Normally, customers are more inclined to buy a product if it’s recommended to them by someone they trust. The same applies to B2B businesses where decision makers often turn to people they trust when making a purchase.
What Is B2B Referral Marketing?
B2B referral marketing is the process in which businesses mobilize promoters as well as loyal customers to refer their brand and products to someone else. Referrals can be by word of mouth or through referral programs. The former is a bit unpredictable so it’s hard to get anything solid out of it. As such, a solid referral program is the way to go.
Steps to Building an Effective Program
Identify Referral Opportunities
The first step is identifying new targets for referral marketing. There are many ways to go by this like orally or via lead prospect software. The tradition has been orally which is not really viable in the long term because it is very subjective and informal.
So, what is the best way to identify referral opportunities? The best way is a formal referral program for identifying the advocates you have among your existing customers.
This system is called the Net Promoter Score (NPS). It is a great solution for referrals because it directly evaluates your customers’ willingness to recommend you to others and from the insights gained, you can identify the prospects.
Track Your Best B2B Referral Candidates
After identifying your prospects either by NPS or lead prospect software, the next step is tracking your best B2B referral candidates. You can use account experience to look into what makes the promoters satisfied with your brand as well as the growth within that particular account.
This strategy is perfect if you want to look at the drivers and reviews behind each contact to infer if an account is a good candidate for a referral.
Why are drivers important?
They indicate why a customer is satisfied with what you are selling, which in turn can be used to deduce if that account is ideal for referring a certain product.
Activate Your B2B Referrals
This is in the event that you already have identified your ideal referrers and some of them have already contacted you to say that some client wants to buy your product. There are some other ways clients show interest in your product like participating in your conferences or something as simple as writing product reviews for your products.
When activating B2B referrals, ensure you make it as easy as possible for customers to refer you.
Reward and Thank Your Referrers
Before you access your sales prospecting tool to see how much you will gain from the referrals, be grateful to your referrers. Keep in mind that you are dealing with B2B so your clients are less motivated by money and personal gain when referring you. Be that as it may, you still can make do with some non-personal incentives.
Reward them with what can only be described as ‘referral rewards’ like discounts, conference passes or gift cards. Just make sure it’s a win-win for both of you before you wrap those gifts.
Gauge the Impact of the Program’s Success
The whole point of an NPS program is to create more referral business, right? It only makes sense that you should track the progress to see if it was successful or otherwise. Tracking the success of your referral program is absolutely important. Here are some metrics you can track:
Referral rates, revenue growth from the referrals using your sales prospecting tool, conversion rates, and the participation rate of customers in the program.