes candidates in a dashboard and allows customer marketers to reveal the identities of hand-raisers who are anonymous on TrustRadius’ public-facing site. We also give them the ability in the vendor profile to download this list of reference candidates as a spreadsheet for easy organization and internal distribution. 

TrustQuotes Library: Chrome Extension

With the TrustQuotes Library, you can easily tag reviews to create a library of easy-to-access customer quotes. One of the easiest ways for your organization to access the quotes is with our QuoteFinder Chrome extension. Vendors can easily pull highly relevant quotes during sales conversations and while creating marketing resources. You can search for keywords and pull up relevant, quotable moments from reviews to provide third-party social proof that’s valuable to today’s buyers. Validate your marketing claims by adding customer quotes to sales outreach resources like emails, pitch decks, one-pagers, customer story pages, etc.


TrustRadius awards are a great way to make your brand stand out from the competition within your category and boost credibility with customers. We offer opportunities throughout the year for vendors to earn awards and we choose winners entirely based on customer sentiment. So, in other words, awards are a direct reflection of your relationship with your customers and can be a tangible way to show how your product addresses customer needs. TrustRadius award badges displayed on branded content such as email signatures, RFP footers, pitch decks, one-pagers, etc. are eye-catching. But more importantly, award badges reiterate that your product values the voice of your customer, helps to keep a good rapport with your existing customers, and gives you a way to get a leg up on competitors. 

Premium content assets

Because today’s audience puts so much value on reviews and peer feedback, it’s helpful to use content such as awards and customer quotes in ads or landing page content. TrustRadius facilitates the creation of insightful customer quotes with our premium licensed content features. By collecting detailed, meaningful reviews, you not only provide potential buyers with useful information while they are on TrustRadius, you can also create a bank of customer quotes to use across your own channels. As a TrustRadius customer, your team gets unlimited use of all customer reviews and content.

Enable buyers, close deals faster!

TrustRadius for Vendors empowers sales and business development experts to give today’s buyers exactly what they’re looking for, and to stay in the know of who’s researching both you and your competitors. 

Download User Reviews are the Key to Selling to learn to action on our checklist to get started and learn your best next steps for leveraging our downstream intent data, powerful user reviews, and other social proof to find and win your next best customers.

user reviews guide

Want to learn additional ways to find, reach, and engage with in-market buyers? Need help scaling content or identifying customer use cases? Whether you’re a customer marketing or demand-gen guru, utilize these tool kits to help solve your immediate challenges.

About the Author

Alisa Ligman headshot - TrustRadius
Alisa Ligman
Alisa Ligman has a background in supporting SaaS, cybersecurity, and DevOps brands with savvy marketing tactics and creative ideas. She currently works as a freelance content marketer, and is passionate about writing compelling content to help tech brands grow their businesses. Alisa lives in the metro Atlanta area and spends her free time hiking, visiting coffee shops, and playing board games with friends.