Drive More Leads With A Referral Program
A B2B Referral Program is a formalized process set up that allows your customers to recommend your business to another business in need of your products and services by asking your sales team to reach out to that other business in question. Often, these programs are paired with some sort of reward to the referring party, and may even offer a reward for the business that they referred if they become a paying client.
A solid referral program can do wonders for a business’ lead generation efforts: instead of having to spend the time (and money) hunting down potential leads, your current clientele do the work for you. The additional benefits that referral programs result in include the following:
- 83% of customers who are satisfied with a company’s services are willing to refer that company to a friend
- B2B companies that use referrals have a 70% higher conversion rate and have a 69% faster close time on sales
- Referred customers have a 16% higher lifetime value, a 37% higher retention rate, and have 18% lower churn
- 81% of consumers are more likely to engage with brands that have a reward program
Despite all of the benefits, only about 30% of B2B companies have a formal referral program in place.
Are you ready to get started on yours?
Before You Even Start
Your current clients likely won’t provide your company with any referrals unless they are satisfied with the current services they receive. And, even that might not be enough to generate a referral from them. If you are providing them with the bare minimum of product and service expectations, they might not think to point you towards a business in need.
Before you set up a referral program, make sure that your current clients are satisfied with their services. Then, to further encourage referrals, provide them with a level of service that exceeds their expectations. This fosters loyalty, and it’s more than likely your loyal customers will be the ones providing you with referrals.
Designing Your Program
Once you are ready to build your program, it’s actually a lot easier than you think. Make sure that you work the following into your program:
- Make it easy: Create a simple but formalized process for your client to submit a referral. The best way to do this is to create a Referral page on your website in a place that is easy to find. On that page, include a relatively simple form and clear guidelines on what you are looking for, any incentives, and the general process that follows them submitting that referral.
- Provide a (desired) incentive: If you want to receive quality referrals, you need to provide some sort of incentive for your clients, whether that is a monetary reward, a gift, or a discount on their services. Whatever your reward is, make sure it is something that your clients would actually be happy receiving. Also, consider offering a small reward for every referral and a larger one if their referral becomes a paying customer. These incentives can also extend to the referred prospect if you desire.
- Promote your program: It’s not enough to just have a referral page on your website: you need to let your clients know about your program and what benefits they receive when they submit a referral to you. Remind clients about your program in your newsletter, on your social media pages, and in relevant communications. You can work it into your sales cycle if you desire. For example, you could include a reminder on monthly invoices about your program or remind your clients about your program after you complete a big project for them. If you are just starting up your referral program or are focusing on generating more referrals, you can also run a campaign centered around encouraging referrals.
- Nurture the referrer: When a client provides you with a referral, it means that they already believe you are doing a good job. Take particular care in keeping these clients happy: if they provided you with one referral, they’ll likely send more your way when they know someone in need of the services you provide...as long as you continue to keep them happy.
- Nurture the referred: Your goal is to onboard the business that your client referred to you. And, even if they were already looking for a managed service provider, it still might take some convincing to sign them. Make sure that, after your initial communications with that lead, you provide them with educational materials that showcase the value of the services you offer.
- Continue communicating: Even if they’re not ready to sign with you immediately, they may be in the near future. Add the qualified leads that you receive to one of your lists so that you can continue to remind them of your brand through your communications. If you can, indicate that that prospect was provided via referral so that you can reward your client that referred them down the line if they do sign.
If you need help promoting your referral program or would just like to run your ideas by us, we’re here for you! Reach out to us today. And, if you have a company that you’d like to refer to us, you can do that too.