Referrals are the lifeblood of any successful B2B Marketing program but is perhaps the most under utilized tool for demand generation today. People are 4X more likely to buy a product when it is referred to them by a friend! With traditional marketing techniques taking such a huge hit in effectiveness – businesses are looking for new ways to fill the funnel. Make referrals part of your new year by formalizing the process, making it part of your sale and activating your customer base!
Formalize the process – Let your team know you are setting up a robust referral program complete with KPI’s and ownership. Create a referral portal to log and track referrals or look to companies like Influitive to do it for you. We recommend incentives for referrals such as a 5% referral bonus or a free month of service. You most certainly want to involve your employees and offer the incentives to them as well. Kick the campaign off with a press release and a quote from your executives. Look to traditional sources to promote your new initiative such as your website, social sites, and blog but also look at non-traditional sites such as your app’s log in page or the email signature of your customer success team.
Make it part of your sale – Referrals don’t have to just come from existing customers, they can come from prospects as well.
- First Call: Can you think of anyone else within your organization that would be a good fit?
- Presentation: Can you think of anyone else within your network that would be a good fit?
- Negotiation: Exchange discounts for a promise of referrals
- Customer: Ask for referrals during the honeymoon stage – 30 days after the contract is signed.
Activate your Customer Base – Of course the most likely referral will come from a satisfied customer. 83% of satisfied customers are likely to recommend your company to their peers but how do you know which customers are most satisfied? We use the simple NPS score of asking customers on a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being the highest) how likely they are to recommend us to friends or family. NPS is usually used as a success metric but if you receive an 9 or 10 – turn that data around quickly for a referral. But be proactive as well – find the most active users on your site and contact them for a referral and make the referral process as part of the customer success experience. Customers that have had an issue resolved are happy customers and more willing to share their positive experience in the form of a referral.
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Referrals are in places outside of your line of site as well. Look up your company is user forums such as G2 Crowd, TrustRadius, or Capterra. Search your enablement community or complementary technologies for positive recommendations online and turn kind words into referrals as well.
A referred customer has 16% higher lifetime value than customers acquired through other methods so it is definitely worth the time to get a formalized referral plan in place.