Why You Should Consider A Referral Channel Strategy

We know marketers are always being pushed to find new ways to drive revenue growth and generate sales opportunities for their companies. One strategy you might not have considered, but should, is a referral channel strategy for your business. Read on for five reasons why creating a referral channel strategy can be a great option.

Referral marketing breaks through the noise

In today’s world, there is a ton of marketing noise. As people are shopping for products and services they are bombarded by advertising and information. One very effective way to break through that noise is getting a warm introduction to a prospective buyer from a trusted advisor. How can you do this effectively and at scale? Through a referral channel.

Scale with little overhead

Don’t have the budget for big marketing campaigns? That’s ok. Referral partner programs are a low cost way to scale your company’s partner output without adding additional resources to manage partner relationships. By utilizing a referral strategy with your existing partner channel, you can take low performing partners and turn them into high performing referral partners with little to no cost. In addition, a referral partner can have fewer barriers to success resulting in more people joining your partner program.

Leverage the partners traditionally on the sidelines

As mentioned above, referral programs are a great way to leverage existing partners that don’t fit the traditional reseller mold. By turning these partners into referral partners (versus reseller partners) you can drive value from an otherwise inactive group within your partner program.

Drive conversions

If you’re still on the fence about a referral channel strategy, consider this fact: referral leads from partners tend to convert at a very high rate of 31 percent lead-to-deal conversion versus an average lead.

Get demonstrable ROI

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a referral program can directly produce revenue for your company. Not only that, with proper tracking and automation through the use of referral software – like the kind offered by Amplifinity – you can easily demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of your referral program efforts.

If you would like to learn more about referral program best practices, and see how Amplifinity can help take your program to the next level visit www.amplifinity.com today!

How the Amplifinity Connector for Salesforce Can Improve Your Referral Program ROI

What are you missing out on if you don’t automate your referral program with software like Amplifinity? The answer is simple, the Amplifinity Connector for Salesforce. The Amplifinity Connector for Salesforce is one of the key integrations we offer, and it can vastly improve the performance of your existing referral programs.

Workflow integration

Without the Amplifinity Connector for Salesforce you are missing out on a tighter integration with your existing deal flow. What does that mean? Well, the last thing you want when looking for a way to automate your program is to have to re-engineer your entire sales workflow to fit your software purchase. What you need is to find a tool that both automates the process and fits into your existing sales workflow. Whether it’s having a solution for managing and tracking offline referrals, as Amplifinity does with our verbal referral functionality, or making sure you can easily map referral tracking to the important steps in the sales process – having a platform that works with the way your sales team works is paramount to your program’s success.

Verbal referrals

By incorporating verbal referral functionality into your referral program workflow, you can eliminate a pain point for advocates who make verbal referrals, but don’t get the credit due to a lack of attribution in the existing CRM or system of record. By allowing for verbal referrals through Amplifinity’s software, your advocates aren’t tied to lead forms through your dedicated system. Instead, they are empowered to leverage those close connections through the power of conversation. Chances are your advocates will thank you and be more willing to refer leads in the future.

Reward calculation

Don’t miss out on Amplifinity’s reward features by choosing a different software for your program. Finding the right reward structure to drive a high level of customer and partner engagement is essential to the success of your program. The Amplifinity Connector for Salesforce allows you to easily reward based on the size of the deal by allowing you to calculate rewards in Amplifinity with the help of revenue fields in Salesforce, or by allowing you to simply set the reward in Salesforce and have Amplifinity pick the reward up at deal completion.

Program recruitment and retention

Don’t miss out on another great feature – the one click invitation. With Amplifinity, we make it easy for you to invite contacts to the program with just one click. In addition, our platform allows your advocates, once they join, to follow their referral lead through the entire process within their portal – leading to more transparent lead tracking, and happier partners and customers. If your partners and customers are happy, they are more likely to stay and engage with your program.

Troubleshooting

Through the Amplifinity Connector for Salesforce all Salesforce users can have access to Amplifinity’s Customer and Partner referral profiles within Salesforce. This makes troubleshooting any issues that might arise within your program easy for your customer service representatives, partner managers or sales representatives. It also makes it easy to quickly check the status of referrals when interacting with a partner or customer.

Sales Team Performance

The last, and frankly the most important, benefit of the Amplifinity Connector for Salesforce is the positive impact it will have on your sales team. Our data shows that having a sales team that is completely bought into your referral program is one of the leading factors of referral program success. The Amplifinity Connector for Salesforce not only enables your sales team to continue to work referral leads using the same process they use for all leads, but it also allows the sales team to take advantage of the tools available through the Amplifinity Connector for Salesforce to increase their number of leads, by being able to invite contacts and own the referrals they produce.

If you want to learn more about managing referral programs with Amplifinity, check out our resources page here.

