In far too many organizations, customer referrals are a reactive tactic when sales are down. They’re relegated to a bullet point in some sales leaders’ plan to improve performance. The plan is approved, the team jogs (not runs) at securing referrals for a couple weeks and then … referrals get shelved until the next fire drill.
Why create a consistent process for generating referral sales?
Making your account managers and customer success managers responsible for generating and selling their own referrals can help to offset their churn, improve their customer retention, and provide them with an additional career path. Adding another bucket of revenue outside of the sales team should be a no-brainer but most companies don’t implement this.
Referring customers is a great way to increase sales and close more deals. Not only do referrals typically close faster, but they also often lead to higher customer satisfaction and retention rates in the long term. This is why account managers and customer success managers are perfect people to generate and sell referrals. By leveraging their existing relationships with customers, they can create new leads, promote products or services that would benefit customers, and ultimately drive business growth.
An added benefit is that training your account management team on the sales process allows you to scout out future sales people and gives those employees an additional career path if they find that sales is their passion. This training can mimic what you already have developed but will need to be broken into smaller chunks and reiterated often for people whose main focus is customer retention and engagement.
In addition to helping generate new leads, making your account managers responsible for generating their own referrals can help offset high churn rates. Most customers who have had positive experiences with an account manager will be more likely to stay on board longer if they feel their feedback is valued or that they’re being rewarded in some way. Offering incentives such as referral bonuses provides added motivation for current customers to spread the word about your product or service, resulting in more satisfied customers overall and higher retention rates from existing accounts. The sales should impact your account manager’s retention rates so if their retention is down, they can add activity around referrals in addition to their save plans.
All in all, taking advantage of customer referral strategies can be a great way to grow your business sustainably over time. Plus, it’s an easy strategy to implement! By having your account managers generate their own referrals, you can close deals faster while still providing a break for less experienced sellers. You’ll create an additional pipeline outside of the traditional sales team structure and gain more loyal customers who are willing to stay on board longer due to incentives like referral bonuses, which ultimately helps your bottom line. So what are you waiting for? Start tapping into the power of customer referrals today!
Want to learn more about account managers selling? Stream Season 2, Episode 7 of The Grow Show to hear more from me and get additional insights from my co-hosts.