According to a new report from influitive and Heinz Marketing:
Referral programs generate more revenue: Although only one in three B2B organizations (“business to business” firms like law firms) have a formalized referral program today, those that do enjoy significantly higher sales, lower acquisition costs and far better relationships between the sales and marketing organizations. Furthermore, more than 70% of companies with formalized referral programs are on pace to meet or exceed their 2015 revenue goals – far exceeding those without referral programs in place currently.
Referral programs make sales and marketing efforts more effective: More than half of those with formalized referral programs ranked their sales efforts as highly effective, compared to only 35% of those without referral programs in place. Another 51% of companies with referral programs rated their effectiveness at maintaining sales pipelines as very effective vs. just 32% of those without referral programs.
Heintz Marketing and influitive surveyed more than 600 B2B professionals from across North America – including sales, marketing, operations and executive leadership.
According to the report "What You Should Know About B2b Referrals (But Probably Don't)," there are six referral program requirements.
- Community: Do your customers exist together only on a spreadsheet, or do you foster an environment in which they can learn from each other, interact, and make the coordination of “asks” and referrals easier?
- Customer channels: Most referral “programs” rely solely on random acts of email. What broader, multi-media channels can you leverage to engage your customers? How do you earn more of their attention to foster greater delight and referral opportunities?
- Content: You can't just ask for referrals again and again. Surround your customers with value-added content, and get them involved in creating interactive content for and with you.
- Context: When you ask for referrals is just as important as how often. Find points of particular delight along the customer journey, and be specific about the people in your customers' network from whom you want a referral.
- Collaboration: Clearly the most effective referral programs in this survey were managed by marketing, but it is a complete, integrated process and partnership between sales and marketing that works the best.
- Infrastructure: Put tools and process in place to make referrals more consistent and easier to manage, plus faster/easier to distribute among the appropriate sales resources for follow up.
Click to get your copy of the report.