Why referral partners will overtake resellers

There are lot of opportunities in the partner realm. With resellers and referral partners (agents) opening up new channels to reach target industries, companies are able to expand their selling power. But not every partner channel is an easy approach to take.  There are many factors that play a role in a business wanting to become a reseller or a referral partner and the company/vendor benefit that will result from this relationship.

Consider that each vendor has to factor in the costs of building a reseller channel. There is a high cost associated with training, certification and just to get the attention of the reseller and their sales team. In regards to training, sales and the rest of the team need to understand how to operate the product, the terminology needed to sell it and receive the in-depth knowledge to understand how to provide support and service. With all the training that has to happen there is inevitably a long period of time where nothing is being sold. And then, when an update occurs or new features are added, another round of training must occur. And once a reseller is fully trained, they likely have multiple products in their sales bag, so then it transitions to a struggle to get focus on selling the vendor’s product.

So what does this mean for the vendors? The amount of onboarding effort necessary for both vendors and reseller partners often jeopardizes the partnerships and the success of partner programs. According to the Ryan Morris, principal consultant at Morris Management Partners, prolonged onboarding cycles, program false starts, and ultimately a high rate of partner churn are often a consequence of the necessary burden involved in preparing reseller partners to bring your product to market.

An alternative approach to resellers is to establish a channel of referral partners. As opposed to resellers, training referral partners is a breath of fresh air. While they need to understand the value proposition, ideal user, and features to know if their referral is a fit, they don’t need much more. They aren’t trying to sell the product directly, just make a trusted and highly valued introduction to a company that offers their peer or customer greater value. This way the brand messaging, selling, and post customer engagement is owned by the brand which allows the company to give customers an authentic experience. In addition, partners can get a commission without any of the headache (or financial ache).

Here are some tips and tricks to enable referral partners and make them (and you) successful.

5 ways to enable successful channel partner referrals

1. Make sure your program supports the specific type of referral partners

One big part of referral partner success is how you go about enabling that partnership. The major determination for this is the kind of partners you are enabling with a referral program. For instance:

  • Do you have a bunch of small partners or bronze level partners (individual partners, agents or small business) that have access to your target buyers in their constituency and can influence them? This only requires an automated referral program that can easily scale the referral partner channel and is available for those partners to register, refer, track their progress, and get rewarded.

 

  • Do you have managed partners or silver level partners that need to enable their sales team to refer customers they interact with and that match your target customer? These require more complex referral partner programs as they need to have two tiers of management (company manages the partner and partner manages individual sales advocates and their activities) in order to provide unique rewarding and reporting by partner.

 

  • Do you have a high performing large partner or gold level partner program? This is usually a single large partner. This partner’s productivity is so high, a dedicated, co-branded referral partner program is created for them that is highly efficient at generating leads.

Ensure that your referral partner programs aligns with the type of partnership you want to create. The different features in these types of programs can enable substantial growth of referral partners and success of their referrals.

2. Training is a powerful tool

As demonstrated above, training is still an important part of the referral partnership. Since the partner doesn’t need to demo the product or sell it directly, they don’t need to go through the highly intensive training and onboarding typically reserved for resellers which tends to slow down the training process and increase expenditures.

To train partners, think about what knowledge they will need in order to communicate the value proposition of your product succinctly. To help facilitate this, offer resources like:

  • Monthly email updates on product innovation or service improvements
  • Video or documents that gives partners a talk track on how to present the product
  • Details on what makes a lead qualified
  • Introduction and walk through on the referral partner software
  • The types of pains the product solves for

Of course, for a tiered referral program, either the company or the partner will also have to take this training and communicate it to their sales team. The partner may add on certain materials to present their sales team which could include specific incentive levels that align with the unique values of each successful referrals.

And in regards to a dedicated partner, they will most likely have themselves aligned with your value proposition, but providing the generalized information above could always help.

3. Make referring easy and trackable by partners

The complicated onboarding that is associated with the reseller model is part of what makes reseller churn an issue. Learning your lesson from that, make partner referrals as easy as possible.

Try giving partners a variety of trackable referral methods which will allow them to adapt their referral method to the type of interactions they are having. This includes:

  • Suggest a lead form
  • A way to collect verbal referrals
  • Email sharing
  • Social media sharing
  • Shareable urls
  • Printed cards

While suggesting a lead will most likely be the most popular since it doesn’t require the referral to do any work, it is always a good idea to provide options. For instance, if a partners contact is more comfortable with another form of referral they can have the option of using it.

