12 Business Technology Review Sites Where Your Advocates Can Praise You

Get reviews on these business technology review sites

Before you go to dinner, buy an app or bid for an item on eBay, what’s one of the first things you do? Check the ratings and reviews online. And forget what the so-called “expert” reviewers think, right? You want to know what real people have to say about it before you waste any of your time and money.

Thanks to resources like Yelp, the Apple Store, Google Play and eBay’s Detailed Seller Ratings (DSR), among others, consumers can make better purchasing decisions, and businesses with higher ratings and more positive reviews from the masses experience better sales.

Often, high ratings bump the restaurant, app or seller to the front page or top of the search listings, and consumers trust that they’re going to get what they paid for.

The Yelp-ification of the enterprise

It’s not just consumer businesses that are affected by these ratings and reviews either. Over the last few years, a number of enterprise rating and review sites have launched, providing B2B customers with the opportunity to rate their favorite (or not-so-favorite) product and services experiences. It’s more important than ever to get product reviews.

“We’re 100% focused on the enterprise to meet the unique needs of enterprise buyers,” says Russell Rothstein, CEO of IT Central Station. “Our visitors can be assured that the products they find in IT Central Station are ‘enterprise-class’ and high quality.”

Russell Rothstein, IT Central Station

Russell Rothstein, CEO, IT Central Station

These enterprise-only review sites can be an amazing resource for professionals, especially those looking for technology solutions, as they make buying decisions for their organizations.

“The stakes are much higher for business software decisions than most consumer purchases,” says TrustRadius CEO Vinay Bhagat.

“TrustRadius is focused on collecting rich, actionable insights you can trust. All reviewers answer a series of questions, commonly rating a product on multiple dimensions and explaining their use case. Then each review is vetted by a researcher before it’s published.”

In a recent ZenDesk survey, 90% of both B2C and B2B customers of mid-sized companies who had seen online reviews said that the positive ones influenced their buying decisions. How often do they influence yours?

Vinay Bhagat, CEO, TrustRadius

Vinay Bhagat, CEO, TrustRadius

Those stars really count toward acquiring new customers, but consider this: like a restaurant goer who found a fly in her soup, your customers are 52% more likely to post a review when they’ve had a bad experience than a good one (35% vs. 23%).

You can’t just sit around and hope that none of your customers have a bad experience or that nobody posts a negative review (or any reviews at all).

After all, these B2B rating sites are putting some serious resources into soliciting reviews from enterprise users to make their own businesses viable.

“G2 Crowd is disrupting Gartner and the broken, outdated process of buying business software by crowd-sourcing user reviews; so far 5,000 professionals have contributed more than 15,000 ratings and reviews of the business software they use,” says G2 Crowd co-founder and COO Matt Gorniak.

Matt Gorniak, co-founder and COO, G2 Crowd

Matt Gorniak, co-founder and COO, G2 Crowd

“Based on these authentic, unbiased reviews as well as social data, the Grid – G2 Crowd’s alternative to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant – charts vendors on customer satisfaction and scale to help companies pick the right software for their needs.”

Ask your advocates to generate authentic product reviews

As a marketer, you can and must take control of the situation as quickly as possible. Where traditional marketing fails – you can’t review yourself and “fake” reviews can be spotted a mile away by discerning potential customers – advocate marketing picks up the slack.

Reach out to your most satisfied customers and other advocates first, and ask them to hit the digital pavement to submit authentic reviews of their own positive experiences.

You could email your customers one by one and beg them to post a review for you (1. Way too much work, and 2. What’s in it for them?), or you could activate your advocates by creating a fun, easy challenge in Influitive’s AdvocateHub.

There you can provide all the details they need to build an effective review, share links to the reviews as they are posted, and also reward your company’s biggest fans for sharing their feedback of your product or service.

Check out this example from our own AdvocateHub, VIP:

Influitive's AdvocateHub, VIP

Which B2B review sites are best for your business?

Numerous business technology rating websites have sprung up in recent years, some catering to everyone and others to specific niches.

The important thing to remember is you don’t need to ask each of your advocates to post a review on every single website – start with the few that are best for your business, mobilize your advocates to post one review each and go from there.

Here’s a list, by no means exhaustive, of 12 great sites to help get you started:

AppCloud
Apps for marketers that are integrated with Eloqua

AppExchange
salesforce.com’s marketplace of business applications and consulting partners where you can find, evaluate and install solutions for every department and industry

BestVendor
According to its website, BestVendor’s goal is to bring more sharing and openness to business solutions, which can be particularly helpful among smaller businesses that don’t have CIOs or procurement offices

Capterra
Helps you learn how software can improve your business, compare solutions to find what you need and connect with the right software vendors

Comparz
Provides in-depth user reviews and rankings of software services and tools for small and mid-sized businesses

G2 Crowd
Enterprise technology buyers, investors and analysts use the site to compare and select the best software based on peer reviews and synthesized social data

GetApp
Helps small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) search, find, compare and review the best business software solutions and services

IT Central Station
Enterprise technology decision makers around the world use the site to read reviews, build vendor shortlists, and consult with peers and experts

Ombud
A community-based research platform: you can connect with technology users, vendors and analysts to ensure the purchasing decisions you make fit your business needs

Software Advice
Software Advice helps buyers choose the right software by offering detailed reviews, comparisons and research to assist organizations in finding products that best fit their current and future needs.

