How to Use Customer Testimonials to Close More Deals and Build Brand



On this episode of B2B Enablement, Sam Shepler (CEO of Testimonial Hero) joins to talk about the importance of using customer testimonials in your sales and marketing strategy. He shares insights and tips on how your business can use video testimonials to help reduce friction in the customer journey and build brand equity with potential clients.

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 Introduction: Sam Shepler, Founder and CEO at Testimonial Hero (Time stamp 1:00)

Testimonial Hero is a video testimonial creation service for B2B marketing leaders. They produce videos all over the world (in-person and remotely) and help B2B marketers drive better results by using the voice of their customers.

Why do video testimonials really matter for B2B revenue teams and how does that function bring together sales and marketing? (Time stamp 2:10)

Prospects want to hear from other prospects. Many buyers are skeptical of sales content and are more interested in hearing from their peers. In fact, only 9% buyers rate vendor content as trustworthy.

How are testimonials valuable for marketing and sales? (Time stamp 4:00)

For marketing, video testimonials reduce friction wherever you use them (landing pages, cold emails, etc.)

It’s best to make several versions of the video. Use a 90 second version as standard, 30 second version for social, and a 15 second version for digital paid ads. Testimonials help you build trust faster and increase credibility thus accelerating the buyer journey.

What are the friction points and where do testimonials come into play? (Time stamp 6:25)

There’s never a time when buyers don’t want to hear from other customers. Traditionally, testimonials have been used in the final stages of the sales process. Now they are being used in all stages of the funnel.

If video testimonials are so important, why aren’t more people using them and what’s preventing them from becoming more popular? (Time stamp 10:30)

One major problem is that no one is putting their hand up to be featured in them. Marketing, sales, and customer success all need to come together to figure out who is the best person to approach. Testimonials aren’t only for you. They hold your customer up as an example of best practice in their industry, plus, it’s good PR for the individual featured in the video. People want to showcase their achievements.

How do you go about making a video testimonial? (Time stamp 14:25)

Big companies are hiring videographers and can use in-house resources. But there is also the DIY approach. You can simply record a video meeting and do some simple editing. It won’t likely be a show stopper, but it’s an option. You can also work with a partner, like Testimonial Hero, that can do on-site and remote filming for you.

Have there been any big changes in the way customer testimonials are handled as a result of COVID? (Time stamp 21:25)

There has been an increase in remote-only testimonials. Though in-person filming is still happening. The challenge isn’t maintaining physical distancing, it’s that many offices are closed. Videos are being filmed in rented conference rooms or co-working spaces that can be dressed up to provide a nice background.

Tips for people looking to get started with video testimonials? (Time stamp 23:10)

The challenges are getting people to agree to do video testimonials and getting comfortable asking for them. There are some options. You can build the ask into the initial sales agreement. It has a greater chance of being redlined, but also sets the expectation early. You can also use the ask as a bargaining tool. If they put the brakes on the project because of the cost, you can offer to discount the price if they agree to do a video testimonial (pending satisfaction, of course). That way, they get a discount and conversation about a testimonial is already started.

 Take-aways (Time stamp 27:00)

  1. Find out where the friction being created and figure out how to leverage the customer voice to push through those barriers.
  2. If you’re in marketing, talk to sales to find out who the best customers are. If you’re in sales, talk to marketing and ask for video testimonial assets.
  3. B2B buyers are skeptical of vendor content. So, do a brand/messaging audit and ask yourself. “Do we have the voice of the customer in our story?”
 Resources and links from this episode:

Sam Shepler:

Dave Karr:

Testimonial Hero:

Don’t forget your copy of Testimonial Hero’s The 15 Ultimate Video Testimonial Interview Questions