B2B SaaS Marketing Insight: How ProsperWorks Uses Software Review Websites

Quick: how do you prove your B2B SaaS product is worth using?

One answer: point to reviews by other users. Even better, show those reviews on a third party website that you do not own. That’s why software review websites like Capterra are so popular.

If you are looking for more users, leads and customers, paying attention to software review websites makes sense. Yet, you don’t want to leave it all to chance. It’s a sad fact: online reviews have a strong negative bias.

Don’t believe me?

Look up your favorite restaurant on Yelp. There’s probably more than a few complaints there. In fact, negative reviews may outnumber the positive reviews. Don’t let that happen to your B2B SaaS marketing. Just because you don’t own or control Capterra doesn’t mean you can’t influence it.

To find out how software review websites work in SaaS, I interviewed Morgan Norman, CMO at ProsperWorks for his perspective.

1) What process do you use to encourage positive reviews?

Start by understanding how end users tend to use reviews: Reviews are used for those who are in the educational stage of the buying cycle. They are going to be thinking “Why is your product different?” and “Will this work for me?” We have to give people evidence that these reviews feature customers like them and that they can drive the outcomes they are looking for. To gain more positive reviews, we ping heavy users of the product and ask them to review a review.

2) What is your perspective on managing negative reviews?

In our system, I regard any review of 3 stars or less as a negative review. [Editor’s Note: this is similar to using a Net Promoter Score approach.] The challenge with negative reviews is that you don’t know the whole story. For example, the user may have had a poor onboarding experience. Alternatively, they may have signed up for a trial and never went for an in-depth exploration of the product. In my experience, users find reviews most helpful when the reviewer is similar to them.

4) What is the ROI of paying for sponsorships on software review websites like Capterra?

Paying for sponsorship on a review website is valuable. For this technique to generate results, it is critical to have reviews in place.  In addition to Capterra, we are also active on G2 Crowd. Ultimately, it is valuable to get your customer voice out there.

Editor’s Note: Sponsorships generally focus at the category level. For example, a sponsorship on Capterra puts you at the top of a list. That’s worth considering in some categories. In the example below, ProsperWorks appears in a category with more than 500 products!

5) What is your take on the quantity and quality of leads from Capterra?

The quantity is good from a paid perspective. The audience – people who are actively researching software products – is strong. It is a delivering a steady flow of leads once you get the review program working. If you don’t incorporate this into your program, it may not be that effective.

6) Any other comments to share about using software review websites?

The main thing with review websites is for companies that have a self-serve or trial product. If you do not use that model, it will be more difficult to make use of reviews. The next consideration is whether the reviews and reviewers you’re getting match your goals. For example, if you are seeking large company clients and all of your reviewers are from small business users, those reviews will be less helpful. Ultimately, not all reviews are equal. A small business review probably will not influence an enterprise company.

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