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.

Why you should break lead assignment rules for a referral program and certain laws for fun

Let’s be honest, you take a little pleasure in breaking the rules, mostly because there are so many rules that ought to be broken, like laws such as:

  • If you have a mustache it is illegal to kiss a women (Nevada)
  • It’s illegal to sing off-key (North Carolina)
  • If you harass Bigfoot you can be arrested or fined (Washington)

Personally, if I see Bigfoot I plan on getting a selfie with him, and I take great pleasure in singing off-key. But one of most important rules I highly suggest you break is your lead assignment rules for you referral program.

Don’t get me wrong, lead assignment rules are important for your sales team. But for every rule there’s always an exception and your referral program is that exception. And while lead assignment rules might not be the most fun to break, I can tell you it’s certainly much more rewarding than breaking any of the laws above.

3 Reasons why rules were meant to be broken . . . for your referral program

There are 3 marvelous benefits to breaking your leads assignment rules for your referral program.

  1. Motivate sales to recruit advocates– When you opt to break lead assignment rules in your referral program you add increased motivations for salespeople to recruit advocates. This is done through advocate ownership, or in other words any referrals a salesperson’s advocate makes aren’t distributed by the lead assignment rules you’re traditionally using but given directly to the salesperson who owns the advocate. The salesperson then gets the credit and benefits of closing the referrals sale, motivating them to increase their recruitment and nurturing of advocates.
  2. Prompt sales to take better care of the referrals – Along with motivating salespeople to recruit advocates, breaking lead assignment rules also prompts sales to take better care of referrals because they get attributed the sale of the referrals. This can include qualifying referrals by contacting the advocate who referred them before contacting the referral so as to learn everything they need about the referral from one of the people who knows them best.
  3. Increase an advocate’s willingness to refer – Half the battle of obtaining new prospects is getting them to trust you brand. But by breaking lead assignment rules your advocate’s willingness to refer is drastically increased because of the understanding that their referral will be interacting with the same salesperson they already trust and not someone new.

These 3 benefits galvanize your advocates and salespeople to accelerate the success of your referral program and increase your amount of successful referrals. Your sales team plays a large role in making your referral program a success. By providing them with the tools to leverage your program you increase your ROI substantially. But don’t take my word for it. Try out this free ROI calculator and discover how including your salespeople as an interracial part of referral program increases you revenue growth.

 

launching a referral program

Originally published the Salesforce blog

Questions? Tweet me @TrishaWinter

A CMO’s insight into Dreamforce 2016 – The era of communities commences

The wonderful thing about Dreamforce is that it brings together attendees with roles across the business to discuss real-world problems and ways to address them. At past Dreamforce conferences I’ve attended, I felt that the content was rather siloed. That all changed this year.

As a CMO who also manages product strategy, I attend marketing, sales, product management, customer success, partner and Salesforce product sessions for a holistic Dreamforce experience. This allows me to connect the dots and clearly see what is happening in the market for B2B companies today. What was unique this year was the ubiquitous focus on the customer. Let me rephrase, it isn’t all that unique to have a theme for the conference, but this year there was ubiquity in the approach. Specifically, the culmination of communities.

The buyer has taken over

We all know the buyer has changed. Buyers are overwhelmed and only interested in products/services when they have a specific need identified. It is extremely difficult to break through with your message. This was clear in every sales session I attended where personalized and social selling was emphasized versus email campaigns and cold calling. And from the marketing sessions, it is obvious that demand generation is a real struggle for many companies as they are trying to find a silver bullet to break through the noise. Product management continues to struggle with getting user feedback. Customer success is still working to find operational efficiencies so they can scale the service and support they provide.

So how does this relate to communities? Simply put, they are the answer to solving these dilemmas.

Community Cloud is a melting pot of solutions

Salesforce has clearly focused innovation on the Community Cloud product. But they haven’t done it in a silo. They are bit by bit bringing all the great functionality from their various offerings into Community Cloud. In presentations I saw functionality from Pardot, Marketing Cloud, Wave, PRM, Service Cloud, eCommerce and much more all integrated into their Community Cloud offering.

