If you don't have a referral program, there's something you (really) should know: A staggering 86% of business-to-business (B2B) companies experience significant revenue growth from having a standardized referral program.
Interestingly enough, only 30% of B2B companies actually have an effective referral process. So, what does this mean for the large portion of B2B companies that don't utilise this? It's simple - you miss out on one of the most effective ways to close sales, increase your conversion rate, reduce your marketing efforts, and of course, understand the customer journey.
Here, we reveal 6 simple ways for B2B businesses to boost referrals.
1. Establish Trust
Customers who have a positive experience with your brand are far more likely to recommend you. In fact, every 8 in 10 prospects deem having a "personalised experience" as a key factor in determining whether or not to continue business.
When introducing yourself, your company or your product, it's imperative to be transparent; make your intent clear. After all, when you strip away at the core foundations of any successful referral program, what it all comes down to is essentially, trust.
2. Maintain Effective Communication
How do you build a relationship with someone you barely speak to? You can't. So when you suddenly ask for a referral from a contact who barely receives communication from you, you can't expect this to go anywhere.
To maintain ongoing and effective communication, you need to nurture your customers. Open your network, educate your audience, provide a knowledge base, allow for feedback and as equally important, survey your network, ask questions and get to know who you're speaking to, which brings us to...
3. Offer a Customized Experience
The rapid upsurge in emotional marketing, which is scientifically proven to attract more buyers, demonstrates that having a personalised experience is now more important than ever before.
This is why your referral process should be customized to personally address each prospect; explain how you heard about them, what the referral process entails, and what's your major point of difference, while overall ensuring your approach is both personable and easy to understand.
4. Look Beyond Your Existing Customer Base
Did you know that word of mouth can drive sales 5 times greater than that of paid advertising? When it comes to effective B2B referral marketing, word of mouth is undoubtedly, the most powerful tool.
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, a noteworthy 84% of all business-to-business (B2B) decision makers utilise referrals to commence their standard buying process. When seeking recommendations, you need to search beyond your present customer base; advocates, fans, reviewers and any other prospect that has the potential to positively promote your business.
5. Demonstrate Your Appreciation
Not only do customers love rewards, but offering rewards to thank customers for their referral of your service or product, is also one of the best strategies for taking your referral program to the next level.
Demonstrate your recognition through exclusive access to content, networking opportunities, career development offers or more directly, offer a cash bonus or gift card.
6. Learn From the Best...
...all successful marketers do! If you're just starting off, it's certainly worthwhile to have a look at how the big guns are running their referral programs. Leading by example comes the 'G Suite Referral Programme' from mammoth search engine Google, which you can take a look at here.
If you would like to learn more ways about how to increase your revenue, sign up here to receive our exclusive eBook 'What Drives Your Business Valuation? Six Ways to Increase the Value of Your Growing MSP'.