Another important aspect of referral partner engagement is allowing referral partners to check the status of their referrals and know how they are progressing. You don’t want partners calling you up all the time to try and figure out if their referral became a customer.

Make sure your referral partners can easily access information about their referrals in the program. Try automating notifications when a referral status changes to alert the partner if there referral is moving forward or successful or was unsuccessful.

4. Offer incentives that partners find valuable

Determining the incentive that your partners are most motivated by can be difficult. You have to take into account the effort they put in and how deep the relationship is with a certain partner. If you have multiple managed partners, the reward should be able to be automated and managed per partner so partners that are considered more valuable contributors can be treated as such.

When Citrix was deciding on how to incentivize managed partners, they did a number of studies on what competitors in their space where doing and that is how they landed on offering 20% of the annual value of the deal. However, Citrix uses an escalating reward structure as partners mature in order to reward low performers, mid-performers, and high performers in a way that will motivate higher numbers of referrals from a single partner. Automating an escalating reward structure for partners is a good way to incentives and scale a referral partner program.

5. Keep it top of mind

Promotions aren’t only for customer. You always want to make sure that your referral partner program is kept at the forefront of partners minds. For a dedicated referral partner this could be easy. But it is still good to reach out every quarter or so and offer helpful tips or remind partners of the chance to escalate their incentive with more referrals.

For individual partners, you might want to reach out by email or by phone more often in order to keep engagement up. These partners most likely have other companies they are working with and further nurturing is required to keep them sending leads.

Do you want to learn more about how to optimize referral partner engagement? Listen to what Randy Fahrbach, Senior Manager of GoTo Channel Development at Citrix/GoToMeeting suggests as he walks through his experience of automating his managed partners with a referral program.

Referral partner program ideas from Citrix. Headshots of Randy Fahrback and Larry Angeli.

How marketing can get sales asking for referrals

Innovative . . . at one point being described this way by an industry expert would have given a company a huge differentiation. But in the past few years the title of innovator has become less of a differentiation and more of a requirement in business in order to even compete in an overcrowded ecosystem. While innovation can be broadly defined, when talking about innovation it is usually referring to the reinventing of business process, structure, or model.  One area this has been evident is in the sales and marketing arena. Between marketing taking majority responsibility for lead generation and sales becoming key to the success of marketing initiatives like referrals, the inclusion of sales enablement functionality within marketing programs has become vital. In fact, Hubspot discovered that sales and marketing misalignment costs companies $1 trillion per year in decreased sales productivity and wasted marketing efforts.

Referral marketing programs have become an established way to generate leads, and have even been called innovative. But in order to take referrals to the next level and make them a transformative lead generation initiative, marketers need a technological catalyst that can align sales with marketing and motivate sales to generate more marketing leads by asking for referrals.

Here are three ways to accomplish this task.

3 ways to motivate sales to increase referral leads

  1. Promote your referral program to sales

When thinking about promoting a referral program or any program, companies generally don’t include a campaign to sales in the promotional strategy. But like with customers and partners, sales is an integral part of a referral program and that means they need to be engaged in it.  Many times what happens with a referral program is sales doesn’t feel driven enough to start or continue asking for referrals. And if the referral program isn’t implemented as a strategic channel worked by marketing AND sales it could be forgotten about. One company who understood the need for sales to be an engaged is Cable One Business. At launch, Cable One Business:

  • Had an email blast targeted at associates that emphasized the value of the program
  • Made program specific branding to give the referral program a recognizable look to salespeople
  • Put up flyers around the offices that had details about the referral program to create awareness and understanding
  • Hung flyers in the bathroom with the theme of cheesy pickup lines that would teach sales how to start asking for referrals

Through Cable One Business’s promotion to their sales teams they were able to successfully align sales and marketing goals in the referral program.

  1. Structure your referral program to incentivize sales

For companies that have run a referral program they know that along with being motivated by loyalty, advocates are motivated by incentives. When asking for referrals, salespeople are no different. Salespeople have a hard job and high quotas to fulfill. So what do they get out of taking some of their precious time and using it for a marketing owned program? Well, by instituting a program that can enable advocate ownership, sales can overrides the normal lead routing rules. This way any referrals that come from the advocates owned by a specific salesperson will go to that salesperson instead of keeping with regular lead routing rules. The referral functionality motivates sales to invite and nurture customers to become engaged advocates while working their referrals. This then becomes another means to meet quotas and get sales commissions. By aligning sales and marketing goals within the referral program a company can drastically increase revenue. Hubspot discovered that companies whose sales and marketing teams are aligned generated 208% higher marketing revenue when compared against misaligned teams.