Communities can be focused on customers, partners or employees. If you approach a community with the concept of creating a win-win for the company and its community members, you can leverage it to solve many of your business problems. Here’s how:

  • Building a community is a unifying project across department silos. It forces your company to work together across departments. And we all know good things come from this type of alignment.
  • With any type of community, if you provide value, you can make asks of your community like content and referrals. Customer and partner communities are ripe for this type of a program. And referrals are as close as marketing can get nowadays to a silver bullet for demand generation as they are proven to be the highest quality lead and fastest to move through the pipe.
  • Building a customer community can allow for product management to harvest point-in-time and real-time product feedback. They can do this with surveys, but more specifically triggers can be setup within a community to serve up certain surveys to certain users at predefined times or trigger. And certainly, setting up Q&A posting can provide a rich interaction and Chatter can allow for real-time discussion.
  • The possibilities for Customer success to scale with a customer community are incredible. Customer success can provide self-serve support as well as provide a fast-track to escalate issues and get real-time help with less overhead. And with the Service Cloud data integrations, everything is tracked.
  • Across departments and across community types, there is a desire to segment and “personalize” the experience. Community Cloud’s integration with Engagement Studio/Journey Builder technology allows administrators to setup unique experiences for community members so that the right information is served up to the right person at the right time. This is the nirvana for engagement and in my opinion is the key to communities being a game-changer for companies.
  • Salesforce has also focused on a Google Analytics integration with Community Cloud so that companies can collect all the relevant data to optimize their user experience as well as to better understand their community members. This means data that every department can use to understand their customers, partners and employees better.

Communities are now easy to launch

The big news from Dreamforce is that thanks to its ISV partners, it is now easier than ever to create a community. Salesforce partners have created community templates, called Lightning Bolts, which allow you to quickly start from a pre-built community that fits your needs (think WordPress themes).

And Salesforce isn’t stopping its innovation in this area anytime soon. The future of the community is to continue bringing the functionality from every cloud into community, continue to enhance the ability to deliver a personalized experience by turning on the capabilities of Einstein’s machine learning (Salesforce’s new AI platform) and much more. And while Salesforce didn’t mention this, I would predict that bringing data from IoT devices into Community Cloud is a logical future enhancement as well.

The benefits of communities are hard to ignore

With the functionality that Salesforce is building into Community Cloud, this is no longer a nice to have. Instead it is a strategic mechanism to building engagement with customers, partners and employees. The potential benefits to the business could be just what is needed to grow revenue. Keep in mind, you must make sure that you are adding value to your community members and that means you need to provide support, content, maybe even entertainment. If you get it right, you can expect the following outcomes from your community:

  • Better marketing content – user generated content (UGC) is the best type of content. It instills trust beyond what a brand can convey directly and is incredibly valuable for brand awareness and driving leads through the pipe.
  • Amazing leads – whether customers, partners or employees, all can generate referrals for you. And any sales person will tell you that referrals are by far the best leads.
  • A better product – the feedback from product users in a community (and partners) can be invaluable to product management to set priorities and focus on meaningful innovation that truly adds value in demonstrable ways.
  • Lower support costs – with all of the functionality to scale customer support and make it self-service, this can be a big cost savings.
  • Faster sales cycle – thanks to great leads from referrals and great user content, new business will move faster through the pipeline and keep the sales team highly productive.
  • Improved satisfaction – don’t just think customers on this one. Partners and employees too will be happier with your company when they are engaged with in a smart way in a community. Make it a win-win and think about their needs and your satisfaction metrics will go up.
  • Increased revenue – when you add up the other benefits, there is the potential for both cost savings and revenue generation. Combined, communities can make a big impact on the bottom line.

If you’re thinking about how to gain extra value through Community Cloud, start thinking about referral software for Salesforce.

Salesforce referral program

Amplifinity announces its commitment to give back at Salesforce Tour

Amplifinity, a leader in referral automation software, will donate $5 to Playworks for every qualified demonstration given during Salesforce events in 2016

Ann Arbor, Mich., March 22, 2016 — Amplifinity, the referral marketing experts, are pleased to announce its continued support as an ISV partner of Salesforce by utilizing its participation in upcoming Salesforce events to raise money for Playworks, a leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children’s social and emotional health. Playworks partners with schools, districts, and after-school programs to create a great play environment throughout the school year. Research shows that safe, healthy play helps children develop social and emotional skills, increase physical activity, and deepen academic engagement.

