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Test Planning

Recruiting and Selecting B2B Beta Testers

March 28, 2017

Recruiting the right beta testers is crucial to the success of any beta test, but it can be especially challenging when running tests for B2B (business to business) products. B2B products need customer validation just as much (if not more) as B2C products, but it can be incredibly challenging to get good feedback from people that are already busy with their jobs.

One of the factors that make B2B beta tests unique is that your testers tend to be your existing customers. B2B beta tests also tend to have fewer testers, which means getting quality feedback from each and every tester is critical. We promise that your product has super users that would love to give you feedback, it’s just a matter of finding them. Here are some tips for ensuring that you find the quality testers you need.

Use Your Marketing, Sales, & Support Teams

A good place to start recruiting testers is by connecting with other departments in your organization that already have contact with your customers or an understanding of your customers’ needs. The members of the marketing, sales, and support teams may even have top customer lists that you can use to start finding ideal testers. Also, since these teams often have established relationships with your customers, they could provide insight into which customers would be great testers.

In order to make this strategy successful, it’s important to have a process in place. This can include selecting people from these departments first to help you recruit customer testers. For example, you can send an email to your sales team, inform them of the benefits of the beta test for them and for their customers, and ask them to invite customers to join. To make the process even easier and to increase the chances of your sales team reaching out, consider sending them an email template to send to their customers outlining the requirements and benefits of joining the beta test.

Create an Application Process

After you’ve obtained a list of interested customers from your sales, marketing, or support teams, it’s important that you create an application process. Depending on how long your recruitment process takes, some of the customers who told your sales team they would participate may have agreed months ago and may now be unable to participate or no longer be interested. Recruiting testers that aren’t interested in your beta will just result in testers that don’t provide valuable feedback. To make sure your customers still want to be a part of your beta, you’ll want to create an opt-in application process where they can confirm their interest in becoming a tester shortly before your test begins.

Recruit Multiple People From One Company

As with any beta test, you should recruit more testers than you need. Luckily, for B2B beta tests, this means you can and should recruit multiple testers from within each organization. Different individuals at one organization may be using your product in different ways, so it’s important that you try and get feedback from as many perspectives as you can. And, if an individual tester is unable to participate in the test, you’ll still have feedback from other members from the same company.

When recruiting testers from companies you want involved in your beta test, consider recruiting a primary tester that you have a previous relationship with. They may be able to help you recruit others from within that organization who’ll be able to provide valuable feedback as well.

Always Communicate the ‘Why’

Finally, to really make sure that you are recruiting testers who will be active in providing feedback, it’s crucial that you consider why your testers are testing your product and understand what their expectations are. Since they will be taking time from their busy work day to participate in your test, it’s important to clearly outline the benefits to both the company and the individual. Ensuring that your testers have a strong enough “why” for participating will help ensure that you meet your beta test goals.

B2B tests can be daunting, but by implementing the right strategies when selecting your testers, you’ll ensure that you get the valuable feedback you need to launch a successful product.

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