B2B Lead Generation: Edelman Trust Factor 2011: Credentials Count More Than Ever

Do Salespeople want more leads? Yes, indeed!


Trust in experts rises—and after years of being at or near the bottom, CEO s see increase in credibility.

If you are looking to improve sales leads using B2B lead generation strategies, you need to build trust with prospective buyers.

The Edelman Trust Factor 2011 shares some remarkable insights for business leaders. More than ever, you need to forge deep relationships with outside experts. This is just a small bit of what is in the full report. Click here for the Executive Summary.

Here is what the study said:

Trust in all credentialed spokespeople is higher this year, signaling a desire for authority and accountability—a likely result of the skepticism wrought by last year’s string of corporate crises. Since 2009, academics and experts—long the front-runners—earned another eight points to climb to 70 percent.

For the first time, the Barometer asked about the credibility of a company’s technical expert who is , in turn, deemed “very” or “extremely credible” by a vast majority (64 percent). CEOs are now in the top tier of trustworthy spokespeople, a striking shift from two years ago when they sat second from the bottom (figure 7). Fifty percent say CEOs are credible spokespeople about a company, a 19-point increase over 2009.

By contrast , a “person like me” dropped by four points globally in that time, falling from the top three to the bottom two, virtually swapping spots with the CEO. This may be a result of changing attitudes about what constitutes “a person like me,” rather than an indication of a significant decrease in the actual credibility of peer-to-peer communication. With some estimates indicating that the average Facebook user does not know one-fifth of the 500 people typically listed as friends on his or her page, it is reasonable to ask whether the meaning of the word “friend”—and by association “a person like me”—has become devalued.

In the wake of last year’s crises, the Barometer posed a series of questions about who should speak for a company in a challenging time. “Multiple voices” is the first conclusion drawn, as CEOs, third parties, company chairmen, and technical experts all have a role to play when a company confronts a crisis. In the case of a product recall , the technical expert and the CEO are the preferred spokespeople (30 percent and 37 percent,respectively). In a situation where the local communi ty has been damaged, more people want to hear from the CEO (38 percent) than they do a third-party representative(17 percent), government official (12 percent), or company technical expert (11 percent).

What are you doing to find the respected experts in your industry?

To ensure they get full credit, we added the
About Edelman
Edelman is the world’s largest independent public relations firm, with wholly owned offices in 53 cities and 3,700 employees worldwide. Edelman was named AdvertisingAge’s top-ranked PR firm of the decade and one of its “2010 A-List Agencies” and “2010 Best Places to Work;” European Excellence Awards’ “2010 Agency of the Year;” PRWeek’s “2009 Agency of the Year;” Holmes Report’s “Agency of the Decade”and “2009 Asia Pacific Consultancy of the Year;” and among Glassdoor’s top five “2011 Best Places to Work.” Edelman owns specialty firms Blue (advertising), StrategyOne (research), Ruth (integrated marketing), DJE Science (medical education/publishing and science communications), and MATTER (sports, sponsorship, and entertainment). Visit http://www.edelman.com for more information.

Jeff Ogden is President of Find New CustomersLead Generation Made Simple” Check out the online show every Friday at 11am ET, “Laugh and Learn with the Fearless Competitor.” Find New Customers is one of few lead generation companies in New York. Follow Jeff on Twitter or download the free white paper on B2B lead generation.

How to Find New Customers

Find New Customers helps companies like yours(with 150 to 5,000 employees and complex products)implement lead generation programs to improve the way you find and acquire high quality sales leads using best practices in online lead generation.

Quality sales leads matter. In fact, a recent study found that sales teams with fewer, high quality sales leads closed more than sales teams with more leads of dubious quality.

If you wish to do sales lead generation online, contact the B2B lead generationexperts at Find New Customers. Use the form below to send me a personal note or Leave a Reply to post a permanent comment on this article.