Establishing your reference program's value: a snapshot
- Microsoft Dynamics estimates that 85-95% of new sales opportunities require some form of customer reference before the deal can be closed.(source: Boulder Logic interview with Microsoft Dynamics). Ask three respected sales people what the number is for your firm.
- If a sales person lacks access to reference program support, it takes her, on average, 5-7 hours to hunt down a reference on her own. (source: Boulder Logic and Infor study by Abby Atkinson)
- At Infor, that would translate into 13,000 hours annually spent by sales people tracking down references (and not talking to customers). That would work out to (conservatively) $3M in lost business. What are the figures for your business? These numbers are easily obtainable - no data is more analyzed in most firms than sales productivity.
- Every dollar spent on the reference program at Infor saves $2 in sales salaries and benefits, plus $5 in lost revenue. (source for the last 2: Infor. You can read more in our forthcoming white paper "Engaging the B2B Customer Reference: Your Greatest Untapped Asset?" If you'd like a copy, send me an email). Again, what are the figures for your firm? These will give you the foundation for getting the budget you need to help you grow your business.
Put this information together into a PPT slide. Use it whenever you make the case for your program's budget.