Tips For Getting Your Sales Team Excited About Referrals

Your sales department is key to the success of your referral program, so it’s important to get them involved early and often. Here are some tips you can use to get your sales team excited about, and asking for, referrals.

Promote your referral program

To start, you need to promote your referral program to sales the same way that you are promoting the referral program to your partners and customers. Why? Because the more they know about the program, the more likely they are to be actively engaged in it. You can promote your program a few different ways:

  • Create an email blast – You can send email blasts to your sales team educating them on the program, and emphasizing the value of referrals.
  • Brand your program – By giving your program an internal brand, with a specific look and feel, you make it easily recognizable to the sales team.
  • Invest in promotional materials – Hang up flyers and banners in the office. Include details about the referral program to create awareness and understanding. You can even put flyers in common areas, like the company kitchen or bathrooms, that teach sales how to start asking for referrals. If you have the budget, you can also get t-shirts or mugs for the sales team. Make referrals an exciting initiative for the entire company!
  • Create a program owner – In all your promo materials, emails and flyers you should clearly identify who owns the program, along with contact information, so that anyone with questions, comments or concerns knows who to go to.

Structure your referral program to incentivize sales

By structuring your program in a way that enables advocate ownership, your sales team can override the normal lead routing rules. This makes it so any referrals that come from the advocates owned by a specific salesperson go to that salesperson instead of the regular routing rules. We find this type of referral functionality motivates sales to invite and nurture customers to become engaged advocates while working their referrals. This also helps motivate sales to meet quotas and get their commission.

Make it easy for sales to take part in the referral program

You can promote and incentivize your sales team all you want, but if it isn’t easy to see advocate and referral data, and recruit and nurture customers, sales won’t put the effort in. Your referral program shouldn’t add unnecessary work for your sales team. That’s why having the referral program data and functionality integrated into the sales CRM is critical. Functionality and data you should have includes:

  • The ability to invite customers to the program.
  • Seeing referring advocate information to reach out and qualify the referral and get a facilitated introduction.
  • Seeing advocate referral metrics in order to nurture them to refer multiple times.
  • The ability to input trackable verbal referrals for both registered and unregistered advocates.
  • See lead source as a referral.

For more referral program management tips and tricks, check out the resources section of www.amplifinity.com.

Four Ways Amplifinity Can Improve Your Existing Referral Program

So you have an existing referral program, but are you getting the most value from those referrals using your current system? Chances are, you aren’t. That’s why referral automation software like Amplifinity exists. Not only does the software provide a number of workflow benefits, but it can improve your work life and your bottom line – making everyone happy. Don’t believe me? Here are four ways Amplifinity can improve your existing referral program.

A User Experience That Promotes Activity

Do you want to keep your referral sources engaged and active? Amplifinity not only provides a simplified sign up process, but better sharing tools (i.e. social posts, personal URLs and suggest a lead functionality), more account and activity visibility for those making referrals, and the ability to personalize the experience for your advocate or partner. What does this all mean for you? A better overall experience for your referral sources making them happier, more productive and more likely to remain active in making referrals.

Automated Tracking

One of the most common reasons we see referral programs fail is because referrals are being tracked manually. If you are doing this with your existing program, you know how difficult it can be to keep up with the current status of a referral and making sure the right people get paid when the lead closes. Using a software like Amplifinity gives you an automated system that is tracking every status of a referral to close, then to reward and then to payment – vastly improving your program’s success. Automating the entire process will also make your life better, as you no longer need to track every step in your spreadsheet. This will also make your referral sources happier, as automation will eliminate some of the inevitable oversights that happen in a manual process.

Better Reward Payment Configurations Options

As the person in charge of your company’s referral program, you know that finding the “sweet spot” for the reward amount is essential to getting the most out of your partners and customers. You also know that reward payment failures or delays are the quickest ways to lose an active member of your program. Having a software that allows you to configure a reward amount that makes sense for your referral source, and the ability to personalize the reward if needed, is key. A software like Amplifinity can also give you the tools needed to easily troubleshoot any issue that arises, as well as the confidence that a payment will make it to your partner or advocate as intended.

Tighter Integration With Your Existing Sales Deal Flow

The last thing you want to do when trying to automate your program is to re-engineer your entire sales workflow to fit your software purchase. Instead, you should find a tool that both automates the referral process and fits into your existing sales workflow. Whether it’s having a solution for the automation of offline referrals, as Amplifinity offers with verbal referrals, or making sure you can easily map referral tracking to the important steps in the sales process – having a platform that works with the way your sales team works is paramount to driving success.

If you’d like to learn more about Amplifinity and how our software can help you scale and grow your referral program, visit www.amplifinity.com and request a demo today.

