The consensus is that referrals are the best form of leads. They close faster, buy more, and stay longer. In fact, great salespeople have been good at generating referrals for what seems like forever. Until recently, large corporations have struggled to figure out how to scale the success of individual sales reps to systematically and proactively drive large volumes of referrals.

But that is all changing. Technology is coming to market that can help large brands automate the best-practices of sales reps and institutionalize the process of generating referrals from customers, employees, and other people who influence the buying decision.

Good technology systems typically are designed to automate manual best-practices. Let's take a look at key functions that great salespeople all tend to have in common.

1. They build referral channels

The majority of salespeople are excellent networkers. Whether meeting people through the local rotary club, the area chamber of commerce, or local pub, great salespeople can be very good at telling everyone—their friends, family, customers, other employees, and even strangers—about what they do. Great salespeople also know that the more people who know what they do, the better the chance of that specific network spreading the word.

2. They ask their channel for referrals

Most great sales reps never leave a meeting, either business or personal, without asking for a referral, and they are skilled at handling it with a gentle approach. One of the most staggering statistics that I have recently heard is that between 70% and 80% of all people are willing to refer leads if asked, yet less than 15% of individuals and companies ask for them. The great sales reps ask for referrals, and they ask often.

3. They motivate the channel

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image of Richard Beedon

Richard Beedon is founder and CEO of Amplifinity.

LinkedIn: Richard Beedon