Running a B2B business is demanding, there are no doubts about that. In these markets relationships with your clients are very crucial, you have fewer clients than in the B2C market but each of them disposes of quite the sum of money. In other words, it is good to create loyalty and a solid bond with your clients.
One way to do this is referral marketing and delivering a program to your clients. Is it worth doing so? According to this report, referrals influence more than 90% of B2B decisions. Consider this to be a yes.
Getting started, how does referral marketing work in B2B, and why is it wise for you to sign up for an EarlyParrot account for this? We will tell you!
B2B vs B2C referrals
Before we jump into the sea of referrals’ pros, let’s focus for a while on the differences between B2B and B2C. It is important to know how these two differ.
|B2B referrals||B2C referrals|
|Main focus||Creating a long time relationship |
Staggered purchasing decisions
Sharing knowledge about product and industry
Coming up with new solutions
|Products or services|
Short-time purchasing decision
Brands’ USPs and image
|Mediums||Blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook||YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter|
|Types of content||Product pages|
Social media posts
As the above tab presents, there are some differences between these two referral types, so even if you run a B2C referral program, you should gain some info about B2B ones. These are not the same.
One of the main differences between them is the length of purchasing decisions – on the B2C they can take even minutes, and they apply to one person. On the B2B market, such decisions are long, complex processes with various people and stages at different departments involved.
The next issue here is the main focus of each type. When it comes to B2B referral, they aim to build a bond and share knowledge about products, so clients come back to them to get some more. With B2B referrals, it is also common to manage risks and present new, tailored solutions rather than offer regular products.
Another big difference between these two is a way of communication. First, we go with the medium, individuals are influenced and use different platforms than business clients, so you should adapt to this habit. Moreover, preferable content types differ too. With business clients, you should focus on longer forms, fulfilled with information and knowledge. To individuals, it is better to send short, casual messages.
Why do you need an EarlyParrot driven referral program?
According to Harvard Business Review, more than 80% of B2B sales start with a referral. This statistic shows that recommendations in business are crucial too. What’s more?
Let’s start from the very beginning. If you want to create a referral program, you should do it with EarlyParrot. The process is very simple and takes up to 15 minutes. Once you get it done and integrate our tool with your daily use apps or tools, you can create the program and benefit from it. OK, but what are the benefits of B2B referrals, though?
#1 You can follow the progress
As you have read above, in the B2B market it is crucial to make your leads high-quality, i.e. make the relationship long-term. Referred customers show 15 times longer LTV than non-referred, this shows how quality they can be.
EarlyParrot lets you track the referrals – when did they shop for the last time, what did they buy, and who referred them. All the information you need is right at your fingertips with our tool, so you will be able to tailor the communication or do a follow-up if needed in order to make a bond with them. The better designed the messages, the better (and longer) perspectives are in front of you and your customer base.
#2 You can vary channels
The tab above shows that various content types and mediums need to be used for B2B and B2C referrals to be successful. The good news is that with EarlyParrot you can use various channels from Facebook to WhatsApp. You can even design a Telegram message. What you need to think about is that every social platform has its character limits, so while designing the message keep this fact in mind and do not go all the way. Social media are mostly dedicated to short updates.
Besides, each channel has various demands. For example, if you want to design social media messages you can surely do it by yourself, but when it comes to writing blog posts or ebooks you should have it done for you. It is important for such longer forms to be written by professionals who know how to write interesting and insightful pieces (if you can do it, go for it). Of course, this content has to be fulfilled with industry insights, so you should provide some background in order to make these pieces informative and useful.
#3 You can make it a useful part of your app portfolio
It is crucial for the new app or tool to be easily integrated with the programs you use on a daily basis. Your apps and tools would be more useful if they were integrated into a coherent whole. EarlyParrot can be integrated with lots of popular tools like
- and many more.
Furthermore, the integration process won’t take you long, and you don’t have to be an IT pro or have an IT department to do it. It is very easy, and the tool indicates what to do and what should happen next.
#4 You can use it both for SaaS companies and eCommerce
We provided two articles about these topics – how EarlyParrot can help SaaS businesses and eCommerce, so we won’t dwell on these topics for long. EarlyParrot can be integrated into both with CMS like WordPress or Joomla and eCommerce providers like Shopify and WooCommerce.
For both industries, it is a great idea to use referrals, especially if they operate in the B2B market. Creating a loyal customer base and strengthening bonds is profitable for both these industries, no matter what type of products or services they offer.
Top practises for B2B referral programs
Creating a program is just a first step, to make it useful you have to take care of a few aspects. Here are our tips & tricks on using the whole power of referrals. If you want to learn more about this topic, feel free to visit our blog. You will find there many useful pieces regarding referral marketing and more. But now, let’s get back to the topic – B2B referral best practices.
Make the lead form as clear as possible
While a B2B client is trying to sign up, sometimes asking about too much information can scare them off. You do not have to know everything about them. Once they start to be your clients, there will be time to get to know each other better and ask for more details.
What such a form should include:
- Referrer name/company’s name
- Email address
- Phone number
- Lead/company name
This is it. The above information is the most crucial and needed to start operation. Everything beyond that is unnecessary and can wait.
Keep terms and conditions simple
For every B2B client, it is crucial to get to know all terms and conditions of the cooperation. An individual simply clicking “I agree” without opening the file is a very common situation, but with B2B clients it is completely different. Be aware that while B2B referrals, there may be some questions, and you need to face them.
To limit them, you should first provide the “Terms and conditions” file in a visible way and make it easy to download. Moreover, it should be done in a simple and informative language. If any questions occur, you should also provide a way to address them.
Inform your loyal customers
If you are about to start your first referral program, you have to make some noise about it. Before you launch a referral campaign, you should send emails to your regular customers (all you have to do is to choose the right EarlyParrot template) to let them convince their business partners or industry colleagues that your offer is the best. In the B2B market, where much money is at the stage, time matters a lot. Nobody will decide spontaneously about issues that may cost the company thousands or millions of dollars.
Also, from the referrers’ perspective, they need time to think whether it would be profitable for them (and you need time to convince them that it surely would be). As a recap, what is very important when it comes to cooperation between business partners is time, and you should keep this in mind.
Make it personal
In the B2B market, you don’t have as many clients as in the B2C, so it would be easier to personalize the experience. Make the referral client feel special. Besides the personalized communication that is a must nowadays, you should make a special offer just for them. Every business has different needs, and it is your job to meet them.
By personalizing their referral experience, you show them that it was the right decision to choose your company, and you are worth the recommendation, so they would recommend you, too. It is a simple way to broaden your customer base and improve your brand image.
Partnering with B2B clients through referral marketing is a great way to improve your relationships and company’s image. Without a doubt, thanks to the recommendations of your regular customers, you would be able to expand your customer base and be more recognizable in the industry.
We hope that thanks to our article, you will find EarlyParrot useful on your referral way and want to explore this world with our tool. Moreover, we are sure that with our few tips you would rock the industry with your referral program.