When you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Imagine owning a stocked toolbox and grabbing a hammer for every job. It does a handful of things very well, but why limit yourself when all those tools can do so much more?
Customer reviews on G2 are a powerful tool for B2B software. They establish your brand as trustworthy and authoritative, and help drive pipeline growth. But most CEOs don’t realize that G2 is an incredible solution for more than just acquiring buyers.
In this guide, you’ll learn why G2 is a valuable addition to the CEO’s toolkit beyond sales and marketing needs.
Why G2 matters to CEOs
G2 is where you go for software. Software companies leverage their G2 profiles to collect customer feedback and persuade potential buyers. At the highest level, this is how most folks tend to think about G2.
G2 is the place for B2B software brands to increase their visibility and convert new customers:
- Over 6M+ monthly buyers
- More than 1.8M+ authentic user reviews
- 160K+ software vendors across 2K+ product categories
B2B software marketers look to G2 for building your brand and driving pipeline, while the sales team focuses on converting buyers.
Acquiring leads and closing deals are the lifeblood of any software company. CEOs need to care about these things, but they mostly care about the bigger picture - to reach the right VCs at the right time for funding.
In the eyes of a CEO, G2’s potential as a tool for research can impact:
- How venture capitalists (VCs) and private equity (PE) research and mold how they perceive your company.
- Know which VCs and PE companies are researching you right now.
- How to identify new strategic partnerships and acquisitions.
- How top talent discovers your brand and assesses employment opportunities.
Understanding how VCs and PE firms use G2
CEOs bolster their chances of success in their fundraising efforts by prioritizing a strong presence on G2. Let’s explore how VCs and private equity firms use G2 to see how you can use it to your advantage.
It’s worth mentioning that VCs and private equity firms can use G2 just like software buyers. But most opt to use G2’s Investor Solutions, a more comprehensive tool to analyze our extensive database of software vendors.
Investors use G2 to identify potential investments
G2 is a massive marketplace across countless industries and covers numerous software categories, which is why PE firms and VCs view G2 as a reliable tool for market research.
Imagine the day-to-day of a VC. They scour the world for new opportunities to become early investors. By using customer feedback and third-party, independent research from G2, they can assess strong candidates and engage with start-ups before competing investors get a chance.
A key goal for them is to identify companies that fit their investment criteria and are making strides or significant moves relative to their competitors or within their product categories. Such moves can include:
- Increases in reviews
- Increases in traffic
- Changes in who is researching (like higher enterprise research)
- Increases in competitiveness based on G2 review data
VCs and private equity firms need more than just a good product and founders they like when researching new investment targets. G2 helps VCs gauge long-term demand by understanding market sentiment about different software.
G2 data justifies investments
Once a VC has identified a vendor, they need a bit more qualitative research to dig deeper. A good starting point for them is to ask questions like:
- Do they care about reviews and the voice of their customers?
- What are their customers saying about them?
- How do they compare with their competitors?
- What’s their momentum on G2?
- Who is researching them on G2?
Then comes the hard part for the VC: justifying their investment. We’ve increasingly seen VCs using G2’s data as part of this justification. While review data is essential, it goes well beyond that. VCs and private equity firms will use G2 to source some of the other pieces of crucial market research data, such as:
- Contract length
- Performance trends
3 ways CEOs use G2 to maximize fundraising
Considering the kind of impact this research can have, let’s take a look at a few key ways CEOs can extract the most value from G2 to secure more funding.
Strengthening brand presence
A good place to start is to ensure that your brand has a fully optimized G2 profile. With this foundation in place, you’ll make it easier for VCs and private equity firms to discover your brand on G2.
The best part of all: there’s no extra cost. What comes with your G2 profile is the same as what your sales and marketing teams use in your current plan. The idea here is to ensure you’re adding as much relevant information about your software as possible and that you’re actively driving customers to submit reviews.
CEOs with a more proactive involvement on G2 see a higher overall ROI. A greater executive focus on their G2 profile typically yields more reviews, which translates to more traffic, brand recognition, and pipeline.
Citing G2 in supporting content
You know just how much VCs and private equity trust in G2 for researching new investment opportunities.
CEOs should use as much data as possible to show why their company is a sound investment for VCs. Citing your profile data and other G2 reports goes a long way in demonstrating the strength of your brand by empowering your customers to be another voice that tells your story.
How to use G2 data with VCs
Consider incorporating G2 data right into your pitch decks and other fundraising materials. There’s a wealth of information at your disposal, so here are a few use cases to explore:
- Use a G2 Grid to show leadership in your software category.
- Demonstrate recent growth through a G2 Momentum Grid. These reports compile data like user satisfaction scores, employee growth, and digital presence over the last year to illustrate how a product experiences growth in its respective spaces.
- Leverage data points to show your competitiveness in satisfaction areas, certain features, or what you deliver to your customers.
- Show your success with your G2 Badges and star ratings.
- Give competitor comparisons and show why you are better.
Using G2 Buyer Intent to identify investors
There’s much more to G2 than what it can illustrate about your brand. If you have access to G2 Buyer Intent data, you can find out which accounts are researching your company.
