Having sufficient feet on the street to ensure that more sales opportunities are identified is a key reason why enterprises are expanding their channel programs. But even the most expansive network of partner resellers can’t cover all of the bases.
To ensure a steady flow of qualified leads, vendors are discovering that automated referral partner programs are an efficient way to enlist highly-influential agents to identify potential sales opportunities.
“Partner referral programs can be used in any industry and offer a way to motivate and reward partners for identifying and registering new leads,” said Kathy Contreras, Research Director Channel Management Strategies, SiriusDecisions, in the State of Business Partner Referral Programs, an annual report by Amplifinity referral program software. “This type of partnership provides the opportunity to align with organizations that have strong relationships with a supplier’s target buyers, but are not interested in or qualified to resell the supplier’s offerings.”
Indeed, with referral partner programs, vendors can enlist a wide range of highly-connected influencers to steer business their way. These include organizations, individuals and partners like ISVs who would never resell another companies products. Or, as companies transition to cloud-based solution providers, existing resellers who can’t transform to SaaS delivery methods can still be leveraged as referral partners.
The data collected by Amplifinity provides a deep dive into how referral partner programs are helping companies drive revenue. For example, Amplifinity discovered which methods for submitting leads are preferred by partners – six are reviewed.
The report also takes a look at which type of incentivize referral partners are most commonly offered. Not surprising, cash is king.
Other very important benchmarks that the report provides are the frequency of a partner’s referral activity and the average percentage of referral leads that end up converting to deals. On average, 31% of leads made by referral partners using the Amplifinity software turned into deals, providing a solid funnel of partner revenue to vendors. This percentage rate rises by 10 percentage points when sales teams are enabled by the software to take part in the program. These high conversion rates are a result of companies in the report eliminating the operational hassle of referral management with purpose-built technology to make partner referrals a high-volume, always-on revenue source.
Channel executives seeking to make a case to upper management for funding a referral partner program will be interested in the report’s analysis of the typical referral pipeline and its business impact.
To learn more how companies are using referral partners to generate and convert more leads, download the State of Business Partner Referral Programs annual report.