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.

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.

Amplifinity harnesses the power of referrals to boost customer engagement and revenue

Originally published on Loyalty 360

The age of relying solely on mass mediated channels to reach an audience of prospective clients and customers is over. The fact is that people do not trust traditional advertising or formulaic sales pitches as much as they trust each other. The rise of digital connectivity and the advent of social channels is increasingly allowing people, and brands, to turn to personal networks of friends, family members and professional associates to make decisions on what products to buy or what technology platforms to integrate.

For marketers, this should not be a cause for alarm. In fact, it presents a tremendous opportunity to use referrals to win brand loyalty and increase customer engagement. In some circles this is known as advocacy marketing, and it leverages social assets to engage potential customers overtime, and to nurture relationships established through the power of true brand advocates.

These relationships are vital because referrals from a trusted source have been proven to increase both the satisfaction levels and the lifetime value of customers. Furthermore, referrals can also cut through all the marketing “noise” that interferes with so many other marketing channels. Overall, the benefits of referrals are hard to dispute. But the problem for most brands is in knowing just how to access, integrate and leverage referrals to understand customers and build better relationships with them.

However, Amplifinity can help organizations facilitate this conversation.

As an enterprise class software platform that uses the best of current technology to meet the needs of its clients and their customers, Amplifinity recognizes the importance of referrals in building advocate relationships. At its core, Amplifinity turns customer and employee advocacy into revenue. It believes that the best business comes directly from customers who inform an organization about other people or companies that need its products or services.

By leveraging the very nature of our socially connected marketing landscape, Amplifinity has been able to create a reliable channel for customer acquisition and engagement by scaling referrals digitally. The accuracy of this platform is also impressive, and Amplifinity claims that no referrals are ever missed through its ability to track and manage referrals. To date, Northern Michigan University, ADT Security Systems, and Outdoor Living Brands count themselves among Amplifinity’s list of clientele.

Recently, Loyalty360 was able to speak with Trisha Winter, Amplifinity CMO, who spoke more in depth about the platform and about the state of customer engagement marketing in general.

Can you start by giving us a high level overview of your customer engagement philosophy?  

Winter: Amplifinity believes every company should be customer obsessed, not only building loyalty to translate to repeat purchase, but new business through referrals. We believe you need to be consistently engaged with customers and highly transparent in interactions by building trust and customer delight through interactions with your business and a solid referral program can be a key part of that engagement strategy.

And when compared to other technology providers, what is unique about Amplifinity?  

Winter: In the past year, there has been a big uptick in brands that are realizing the value of leveraging their customers’ advocates and looking for ways to operationalize that advocacy. What makes Amplifinity unique is our focus on integrating referral programs with direct sales and field staff. We enable verbal recruitment of advocates and verbal referrals to easily be entered into the system by the field and be brought into the fully trackable and fully digital experience. This greatly increases the program success and makes referrals a part of daily operations for the field without adding hassle to marketing.

How does it work? Can you give us a brief overview of Amplifinity in general?  

Winter: Our platform provides brands the ability to acquire new customers through their existing customer base, employees or partner network. These brand advocates use the platform to promote the brand’s product or service to their existing network through integrations with social media platforms and an email automation and management system within the platform. Amplifinity makes referral program registration and login simple and secure by allowing brand advocates to connect using their brand credentials with Single Sign On and automates the management of participant communication preferences through built-in CAN-SPAM and CASL support.

As brand advocates refer the brand’s product or service and the receiving member of the advocate’s network (prospect) accepts the referral, the platform connects the two participants within the system by attaching a unique code. This unique code is attached to all activity of both participants in the future and allows the referral automation system to close the tracking loop and attribute success once a purchase has been made. Amplifinity’s platform allows the brand to monitor the status of all referral activity and automates the reward process once a successful referral has been reached. Through APIs and other integrations, Amplifinity allows brands to connect the activity within the referral automation system into their CRMs, Marketing Automation platform, and other system of records.

We also see a lot brands struggling to create alignment and a true dialogue with their audience. How do you think brands can accomplish this and how can they leverage your technology to do so?  

Winter: We now live in a world of inbound acquisition. The best inbound lead that can be generated is from customer, employee or partner referrals; referrals from people who know and can speak highly of your brand. Data shows referrals are the highest quality leads. In fact, the average conversion from referral lead to purchase on the Amplifinity platform is 34%.

We also see brands challenged with regards to data. What do you see as the challenges brands face with data, analytics and creating insight today?  

Winter: Marketing’s biggest challenge is showing ROI for its spend, budgets have increased over the years and now marketers are being pushed to show results. Amplifinity’s platform can directly show new business from referrals. You get direct ROI, and it is a clear monetization of efforts on building customer loyalty.

And finally, overall, how do you see the state of marketing today?  