At Salesforce events in 2016, Amplifinity will be demonstrating how organizations can utilize automated referral programs as an always-on channel for revenue growth.

Stop by Amplifinity’s exhibit at one of Salesforce’s events:

  • 3/24/2016 Chicago (Salesforce Tour)
  • 4/07/2016 Boston  (Salesforce Tour)
  • 5/10/2016- 5/12/2016 Atlanta (Salesforce Connections)
  • 10/4/2016-10/07/2016 San Francisco (Dreamforce)
  • 12/15/2016 New York City (Salesforce Tour)

Attendees interested in learning more about Amplifinity’s SaaS platform for referral marketing are encouraged to visit the Amplifinity booth at any of the events to receive a demonstration. Qualified participants will also receive a brick kit and a donation of $5 will be made to Playworks. Amplifinity embraces giving back as one of its core values and recently joined Pledge 1%, a corporate philanthropy movement dedicated to making the community a key stakeholder in every business.

“Fast growing companies like Amplifinity can generate both economic and philanthropic benefit to the communities we live in,” said Larry Angeli, CEO of Amplifinity. “Giving back is an important element of our corporate identity and culture and we’re excited about the opportunity to help Playworks transform children’s health.”

Salesforce is among the trademarks of salesforce.com, Inc.

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About Amplifinity

Amplifinity referral marketing software generates revenue growth for sales-driven companies. Amplifinity turns customer, partner and employee advocacy into high-quality leads by integrating referrals into marketing and sales processes. Companies like ADP and DIRECTV trust Amplifinity to enable high-quality acquisition while providing an engaging experience for their advocates.  www.amplifinity.com

 

About Playworks

Playworks is the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children’s social and emotional health. Playworks currently reaches more than 650,000 students in 23 U.S. cities. Playworks creates a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. www.Playworks.org

 

Amplifinity joins the Pledge 1% movement, makes commitment to integrated philanthropy

Amplifinity has committed to giving back by leveraging its employee time, product, and revenue to make a positive impact on local and global communities.  

Ann Arbor, Mich., March 8, 2016Amplifinity announced today that it has joined Pledge 1%, a corporate philanthropy movement dedicated to making the community a key stakeholder in every business. Spearheaded by Atlassian, the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado, Rally and Salesforce.org, Pledge 1% empowers companies to donate 1% of product, 1% of revenue or 1% of employee time to improve communities around the world.

Amplifinity is joining an impressive network of entrepreneurs and companies across the globe that have committed to philanthropic efforts through the Pledge 1% movement. By pledging 1% of its product, revenue, and employee time, Amplifinity is demonstrating a commitment to philanthropic leadership.

By joining Pledge 1% as an early stage company, Amplifinity is building a foundation of giving back, and providing their employees the opportunity to give back to their communities while fostering a sense of belonging and accomplishment.

Comments on the News

  • “Philanthropy has always been a core value in our community of Ann Arbor, Michigan,” said Larry Angeli, CEO of Amplifinity. “As a growing software company it made sense to join Pledge 1%  and giving back one of Amplifinity’s core values. ‘Better together’ embodies who we are and we look forward to making an impact now and in the years to come.”
  • Salesforce.org is dedicated to changing the way companies think about corporate philanthropy,” said Suzanne DiBianca, president, Salesforce.org. “Today, we’re excited that Amplifinity is joining us in giving their resources back to the community. This is another great example of the power that business has to affect positive change.”
  • “We are thrilled that Amplifinity has joined the Pledge 1% movement and is committed to sharing its success with the community,” said Scott Farquhar, co-founder and co-CEO, Atlassian. “Employees, shareholders, customers, and the community all benefit when a company builds giving back into its DNA. It’s one of the best decisions we ever made.”
  • “We believe Pledge 1% is a great step for businesses to become a force for good in the world,” said Ryan Martens, Board Chairman EFCO & Founder/CTO, Rally, now part of CA Technologies. “We applaud Amplifinity for committing a portion of their success to their community stakeholders and social impact.”

 

About Amplifinity

Amplifinity referral marketing software generates revenue growth for sales-driven companies. Amplifinity turns customer, partner and employee advocacy into high-quality leads by integrating referrals into marketing and sales processes. Companies like ADP and DIRECTV trust Amplifinity to enable high-quality acquisition while providing an engaging experience for their advocates. www.amplifinity.com.

