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.

8 benchmarks for creating a successful customer referral program [Inforgraphic]

We always hear how customer referral programs have grown in implementation as a result of their undeniable ability to generate quality leads that convert to new customers. But even though referral programs might appear to be wildly successful compared to your different lead generation programs, finding out how it compares to other successful customer referral programs is often more telling. This useful insight helps to understand where extra attention needs to be paid in order to optimize for success.

The eight benchmarks mentioned here comes from the new data report, The State of Business Customer Referral Programs. These benchmarks are a result of millions of customer referrals made in business customer referral programs run on Amplifinity’s referral software.

What is the average activity that can be expected from a customer referral program?

Activity is a very important metric to understand. Customer referral activity is the foundation of a successful referral program. This is what the first benchmark is focused on.

1. During the course of a year, it was discovered that 36% of customer enrolled were actively referring.

This means that 64% were inactive. Why were they inactive? A lot can depend on when a customer was enrolled. If they were enrolled in a previous year, made a referral, but where not successful they are often deterred from referring again.

To overcome this try having sales or customer success reach out and engage inactive advocates to train them on how to refer and the right type of person to refer in order to keep them engaged in the referral program.

How many referrals can a customer be expected to generate?

Once the percentage of active customers is discovered, how are those customer behaving?

2. On average:

  • 61% of customers will make 1 referral
  • 34% of customers will make 2-10 referrals
  • 5% of customers will make 11+ referrals

To try an increase the number of referrals coming from customer advocates, provide a special offer or an increase in reward with each successful referral. Driving multiple referrals from a single advocate becomes even more important when looking at the next benchmark.

3. The data found that on average over a year period a customer produced 0.87 referral leads.

This means that if a customer referral program had 1,000 advocate they would produce 870 referral leads.

However, compare this to customers who previously referred a qualified referral lead.

4. These previously successful customers produced an average of 2.5 referral leads per year.

To drive more referral leads from previously successful customers, identify these customers and have sales reach out to thank them and encourage their productivity.

How many deals are generated from customer referrals?

Now getting to the main event – the conversion rate. The average referral lead to deal conversion rate from customer referral program run on the Amplifinity referral platform was 3x greater than the industry average of 3.64%, according to Salesforce’s Implisit.

5. The average conversion rate of referral leads that turned into customers from all programs was 13%.

While this conversion rate is spectacular, it becomes even more phenomenal when looking at customer referral programs that had sales involved.

6. Customer referral programs that had sales teams play a role in recruiting customers to become advocates as well as regularly asking for referrals had a 30% conversion rate.

This conversion rate has a 17 percentage point increase over the average. To help facilitate this try training sales on when and how to ask for referrals and break standard lead routing rules. This would allow the salesperson who ‘owns’ the customer to have their referral leads routed to them and incentivizes sales to form stronger relationships with customers to increase the quantity and quality of referrals.

How do the quality of referrals compare to the quantity?

So you now know that it is important to drive a higher quantity of referral leads. But the quantity of referral leads needs to be balanced with quality. For instance, a customer advocate could easily refer daily by sending a blast referral out to their social network. And while this could look great if you are just looking at quantity of referrals made, when aligned with the percentage that turned into deals you will be sorely disappointed.

7. In a year, the top 1% of customer advocates by volume of referrals, made 22% of overall referrals which only resulted in 1% of deals.

This falls extremely short of the average conversion of 13%, not to mention the 30% conversion of referrals when sales is involved.

But what about the top 10%?

8. The top 10% of customer advocates by volume of referrals, made 54% of referrals, which only resulted in 6% of deals.

Unfortunately, when an advocate just focuses on the quantity of referrals they often sacrifice quality. General social blast lose the one-to-one connection that make referrals so powerful.

Luckily there is a way to combat this. Try coaching enthusiastic customers on what makes a successful referral. They will appreciate the guidance and the reward that comes from referring more qualified leads.

Start visualizing customers referral results and discover how to manufacture successful referrals:

referral software, referral program software, customer referral program

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?

