While more modern businesses now understand the effect of referrals on their bottom line, many of their referral programs fail or underperform—and they can’t figure out why.

In this webinar, Joanne Black, author and founder of No More Cold Calling, shares how companies can build successful and sustainable customer referral programs by integrating sales and marketing into one cohesive unit, and incorporate asking for referrals into their sales reps’ daily routines.

Here are some of Joanne’s tips for creating a B2B referral program that will make referrals your top outbound lead generator.

1. Integrate referrals into your sales process

Procrastination is one of the biggest reasons referral programs don’t work. Reps are always waiting for the right moment when they’re actually missing out on opportunities left and right. By the time the reps get around to asking, they may be wasting time on people who have no influence over the buying process—instead of dealing with a decision-maker. Ask any time in the sales process where you deliver value,” insists Joanne. Don’t wait until the deal gets signed.

2. Create metrics for sales reps

You can measure your program’s results based on how many referrals advance through the buying process. But you should also be measuring the referral activities your sales team completes. “Unless you’re asking,” says Joanne, “you’re never going to get the results.”

Give your sales team a goal. “Who am I going to ask for a referral this week?” is a good example. Specific names provide more accountability than just asking for X number of people. Then, you can measure the number of asks you make in a week against the number of positive responses you receive.

3. Build your reps’ skills

It’s not enough to just order reps to ask for referrals, though. “A referral program has building blocks,” Joanne says. “We need to identify exactly who we want to meet and give a valid and compelling business reason for meeting them.”

Create a formalized referral program workflow for your sales team that trains them to request referrals the right way. This will make it easier for sales to get comfortable with the process and make it a part of their daily routine.

The Little Black Book of B2B Referrals
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