Customer References

For many sales and marketing departments on a calendar year cycle, this time of year is full of crunching numbers, reviewing goals, budgeting, and strategy planning on what should be done differently next year.

Unfortunately, research from SiriusDecisions says 54% of salespeople won’t be meeting their revenue quota this year. The good news is, there is a hugely underutilized opportunity right under your nose to avoid the same fate in 2017: your existing customers.

Here’s why…

This slide was presented at HubSpot’s Inbound 2016 conference a few weeks ago:

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It’s strikingly clear from the data above that today’s B2B buyers are relying on their peers – NOT your marketing content or salespeople – to help them through the buying process.

  • 58% of B2B buyers seek out referrals from peers, friends, colleagues and family
  • 46% of B2B buyers consult customer references before purchasing
  • 25% of B2B buyers check online reviews from their peers

So why is being able to leverage the voice of your customer, through methods such as customer references, becoming such an effective sales and marketing strategy in this new buying reality:

  • Businesses report a 50% greater conversion rate when advocacy is integrated into the sales process. (Mainstay Partners)
  • The lifetime value of a referred customer is 25% higher than that of other customers. (Wharton School of Business)

You have customers. Maybe even happy customers that advocate on your behalf and throw an occasional referral lead your way. That’s great! But let me ask you this: Are you taking their power of their advocacy for granted?

What if those happy customers took their business elsewhere tomorrow? How would that customer exodus impact you? Beyond just ARR. Beyond a missing logo on a sales slide.

Customers are more than just a company name or revenue number. Customers are human relationships. Partnerships. Opportunities to touch buyers in ways you can’t. The question is, are you treating them as such?

According to survey results published in ‘How to Win Customers and Keep them for Life’ by Michael LeBoeuf, the number one reason customers will leave your business is because they feel you don’t care about them: 68% leave because they feel they aren’t valued as a customer.

Can you imagine what would happen if 68% of your customers said ‘adios’ in 2017? Scary, right? So treat customers like the true revenue drives they are. You can’t afford not to anymore.

Don’t miss the opportunity to enable the most important asset your company has in 2017: your customer. Use the right customer reference technology to do it, and 2017 will be better than ever.

Nichole AustonToday’s post is by guest author, Nichole Auston, Content Marketing Director of RO Innovation, a sales enablement and customer reference management software company.