Keep your referral program tax compliant painlessly with a spoonful of sugar

A spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down. This line from Mary Poppins can be applied to many areas in life, but what about keeping your business tax compliant? If you are like many companies looking to drive organic growth by running a referral program, tax compliance needs to be addressed. Marketing needs to take a proactive role in this in alignment with Finance. Ultimately, Finance needs all the info on payouts and the tax information of your advocates in order for 1099’s to be properly submitted at the end of the year.

So what is a spoonful of sugar for tax compliance? The answer is automation. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had it as easy as the children in Mary Poppins when they cleaned the nursery? With a snap of your fingers your referral program is suddenly nice and tidy and tax compliant. With the advancement of referral program software, automating tax information collection and reporting is almost that easy. But if your referral program still has a manual process of tax collection from customer and partners who have made referrals and received rewards, tax compliance is much less like Mary Poppins and much more like the reality TV show Hoarders.

Make referral program tax compliance simple and easy

Why does referral program tax compliance end up being so daunting? With the different advocate information that is needed to keep your referral program tax compliant it can become quite confusing. This information includes:

  1. What determines if an advocate needs a W-8 or W-9 form?
  2. What is the difference between a W-8BEN and a W-8B3N-E?
  3. When do you send a 1099 to an advocate?

And it’s not only these question that make tax compliance difficult, but the question of when to collect this information and how to motivate referral program advocates to fill out the tax information.

While tax compliance may never be fun, it can be easy. In the whitepaper, What you need to know about Referral Program Tax Compliance, you’ll learn the answer to all of these question and more. Discover how investing in a referral software that automates tax compliance removes the operational hassle of tax compliance to allow you to redirect your focus on making your referral marketing program successful.

referral program

This vacation brought to you by business referrals

Referrals take the guesswork out of your buying decisions

I’m sitting on a South Pacific beach, and you’d think that the farthest thing from my mind would be business referrals.  It was one of the first days of vacation and maybe I hadn’t quite pulled the plug, so I started thinking about referrals from a different perspective.  We usually think in terms of what referral advocates do to get the attention of prospects, but maybe we need to think more about the value of referrals to the prospects.

I did a thought experiment where I put myself in the role of a purchasing agent in a large organization.  And since I was settling into my vacation at a time-share resort, what better type of organization to consider. I need do no more than look around me to visualize the myriad decisions that I and my purchasing team would need to go through.  We’d have to find and source vendor relationships to support products and services such as:

Beach equipment – Who provides all the beach chairs, cabanas, and umbrellas that support our days of leisure?  What about the chairs and tables for the weekly outdoor luau, and the carts to move them? Who repairs this equipment after storm damage and normal wear and tear?

Towels – Where I was staying, every resort visitor gets two beach towels and can turn those in daily (or more often) for fresh towels.  Where does the resort buy those towels?  Who washes them? If it is the resort, then who supplies the laundry equipment?  The laundry soap and fabric softener?  Or, do they use a third-party service?  Same goes for towels, dish towels, and linens in the residence units.

Pool – Who maintains the pool?  Where do the chemicals come from?  Who repaints them?

Restaurant – One could dedicate a whole blog to food service.  Our resort has two restaurants, a pool-side bar, and a small convenience store/fast-food outlet.  How are they learning where to buy all the food and supplies for these facilities?

Furnishings and Appliances – Sofas, chairs, tables, beds, carpet, sliding glass doors, balcony tables and chairs, kitchen appliances, laundry appliances, and air-conditioning systems.  Where do you buy things?  Who services the appliances and air conditioning?

Communications – TV, Internet, and multi-function phones (the latter being overkill and mostly used for messages from resort staff).  Who is the ISP?  Who provides the connectivity?  Who wires the resort and maintains that wiring?

Golf carts – Not for the golf course – that, too, could be another blog.  But, golf carts used by resort staff to move supplies around.

Maintenance – Lawn mowers, tree trimmers, tractors for raking the beach, grass trimmers, leaf (and sand) blowers), painting, cleaning service.  Where does all of this come from?

And the list goes on.  Maybe we are sourcing some of these services from our local community for local use. Maybe we are helping the corporate office to source for regional or global distribution.  Our team is going to receive dozens of solicitations for each of the many products and services listed above.  We’re likely not satisfied with some of our current vendors, so we’ll be actively looking for replacements.  Other vendors will be trying to get us to replace vendors that we are currently using.  How do we make our decisions?  How do we decide which vendor calls to take?  How do we know which vendors to trust?

