How to Build a Referral Program That Drives Leads

The best sales leaders encourage their reps to look to referrals to generate leads. They know that a strong referral program can drive “highly-qualified, niche-specific leads that are more likely to result in sales” while also rewarding the customer and keeping them happy. Creating a referral program is a simple way to find valuable customers without creating a new outbound program. 

How to Build a Referral Program 

1. Ask for Reviews 

The easiest way to start a referral program is to ask for reviews from some of your happiest customers. That’s because reviews are a powerful tool, with 40% of consumers saying they form an opinion just by reading 1-3 reviews. Having a number of strong reviews can not only drive people to your website, it can also encourage new customers to work with you. 

There are a plethora of review sites out there, so choose wisely when deciding where you want to send customers to review your company. For example, if you’re an SaaS business, G2 Crowd and Capterra might be your best choice while B2C companies often opt for Google Reviews. Whatever you select, make sure your profile is complete before sending a link to the review site via a personalized email to customers. 

The greatest benefit to having reviews is that you can use them as testimonials when presenting your company to prospects. Sharing what current customers have said about your business publicly can have a huge impact on a prospect’s decision. 

2. Offer Rewards

As the saying goes “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” For sales leaders who want to drive the most leads, rewards become an essential tool to drive the referral program. Whether it’s a branded t-shirt or a $5 gift card for coffee, customers are more likely to follow through with a review or referral when they know they’re getting something out of it. Look for an automated platform to help you keep track of referrals and ensure that every customer gets the reward they deserve while you get qualified leads. 

If you want to take your rewards to the next level, offer the reward to both the customer and the lead. This can help generate even more leads since the person your customer referred will get something out of signing up, making them more likely to take action. Whether it’s signing up for a demo or just putting their email in for your newsletter, a reward is hard for them to ignore. 

3. Promote your program 

Like every new program or product your company creates, you need to promote your referral program to all of your customers. Create triggered email campaigns that connect with customers after their purchase or product roll-out to share your referral program details. You can also share the referral program during a sale which can add an extra benefit to your pitch. 

Don’t skip social media or influencer marketing either. Sharing the details of your referral program across multiple channels can help increase the amount of qualified leads you receive from referral customers. Plus, it can improve your brand loyalty and brand awareness in the process. 

To learn more about building a referral program and other ways to generate leads, join us at LEADCON 2021 hosted by Tony Hoty.

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