Long gone are the days in which B2B brands could just cold call a list of leads to build their customer bases. In fact, your company’s reputation makes up about one quarter of its value. As the world becomes more connected, so do businesses within your industry. As such, your company’s reputation may precede your sales team when they make calls.

Creating and upholding a stellar reputation in your industry can make life easier for you and your sales team. Instead of answering questions about who you are or trying to overcome negative preconceptions, you can spend your time closing the sale.

However, business owners who have tried this on their own will tell you that building an excellent reputation is not easy. While reputation management is a complex process, you can start by ensuring your business possesses each of the top four traits of reputable B2B brands.

Build an Excellent Online Reputation

If you want to establish yourself as the best vendor of your kind, you need an eye-catching online reputation. It’s not enough to post to a Facebook page every once in a while and ask your network to write positive reviews. You must take a more proactive role in online reputation management.

Sixty-two percent of B2B buyers would rather learn about products and vendors online than anywhere else. They do not want to learn about your product from your sales team, no matter how knowledgeable the team is. Instead, they want to read real reviews from your customers.

The type of person who makes B2B buying decisions has changed in recent years. As of 2018, about half of all of these decision-makers are millennials--or digital natives. Millennials go to the internet to look for reviews before they buy as consumers and they do the same in their jobs as well. Make sure your online reputation isn’t phony, because digital natives often see right through it.

When you think of the return on investment, online reviews are incredibly powerful. A product with just five reviews can sell 270% faster than the same product with no reviews. While reviews are not the only factor in online reputation, they are a vital part and demonstrate the importance.

Clean Up Your Phone Skills

Salesforce recently reported that 92 percent of customer interactions take place over the phone. This is great if you have a charming and effective sales team on your phones. However, the same report found that eighty-five percent of customers are not satisfied with their phone interactions.

It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out how bad these statistics can be for your business. Think of it as an opportunity to stand out. Be the business that gives your clients positive phone experiences. Think through what you would want and give that to your customers.

Invest time into making your phone menu concise and easy to understand. Ensure your sales members sound clear and treat people kindly over the phone. Reconsider your hold music. Anything that leaves people with pleasant feelings after they hang up will help your reputation.

Provide Industry Insights

Even if your product is perfect, your reviews glow with praise and your phone team gets results, you won’t reach your full potential if your company does not demonstrate industry leadership.

Thought leadership should start on your website and exist in every part of your business. Sixty-six percent of B2B buyers say that they want vendor websites to address their challenges directly. Excellent content marketing and website copy can help you meet these demands. In fact, three-quarters of these buyers say that relevant content on a vendor’s website played a crucial role in buying decisions.

Even more buyers want to see industry expertise in sales teams. A whopping 92 percent of respondents want to hear from salespeople who demonstrate that they know what challenges their businesses face and how to help. Consider ways that you can help your sales team reach that goal.

Be Trustworthy

Through all of your interactions with customers, you should strive to build trust above all else. The B2B industry has a massive disconnect between buyers and vendors on this front. Forbes reports that although 85 percent of vendors say they are honest about their products, only 36 percent of buyers feel that way about their vendors.

Overcome these odds by making trustworthiness a priority. One way to do this is simply by keeping your promises. For example, if you say the shipment will arrive by a certain date, make sure that it does. Similarly, do not exaggerate the features of your product. Be honest about what it can do.

Even if you already operate as honestly as you can, you can still suffer from appearing dishonest or inauthentic. Don’t overload your copy with sales language. Instead, think about what your customers really need and provide it. Talk to them as individuals and they will return the favor with trust.

Your brand’s reputation keeps money on the line. With a stellar online reputation, excellent phone conversations, an understanding of your customers, and an authentic tone, you can build a reputation that boosts your business.