In addition to implementing this type of functionality, many companies have also made referrals a part of sales team’s quota incentive. Cable One Business offered their salespeople a $4,000 incentive if they hit certain revenue goals which included submitting at least 4 referrals.

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

A company can promote and incentivize their sales team all they want, but if it isn’t easy to see advocate and referral data, and recruit and nurture customers, they aren’t going to put the effort in. This is where having the referral program data and functionality integrated into the sales CRM is critical. It’s not surprising that Aberdeen found that salespeople spend up to 43 hours/month trying to find information. To put this in perspective, that is 10.75 hours a week, and over one day of work. A referral program shouldn’t add to that struggle. By having a sales enabled referral program, sales has access to everything they need in their CRM instead of having to search through multiple programs and locations to find it. This includes functionality and data such as:

  • 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
  • Ability to input trackable verbal referrals for both registered and unregistered advocates
  • See lead source as a referral

Aberdeen proved that companies with top-tier sales enablement strategies experience 13.7% annual increase in deal size. Discover what a sales enabled referral program will do for your ROI. Try the ROI calculator now!

How RingCentral overcame common referral marketing challenges

Everyone knows the metaphor of the caterpillar turning into the butterfly. A transformation from an existence only slightly more spectacular than a worm to defying gravity in a beautiful array of color. But becoming a butterfly doesn’t just happen. It takes work and labor by the caterpillar to surround itself in the cocoon and then break through all its hard work to escape the confines it created and fly. However, we rarely talk about the struggle the caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly only the marvelous fact that the transformation happened.

A similar occurrence happens in the business world. Sometimes it appears as if businesses are just naturally blessed with successful lead generation initiatives like referral marketing. But the truth is that most businesses just don’t talk about the challenges they faced. For obvious reasons, they prefer to talk about their success. However, a business that overcame their referral program challenges are a trove of information since many referral marketing programs can face similar roadblocks to growth including:

  • Friendly fraud – When Salespeople and customer Advocates find a way to game the system and take advantage of it.
  • Breakage – The referral program isn’t able to successfully attribute the Advocate back to the lead causing dissatisfaction among users and poorly effecting the success of the program.

One business that has done a marvelous job overcoming referral marketing challenges and understand the value of sharing this information is RingCentral .

How RingCentral overcame referral marketing challenges

RingCentral has had 3 different referral marketing programs. They launched their first referral marketing program between 2010 and 2011 as a homegrown referral program. They understood the value of referrals and while it was one of their top performing channels it had some challenges.

What worked:

  • eCommerce made it easy to generate leads
  • Great customer loyalty
  • Small customers making small referrals resulted in good conversions

What didn’t work:

  • Small leads made for low revenue contribution
  • Difficult to resolve attribution which caused a high number of customer complaints to Sales
  • Strained communication between Sales, Marketing and the Advocates

This lead to the realization that they needed a more robust platform.

The second referral marketing program was a combination of Marketo and Crowd Factory, and while it was an improvement they still found some functionality lacking.

What worked:

  • Automated fulfillment removed manual hassle
  • Improved ways to refer with social media and email
  • Sales integrated into the process

What didn’t work:

  • A complex system with too many points of failure and no visibility to troubleshoot
  • So many layers to the program that there was no way to know if something failed unless a customer complained which hurt the success of the program
  • No visibility for customers into their referral status
  • No way to easily get Advocate data/reporting
  • Significant resources needed to manage the program’s operation and keep it up and running
  • Lacked clear communication back to Sales

From these challenges, RingCentral understood that they needed a purpose built referral program software that specialized in referral marketing instead of general customer advocacy.  After looking at different referral platforms they settled on Amplifinity for its targeted solution.

Why this referral program continues to excel:

  • Sales can enter verbal referrals
  • Sales can check the status of referrals in their own platform
  • No breakage
  • Easily update creative with no IT needed
  • Easy reporting showing direct ROI
  • Advocate homepage with real time transparency into their referral status
  • Operational resources reallocated from maintenance to program improvement and growth
  • Customers and reps like it
  • Easy to use
  • Easily add and change promotions
  • Can dive deep into the data of the program
  • Thorough validation of Advocates’ email
  • Eliminates the possibility of Friendly Fraud

By going through three variations of programs, RingCentral learned what features are necessary for a referral marketing program to optimize resources and deliver the most ROI to a business.

