Software Reviews Can Be Misleading. TrustRadius Wants to Set the Record Straight.

Built In Austin sat down with three TrustRadius team members who shared what it’s like to work at the mission-driven company.
Written by Brendan Meyer
May 23, 2022Updated: May 24, 2022

It’s Friday night, and you want pizza. You Google pizza places nearby and read Yelp reviews for a restaurant right down the street.

The first review says “Best. Pizza. In. The. WORLD!” But right below that comment, another says “TERRIBLE!” 

Who do you trust?

The answer is neither, because non-specific reviews like these don’t provide much insight. Crowd-sourced reviews are a common problem for users, and not just when evaluating the pizza place down the street. They can be tough to navigate for nearly anything — from the mattress you want to buy on Amazon, to the hotel you might stay at on your next vacation, to a brand new software that could potentially enhance your sales team’s productivity. In the melee of consumer reviews, users reasonably struggle to trust that any platform is providing vetted pros and cons of a certain product.

TrustRadius is trying to solve that pain point — at least in the world of software. Its site connects software buyers and vendors with verified insights and reviews that empower key stakeholders to make informed business decisions on their software needs. 

“Our site is not just full of really happy and really ticked-off people,” Lane Cox, director of sales, said. “There’s a lot of middle ground. We’re trying to improve transparency in a process that can be untransparent and hard for buyers to find information.”

That gray area is why Cox loves working at TrustRadius. She knows that finding the right software for your business is not a black-and-white process. Instead, she’s selling trust, which is a straightforward and worthwhile mission to get behind. Sound like an undertaking you could feel passionate about? You’re in luck. They’re hiring. 

But instead of a simple “Come work with them!” tagline, Built In Austin took a page out of TrustRadius’ book and sat down with three team members to learn why they enjoy working at TrustRadius and what the company culture is like on the ground floor.

 

WHAT THEY DO

Decision-makers across industries rely on verified, peer-based guidance and research from TrustRadius to make informed decisions on their software needs. Software vendors engage and convert high-intent buyers by telling their unique story through rich reviews. Over 12 million visitors a year create and engage with review content and data on TrustRadius’ website.

 

trustradius
TrustRadius

 

Why is it important to believe in what youre selling?

James Casiraghi, senior development manager, engineering: On the engineering front, it’s important to believe in what you’re selling because that allows you to come up with the best engineering solutions without doubting your product. We provide content that helps customers. It’s a product that is easy to get behind and doesn’t feel manipulative, which, compared to many other engineering jobs, is not always the case. I’m excited to build software for this company. 

Kaylin Gilkey, director of SEO and engagement: When it comes to SEO and engagement, it mattered a lot to me that I could get behind our product. We’re helping people make smart business decisions, save money, save time and help their team. This motivates me to always want to improve our processes. How could we make it better and easier for customers? How can we give them the right information? 

Lane Cox, director of sales: In sales, you want to be selling a product that your prospects need. You want to believe in the product because it helps you sell it better. I love that we are providing value for our vendors, and that our customers like working with us. We have a low churn rate and a high retention rate. We’re not being deceptive in the sales process; it’s an open forum. We can show customers intent data. We can work with any vendor that is in the B2B tech space, and provide them value in some way. We’re helping tech marketers be more effective in their jobs.

 

 

How has the pandemic impacted the way people source software products?

Cox: The pandemic had a big impact on our company. All of the trade shows where B2B companies used to pump hundreds of thousands of dollars to get in front of buyers went completely dark for two years. That meant buyers turned to other sources to learn about pieces of technology for their businesses. TrustRadius saw a huge uptick in traffic during that time. Even though it was a trying time throughout the world, the need for businesses to learn about new software solutions never went away.

Gilkey: We saw a huge traffic spike during that time, especially for certain types of software. For instance, our web and video conferencing category went through the roof. We got an unusually high amount of  traffic for people looking for web and video conferencing software, because they might not have had that as part of their tech stack before they had to shut down and go remote.

Casiraghi: On the engineering front, the pandemic became a giant enabler for technology in general. It’s been interesting to see how many companies were forced to rapidly change, whether or not they were in the tech industry. Our engineering team never missed a beat. We started working from home — that was literally our only change. It was cool to see what technology allowed companies to do during this time, and that TrustRadius enabled companies to evolve.

