How does your sales organization manage customer references?
If you’re like most B2B companies, it probably involves a spreadsheet, originally created by customer success, now owned by a marketing admin, and updated quarterly—at best. Or maybe, a handful of your top-performing sales reps have a personal rolodex of customer contacts they keep in their back pocket to call on when needed.
Either way, inevitably comes the dreaded ask: before a prospective client signs-on they want to speak to a few current customers—tomorrow. And so begins a flurry of frantic internal emails, slack messages and phone calls. Who has the latest approved reference list? What’s the status of Account X, are we ok to reach out to them now? Is Client Y still willing to speak to prospects? Have they been used as a reference recently? Are there any customers who can speak specifically about our new feature/service?
It’s a mess.
According to research from Gartner, customer references have an 80-85% likelihood of influencing a B2B purchasing decision, the greatest potential impact of any marketing activity. Yet B2B companies still don’t have an efficient way to manage and track them and it’s taking a huge toll on sales reps, their quotas and your organization’s revenue.
Just how much of a toll? We surveyed B2B sales professionals to get their take on the current state of customer reference management and its impact on their sales process. Check out our infographic to see the results and learn how you can turn your customer reference headache into a strategic, company-wide asset.