Bottom line – RingCentral used their previous referral challenges to understand what they needed in a referral program and take full advantage of the amazing lead generation referral marketing provides.

 

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Overcome the complexity of B2B Telecom sales with a 1-1 personalized referral program

In the mid-1800s, the avant-garde movement started in an attempt to push the boundaries of the status quo. This concept was taken up by artist, writers, musicians, and in recent years, many businesses, which has fueled new and creative innovation, like a referral program.  Avant-garde is still extremely relevant today and some might say a necessary part of business, especially in the B2B Telecommunication industry.  B2B Telecoms have been forced to take on tremendous change.  With the development of SaaS products, Telecoms have been able to provide a more agile application and offer a wider variety of solutions to SMBs. But because of this, the market has become extremely saturated. And to add onto that, traditional lead generation channels are decreasing in effectiveness which has forced Telecom businesses to change the way they go about customer acquisition.

Along with trying to find new, non-traditional ways to generate leads, Telecoms are also faced with the challenge of having their lead generation tactics reflect their move away from a transactional business model to a relationship-oriented selling approach. But even after a Telecom is able to acquire a high-quality lead, the complexity of the B2B sales process presents its own challenges including:

  • A long sales pipeline
  • Demonstrating value

While these challenges can be daunting, many Telecoms have been able to transcend them by creating an innovative, automated referral program integrated with sales technology.

3 referral program software solutions for Telecoms

1. Find high-quality leads organically

Google has grown into somewhat of a monster. With the recent volatility Google search has been having and the decrease in effectiveness of PPC, it has never been harder to get found digitally. Of course, that doesn’t mean many companies aren’t doing a great job riding the Google waves, but generating greater numbers of quality organic leads requires a greater and more diverse strategy. This is especially true when competing against the climbing number of B2B Telecoms. Referral programs have proven to not only resonate with the relationship-focused selling of Telecoms, but the target customers as well. In fact, after 3 years a very well-known Telecom not only had their referral program accounting for 20% of all new customers, but a 17% higher LTV than non-referred customers. And just in the last year, a relationship-focused B2B Telecom had 43% conversion rate from referrals to customers. These numbers alone are amazing, but factor in that in 2016 the paid search average conversion rate decreased to 2.70% according to a WordStream benchmark report,  and you have referral programs taking lead generation to a whole new level.

Referral programs accomplish this by creating a personalized 1-1 connection between the business and the referral by having the customer advocate facilitate a trusted introduction through attributable, online, offline, and verbal referrals. Referral programs automatically reward customers when a referral is successful to show appreciation for the time and effort a customer puts into making the referral and working with a salesperson to qualify the referral. This way, a customer is more motivated to refer multiple times because they understand that their efforts are appreciated.

On its own, a referral lead is a much higher quality lead since it is brought in by a customer who knows your product, the need of the referral, and the value you can offer. But by adding referral software that enables sales, Telecoms can not only automate the referral process but speed up the sales pipeline.

2. Speed up the long sales pipeline

In a recent eBook, How to Climb to Smarketing Success, Bob Peterson, Senior Research Director, pointed out that, “Customer advocacy can support demand generation by increasing the velocity of identified deals. Referral deals move faster through the pipeline.”

Each step of the sales pipeline in B2B Telecoms is arduous. Between challenges like having other competitors in the buying process, custom configurations and reaching the decision maker, a lead can take much longer to make it down the pipeline. A referral program help surpass the complexity of Telecom sales process as a result of:

  • Leads that come from referrals often drastically reduce competition since they already trust that the solution will fit their needs because it has been recommended by someone they trust, who has experienced its value.
  • Referrals often come in with a higher level of knowledge surrounding the business. This means that they don’t need to be sold as much.
  • Since the customer advocate knows the referral’s pain, when sales talks to the advocate to qualify the referral they will be able to understand if their needs are too custom or unaligned with their product or service offerings.
  • The referral is more often one of the decisionmakers so sales doesn’t take up as much time trying to climb an organizations ladder.

3. Demonstrate value to prospects

When selling complex products or services, communicating the value directly is not enough to drive a lead to buy. Along with B2B customers needing to be completely sure that the product will deliver as advertised, they also have a variety of different priorities that they want you product or service to accommodate.

