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Hard Numbers Back Customer Reference Programs

Do hard numbers back the value of customer reference programs? Yes. Whether you’re looking at shortening the sales cycle, increasing customer retention, or improving sales productivity, the data is clear: customer references and content deliver quantifiable ROI. “References have an 80-85% likelihood of influencing a B2B purchasing decision. The most highly rated of any marketing […]

6 Signs a Customer Reference Program is in Trouble

Over nearly two decades in the customer reference arena, we’ve come to recognize the signs a customer reference program is in trouble. We see customer reference programs of all stripes; in different stages of maturity and producing different levels of results for stakeholders. While each company is unique in terms of executive support, sales culture, […]

Customer References & Buyer Confidence

Buyer confidence is an under-appreciated factor in purchase decisions — and customer references are key to building that confidence. I can’t think of a more humbling, stressful purchase decision than the one we go through when buying a home. You juggle multiple options, each with a list of pros and cons, price/feature trade-offs, the neighborhood’s […]

How Many Customer References Should I Have?

“How many customer references should I have in my program?” We routinely get this question from reference program managers, and the answer isn’t as cut and dry as one would guess. And it’s important to get it right, for these reasons. Recruiting customers for your customer reference program requires effort in the form of clearly […]

Crafting a Customer Content Plan

Crafting a customer content plan can be daunting. Have you just inherited a customer content management “program” that’s a mess? Or, maybe there’s never been a formal content management “program,” and you’re starting from scratch. If you need to put a plan together, and quickly, here is your roadmap. #1 Identify Stakeholders’ Needs It’s never […]

How Big is Your Customer Reference Black Market?

Oh, that infuriating customer reference black market! You’ve put a system in place—technology and or a collection of processes—specifically to wrangle the customer reference process and improve opportunity outcomes. Yet, the old messy reference “model” continues in DM and email channels. We call these backchannel, out-of-the-system methods the black market. You know that a more formal […]

Get your Customer Reference Program Unstuck!

It’s time to get your Customer Reference Program unstuck! If you’re in charge of a customer reference program and it doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere, and doesn’t get the respect it should, we have a good idea why and how to get it unstuck. Many customer reference programs begin and evolve organically—that is, without a […]

Is Digital on Your Customer Reference Stakeholder List?

Customer reference programs often make the mistake of leaving the Digital team off their stakeholder list.  In fact, the digital marketing team is rarely on the list of primary stakeholders (Sales, PR, demand gen, etc.) cited by customer reference program managers. Sure, customer quotes are always a reference type found on websites. But when talking about customer […]

How Well Do You Know Your Company’s Sales Process?

How well do you know your company’s sales process? How does a customer reference program manager know if customer advocate resources are being used by Sales to the fullest? This is a really important part of setting appropriate expectations (yours and leadership’s), as well as establishing continuous improvement goals aimed at winning more opportunities. When […]

Now’s the Time for a Customer Reference Consultant

Does your company need a customer reference consultant? First off, I’m not pitching a service. Rather, I’m predicting (and endorsing) a new role with marketing and customer success. There is a clear need for a more cohesive approach to customer marketing, customer reference marketing, customer success marketing or whatever your company calls it. Various customer […]