The Key to Keeping Your Referral Sources Engaged? Communication

Communication is the key to success for many things, especially a referral program. You’ve done the hard work of building your program and recruiting referral sources, now you need to keep them engaged. Here are some communication tips that can make a difference when trying to keep your sources engaged and active in your referral program.

Automate communication based on program status

A great place to start is setting up automated communication based on different statuses within your program. Once your customer, partner or other referral source is actively making referrals, you don’t want them to disengage from your program because of a lack of communication. Provide transparency, especially around the status of those submitted referrals currently in progress. By setting up automated communications triggered as the referral status changes, you can ensure that your referral sources will stay engaged while waiting for a referral to become successful.

Nurture communication based on program activity

There are a few different types of nurturing communications you can send to your referral sources to keep them engaged in your program between referrals:

  • Training Communication – If a referral source has a high number of referrals, but little or no success, send an email that helps educate the referral source on the target buyer and value proposition to ensure they are referring the right companies/people with the right message.
  • Engagement communication – If a referral source has low referral activity send an email that reinforces the product value proposition and the target buyer. You can also remind them where to find referrals and how to ask for them.
  • Educational communication – If a referral source logged in within a set number of days, but didn’t make a referral you can provide information on how to make a referral, what happens to a referral once it’s submitted and, again, reinforce the product value proposition and target buyer.
  • Thank you communication – If a referral source has a high number of successful referrals you can create a kudos campaign to recognize their efforts and encourage them to keep referring.

Regular Program Communications

Lastly, you can send out regular program communications. These regular value-added communications can keep referrals top-of-mind for everyone in your program. Topics you can focus on for these types of communications include:

  • Target buyer/persona spotlight with corresponding value prop.
  • A leaderboard of top members by referral success.
  • Tips on asking for referrals.
  • Success stories – highlight a story on how someone generated a successful referral.
  • Testimonials – get quotes on how great the program is and how easy it is to earn rewards.
  • How to earn incentives – the criteria needed and how payments are sent out.

The more you regularly communicate with your referral sources, the better engaged they will be – and engaged referral sources can help to increase the revenue generated by your referral program.

For more referral program tips and tricks, check out our blog.

How Verbal Referrals Can Increase Advocate Referrals

We all know that customers, like ourselves, want things to be easy. The more barriers you have in your sales cycle or on your lead forms, the less likely you are to convert all of those leads into opportunities. As marketers, it’s important for us to make every step of the customer journey  easy – starting at the first point of contact, all the way through to the end. According to a survey from McKinsey, making the customer journey as easy as possible increased revenue growth by 10-15%. The survey also found that an easy and effortless customer journey resulted in happier customers, as positive customer experience ratings increased by 20 percent.

Look at companies, like Amazon for example, who have perfected the easy customer journey. By giving users the option to enable 1-click purchase, Amazon removed the barriers that might otherwise stall an online purchase. How can you replicate a similar ease of use for your referral marketing program? You can start by automating and tracking verbal referrals within your system.

Verbal referrals, also referred to as offline referrals, can be difficult. When you have a customer or partner who is ready to pass you a warm introduction to someone excited about your product or service, the last thing you want to do is ask them to stop and fill out a form online or apply to join your program. Instead, you want to be able to receive that referral lead and, in the easiest way possible, be able to enter the referral into your program workflow and make sure it is tracked back to the partner or customer for proper credit. If you are currently trying to track these types of referrals manually, it’s likely the most difficult part of managing a referral marketing program.

By incorporating verbal referral functionality into your referral workflow, you can eliminate a pain point for advocates who make verbal referrals but don’t get the credit due to a lack of attribution in the existing CRM or system of record. By allowing for verbal referrals, your advocates aren’t tied to lead forms through your dedicated system. Instead, they are empowered to leverage those close connections through the power of conversation. Chances are, your advocate will thank you, and be more willing to refer leads in the future.

Listen, people are busy and time is money. We all know this. That’s why it’s more important than ever to track verbal referrals. By allowing proper attribution for verbal referrals, you are allowing the advocate to keep leads engaged and collect those verbal referrals when a lead might not have time to fill out a form. Simply put. a verbal referral reduces the amount of effort an advocate has to put forth in the referral process.

And if you’re still not convinced, listen up. By offering verbal referral functionality as part of your program, you give customers the option to simplify their referral process which, in turn, increases engagement with the referral program. If you incentivize the enrollment process, advocates making verbal referrals are automatically sent an invite to your program if they aren’t already registered. Because the advocate has already made at least one referral, they are more inclined to register to be part of your program. When that verbal referral turns from a lead to a customer, your advocate will be notified and can see their reward which will encourage future referral engagement with your program.

In summary, having the functionality within your program to track and reward verbal referrals is essential to the success of your program – so remove those barriers and increase your advocate engagement! If you’d like to learn more about how you can increase your referral ROI, check out the Amplifinity ROI calculator.