Newer ways of marketing are always evolving, but the fundamentals remain the same as ever. One of those fundamental truths is that word-of-mouth marketing can help organizations grow faster and with better clientele. But there is no need to keep waiting for your happy customers to turn into your brand ambassadors; you can ensure that your organization can get referrals from customers to grow your sales with the right corporate sales training.
The difference between word-of-mouth marketing and referral marketing is that the latter is active as opposed to the passive former. Your existing customers are one of the most valuable sources of quality sales leads and can be a source of a new growth engine for your organization. If your sales team is not able to leverage your successful customer relationships, make sure that you engage effective sales consulting trainers to bring them up to speed.
Referral selling is simply when you leverage your existing customer relationships to initiate sales conversations with their contacts. They are extremely popular in corporate sales training since they have a much higher closing rate than other lead generation methods. In fact, sales consulting trainers will tell you that no other outbound lead generation will be as successful for you as your own sales referral leads. Just think of referral marketing as building on warm customer relationships that you have already established.
The problem with most organizations is that they do not use referral marketing effectively. The main reason is that they are generally shy about asking current customers to speak on their behalf, especially when the deal has just been closed. Salespeople can assume that pushing for more business can come across as rude or unprofessional.
But sales consulting leaders will tell you that it is far from the truth. These arguments against referral marketing do not hold true in the corporate world. For example, if you undergo corporate sales training sessions that you find useful, you will want to help your friends and family, who may be looking out for corporate sales training services by introducing them. Similarly, business partners understand requirements better than service providers. So they can help those who are looking for these particular services or products by referring them to a solution that they have personally experienced satisfactorily.
Here are some of the best ways of getting more and better referrals with your customers:
1. Referral Generation plan
Referrals are not passive lead generation methods. They are not automatic, and do not ‘just happen’. Instead, you have to take certain actions to ensure that referrals take place and they have a positive impact. It is true that great products or services generate their own word-of-mouth, but that is more of a benefit rather than a goal.
Sales consulting leaders emphasize that you need to start with a referral generation plan – one that involves all the stakeholders and scenarios. Ensure that employees are fully on board the referral program since they will have opportunities to convince customers to give a positive referral. If necessary, provide adequate corporate sales training to your employees to make sure that they can communicate more successfully.
Corporate sales training experts agree that you do not have to limit the list to existing customers. You can also reach out to older customers, vendors, industry contacts, etc. Try and grow referrals through emails and newsletters. Social media is another avenue to spread the word.
2. What about the timing?
There are no set rules about when and where to ask for referrals. Except for one thing: make sure that your customer is completely satisfied with your service before asking them for a referral. If they are already dissatisfied with your service, you may end up aggravating them.
Leaders in sales consulting will always advise you to just ensure that your requests are not too often, and not at once. You can be regular, but never pushy or neglectful. Corporate sales training is important to build these communication skills in your employees so they learn to recognize and leverage their opportunities.
Offering incentives can be tricky because, In corporate sales training, incentives are nudges in the right direction, rather than outright selling. Try and come up with offers that benefit them within your business type. Whether it is a discount, service credits, upgrades, free items, or other benefits, choose the most attractive offers and communicate it to all potential referrers. Utilize emailing lists, social media, and other channels to talk to your customers and grow your business sphere.
One of the first lessons in sales consulting training is that you have to gather complete information on potential sales opportunities. Track the performance of your sales referral programs to regularly update the program.
5. Segmented audience
Corporate sales training leaders will teach you that the first step in reaching an audience is to identify the target audience correctly. Our sales consulting programs help sales teams in better understanding their audience in terms of characteristics and communication, and can thus gain greater success. Sales consulting sessions will help employees bring together all their resources such as CRMs, client visits, social networks, etc. to grow referral sales.
6. Related Businesses
Explore how your organization can approach related businesses to grow your own business. In corporate sales training, you will be taught how to approach businesses related to your own, or to the services/ products you provide and get referrals so you can grow your business.
This is a long-term plan, sure, but any sales consulting expert will tell you that this is where the best business happens. Working with customers satisfactorily, and gaining their trust enough for them to provide referrals is going to take time. Incorporate sales training, gaining their complete trust is completely worth it because of how rewarding they happen to be. It cannot be a one-off event, but great referral marketing happens when all your actions, goals, training, culture, and organization, everything is geared towards achieving that referral. Focusing on this will help organizations improve how they interact with customers and will have a strong, positive impact on their overall brand perception.