As the value of referrals increases, B2B organizations are seeing a direct tie between their marketing team’s efforts and revenue generation. A study conducted by Influitive and Heinz Marketing found that B2B companies are three times more likely to reach their revenue targets when the marketing department has a formalized referral program in place.
Overall, formal referral programs help B2B organizations generate twice as many quality referrals, according to the report. Referrals reportedly convert better, close faster and have a higher lifetime value than other types of leads.
“The findings of our research are clear: if you want to accelerate revenue growth, a referral program must be a key part of your strategy, marketing must own that program, and you should leverage technology to create a better referral process,” said Matt Heinz, president of Heinz Marketing.
Approximately 56.3 percent of B2B organizations believe referrals are “very important” to sales success. Furthermore, 42 percent agree that generating referrals is a shared responsibility between sales and marketing.
That being said, just 34 percent stated that their marketing team was effective in generating referrals. About 65 percent of respondents said that their team was “somewhat” or “very” involved with enhancing their referral generation efforts.
Aligning Sales and Marketing Efforts
In order to drive leads and close deals, marketing and sales share numerous responsibilities. However, statistics show that it hasn’t always been easy to get both teams on the same page. A report published by Highspot and Heinz Marketing earlier in 2015 found that 55 percent of B2B sales reps and marketers have three or more channels for sharing content, complicating the collaboration process.
Less than 50 percent of respondents said they use a CRM, while just 40 percent utilize a cloud-sharing system. Additionally, only 12 percent stated that they have sales enablement technology in place for both teams.