According to the statistics:
- Customers are 4X more likely to buy when they’re referred by a friend.
- 83% of happy and satisfied customers are willing to provide referrals.
- New referred customers have 16% higher lifetime value.
Not surprisingly then, a substantial amount of referral business can be acquired from a well-organized CRM system in the hands of salespeople who use it consistently. Referrals also often make great customers because they’re referred by great customers. Here are 4 ways that you can use your CRM to get referral customers:
- Create a follow-up sales strategy to bring in referrals by creating reminders in your CRM. Most CRM systems allow you to create tasks to help keep you on track. Your strategy could look something like this:
- Right after you sense that your customer is delighted with what you offer, usually right after the sale, make your first follow-up contact. For instance, send them a ‘thank you’ message and ask for your first referral no more than three days after your customer is satisfied.
- A week later, contact your customer to see how everything is going with their new product or service and ask again for a referral if you haven’t received one, or thank them for the referral they already sent you.
- Once you receive a referral, consider sending your customer a small token of appreciation. In the past, I’ve sent a $5 thank you cookie greeting from Cheryl’s Cookies and it’s always been very well received.
- Reach out monthly after the sale to be sure you stay top of mind, reminding of the opportunity for a referral.
- Create email templates for “Referral Requests.” Automate the referral process by crafting personalized emails for each stage of your strategy. If you have a system that gives you the option, set up an automatic drip campaign to trigger a series of messages seeking referrals. Just by asking a few questions in your email, the reply rate can increase by more than 50%. Here are some questions you could ask:
- Are you happy you chose our products/services?
- Do you have any questions or feedback regarding our products/services?
- Do you know anyone who may benefit from our solutions?
- Create a reward program to encourage referrals. A reward program is another option that can spur your audience to provide you with warm referrals. When putting a reward program together, think about the type of referral you may receive and the revenue impact to your business. A customer who sends you a list of associations with key contacts may warrant a larger reward than a customer who shared a post on your Facebook page. The perks that you offer can be standard, like a monetary discount, or can be more creative and tailored to the type of audience you’re offering it to. You can use your CRM to track these rewards, as well as to test different rewards with different audience segments. Keeping track in your CRM regarding which incentive was offered, to which audience, and at what time, allows you to measure the success of your efforts and come up with a repeatable strategy that will have predictable results over time.
- Be able to identify contacts by expertise. One of the keys to building your business through referrals is to give referrals to others. We’re firm believers in the concept that referrals work best when you put others first, so be generous without expecting anything in return. Eventually that thoughtfulness will be rewarded because you were genuine in your interest to help. Use your database to add key details about your contacts so you can quickly identify and connect people in your network who may benefit from meeting each other. By doing this, you’ll become the ‘go-to’ person that people reach out to as a resource when they need help. Not only does this make you feel great, it can turn into an important support network that drives unexpected revenue, too.
Obtaining referrals is usually the last step in the sales process, but it’s an extremely important one if you’re going to continue to grow your business. Your CRM system allows you to store relevant information about the contacts and companies you work with, but don’t forget that it can also be turned into a goldmine of potential new opportunities as well. Be sure you use a system that allows you to automate this process as little or as much as you need.
Do you need help creating processes that will help you accomplish your referral goals? HubSpot offers a free CRM tool that can be a great starting point. As a HubSpot Gold Tier Partner, we can help you get started and explain how the system can scale to your needs as you grow. Contact us today and we can discuss the possibilities!