Five Key Elements to Build Trust in the B2B Sales Process

According to a LinkedIn Sales Report, trust is the top indicator for sales success. In the business-to-business sales process, you need to build trust with multiple stakeholders and decision makers to successfully close the deal and you need to maintain that trust for a strong relationship to ensure renewals.

What is trust and how do you build it?

  • Trust: Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. (Oxford)

There are many ways to build trust with prospects and clients. Building trust with your target market isn’t very different from forming secure friendships. According to Dr. Amir Levine, a psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and researcher on human bonding, here are the five key elements of secure relationships and we’ve included questions for you to reflect on each element to fully build trusting customer relationships in your sales process:

1. Consistency

  • Does your organization consistently deliver value and results? Showcase success stories and social proof like client testimonials and reviews on third-party review sites, such as G2 Crowd, Capterra, and TrustRadius.
  • Do you show up as yourself online as you do off-line, in person? Do you write like you speak? Do you keep a consistent tone in your communications through social selling and in person?
  • Do you regularly provide expert knowledge to guide your customers on their buying journey? Do you share valuable content and insights that are relevant to your customers?

2. Availability

  • Are you free to connect with customers and prospects when and where they would like you to communicate? Do they prefer emails or phone calls? What time of day?
  • Are you empathetic? Do you fully understand the challenges your customers face? Are you available to discuss these challenges?
  • Do you take the time to truly listen and understand your customer’s perspective?

3. Reliability

  • Can customers and prospects count on you if they need something?
  • Beyond the product or solution you are selling, do you offer something valuable to your customer? Are you just pushing your product to meet a quota or are you genuinely trying to help your customer?
  • Are you honest? Are you transparent and truthful when your solution may not be the right fit?
  • Do you take the time to learn about your customers, their specific industry, and the challenges that they face?
  • Do you deliver on every promise your organization makes?
  • Do you have the integrity to do what you say and follow through on your commitments? Do you always strive for what’s right?

4. Responsiveness

  • Do you reply to customers and prospects in a timely manner? Speed is key.
  • Do you send personalized messages on a regular basis?
  • Are you curious? Do you take the time to do personalized research and ask tailored questions?
  • Do you have collaborative conversations with customers or are you just delivering news and making one-way sales pitches?
  • Have you tried connecting with your customers on a personal level? B2B buyers are humans too!

5. Predictability

  • Have you set clear expectations? Are you meeting or exceeding your customer’s expectations?
  • Do you have a regular cadence for your communications? (Quarterly business reviews, monthly emails, newsletters, or calls?)
  • Do you show up on time for calls? Are you on video?
  • To respect your customer’s time, do you set an agenda for your conversations?
  • Have you established your credibility? Do you share helpful and relevant information or do you just spew facts about features and functions of your product?

When you have shown up in these five elements, trust will be solidified with your customers and your sales will flourish.

Check out the clip below with Outcome Selling Advisory Ecosystem member, Grad Rosenbaum, Vice President and General Manager of Americas Region Serivces and Solutions at HP, on what has worked well for their team to build trust with clients.