TrustRadius
A site for professionals to share candid opinions on business technology products to guide selection, implementation and usage decisions

VendorStack
Helps you find the best vendors, as rated and reviewed by users like you

What’s your experience with B2B review sites?

Share your thoughts in the comments below, tweet to us at @influitive or join the conversation about advocate marketing on LinkedIn.

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Learn how Influitive’s AdvocateHub can help you cultivate and motivate your advocates to turbocharge your marketing and sales efforts.

  • Liad Guez

    Great article. I found IT Central Station to be the best source for enterprise software reviews, way ahead of the curve.

    • Liad Guez

      Hi Cassandra! Here are my 3 tips to consider when choosing a review platform:

      1. Market segment: As with any social network, you need to
      make sure the site caters to the audience you care about! So consider
      whether you are targeting SMBs or Enterprises, and choose a site that is
      focussed on your target customer.

      2. Traffic: You want a site that has lots of visitors in order to make a huge impact. I ran a report using compete.com
      to compare a few of the enterprise review sites listed in this post to
      determine which one had the most traffic. It told me that IT Central Station had the most unique visitors among enterprise review sites, so that was the first sign.

      3. Quality of leads: It’s not just numbers, but quality of leads as
      well. Take a look at the people writing the reviews–are these people
      decision makers or just junior folks who are writing reviews to make a
      few bucks? I saw a lot of VPs and even C-level folks on IT Central
      Station. I haven’t spent enough time on the other sites to see if they
      have these decision makers as well, but I think it’s important.

      Hope that helps!
      Liad

  • Thanks, @liadguez:disqus! Do you have any tips around how companies can determine which review site they should focus their advocates’ energy on?

  • Daniel Kushner

    I can agree to @liadguez:disqus. At my previous job I was purchasing software for the company and used review sites like IT Central Station to validate my purchasing decisions. Found it extremely helpful.

  • Alejandro Cabral

    I am a new yet full G2 Crowd user and I can already say as a platform and community, is really making a big impression out there. I have been on the IT biz for 15 years now, it’s all I do so I’ve come close to many tools as user, administrator, support agent, consultant, etc. For a long time I’ve been gaining knowledge on how to use, market, sell, administer or implement business solutions and even if I’ve exchanged some opinions with peers sometimes, it wasn’t until I found G2 Crowd that I really got to put that knowledge to service. It is amazing how many reviews you can find there, and the fact that it is an open platform, anyone can comment, like, thank, un-like a review or a comment, and even more interesting, it adds the functionality you usually only get through forums: even if you don’t review a solution or product, you can still ask questions around it to other G2 Crowd users.

    It’s all about our experience, not the manufacturers. It is about social media giving us users (and sales reps, and consultants, and engineers) the opportunity not just to “share”, but to actually SHARE our knowledge: you get points when you review, comment, ask or answer questions which helps build up your reputation so it makes it easy to find references and you get to chose whose opinion is of most value to you.

    I really see G2 Crowd setting a new direction when it comes to Social Media as a Service to Business Users…a whole new concept waiting to be exploited.

  • DTM82

    Thanks, Liad, for your interesting commentary. I have not used IT Central Station, so I cannot speak to the number or quality of reviews and reviewers there. However, I have been a top user this past month at G2 Crowd, so I learned the ins and outs of that site and community.

    My response to your tips would be that you will find certain sections within G2 Crowd that have a good saturation of quality reviews where you can find helpful reviews and lively discussions around certain products, particularly in the CRM space. My thought is that G2 Crowd will have fewer unique visitors because they emphasize (through contests, etc.) going viral by referring friends/colleagues and becoming a “power reviewer” while they will at the same time push the best reviews to the top of the pack and the unhelpful or irrelevant reviews out of the way. As far as quality of leads, I disagree with your point that VPs and C-level folks are the best suited to advise on new products and offerings. Give me a review by a power user any day over one submitted by a VP/C-level person who only sees the output of the offering, and this will have more of an impact on validating my decision to go with or avoid a product! I think the polling of senior folks is more of an old-school approach and misses the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” (to quote Shakespeare) that the ground-level folks experience as they use the products and try to achieve meaningful business outcomes.

    I’d welcome other feedback and thoughts in response…and would encourage people to try out G2 Crowd and share their thoughts as well.

    Cheers,
    Dan

  • John Martin

    Wow, IT Central Station has sure figured out how to hijack the comments in this thread! Congrats to your marketing organization. When I see things like that I can’t help but question if that’s how the whole enterprise is run. It certainly reduces my trust in the platform.