Why Lead Generation Is All About Building Trust

The most important priority of lead generation is to build trust.

But wait, you might be thinking—Isn’t it to promote products and services? Convert paying customers? Earn revenue?

Sure. Of course. But all of that is impossible without building trust first. If you want to reliably close more deals and grow your pipeline value, you must establish trust from the very start with your ideal potential buyers. In this guide, we’ll tell you how.

The sections that follow will cover why trust matters so much in the modern B2B world and 5 effective ways to build trust through your lead generation strategy.

Quick Takeaways:

  • B2B purchases are complex and often lead to long-term partnerships. Buyers want to purchase from providers they can trust long-term.
  • High-value content builds trust by demonstrating expertise, consistency, and thought leadership.
  • Personalized engagement makes buyers more likely to make initial purchases, repeat purchases, and referrals to their personal networks.
  • Omnichannel engagement shows a brand’s commitment to the complete customer experience.
  • More than 90% of buyers use customer testimonials to establish trust with potential providers.

Why Trust Matters in B2B Marketing and Sales

In the fast-evolving, information-packed landscape of B2B marketing and sales, trust has emerged as a cornerstone of successful business relationships—and it starts with lead generation.

Today’s B2B buyers aren’t passive recipients of promotional marketing messages. They’re empowered, informed, and discerning. They access information on their own and make decisions about which brands to even consider purchasing from based largely on how much they feel they can trust them.

This shift has transformed the nature of the sales process, putting much of the onus on digital content and lead generation tactics to build trust so that sales teams can even have the chance to engage.

Here are a few of the reasons why trust is becoming so important to B2B buyers, even in the earliest stages of their customer journey:

B2B Purchase Complexity

According to Gartner, 77% of B2B buyers say their last purchase was complex or difficult. This isn’t much of a surprise to those operating in the B2B space. 

Gartner reports that 77% of B2B buyers state their last purchase was very complex or difficult.

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Unlike their B2C counterparts, B2B transactions involve substantial financial investments that impact the success of entire organizations. They often include extended contractual commitments and intricate solution implementations. This complexity means buyers want to select only partners they feel they can trust for the long-term.

Reputation Ripple Effect

Word travels faster than ever in today’s digital world. Just a single negative occurrence can reverberate across networks and have a significant impact on a company’s future business success.

When an organization decides to outsource part of their business operations to a third-party, they want it to be to a partner they trust—not only provide the right solutions, but also to preserve their reputation at all times.

Peer Reviews and Testimonials

Platforms like G2 Crowd or TrustRadius have democratized opinion-sharing. Today, more than 90% of B2B buyers turn to these sites for genuine user feedback and are more likely to make a purchase when they find positive reviews that they trust. This underscores the real weight of trust in the B2B decision-making process as business networks continue to become more hyperconnected.

More than 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase a product or service after reading a trusted review of it.

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Collaborative Nature of B2B Engagements

B2B relationships often evolve into long-term collaborative ventures, like working together on product development, marketing campaigns, or other mission-critical projects. The potential for this type of collaboration demands a foundation of mutual trust, and is another reason why buyers prioritize trust from the very start of their purchase journey.

5 Ways Lead Generation Can Build Trust

High-Value Content

Today, content is more than informational support for marketing and sales teams. It’s a first impression maker in most cases for B2B businesses—the initial trust builder in modern B2B relationships. It’s also an essential part of the lead generation process.

Today, 78% of consumers prefer to get to know a company through content rather than promotional ads, and 70% believe that providing high-value content indicates that a company wants to build a relationship with them.

Research shows that 78% of consumers prefer to get to know a company through content rather than promotional ads, and 70% believe that providing high-value content indicates that a company wants to build a relationship with them.

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Lead-gen content is most effective at building trust when it demonstrates expertise, embodies thought leadership, and shows a brand’s understanding of its target audience.

Personalized Outreach

Personalization has become a must-have in order to build trust through lead generation. According to McKinsey, it not only impacts whether or not buyers will make an initial purchase but also influences their behavior throughout the entire customer lifecycle—78% of consumers say they’re more likely to make repeat purchases and refer brands to family and friends when it personalizes.

McKinsey research reports that 76% of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that personalize, and 78% are more likely to make repeat purchases and refer a brand to family and friends.

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Referral Programs

Referrals are the lifeblood of many B2B lead generation strategies, and for good reason. They’re one of the top trust builders of all—88% of B2B buyers say they trust referrals they get from online reviews and family, friend, or colleague recommendations.

Implementing a formal referral program that continually generates new leads is one of the surest ways to build trust into your lead generation process.

Omnichannel Engagement

Considering what we know about buyer preferences for personalization, it’s not hard to understand how omnichannel engagement builds trust during lead-gen. By connecting a customer’s engagements across the 10+ channels they use (on average) throughout their purchase journey, you show that you prioritize their full experience with your brand.

Plus, you make your life easier throughout their journey—they don’t have to re-enter information, save things separately, or repeat themselves to new customer service or sales reps. Omnichannel engagement saves these interactions seamlessly for a smooth transition from one channel to the next.

Customer Testimonials

You can leverage B2B buyers’ existing trust in and preference for customer testimonials by making them a central part of your lead-gen strategy. Making them visible on your website (i.e. blogs and product pages) as well as promoting them through channels like social media and ads puts testimonials front and center for your potential customers, eliminating a step to streamline the trust-building process.

Putting it All Together

It’s tempting for any company to get straight to promoting products and services in the lead-gen process, but the truth is that that approach almost always misses the mark. B2B buyers are smart, and they can spot high-quality solutions on their own. What they want from your lead-generation content is assurance that they can trust you every step of the way through their journey.

By prioritizing trust first, you establish the connection and lay the foundation necessary for customers to eventually choose your offerings through final purchase.

Our outbound email and lead generation services are designed specifically for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations. Schedule a quick call with us to learn more.