Referral advocates have already had time with your product and can clearly prove the added value of a service or product. Even if a customer has had a bumpy road integrating your product at first, communicating the ups and downs to referrals can be beneficial. No product or service is perfect all the time, and knowing that a company is willing to go above and beyond to take care of their customers is a plus for decision makers.

But since Telecoms cater to a wide variety of customers that can have substantially different needs, understanding how to go about displaying value can also be a challenge. In an automated referral program, sales has the advocate details and the referral details at their fingertips. When reaching out to the advocate to qualify the referral they can get the details about what the referral is looking for and their business needs in order to focus on the specific needs of the lead from first contact. This way a company can communicate that they have a deep understanding of a customer’s pain and the solution to that pain.

How RingCentral and Cable One Business use referral programs

RingCentral has seen the remarkable value of referral program software for sales. RingCentral had three iterations of a referral program. The first two were manual which gave them insight into the potential for a referral program to become a top lead generation initiative but had too many challenges, including referral to advocate and reward to advocate attribution breakage. Upon implementation of an automated referral program, RingCentral has been able to provide sales the ability to:

  • Enter trackable verbal referrals.
  • Let sales check the status of a referral in their own platform.
  • Qualify referral leads through their advocates.
  • Reallocate resources that were used on their previous manual program to focus on program growth.

As for Cable One Business, they have many different B2B referral programs for each of their different advocate groups. Two specific B2B referral programs that have been highly successful, targets salespeople and customers. Cable One’s salespeople are a large part of their program and the ability for them to submit referrals was necessary for their success. Rewarding was an important functionality to Cable One Business since they reward their salespeople and customers in different ways within the different programs. Cable One offers two rewards to their salespeople:

  1. Points for each successful referral that can be used in a store similar to Amazon.
  2. Money added to their paycheck that is 1X the customer’s first monthly bill.

Both of these reward methods motivate salespeople to continue to nurture advocates and referrals.

For their customers, they offer something similar. Once a referral is successful they assign bill credits equal to the first month’s payment of the new customer.

The technology requirements for each program were different. The ability to integrate these programs with different parts of Cable One Business, including their CRM, is what contributed to the success of these programs.

Do you want to discover how your Telecom could benefit from a referral program like Cable One Business and RingCentral? Try the ROI calculator now!

 

How referral program software helps Playworks increase mindshare

The playground dynamics of our childhoods have carried over into the business world. It can be a little chaotic: companies prospect to customers, create social media campaigns, and hope to get the attention of decision makers. In a lot of ways, they face the same challenges as a child trying to start a game on the playground. But in any setting, there are still only two main motivators for building interest:

  1. You’ve established a solid awareness of your offerings and benefits, causing decision makers to automatically overlook other options.
  2. You have a relationship with a decision maker or someone they trust who can spread awareness of your offerings and vouch for your ability to deliver value.

One organization that understands the challenges of the first motivator is Playworks. Playworks is a nonprofit organization that helps all kids get in the game at recess, through services that increase inclusive, fun, and active play in elementary schools in partnership with principals and teachers.

“We had difficulty getting the attention of potential partners to hear our value proposition,” says Tonya Antonucci, CMO at Playworks. “Principals are busy and don’t have the time to respond to potential partners or vendors. And teachers get so many emails a day they don’t have time to answer them all. Capturing even a small amount of their time was a challenge.”

This is a common issue for many companies that aren’t household names and that use traditional open channels, like email, where they must compete for mindshare.

And with a mission-driven nonprofit like Playworks, the stakes were higher than just growing the business. The harder it was to reach new schools and help them understand their value proposition, the more children missed out on the joy of experiencing safe and healthy play, free from bullying or exclusion.

That leaves the second motivator, a.k.a. referrals or referral program software.

Red-rover, red-rover send more customer referral partnerships over

You’ve heard the expression, seeing is believing. That phrase is at the core of the second motivator.

Tonya noted that, “Principals trust other principals. We’ve found that if school principals are referred to us by peers, they see the immense value of the program and are more than happy to share that value. When we go into the conversation through different channels, we don’t see the same amount of engagement. Principals need a trusted recommendation to see Playworks as a real solution for their schools.”