Winter: Marketing budgets soared as efforts skewed to digital. There is intense pressure to now show ROI for that marketing spend. At the same time, new technologies are coming out and it’s a race to stay on top of latest and greatest. With competing pressures and priorities, it’s easy to get swept away in new tech that doesn’t give results, or drive top line growth and it is difficult to show direct ROI for marketing activities.

7 characteristics of engineers that great marketers should have

Originally published in CMO.com

I often get double-takes when I reveal to other CMOs that I was a biomedical engineer in my previous life. After almost a decade as an engineer, I grew restless. I went back to school to earn my MBA and discovered there was a lot more to marketing than what influencers had told me.  I reinvented my career and worked my way through almost every part of marketing: product management, product marketing, campaign management, social strategy, branding and communications and now am a CMO at a growing SaaS company.

It’s been a long time since I was a practicing engineer so they get over the shock quickly. But I surprise them even more when I let them know that I am still an engineer in many ways.

Ten years ago my two careers may not have meshed as well as they do today. What’s changed? Back then, marketing was more an art.  Today, it is predominantly science. The experts who make the biggest impact for their organizations are the ones who may not be formally trained as an engineer like me, but who possess and use key skills that are needed by both engineers and marketers.

Here are the 7 characteristics of engineers that make for amazing marketers

1. Engineers love to problem solve!

That’s why we became engineers!  We wanted to solve problems!  Build products that do amazing things!  We are passionate about that and it is the #1 skill set I look for when hiring a marketer.  There are no cut and dry job descriptions anymore in marketing.  Marketers need to be able to find a problem or area for improvement and go find a way to make it better.

2. Engineers have been taught the right approach to problem solving.

Engineering education is about learning an approach to solving a problem and the tools needed.  In actual practice, you then go back to the process, the guiding materials and come up with a solution to the problem. We’re not taught memorization, but rather method.  That is because there isn’t always a “right” answer in engineering. This is exactly how marketing needs to approach problems.  There is no one right way to do things.  There are infinite possibilities so it takes a person who can approach a new problem with a method to work through it and have the confidence to see where it takes you without knowing your final destination.

3. Engineers love data!

As an engineer I once worked on a data set in Excel for 3 weeks.  I was relentless in my pursuit of finding answers.  This skill has served me well in what is now likely the most data-driven career path available.  Data scientists work in marketing, how crazy is that? If you are good at math, statistics and are a killer “Googler” because you understand Boolean logic, then marketing is definitely for you.

4. Engineers are bi-lingual.

This one is for all of the companies out there with complex products.  You have high-tech talent in your product and sales organizations. Engineers turned marketer speak the language of business and tech.  Your engineering degree will not only get you instant respect with product and sales, it will allow you to turn marketing into terms they understand – making you a key player in marketing alignment with product and sales.

5. Engineers love trying out new technology!

Did you know there are almost 1,900 marketing technology vendors who are constantly pushing the boundaries of what marketing can do? Scott Brinker’s Chief Marketing Technologist Blog shows all of these vendors in a marketing technology landscape chart that is positively overwhelming! Marketing has the daunting (but fun) task of vetting these technologies and how they will work for our organization.  There is no end in sight to marketing being exposed to new tech!

6. Engineers are pragmatic.

This isn’t the Mad Men era of marketing.  The sexiest, coolest idea is not always the best.  Engineers are fundamentally pragmatic about decision making.  We look at things from all angles.  We make pros/cons lists, we mitigate our risks, we create exit plans.  These are all phenomenal skills for today’s marketer to have.  Because there are still CEOs out there that get swept away by a “cool idea”, we need marketers who can take those cool ideas, break them down and make them high performing!

7. Engineers like building things.

So much of marketing’s digital transformation is about building new processes and integrating technology to build a model that works for your organization. There is a never-ending project list for great marketers to make amazing things happen with technology.  I’ve seen ridiculous amounts of innovation in my career and can’t wait to see what new technology or process will come about next!

I’m not saying every engineer should make the transition to marketing.  Do what you are passionate about. But here are key takeaways for readers:

  • For marketers today, think about these skills and if you don’t have them, think about ways to develop them. If your company has online training, take a course in problem solving or decision making.  I guarantee it will help your career.
  • For marketing leaders looking at job candidates, make sure you consider these skills and characteristics in hiring. Someone with these skills can demonstrably help drive change and growth.
  • And certainly, if you are an engineer and are thinking about a career change, I definitely recommend taking a look at marketing!

Forrester Forum for Marketing Leaders: Customer obsessed marketing

I was honored to spend a few days in NYC at the Forrester Forum for Marketing Leaders.  The Forum’s theme, Connect, Engage, Deliver, explored the role of today’s marketers, and what they need to do in order to be successful in our changing marketing landscape.  The singular focus could be summarized quite succinctly: customer obsessed marketing is the key to winning. Understanding your customers and engaging them throughout the customer journey is critical to being successful.

