4 Ways Sales Reps Can Benefit From Advocate Marketing Programs

resized_creepy-willy-wonka-meme-generator-the-software-sells-itself-you-must-be-a-great-sales-rep-c857f0“I need the best sales reference you have! I have a really important deal that I need to close.”

Have you heard this before? It’s the typical way that a sales team interacts with advocates.

References are extremely important, but with advocate marketing programs, your sales team can do so much more, which can help them close more deals and be more efficient throughout the process.

For sales reps, advocate marketing programs…

1. Change the way you educate your buyers

Traditionally, sales may have sent out relevant case studies and then only saved references for certain prospects who are nearly closed.

Advocate marketing programs helps identify more potential references. You have advocates who want to speak to others like them and network. They are more than willing to spend  time speaking to prospects who are higher up in the sales/marketing funnel.

Sales people shouldn’t hold advocates back – unleash your advocates and speed up your sales cycle!

2. Recognize top advocates how they want to be recognized

In the past, an advocate who did a reference call or provided a referral may have received a bottle of wine or something directly from the sales rep. But is it really what the advocate wanted? Did anyone else in your company know what that advocate did? Did the advocate know what happened to the referral they provided?

An advocate marketing program centralizes the recognition process so your entire company is fully aware of the advocacy that is being done. You can then recognize the advocate in a more appropriate way. It could be that they want a speaking spot at your conference or a discount on training.

By centralizing this process, advocates are properly recognized and it removes the onus from the sales team so they don’t need to worry about this. In addition, an advocate marketing program keeps the advocate informed about the progress of their referrals. This provides a much better experience.

Sales reps should spend more time on hitting their quotas and leave advocate recognition to the advocate marketer.

3. Get more high-quality referral leads

Customer referrals can provide the highest quality opportunities for the sales team. The problem is that sales reps are typically focused on the leads that marketing provides from events and other sources.

To get more referrals, the sales team can help identify advocates to be added to the advocate marketing program. This builds a stronger relationship between sales and your customers as you are providing a unique experience for them. This also provides an opportunity for a systematized process for providing referrals.

To get sales to help identify advocates, we recommend the following:

  • Add a button in your CRM that makes identifying advocates a snap with one click of the button for the sales team.
  • Add an incentive for the sales team to identify potential advocates. Providing a reward to the sales person who identifies the most advocates in a specific time frame can give your advocate marketing program the push it needs.

4. Speed up the reference process

Getting references to respond can be extremely tedious. You can expect a 5-10% increase in productivity for sales reps with an advocate marketing program as it provides the right motivation to get advocates to respond.

Here are key items for making this work for sales:

  • Ensure that there is a large pool of advocates for sales to access. Having only a few advocates will lead to advocate burnout
  • Make it easy for sales to request a reference from where they operate. Having a button in your CRM that accesses the most up-to-date list of advocates is recommended.

If you are someone on a sales team who still has a quota to fill before the end of the quarter, it’s time to ask your marketing team how your company’s advocates can be better leveraged today to help you and your teammates make their numbers.

2 Responses to 4 Ways Sales Reps Can Benefit From Advocate Marketing Programs

  1. […] chasing customers for case studies, references, testimonials, or PR requests. First, you have to bug your sales or account reps for customers with an industry-specific story. Once you’ve found a customer who’s willing to […]

  2. […] The thing is, nobody likes the friend who only calls when they need something. If sales reps think that their work is over after the deal closes, they could be missing out on building an incredibly valuable relationship. […]

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