The best way to drive a B2B sales funnel is to think about the various touchpoints that help move customers through the funnel towards a closed deal.
To start, a product or service needs to provide tactical value. It should alleviate a pain point, save time, save money, or make money – it needs to drive your customer results.
On top of a strong value prop, you need two things:
- Compelling content that is tactical, actionable, or practical in some way
- Social proof that builds credibility, trust, and brand equity
Below, we dive into how you can embed social proof in your content.
Social Proof = Instant Credibility
Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer considering purchasing a B2B product or service.
What would get you across the line to make the purchase? For most buyers, the tipping point is that the product or service provider is already working with successful companies in the same industry.
Next to the value prop, the missing puzzle piece is that "These companies are using it, and I want to be like that." Case studies, testimonials, and pull quotes all leverage innate credibility.
Social proof via customer, partner, or investor logos and headshots makes your alignment with the other experts in the space immediately obvious.
People trust people. People trust what they already know and recognize.
At the most basic level, this is what drives the effectiveness of social proof. When you put yourself in a customer's shoes, you realize the importance of social proof. Without it, it's much harder to move people through the funnel and close on customers.
Why Social Proof Boosts Distribution & Conversion
Many B2B SaaS companies make a mistake in marketing because they think they only need to show the utility they drive and flex their domain expertise to convince buyers.
Without social proof, organic content efforts' revenue and client acquisition numbers suffer.
At Verbatim, we’ve seen how effective it is to combine those three pillars and layer social proof into the content and content strategy from day one. Social proof helps:
- Engage customers from a foundation of trust and credibility
- Reach more people through boosted distribution and co-amplification
- Speak to your audience in a familiar and informed language
When we kick off with a new team at Verbatim, we get started with two steps:
- We map the company’s ICP – isolating their pain points and frustrations, desires and outcomes, and their objections along the funnel
- Then, we trawl the founding team members' network for who can best speak to the ICP and who the ICP respects, trusts, and listens to
Most good content marketing functions already do the first part – start with your ICP, then build content that demonstrates and educates around the utility you provide.
How to Get Started ASAP: The Verbatim Playbook
To add the social proof element, we take a top-down approach, where we work with the founding team directly to isolate the highest social proof or high-profile nodes in their network.
Social proof nodes could be:
- Investors – both yours and those who invest in your customers’ industry
- Industry partners, operators, and thought leaders
- Existing customers
You want to maximize adjacency to anyone that has high social proof in the eyes of your ICP.
With a short list of 10 to 20 names, match those names to a specific element of the ICP journey. Customer X should talk about pain point Y. Investor Z should talk about desire A.
It's about mixing and matching to find the right social proof nodes to speak to the different topics and create a content calendar that can be mapped against the buyer journey.
Find a time to interview each person specifically about the topics your ICP cares most about. By recording the conversations and editorializing them, you produce incredibly compelling content.
The resulting content nails all three necessary elements.
You've discussed the utility of what you're selling, you have domain expertise, and you have social proof.
Social proof, in the form of who you know, who uses your product, and who can vouch for you, is what gets customers interested, moves them through the funnel, and gets them closed.