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Referral Marketing B2B Marketing

If you don’t have a referral program for B2B, you’re missing out

by Nicole Michaelis

In 2018, the Customer Referral Value must go beyond business to consumer relationships. We’ve written about the importance of the customer referral value before and how it’s closely connected to your Customer Lifetime Value - a metric that can heavily influence your long-term business success.

After talking to our customers, we’ve realized a trend: most of our customers focus their referral marketing efforts purely on B2C. But what about B2B opportunities? Does your Customer Referral Value work for you when it comes to business clients as well?

The answer is yes. Here’s why:

84% percent of buyers kick off their buying process with a referral. This includes B2B buyers. Another study shows that 9/10 buying decisions are based mainly on peer recommendations. You may ask your friends what phone they’re using and if they’re happy with it. If you’re looking into buying something for your business, you’re likely to follow the same approach.

Our NPS research shows, that over 4 out of 5 customers are happy to give a referral if they rate their experience as positive. However, less than half of them actually do. Why? The answer is simple: they aren’t asked to.

Train your Sales staff to ask for referrals

You can’t get what you don’t ask for. After a sales person has made a B2B sale or after a business has signed-up for your awesome SaaS online, why not ask for a referral?

Research shows that many sales people are afraid to annoy new customers. Businesses usually don’t optimize their sales follow-up process for referrals - they focus on onboarding instantly. However, it’s important to get the most out of providing your customers with a great buying experience - and besides them paying you for your service or product, getting them to refer you is the most valuable asset.

What’s in it for the customer?

If you feel uncomfortable asking for a referral from a new customer, because you feel you’re not giving anything back, you could offer them a small discount on their next buy or current pricing plan.

However, if you make asking for a referral a smooth, positive user experience our own experience shows that satisfied customers are happy to refer you without any additional incentive.

When should you ask for a referral?

Especially B2B interactions are dependent on personal recommendations. There’s never a wrong time to ask. You should always ask for referrals. You don’t get what you don’t ask for.

However, there are great digital tools that can easily be integrated in your buying process - and spare your sales people from asking for a referral in person. You can integrate Referanza with your client journey and automatically measure NPS and ask for referrals.

Referanza also lets you follow up feedback and see exactly how well a specific product of yours performs. This functionally offers a quick way to navigate business development and learn from customer feedback - in addition to boosting your Customer Referral Value. Start your free trial today.

69% of companies with referral programs report that their deals are closing faster

More and more companies are realizing the impact referral marketing can have on their business. Especially B2B customers spend a lot of time researching products and services to accelerate their business - more money is on the line than for most B2C purchases. As a result, your word-of-mouth is more important if you target B2B customers. 4/5 of the respondents to the 2016 B2B Buyer’s Survey report said that they’re spending more time researching B2B solutions than ever before. Take control of your word-of-mouth and develop a referral marketing strategy.

As we mentioned in this post, referred customers have a 16% higher Customer Lifetime Value than other customers. Don’t miss out on that revenue boost.

Nicole Michaelis
Nicole Michaelis - blog post writer