In a business driven by sales, asking for referrals is as important as the closure of a sale. You would always want to multiply your sales numbers given the current resources. How do you go about doing that?
If you are in the business of making sales along with expanding your network then referral process in a sales cycle is extremely important just as closing a sale is. A lot of sales driven businesses need to constantly keep expanding their network to leverage on larger volumes. Referencing plays an important role in your sales cycle and in helping your business to expand.
Businesses adopt different techniques of getting referrals. The most common way, in which there is direct face to face interaction with the customer, the sales guys often ask for referrals and accordingly work on them. This method is common in a sales cycle when there is a one to one interaction with the customer say in financial services, professional service providers and so on. Since these businesses get more revenue as volumes go up, they often get back to their customers asking for references.
Another technique adopted by businesses is through the electronic modes of communication. Many businesses write back to their existing customers asking for references and couple it with some offers like cash back, discounts on further sales and so on. This sort of an approach works well when your customer base is large and often is a step ahead of the first technique mentioned above. Many businesses offer instant benefits if references are provided at the time of a sale. These business models work on high pressure sales targets and often look at increasing the sales pipeline quickly.
Quality of referrals is also equally important. You wouldn’t want your referrals to be unproductive. It surely involves loss of time, cost and efforts. So the communication should be carefully structured which would enable your customer provide you with a quality referral, easily increasing the chance of another sale. Referrals allow businesses to multiply sales with the same amount of resources. It would be hard to imagine a sales cycle without a sales process! Also, it is equally important that major parts of your sales cycle contribute towards making a sale along with quality referrals.