 

FAKE OUT

How does TrustRadius prevent fake reviews? For starters, the company has a review moderation team and also requires each reviewer to link to their LinkedIn page. There’s also a detailed auditing process to make sure that people are using the products they are reviewing, as well as a thorough review approval process that includes a requirement of sharing personal use cases that can’t be found anywhere else.

 

What’s an example of collaboration at TrustRadius? 

Casiraghi: We’re a lean company and we’re always collaborating. For example, we recently had some internal data platform challenges, so Kaylin organized a meeting for all of the various software owners. We hopped on a Zoom call and whiteboarded the state of affairs, identifying low-hanging fruit that we could take immediate business action on to make a quick impact. Then we mapped out long-term goals. Close-knit collaboration is something jobseekers get out of a tech company of our size. You can get everyone together to talk about an issue, and create efficient and timely tangible solutions.

Gilkey: One recent collaborative project was improving the process of how we get our awards on our site. We have many different awards that we bestow to software vendors for their efforts in different areas, such as being the best in their category. It’s been a big effort, especially on the engineering team. There’s a lot of back-end work required in order to get us to where we can actually productize and launch our awards. 

This project was huge for the sales team because now that we have the ability to efficiently productize the awards, her team can talk to vendors and say, “Hey, you haven’t won an award in this category. Let’s talk about that.” It’s been a full-team effort.

 

TrustRadius team members gathered for a company presentation
TrustRadius

 

What’s the culture like at TrustRadius?

Casiraghi: I love how transparent we are. Our company meets every week to provide department statuses. Most places don’t do that, even at our size. I personally enjoy it, because in engineering, you’re usually heads down working on something. This gives me exposure to everything else that is going on.

Cox: We prioritize work-life balance. One thing I enjoy is using a self-care day. Once a month, we’re asked to take a day off for ourselves. I booked a massage on my most recent self-care day, then went shopping for my kid’s birthday party without being stressed out. It was magical. We also have a culture committee that meets consistently to plan charitable events and fun in-person get togethers. For International Women’s Day, we made a charitable donation to the nonprofit, Girls Who Code.

Gilkey: It’s a flat structure here at TrustRadius. Everyone at every level is willing to help someone if they have a question. I can reach out to our CEO Vinay Bhagat at any time and ask him a question. I can reach out to Mike Galyen, our CPO, and brainstorm with him about something. It’s a huge benefit of our culture. We also host fun events! We recently held a pet contest quiz where people submitted photos of their pets, and everyone had to guess whose pet was whose. I ended up winning, and the prize was a $50 gift card!

 

LEAVE A REVIEW

Working for a company that prides itself on vetted reviews has bled into the personal lives of many TrustRadius employees. Casiraghi has found himself filling out more surveys whenever he makes an online purchase. And after a recent fishing trip, Gilkey’s fishing guide asked if she’d leave a review, which she gladly did. “Because I knew how valuable that information and insight is for both the fishing guide company, and for a potential customer.”

 

If you were writing a review of your team at TrustRadius for jobseekers, what would it say?

Casiraghi: The engineering team expects you to make a huge impact right out of the gate. We have nothing but upside for breaking a part and building our systems anew. We have a lot of long-lead goal items. We have new technology, new infrastructure, and highly visible new features, which is pretty exciting for engineers. Rather than working on a boring assortment of random tickets, you’re going to work on critical pieces from day one.

Gilkey: We love fresh ideas on the SEO team. If you have an idea that you want to try that you think would be helpful for our users and would create more traffic, we want to hear it. We’re always experimenting. There’s a lot of upside to joining our team, and there are a lot of areas that the business needs to grow. Therefore our team is a great fit for hungry knowledge-seekers and collaborators who are open to sharing ideas and learning from each other on a regular basis.

Cox: I would give working at TrustRadius a five-star review because you’re making a huge impact within the company. The projects you work on affect the company today, but also the future of the company. I also love how I’m surrounded by extremely intelligent people that I learn from every day. Lastly, professional growth is prioritized. Each of us in this interview started in a different role than we are in today. We’ve all been promoted at least once. TrustRadius rewards hard work. 

 

Jobs at TrustRadius

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