Let’s start at the beginning: an opportunity analysis.
Step 1: Understand the current impact of referrals in your business
In our own business, referrals account for at least 35% of sales. And, referred opportunities close 4x faster and are usually 13% higher value.
We know they’re efficient and valuable. The ROI of investing in referrals is clear for us internally.
To make the case for your business, the first step in building your process is to do a similar analysis—understanding the impact of referrals already in your business.
Only then can you argue why referrals should get the sales & marketing team’s focus.
Step 2: Find your potential referrers
This is where your Net Promoter Program steps in to save the day.
The NPS question asks about willingness to refer, pretty perfect.
Your ‘Promoters’—those leaving a score of 9 or 10—are where to focus.
If you follow our NPS program best practices you’ll know that surveying multiple contacts in each account, at a higher frequency through the year, and actually closing the loop = your route to getting more of these promoters.
The more promoters, the more customers ready and willing to refer.
Step 3: Leverage Account Experience insights to find more referrers
In last week’s email we shared the SWOT graph (below). It comes from CustomerGauge’s product and pulls in CX insights from multiple touchpoints and data sources to help you identify opportunities.
SmartBear used this strategy, combined with a driver analysis, to identify accounts ready to refer.
For example, if a survey responder mentions your ‘product’ being their driver of satisfaction, that indicates they’re getting a lot of value from the product itself and would likely put their reputation on the line to refer it to a friend.
Step 4: Activate your referrers
You may think here that it’s important to reach-out to the willing customer and prompt them with “please refer us!”.
But, that’s just one tactic. There are actually several softer actions you can take.
In reality there are many softer actions you can take to leverage your Promoters:
They’re all powerful forms of social proof for your brand and they also work to bring that customer closer into your community—only fuelling their love of your product and team.
This step has an element of content-based networking, where you co-create something with your customers. Content-based networking gives you an opportunity to work with them and build beyond the typical provider-purchaser relationship.
Our podcast is an example of just that. Our happy customers love to come on the podcast and chat about their CX wins, and we love hearing about them.
Step 5: Arm your customers with content
It’s easy to forget when you understand your message and product value deeply, but your customers aren’t always pros at selling you.
You should equip your referrers with downloadable PDFs that explain the product, tackle objections and wow anyone who receives them.
Step 6: Reward and thank your customers
In B2B, your customers are likely not going to be motivated by money-based rewards. It’s often discouraged or even forbidden by their by-laws.
However, you can still make non-personal incentives work. Product trainings, free trainings, conference passes, or gift cards are an option.
“Benefit when they sign up” is a classic option that we come across all the time.
For example, when I shared my Airtable (an online database that works similarly to Excel) file with a colleague last week for a review, I received $10 in Airtable credit automatically.
I didn’t even know it was coming, but they rewarded me anyway for spreading awareness about their product.
Step 7: Measure the impact
Measuring a referral program’s success = critical to its longevity and continued impact.
We harp on about connecting customer experience programs to revenue for the same reason.
If you can draw a straight line from your work to revenue growth you’ll unlock more and more resources to continue your work. The success rate will only compound.
If you aren’t already, make sure you ask any new customer “How did you hear about us?”. It shouldn’t surprise any Net Promoter fans that one small question can bring a wealth of insights to the table.
Download the full guide to B2B CX-driven referral marketing here to get additional details on all the above.