Views on Reviews is a new series of interviews with B2B SaaS professionals who will provide a real-world perspective on what it’s like working on reviews. My fifth interview is with Sam Shepler, Founder and CEO of Testimonial Hero.
Sam Shepler is the Founder & CEO of Testimonial Hero, a video testimonial creation service for B2B software marketers. Testimonial Hero helps HubSpot, UiPath, Medallia, Hopin, and many other B2B SaaS stars let their customers shine in video testimonials.
Sam and his team helped bring several of PartnerStack’s customer success stories to life, including Aircall, CallRail, Gorgias, Monday.com and Omnisend.
Let’s see Sam’s views on reviews.
1. You’re the founder of Testimonial Hero. Can you tell us the abridged version of your founder story, specifically the market need you saw for video testimonials in B2B SaaS?
2. One of the challenges that you’ve highlighted B2B businesses having with customer reviews is simply bringing them to life. We explored that together in the blog post How to Combine Testimonials, Case Studies and Reviews to Create Powerful Social Proof. Can you elaborate on why video testimonials help bring written reviews to life?
3. You host a podcast, The State of Customer Storytelling. Now that you’re 23 episodes in, what learnings have your guests shared on or related to the topic of reviews?
4. One of the most used and possibly overused words right now in B2B SaaS marketing is “authenticity”. Some seem to suggest that “unpolished” means “authentic”. What does authenticity mean to you? And what makes for an authentic customer testimonial or review?
5. Measuring the value of testimonials and reviews can be tricky. How do you advise your B2B SaaS clients to measure it?
6. As a Founder and CEO, how do you “sell” the idea of investing resources in customer testimonials to your founder and CEO peers? And what questions do they typically ask?
7. B2B Marketers often look to B2C Marketers for inspiration. Do you see anything in today’s B2C customer storytelling that B2B Marketers should look to incorporate into their own customer storytelling?
8. You’ve added G2 reviews to the Testimonial Hero Customers page. Can you tell us about how that came to be?
9. How does Testimonial Hero approach review generation on G2? And does Testimonial Hero generate reviews on any other reviews site?
10. With testimonials and reviews going hand in hand, have you explored or would you be open to partnering with any of the business software review sites?
11. You shared a great tip on how to use video testimonials to also get more 3rd party reviews. What other tips do you have on how to ask for a testimonial or a review?
12. When deciding who to ask for a testimonial, what criteria do you recommend B2B vendors use?
- Written reviews are fantastic and need to be a part of everyone’s advocacy strategy, but tone can get lost in text. With video testimonials, you can actually feel a person’s emotions and see and hear them light up. There’s trustworthiness there that is unmatched, aside from getting someone on a 1-1 reference call.
- Video testimonials and written reviews play well together. As a vendor, you can mine your written reviews for great stories to follow up on and turn them into video testimonials. You can also repurpose the transcript of a video testimonial into written review content that you can share with a review candidate.
- Authenticity in video testimonials comes down to the viewing audience being able to answer the question, “Is this credible? Is this a genuine opinion, or is this too forced or scripted?” The production value of the video is irrelevant to its authenticity.
- B2C marketers use the power of reviews and testimonial quantity to create more social proof. There is strength in numbers.
- When asking for a testimonial or a review, come from a place of genuine curiosity, tell the customer how long they should expect it to take and why it will help.
- Include Sales when you’re deciding which customers to ask for reviews. Sales can tell you which industries and personas will have the most value right now.