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Pipeline Marketing Blog

How to Use B2B Referral Marketing to Gain New Customers

By Teena Thach
Feb 15, 2016

The key to success for your business is attracting new customers, while maintaining your existing B2B clients. If you want to manage a smart business, you must be able to grow your customer base.

Many companies attract customers at events or by using top-of-the-funnel campaigns, but one of the most unique ways that people don’t tend to use, is attracting new customers through your existing customers.

Leveraging your current customers will showcase the relationship you have with them and represent your business in a positive light. Your loyal customers are the ones who already committed to your business, the cost of losing them is greater than the cost of gaining a new customer.

To get you started, here are some tips and examples on how to use B2B referral marketing:

Why Do Your Customers Love You?

Uncovering why your customers are happy with your business is a great first step into building valuable propositions for your company. You must reach out to your existing customers, thank them for being apart of your business and ask them questions such as “What makes you happy with our services?” or “What’s the best part about using our product?”.

Getting feedback helps you directly hear the reasons why customers are delighted and why they choose to work with your company.

b2b referral marketing

Don’t forget to listen carefully and jot down exactly what your customers are saying. This will help with being precise while using quotes from them to market your business to new customers.

For higher response and accuracy rates, use these tools after your customers have started using your product or service:

  • Tools like Intercom or Smooch allow in-app messaging that can be triggered based on user actions.
  • Alternatively, make satisfaction questions a standard part of every customer success call, and use team collaboration tools like Slack to make sure these answers make their way to the marketing team.

Crafting a Strong Relationship

Before assuming your existing customers are going to help you out with recruiting new customers, you must gain their trust and build a solid relationship with them. The goal is to get your existing customers emotionally invested into your company’s success. Two great ways to represent your relationship with customers is through testimonials and case studies.

Testimonials

Even though proof through research and statistics is an effective tool, you have to remember that purchasing or investing in a business is an emotional decision. Using testimonials will help improve and drive more sales because new customers want to hear from real people.

Lander knows a thing or two about good landing pages, including the power of testimonials right before the call-to-action.

b2b referral marketing, Lander

In the above example, notice a few common attributes of a good testimonial that Lander employs:

  • Human-centered, focusing on the individual, not just the brand
  • A headshot included of the individual, which makes the quote more trustworthy
  • Results-oriented using real success metrics
  • Relevant businesses with which your audience can relate

Of course, your existing customers get the added benefit of promotion to a new audience and a link to their website, and it shows that their brand is cool and successful.

Case Studies

Doing case studies is another great feature to highlight your existing customer and their accomplishment with using your product. Providing results, data and proof of success from your customers shows that what you’re offering is valuable and good quality, this way your new customers will have information to fall back on.

For example, Socedo did a case study on how Slope used our product to help send out personalized direct messages on Twitter and the results that came from it. This case study was then shared on social media and caught the eyes of another customer, NextGenJustice, who then used Slope’s results to improve their account with Socedo. This led to yet another case study!  

B2B referral marketing

But when do you ask for support? Some indicators that the time is right to reach out for a case study or testimonial are:

  • They’ve given positive feedback
  • They’ve been active customers
  • They’re seeing good results
  • And most importantly, they’ve encountered a unique business problem or use case that other customers might find interesting

Once you’re creating testimonials and case studies, you can use these tools to share on social media, promote your existing customers and catch the attention of new customers. Tagging your customers in posts and engaging with online conversation will make your current customers feel special, while also publicizing your business to new customers. Why not kill two birds with one stone?

Ask and Build a System

Now that you’ve built a strong relationship with your existing customers-- promoting their business, learning what they love about your company and having proof of their best-- this is the time when you directly ask for a referral. If they’ve been a happy customer, it shouldn’t be hard to win them over because you know the reason why they’re a happy customer.

There are many different ways to structure a referral. You can get referrals by creating social media post suggestions for Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter that the customer can share, or simply ask if they can promote your business through their social media channels. If your business has a referral program built on your website that customers can use, that could be another way to refer to new customers.

For example, Dropbox gives customers an easy approach to “invite more friends” to install their product. They also give each new and old customer extra space for each referral!

 

B2B referral marketing

Asking your existing customers to promote your business through word-of-mouth is also a great way to refer your business to new customers. One customer tells another customer and so on so forth, start a chain reaction!

Take Care of ALL Your Customers

In the end, it all depends on your business and what kind of customers you have. Having the best customer service for old and new customers should always be the number one priority for your business. Making your customers happy will make your business happy, so do what works best for you!

B2B Marketing Attribution 101  An intro guide to attribution for revenue-driven B2B marketers  Download Now  

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