How third party validation means more leads for your company
As technology advances, and the solutions we sell evolve and become more sophisticated, so has the way we promote them.
Its no longer enough to hear it from the horse’s mouth – well sure, you still need promotional tools to be developed by marketing. Digital ads, LinkedIn posts, webinars are all effective ways to blast your sales messages.
But today, with COVID-19 resulting in cancelled industry events, your customers’ inboxes are swamped with sales pitches, invitations to online events and webinars, and their screens are bombarded by flashing banner ads. After a while, prospects can become blind to the ads and self-promotional messages.
Third party validation, in harmony with your online marketing tools, will provide your customers and prospects with the renewed confidence they need to invest in your solutions.
Here are 3 ways in which third party validation can help strengthen and accelerate the sales process:
- Media as third party influencers – Ads and other promotional material can help protect and build your company brand, but they don’t serve as validation for supporting your messages.
Feature articles which present your opinion side by side with commentary from other industry leaders show that you are considered a viable source of information based on your unique expertise. Your content can appear as part of an executive Q&A, a one paragraph response to a specific news event, an interview with an enthusiastic customer, or a full length thought leadership article that explains an industry trend, the challenge your customers face and how your solution is the most effective and cost efficient.
Media is feeling a cash crunch like everyone else these days, and if vendor content is objective, educational, well-researched and relevant, they are happy to publish it, and reduce their editorial work load.
The published pieces convey third-party credibility, which can then be used as a valued resource by your sales teams to share with customers and leads.
- Industry Analyst endorsement – Analysts and media work together, as journalists typically seek out analysts to support claims made in feature articles, while analysts tend to follow companies that generate significant media coverage.
When embarking on an analyst relations program, it is important to first identify the key analysts that cover your market. Keep in mind that an introductory briefing is not just an opportunity to highlight your differentiators and top features, but also receive feedback on your strategy and positioning.
Thereafter, make sure to follow up and share relevant company news and developments on an ongoing basis to ensure you are top of mind and included in any relevant market reports.
- Industry awards to validate your expertise – Industry awards are considered a seal of credibility, where a third party recognizes your expertise and accomplishments. In addition to award wins being promoted by the organizer, you can also leverage the win by issuing a press release, as well as posting on your site, blog and social channels.
Some important things to consider before selecting relevant awards:
- What organization stands behind the award – the best awards are those that are managed by or associated with a reputable media outlet.
- Previous winners – you want to ensure that if you win you stand alongside respectable companies.
- Costs – beware of “free” awards that do not charge a submission fee. You may be hit with a steep cost for sharing your win news. Make sure to contact the award organizers and ask them for all the fees, before you start the process.
Third-party endorsers can enhance your reputation and validate your product tremendously. Whether your target influencers are industry analysts, media, technology experts quoted in your articles or your customers, each brings an extra layer of expertise and knowledge within your industry that can be leveraged to build your company’s validation and brand and ultimately influence your potential customers buying decision.