Referral marketing is becoming increasingly popular among B2B companies. In the digital age, referrals are more important than ever for businesses of all sizes. They provide an effective way to reach potential customers and build relationships with them.
Referrals can be used in both B2C and B2B contexts, but they are particularly valuable for B2B businesses that need to establish trust before closing a sale. When decision-makers receive recommendations from people they know and trust, it gives them confidence that the product or service is worth investing in. According to reports, 59% of businesses that have referral programs have better lifetime value clients while 69% close deals faster.
B2B referral programs are a form of marketing that encourages customers to refer your brand to other companies using a formalized system.
If your business simply asks customers to spread the word about your brand in an informal email or phone call, then this isn’t referred to as a referral program. Instead, B2B programs use a streamlined referral page that allows clients to enter information about their peers and easily refer them to your business.
From setting clear objectives to using the right customer reference management software, read all about the steps you need to follow to launch a successful B2B referral program.
Start With an Excellent Product or Service
It may not seem like an actionable step, but the first thing you need to do is have an excellent product or service because when a client refers your business, their reputation and relationships are at stake. They can lose the trust of their peers if they recommend products or services that are not as advertised or if someone else can find a higher-quality product for a cheaper price.
The conclusion here is that you can have an excellent referral program but if your product or service quality is subpar, it will be difficult to convince existing customers that you are worth referring.
Set Clear Objectives and Goals for the Referral Program
To achieve success, it is essential to clearly define your program’s objectives and goals. It not only provides a roadmap to guide the program but also metrics to measure progress.
The company’s mission and purpose should guide the objectives while still maintaining quantifiable, achievable goals. Clarity in the objectives and goals of a program helps guide and provide direction for all of the stakeholders.
Develop and Nurture Customer Relationships
In B2B, relationships are the foundation of your overall success. Get to know your clients, understand their needs, and make sure to support and engage them throughout the relationship.
For instance, if they need more assistance to learn how to use your service or product, send them an email or an in-app tutorial that guides them through the process.
You will also have many chances to promote or mention your B2B referral program by engaging with your clients. Asking for referrals is not awkward when you are making an effort to provide a positive brand experience; it feels like a natural part of the conversation.
When looking to create a well-coordinated B2B customer referral program and get the most out of customer relationships, you should also consider using customer reference management software. With this type of software solution, businesses can easily connect with their customers and build relationships that will help them grow. It also helps businesses track and manage customer feedback, so they can make informed decisions about how to improve their products and services.
Decide When Exactly to Ask for Referrals
Referral marketing is all about timing. Customers will perceive you as desperate and pushy if you ask them too soon. However, if you ask too late, the customer may not be the most willing to send referrals.
The general rule of thumb is to ask customers for referrals when they’re most satisfied with your brand. However, remember that the best time to ask depends on your product or service.
Here are some scenarios in which referral invitations would be very welcome:
- After the customer has reached a certain milestone
- After using your product for one year
- Once a customer responds positively to a survey
- After receiving a customer testimonial
- After a successful experience in customer service
Share Marketing Materials
Don’t let your customers do all the talking about why you’re the best. Let your brochures, whitepapers, or one-pagers do the work instead. This will not only ensure that your prospects get the right message about your company but also make it easier for the referrer.
These referral program marketing materials are designed to make it easier for referrers to share information about the company with their network, increasing brand awareness and driving more sales. By providing these materials, businesses can ensure that their referral programs are successful and profitable.
With these five key steps to launching a killer B2B referral program, you can go on and start asking your best customers for referrals. With a B2B referral program, you can have control over the sharing process, which helps you build trust and credibility with your prospects.