Cutting through the noise to get noticed is often the biggest challenge in creating new customer partnerships. But through a personal referral a brand gains the ability to cut out channel noise altogether. Playworks observed how referrals could harness the power of customer relationships to capture dramatically more mindshare. This inspired their decision to take referrals to the next level with referral program software.

“We know that principals respond to emails from other principals or teachers,” says Tonya. “A teacher or principal reaching out to share their story is much more meaningful. Because of this, we believe this referral program is going to be successful for us.”

Playworks’ belief in placing in the relationship at the center of their customer partnership outreach made referrals a natural extension of their current strategy. The power of referral program software is its ability to create a trusted and quality interaction from first contact and extended the lifetime value of customer partnership with the business.

“We believe that referrals are a great way for principals and teachers to become part of a movement for play and raise awareness about the difference a Playworks recess makes at their school,” stated Tonya. “With our new referral program, not only do Playworks advocates get to share the power of play with other educators, they also get to share in tangible benefits as well.”

The Playworks referral program, which launches February 23, will give teachers and principals the opportunity to help others implement safe and healthy play in schools and will thank them for their support with a discount off their next service. Furthermore, teachers and principals can help their referrals get in the game with other offers from Playworks.

This type of incentive structure not only increases interest but also shows gratitude to customer for continuing to grow the partnership. Referral program software increases customer partnership by offering added value.

“We know that some teachers or principals might start off referred to our free tools and resources,” says Tonya. “If they then need a higher level of support we will then have the opportunity to engage with them around our professional training services, namely Playworks Pro. We want to have an ongoing relationship with schools we serve. This referral program software is part of that.”

To see if you could increase your mindshare and customer acquisition like Playworks is with referral program software, try the quiz, Are referrals a fit?

Why referral widgets fail to create long-term customer relationships

The referral-centric approach vs. the advocate-centric approach

Marketers and sales teams alike are focusing on finding new ways to break through the marketing noise. To accomplish this, business have discovered the importance of a relationship-focused sales approach that expands on customers good interactions by using an advocate-centric referral program as a primary strategy. But like any business practice there is more than one way to go about collecting referrals and recruiting advocates. The referral-centric approach (referral widgets) and the advocate-centric approach are two methods that prioritize different types of referral interactions.

The referral-centric approach emphasizes ease of use by having the program built around referral widgets to get a one-time referral from an essentially anonymous advocate. This approach is usually considered a fair option for an ecommerce company that wants to sell their products but doesn’t care who is buying them and are not interested in generating repeat referrals or sales from a customer.

The advocate-centric approach emphasizes the advocate experience and data from your advocate as the primary importance with a fully built referral program to support it. This approach is optimal for generating repeat referrals, building long term relationships, and increasing customer engagement and ROI.

In essence, a referral-centric approach vs. an advocate-centric approach is equivalent to the comparison between a one-night stand and a monogamous relationship. Both are a form of interaction but with different intentions and very different results.

With a one-night stand you gather hardly any information because you aren’t interested in having contact with the person again. Once you achieve your desired interaction you don’t try to continue building the relationship.

However, when you are trying to have a monogamous relationship, you get their contact information, learn their name, get to know their interests, and try to understand the person you’re interacting with in order to build a successful long-term relationship that continues to benefit both parties.

When trying to decide what approach blends with your business model consider the pros and cons of both methods.

The pros and cons of the referral and advocate-centric approaches

Referral-centric approach (referral widget)

Pros

  • Referral widgets can be placed on existing sites
  • Low barrier for advocates to register

Cons

  • No registration other than email address so no advocate data
  • No way to accumulate rewards
  • No way to encourage repeat referrals from advocates
  • Requires web developer to place the widget on sites
  • Requires IT to perform security reviews
  • Ad blockers block referral widgets

Advocate-centric approach (Full referral program)

Pros

  • Full profile of advocate data and program activity
  • Can utilize reward structures that encourage repeat referrals
  • Minimal IT needed
  • Holistic view of all referral activity available for advocates

Cons

  • Registration (1st time only) is an extra step (only if not using SSO)
  • Goes to a different page to make a referral

Unfortunately, while both approaches have their pros, the discrepancies of any relationship building capabilities in the referral-centric approach removes much of a referral program’s ability to positively influence the holistic experience of customers. In addition, it creates a barrier to implement a relationship-focused sales approach which is what the referral methodology is based on and what generates referral program’s unparalleled results.

Discover how an advocate-centric approach can impact your ROI. Calculate what your advocate-centric referral program ROI can be with an ROI Calculator.

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