Why do I need a customer referral program? I don’t think this should be a priority for my marketing team.
-Feeling Fine With My Pipeline
Dear Feeling Fine,
You’re right. You don’t NEED a referral program to survive.
…but you should WANT a formal referral program if you hope to thrive. (Someone please make that into a motivational poster for me.)
Not using your customer base as a source of high-quality leads is like going on a million blind dates trying to find ‘The One’. Why waste your time on people you don’t know when your close friends (who know you best) have a WAY better chance of introducing you to Mr. or Mrs. Right?
Most B2B buyers start the vendor selection process by doing their own research and asking for peer recommendations. If you don’t have a way to encourage your customers to refer their pals to you, just throw out your NPS surveys now. None of your high scorers will likely ever submit a referral out of the blue.
Demand gen is changing. Sending more on emails to your database, buying more ads or investing more in PR will only attract leads of questionable quality. Why waste your sales teams’ time wooing those prospects when there’s a potential fountain of referrals to be found in your customer base?!
Think quality over quantity if you want to fill your funnel with prospects your sales team will love you for.
I hear you asking yourself: “Rachel, why should referrals be marketing’s responsibility? The sales team can take care of this.”
Marketing has one distinct advantage over sales: they know how to nurture. Sales teams are great at making connections, but marketing needs to use their expertise to create an on-going, delightful referral experience for customers.
Sales has an important role to play after a referral is submitted, but it’s marketing’s job to make the referral process as smooth as possible and get customers excited to open up their Rolodexes.
What’s that? You don’t have a referral program? Oh dear. You should look at some of my referral resources to get started!