Referrals cut through all of this complexity.  Putting myself in the mindset of a prospect, if I hear from a colleague at another resort down the shore, or if a business acquaintance that I met at a hospitality business conference contacts me, I will listen.  If they tell me about good results from a service provider, I am going to listen harder.  I’ll respond to an email or return a phone call from someone I know, even a passing business acquaintance, ten times faster than any other solicitation I receive each day.  These are people with whom I already have a connection, and I’m going to listen seriously to their experience and the basis for their recommendation.  That’s why business referrals work!

The reality is, referrals are an important part of your prospect’s buying process. If you aren’t providing your customers and buyers with effective ways to give and get referrals, you’re missing the boat.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest and out of mind, let me get back to my Mai Tai.

Questions? Email me at LBloom@amplifinity.com

launching a referral program

What referral features spark your salespeople’s selling power? Part 3

Referral Features that give your sales team superstar status

Let me guess. You’ve been trying to ramp up your selling power? Naturally, you’ve already checked out the advocacy sphere and have decided that referrals are for you. Well, I have to say, you’re one smart cookie. However, while you now have discovered  what advocates and prospects want from your referral program and the features you need to fulfill those wants in  part 1 and part 2, you may not yet have considered what your salespeople want from your referral program to optimize their nurturing efforts.

But there’s no need to fret. At a recent tradeshow, Sarah the salesperson and I had a frank discussion and she let me in on what salespeople really want from a referral program.

“We want to be able to have our CRM integrate easily to quickly see referral leads and follow up with them,” said Sarah.

Of course, empowering your sales team to nurture referral and advocate opportunities is a top priority when trying ensure your referral programs success. After all, your referral program won’t just succeed on its own, it requires sales enablement to have the ability to nurture referrals into profitable customers and advocates into repeat referrers.

With the important part sales plays in your referral program, 5 sales referral desires were identified and 5 features were developed to spark you salespeople’s selling power.

5 sales referral desires fulfilled to turn referrals into customers

  1. Easily see and prioritize referral leads – Sales teams need to be able to attribute high-quality leads in Salesforce or other CRMs to a specific referral program in order to nurture and build their advocacy base.

 

A feature that fulfills this want: Salesforce Easy Integration

 

  1. Own your customer’s referrals – As the saying goes, rules are meant to be broken, and lead assignment rules are no exception. Salespeople want more lead, especially from relationships they’ve already established. Give your salespeople the power to break you lead assignment rules and watch you referrals flourish.

 

A feature that fulfills this want: Lead ownership

 

  1. Empower sales to recruit advocates – The more advocates sales can recruit, the more successful a referral program has the potential to be. Your salespeople want a referral program that enables their recruitment of advocates and facilitation of advocates through the referral process, including registering an advocate and following up on a verbal referral.

 

A referral feature that fulfills this want: Advocate Recruitment Tools

 

  1. Visible referral data – The full visibility of a referral’s data essential to nurture and guide the advocates to encourage continued referral action.

 

A feature that fulfills this want: Advocate Activity Dashboard

 

  1. Motivation – Salespeople always want to do their best. But sometimes your sales team needs a visual motivator to keep pushing the boundaries of success for your referral program. Leader boards that assign scores to a salesperson owned advocate activity taps into the competitive nature of your sales team to push them to reach their full potential.

 

A feature that fulfills this want: Advocate Scoring

 

By adding these 5 empowering sales enablement features to your referral program, you don’t only give your salespeople’s the ability to make their job easier, but deliver increased numbers of profitable referral customers and nurture advocates to keep referring.

With the addition of the salespeople’s user experience, 75% of the referral experience is covered, resulting in a drastic increase in your referral program’s performance. However, if even one user is left out of your referral program your referral results will be lacking.

In the final part of this 4 part blog, the wants and needs of the last user experience, the marketer, will be delved into and explored, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, discover how powerful obtaining all the right referral features can be by checking out these amazing referral statistics.

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