Most use cases for G2 Buyer Intent data are to fuel intent-driven campaigns and account-based marketing (ABM) efforts. However, these insights can reveal more than new prospects.
Our Buyer Intent data can validate which VCs show strong interest in you. You can either get confirmation of ones you’ve already engaged with or identify fresh opportunities and reach out to those VCs discovering you on G2.
Pro tip: Every free G2 profile gets access to 4 buyer intent leads per month at no extra cost. Check out The Buyer Intent Playbook to learn how to get the most from intent data.
How G2 helps CEOs find other opportunities
There’s more to G2 for CEOs than fundraising efforts. Let’s explore how you can use it for identifying new partnerships, researching new acquisition targets, and attracting the world’s top talent.
Using G2 to source strategic partnerships
Similar to how a VC uses G2 to research vendors, CEOs on the lookout for potential strategic partners should use G2 in the same way. If a vendor has a really strong G2 profile, you’ve likely found yourself a strong match for a new partner.
When you have a sense of the types of vendors you want to engage with, establish criteria that can help you assess which ones make the most sense for your goals. Just like how you would use G2 data to justify your company to a VC, G2 is a powerful research tool to dig into these opportunities.
You want to mutually benefit one another, and a strategic partner has to see the value in the partnership, too. Citing G2 data can signify your track record, especially if you are a start-up or don’t have an extensive history of partnerships. Similarly, you can apply this logic to sourcing and engaging potential channel partners.
Use case: Find strategic partnerships with G2
Let’s say your product is a comprehensive CRM platform. You want to expand on current capabilities, and a partnership makes the most sense. You seek to partner with a customer success platform so your product can leverage functionalities like surveys and team interactions. The process might look like this:
- Research the customer success software category on G2.
- Compile a list of vendors that meet the high-level criteria you’re looking for in a partnership.
- Perform a deeper analysis by digging into the data (eg. features, customer reviews, momentum, etc.) and scoring vendors by opportunity.
- Compare vendors amongst each other, ideally by shortlisting or creating a ranking list. For example, it may be more enticing for a customer success platform if they don’t already partner with a competing CRM platform.
- Begin outreach and engage target partners.
- Cite your G2 data to make the case for why your company and the vendor are a great match.
Researching potential acquisitions
As vendors continue to mature, many eventually explore opportunities to acquire other companies to expand on their offerings or tap into new audiences. Again, this is a prime use case where G2 can be an essential research tool CEOs need to keep in their back pocket.
You can follow a similar process for sourcing new strategic partnerships where G2 has the data to aid in your search. The key part of this is understanding what criteria you need to qualify target acquisitions, so make sure that you first figure this out.
Keep in mind that G2 is also a useful tool if you are seeking to make your company an acquisition target. Whether you’re looking for new acquisition targets or preparing your company for a potential acquisition, G2 can help accomplish these goals.
Use case: Using G2 to Identify acquisition targets
Imagine you are the CEO of a marketing automation platform that caters to the non-profit industry. You don’t have the capability to manage and trigger SMS communications, but it makes more sense to acquire a company that can. Here’s one way you should use G2 to find those potential targets.
- Browse the entire SMS marketing software category on G2.
- Check the latest G2 Grid Report for software in this category.
- Filter by company size, selecting either “Small Business” or “Mid-Market” since these vendors will be more open to acquisition opportunities.
- Document the companies with high satisfaction and the right blend of market presence.
- Like with strategic partnerships, shortlist your favorites or prioritize which companies you’ll begin to contact.
- Use G2 data to justify the purchase to executive leadership.
Attracting top talent
Much like how buyers will start their research on G2, potential candidates also want to know how a company is performing in the market. In addition to career sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor, G2 customer reviews show job applicants more than what other employees say about working for a vendor.
Many workers want to understand if customers like a vendor’s offerings and how a company approaches adversity. A strong candidate might have second thoughts about joining your company if reviews consistently complain about bugs or unresponsive customer support.
Top workers want to be a part of teams that have passion for their product and are staunch advocates for their customers. They also want to see how a vendor stacks up against its competitors and assess whether a company will thrive long-term.
Use case: G2 entices top candidates
You’re on the hunt for a new director of customer success for your ERP software company. You have a strong team in place, but you see an opportunity to bring in an external hire to strengthen things a bit more.
How do you think your top candidates would feel if they saw several reviews like this with no response from your company?
“I used to love this product, but things have been pretty rough in the last few months. On top of a complicated new design, we keep running into certain things not working. Support has been far less than helpful, with response times of 2 weeks or more! Our customer experience contact is a nice guy, but they rarely help us resolve our issues.”
Upgrade your CEO toolbox
Hammers are perfect for some jobs, but others need a screwdriver or a saw. Customer reviews are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how CEOs need to approach G2.
Key takeaways for CEOs leveraging the power of G2:
- Fundraising is the most prominent use case for founders by using a solid profile and amazing reviews to attract VCs.
- G2 data can justify your company to investors by enriching pitch content and communications.
- Buyer Intent data identifies which VCs are most interested in your brand.
- A strong presence on G2 aids in sourcing strategic partnerships and top talent.
Ready to use G2 to its full potential? Book time with your marketing team and a G2 Specialist to understand how your SaaS product can take off on G2.