We all know direct referrals are the best source of leads.
Referrals convert more solidly in B2B and often come in greater volume.
Business.com reports the Chief Marketing Officer Council shows that referrals bring in 54% of B2B leads: eMail marketing, internet searches, trade shows, and “other” (combined) amounting to less than half.
So, question is, that being the case: what are we doing to serve up the biggest and best half of the pie?
What are we doing to support the influencer channel? Do we even proactively manage it as a “channel”?
Ironically, it seems we get all tripped-up in internet searches and advertising, which are a small fraction of leads. If my memory serves well, Larry Ellison is attributed with having once said something like: you know what the problem is with sales? They’re like a robber who gets distracted holding-up the gas station on the way to stick-up the bank! I’m paraphrasing of course, but you get the point…
Do we have tools in place to serve, properly attribute, and reward the efforts of what can be the biggest and best sources of leads, referrals?
More than passing out generic discount codes, are we providing our influencers, affiliates, and referral partners the tools they need to drive business our way?
Do we have the basics, including: an influencer dashboard, a marketing library for affiliates, and landing pages with attribution tracking tools? Or, are we managing referrals one-off, with a handshake lead form and flurry of eMails - backed-up by a 10% referral agreement, somewhere?
Do we provide our partners lead tracking, all the way down to the rep level? Or, do we stop at the company level – and let our partner deal with the point of referral attribution tracking?
But, before we get too far, let’s ask a more basic question: should we even concern ourselves with the Experience in our Influencer Channel?
In an ARN article, Forrester Research’s Principal of Channel Partnerships and Alliances analyst Jay McBain reports that “the nature and importance traditional reseller management will be changing as companies move to add a great deal of discipline and structure around the ‘Influencer Channel’ and tools to support the Trifurcated channel model.”
Sure, we all a love a warm lead from a great referral or positive endorsement. But, what are we doing to support this channel?
Naturally, the influencer channel will become an increasingly important source of leads as the world more fully shifts to distanced business development, in the post-Covid world. Are we prepared and is it difficult to gear-up…?
About Dynamic Channels : we offer access to two different marketplaces: a Public Marketplace (where you can list your program/product and get all the dashboard tools to track leads); or a Private Marketplace (which you can use to build-out your own ecosystem). Either way, both provide tools to support the "influencer channel".