More than 600 B2B sales and marketing professionals agree that formalized referral programs are key to hitting revenue targets.

Toronto, ON – Finally, something B2B sales executives, front-line sales reps and marketers can agree on: B2B companies are more likely to achieve their revenue goals when they have a marketing-led referral program supported by relevant technology.

New benchmark research on referral programs from Influitive, the advocate marketing experts, and B2B sales and marketing acceleration firm Heinz Marketing reveals that:

  • Referrals convert better, close faster and have a higher lifetime value than other types of leads.
  • B2B companies are 3X more likely to reach their revenue targets when the marketing department has primary responsibility for a formalized referral program, or when referral tools or software are used.
  • Formal referral programs help B2B companies generate 2X more high-quality referrals.
  • Despite these facts, only one in three B2B organizations have a formalized referral program and less than one quarter have programs managed by marketing, or supported by technology.

“The findings of our research are clear: if you want to accelerate revenue growth, a referral program must be a key part of your strategy, marketing must own that program, and you should leverage technology to create a better referral process,” says Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing Inc. “It’s absolutely shocking to see how few B2B companies have these three key elements in place.”

“The responsibility for generating referrals can’t rest solely on the shoulders of front-line sales reps. Simply asking individual prospects and clients for one-off referrals won’t get you to your revenue goals,” says Jim Williams, Vice President of Marketing at Influitive. “Instead, sales leaders must turn to their counterparts in marketing, who have the budget, creativity and technology to generate referral business at scale.”

B2B organizations with referral programs reported that they are more likely to meet or exceed their 2015 revenue goals primarily due to more effective sales efforts and pipeline management:

  • 55% of those with formalized referral programs ranked their sales efforts as highly effective, compared to 35% of those without referral programs in place.  
  • 51% of companies with referral programs rated their effectiveness at maintaining sales pipelines as very effective, versus just 32% of those without referral programs.
  • 45% of those with formalized referral programs report their conversion of referrals to closed deals has increased, compared to 21% of those without formal programs.

For further analysis and more detailed findings, download the report: What You Should Know About B2B Referrals (But Probably Don’t)

About Heinz Marketing

Heinz Marketing is a B2B marketing and sales acceleration firm that delivers measurable revenue results. By focusing on demand generation, lead management and sales enablement strategy and execution, the experienced Heinz team focuses on helping you build a sustainable, repeatable and predictable engine for sales and revenue growth. Learn more about Heinz Marketing at

About Influitive

Influitive, the advocate marketing experts, is based in Toronto with offices in Palo Alto and Boston. Today’s buyers are increasingly leveraging their peers’ opinions and Influitive helps marketers tap into this force with its innovative AdvocateHub platform and Maven mobile app. By capturing the enthusiasm of their best customers, followers and evangelists, marketers gain direct support for their sales and marketing programs. From social media reviews and customer referrals to case studies and references, passionate advocate help support all stages of the buying cycle. Influitive’s customers include some of the most successful and fastest-growing business-to-business software and technology firms in the world. To learn how to get your advocates working with you, please visit