How to use customer reference program in your subscription business

| Last Updated: June 09, 2015 |

Reading time: 2 minutes

Customer Reference Program

Do you enjoy being subject to a “hard sell”? Experts estimate that the average American consumer encounters at least 1,500 marketing messages each day. In an era of information overload, consumers want access to accurate, intelligent and unbiased information.

You may not have to look far for the next great member of your subscription business sales team. Many SaaS companies have found that connecting highly qualified prospects with existing clients is among the most effective ways to bring new revenue on board.

Hiring Your Client Representatives

It’s probably not too difficult to determine which of your clients can best act as a representative for your subscription business. If you’re actively compiling qualitative data on usage habits, the clients who have the highest engagement rate with the software are a natural choice. Not only does their amount of time logged-in indicate a strong familiarity with your product, it indicates they’ve integrated it into their daily workflow and can provide intelligent insight on real-life application. Here are some other criteria that can help you connect with clients to find the right representatives:

** Net Promoter Score.** One of the most widely-used customer loyalty metrics available, this simple survey asks clients the question of “how likely are you to recommend this service to a friend?” Clients rate their response on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being most likely. Individuals who respond in the range of 9-10 are known as promoters, and could be a natural choice for your customer referral program.

Standard Chartered Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score

Industry and Demographics. If your subscription business is flexible enough for utilization across a number of industries, connecting similar qualified prospects and clients can be a natural choice. Looking at factors like business size, location and other demographic data can also be used to match.

Arranging Information Sessions

The primary reason that customer referral programs are such an effective tactic for a subscription business is that they can feel more like an information session than a sales call. The most-successful programs do not have a company representative connected during the call or webinar, allowing the client to talk frankly with the prospect about their experience.

The fact that the interaction is separated from sales representatives completely is an effective way to build trust in your company’s marketing. Your prospects want a genuine experience and unbiased information, and talking to an unaffiliated, familiar party, is the best way to provide them with what they want.

Reward Your Client Representatives

If clients agree to speak with interested prospects about your product, be sure and reward them. Even if they don’t ultimately achieve a high conversion rate, showing your appreciation is worthwhile. Loyalty360research has found that 20% of new business across industries is referred by existing clients.

By providing opportunities and incentive for your clientele to act as sales representatives, you’ll provide significant benefit for your subscription business, current and future customers.

Author of the post

John Solomon

Marketing Leader / Sales Enabler. Head of India Operations for @Infrascale / @sosonlinebackup.

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