Brands need to hyperadapt

James McQuivey, Forrester VP and Principal Analyst, explained why customer obsession is so important; we are now in the era of hyperadoption. It no longer takes years for late adopters to get on board because the costs and risks to buying that next new thing are very low.  That means that there are no fears standing in the way of late adopters.  We accept that one day we’ll own a smart watch.  On the flip side, with hyperadoption comes hyperabandonment.

This has the potential to result  in a frightening future for marketing where there is less connectedness to a brand.

TAKEAWAY: Forrester advises that in order to win, marketers need to continually add value for our customers, and engage them in meaningful ways.  Adding features to your products should be done in small bits and done as often as possible.

Pivot: Become obsessed with your customer

The session I found most valuable during the conference was called “Make the Pivot to Customer-Obsessed Marketing – At Scale” from VP and Principal Analyst Lori Wizdo. She stated, “It is our job as marketers to engineer the path for customers and engage them throughout that path.” The reality she shared with us is that:

  • 74% of the research of a B2B buying process happens online
  • <3% of buyers report that their first contact with a vendor was cold (email or call)
  • >10 channels influence buyers at each stage of the journey
  • 73% of marketers say their budget is fragmenting across channels

Outbound is no longer working. So what can we do about it? Wizdo recommended that marketers find a scalable approach to become buyer-centric and customer obsessed. Instead of a go-to-market strategy, we need a go-to-customer strategy.  To do this, she outlined 4 buyer archetypes that anyone can use to create a go-to-customer strategy and stay in tight alignment with sales.  The 4 buyers and the way that you would typically engage with them are listed here.

Four buyer archetypes for go-to-customer strategy

  • Procurer: Wants product benefits and differentiators.  Reach with: vendor website, social networks, online chat, partner website.
  • Transformer: Wants business challenge, trends, thought leadership. Reach with: Sales rep (in person), conferences peers, analysts, consultants.
  • Improver: Wants planning tools, models, budget implications. Reach with: vendor website, Communities, inside sales, vendor SME.
  • Reactor: Wants business solution, success stories, research data. Reach with: sales rep, analysts, consultants.

Forrester buyer archetypes

TAKEAWAY: Going to market has shifted and marketers need to “go-to-customer”.

Data is dough for today’s marketer

Underpinning customer obsession is, of course, data.  From the sessions to the tradeshow floor, everyone was focused on data as the driving force.  Google’s Director of Data & Management Platforms, Steve Yap, said on stage that he believes that “data is marketing’s currency”.  We are collecting and making sense of the data that drives marketing, but can also drive the business forward.  Where we are weak in our data collection is understanding the full lifecycle of the customer and how they engage.

TAKEAWAY: Demographics are just a small part of what marketers need to know about their customers.

Focus further than the funnel

In a session from Analyst Tina Moffet called “From Click Metrics to Customer Value Metrics: How Attribution Measurement will Evolve”, Moffet discussed the marketing performance measurement paradox.  While we have tools to measure parts of the customer journey, we need to be able to measure all customer interaction.  Forrester cautioned marketers that we can no longer focus just on the funnel.  The customer journey starts there with Discovery, Exploration and Buy.  But the customer journey continues with product Use, Ask (or support) and Advocacy. And hopefully the cycle continues with additional purchase.

  • Only 26% of marketers use attribution models to understand customer behaviors
  • 32% of CI pros plan to adopt customer journey analytics

Forrester customer journey

Moffet left us with the very true, (but exhausting) thought that you are never done building your customer journey measurement because the customer’s needs are always changing.

The most interesting concept from the conference that popped up in almost every presentation was the idea of customer advocacy.  Interesting, because while analysts discussed it as an important phase of the customer lifecycle, there wasn’t a single session about how to approach it.  In Wizdo’s session she stated that in the discover phase of the buying process, 21% of buyers engage with peers.  This was the highest influencer in the process.

In my individual discussions with analysts, they told me that they believe marketers are looking for pragmatic ways to increase customer engagement while leveraging them for advocacy and that referral marketing is a simple way to get started. Simple because referrals directly effect company revenue.  As marketers respond to the advice from Forrester to become more customer obsessed, it will be interesting to see what projects get tackled first on what will likely be a long road toward truly understanding and engaging on a meaningful level with our customers.

For now, I need to go figure out our buyer archetypes, build out the customer journey with clear ways to encourage engagement and advocacy, and figure out how to measure it all.

TAKEAWAY: Next time you want to throw in the towel, remember that becoming customer-obsessed is a marketer’s journey too; not just a destination.

Continue the conversation with Trisha on Twitter @TrishaWinter

What is brand advocacy?