It’s not you, it’s devs

Maybe you’ve experienced something like this at your own company, where somehow along the journey we've decided to treat buyers and devs like mice in a maze, where you want to see a demo, and before you know it, you have to wait two to three weeks just so you can see the product.

Your buyers have now lost urgency. They’ve maybe found someone else who‘s engaged them on solving their problem faster, and at the end of the day, you probably lose out on that sell.

Trust Radius released a study in 2022 called the B2B Buying Disconnect. And what they found was that 81% of people want transparent pricing, 70% want free demos or trials, and 40% say if they have to contact sales, they’re less likely to buy from a vendor.

When marketing to devs, they can sniff out any kind of sales-y-ness, so you don't want to ultimately burn the bridge, you don't want them to be done, and you don't want to turn them off. You really want to be able to build trust.

All of this is to say that it's not you, it's devs. Devs are super busy, they have time constraints, and they're usually looking for something in the moment. They don't really have time to engage with the sales rep, and they may feel that talking to sales is taking away from their time when they could be working on a more important task.

Devs have a preference for self-serve; they want to find the information, they want to go figure it out, and they don't want to have to engage with sales.

And lastly, they want to be able to get the information that they need in order to go and figure out things right.

For these reasons, you can see how providing devs with the information and support they need to make decisions without having to engage with sales is super important when it comes to actually building that trust.

The 5 must-haves to earn trust with developers

So how are we going to win the hearts and minds of developers? It ultimately requires more education and less promotion. So, let's walk through the why and the what, but also the how.

I put together some of these best practices for earning trust. I tried to pick out some that I thought were a little bit off the beaten path, and then tried to showcase companies that I think are doing really well at earning trust in order to drive those conversions.

Create content that devs want

Yes, you've heard it before, content marketing is super important. But what I want to talk about too is the better content that you create.

I love this quote from Ashley Smith, former CMO of GitLab. She said:

“Engineers are naturally curious people who will be far more are interested in content that teaches them something rather than just trying to get them to buy.”

So, it begs the question, what makes great content? What's going to give them something that's going to be educational?

The key elements of great content is that it’s useful, unique, and aligned. Devs are pragmatic, they're solution oriented, and they want content that's going to get to the point and address the question of, How does this solve my problem?

Devs differ from normal audiences in that they’re grounded in reality. They want straightforward answers that are void of vague statements or fluff pieces.

So, start thinking about this when you're developing your own content. Is it useful? Is it unique? Am I putting forth a fresh perspective? And is it aligned? This is also important. I can drive a ton of traffic at the top of the funnel, but if it’s not aligned to our business goals, there has to be this Venn diagram of overlap.

Here are some companies that I think are doing this really well.

The first one is Stack Overflow. Yes, they're big, but I love a couple of things about what they're doing. For example, multiple types of content. They've got the latest news, they've got a newsletter, they've got a podcast, and they do a really great job of helping you figure out what kind of content you might want.

But what's also extremely interesting that you’ll notice is that Cassidy Williams doesn't even work at Stack Overflow. She's a CTO, she's started her own business and she's over here doing something else, but she's still helping them curate that information.

Takeaway number one to think about with your own content is, how can you pull in influencers? How can you pull in other types of devs to help you curate content that’s super helpful for your target audience?

The second company is Algolia. I love this example of their inspiration library. When you have a very horizontal product, it’s being able to showcase different types of content by giving them inspiration and showing them different types of things that you can solve.

Break it down by use cases, and what you've done here is aggregated a way to show what your product can do in a very useful and authentic way.

And lastly, here's a really cool resource: go check out Contenda. Cassidy, who I just mentioned, is the CTO of this company. And what I found to be really fun and cool when I was researching it is that they're using AI to ultimately reformat your content.

Let's say you have a blog post, you can put it in Contenda and it can spit out a Twitter thread and put out a LinkedIn post for it. Imagine creating one type of content and then being able to remix it into different types of content with no extra work from you.