 

About Pledge 1%

Pledge 1% is an effort spearheaded by Atlassian, Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado, Rally for Impact, Salesforce.org and Tides to accelerate their shared vision around integrating philanthropy into businesses around the world. Pledge 1% encourages and challenges individuals and companies to pledge 1% of equity, product and employee time for their communities, because pledging a small portion of future success can have a huge impact on tomorrow. Pledge 1% offers companies turnkey tools and best practices, making it accessible for any company to incorporate philanthropy into their business model. To learn more or to take the pledge, please visit www.pledge1percent.org.

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Salesforce, Salesforce1 and others are among the trademarks of salesforce.com, inc.

I had 5 awesome C-level sales meetings in one week. Here’s the secret to how I got them.

It was a great week. I had 5 quality C-level meetings with potential new customers and partners for Amplifinity in the short week before a holiday. The opportunity to meet with current and prospective customers is my favorite part about being a CEO.  As I reflected back on the week and what made it a success, a common thread emerged, REFERRAL – Everyone I met with was introduced to me by someone who knew me and my company and wanted to help. Interestingly, while they were all referrals, each one emanated from a different type of relationship.  My objective with this blog post is to help you think about the foundation of relationships you have in your network and how they can be leveraged to help you generate new business opportunities.

1. A current customer referred me to a new prospect: 

I was having a conversation with an executive at one of my largest accounts. She mentioned how pleased she was with our solution. After thanking her for the feedback,  I used the opening to ask her if she knew anyone who would benefit from our product. Note that the “ask” came as a natural part of the conversation. It wasn’t forced and was not perceived as bothersome. In my experience I’ve found this request actually improves my relationship with a customer. If they respect what you’ve done for them, they want to see you succeed, and by giving you an introduction to someone else, they are now invested in your success. By the way, don’t be surprised if they follow-up with you to see how it went. And better yet, follow up and let them know how the meeting went. They will appreciate it–and they may even provide you with another referral (double bonus!)

2. A current customer referred me to a new opportunity within their own company:

According to Nielsen, 92% of respondents trusted referrals from people they knew. If you are working with enterprise level customers or prospects there are often many potential new prospects inside that same customer waiting to hear your value proposition. Think of these as “buying centers”–separate groups within a company that represent a new sales opportunity for you or one of your peers. Large companies are siloed, so the chances of cross-selling or upselling are high because different departments have different needs to be met. If you are referred to a new prospect from someone within their same company, your odds of getting a meeting are very high and you have a built in reference.

3. A board member referred me to an executive at another company:

In my role as CEO, I’m fortunate to work with a terrific board of directors. Each is a high profile business leader in their own right and is very connected.  Even if you don’t report to a board, executives within your company can provide the same conduit to meet other decision makers in different companies. I find this works best if I can be specific and have a company in mind where I know they may have a relationship.

4. A current prospect referred me to another prospect:

I admit this doesn’t happen often, but it recently did for me. I didn’t even ask. I was offering a prospect some helpful advice unrelated to my company business (I essentially referred her to someone who could help) and unprompted, the prospect sent me an email later that said he knew of someone that could really use our solution. Awesome. I think most of us are naturally wired to help others. Help others succeed, and you’ll often get rewarded in return.

5. A current partner referred me to another new prospect:

Growing our partner network has been key to our success at Amplifinity. Successful SaaS companies invest in becoming connecting to partners within their ecosystem in order to extend their overall value proposition. At Amplifinity, being a member of the Salesforce ecosystem has added tremendous value to our business. We are now part of a large and ever growing community of hundreds of other SaaS companies that share common interests and goals.  That very same ecosystem is also a naturally interconnected network that can help you find new business or potentially use your product or service.

I encourage you to make that leap to adopt  referrals as a business strategy. If you do, you’ll quickly see that systematizing it with a referral automation platform can be a very powerful channel for organic growth for your business.

If you’d had success using referrals in your business, send me an email with your story. I’d love to repost it here on the Amplifinity blog so that others can benefit.

ROI Calculator

 

Care to further the discussion? Tweet me @Larryangeli