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Needed: Best Practices on Interdepartmental Cooperation to Acquire References

Posted by Bill Lee on September 25, 2006 at 04:53 PM

The customer reference group at SAS is analyzing how to work better with other internal departments (sales, consulting, marketing, etc) to more effectively identify and develop customer reference opportunities. Our ultimate goal is to decrease the time it takes to surface an appropriate
reference deliverable at different stages of the customer's lifecycle.

We would like information about best practices associated with interfacing between customer reference groups, sales, marketing & consulting to identify reference opportunities throughout the customer lifecycle (pre-sales, new customer, implementation, long term customer relationships).

Any documentation including white papers, process graphics or informal feedback would be welcome!

Christine Carmichael, SAS

To respond to this request, please comment below.

Reference Community Comments

Customer references benefit everyone in the company. Everyone up, down, and across organization should therefore be accountable for achieving quality customer references. One of my former employers achieved this in several ways, including tying a corporate-wide incentive to the achievement of a publicly-announced customer reference goal for the company. At the behest of the CEO, all organizations within the company, including sales and marketing, legal, finance, engineering, HR and IT all played some role in driving toward the common reference goal for the company. The company met its goal, leveraged quality customer references, and shared in a tangible company reward. While tactics will vary company to company, what is key for any successful customer reference program is to secure company-wide executive sponsorship, and instill a sense of ownership in all employees for securing quality customer references.

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