Sales is the center of the universe. Sales drives growth, boosts revenue and keeps the computers humming.
While sales might be the engine of your company, marketing is the gasoline that keeps it running. Today, marketers are in sales, too. We’re all brand ambassadors with the tools to make our voices, our recommendations and our opinions heard.
Did you know you are up to 50 times more likely to buy something when someone else recommends it? In a connected world, everyone in your company is just as influential and powerful as your sales team. Harnessing that power—the power of your secondary sales force—is key to generating business referrals.
From IT to accounts payable, on every floor in every location, everyone in your company can contribute to the sales effort, just by being good ambassadors of your company. These five methods can help your company generate leads through your employees, no matter what role they have.
Get Out There
Your sales team knows how to connect. They’re intentional connectors—comparing their Social Selling Index like batting averages. As professional networkers, they’re expected to be smiling and dialing like they’re running for office.
But your other team members are out there, too: networking at conferences, chatting at supplier meetings and learning from others in their respective niches.
Inevitably, in these conversations, your team members find themselves in a position to represent your company. By encouraging them to network and promote your company, your team members can help generate leads—even if they’re in an entirely different branch of the company than sales.
Still, not every company sells something concise and simple. Many companies have a complex offering that can be difficult to communicate, especially for those that aren’t typically on the front line of sales.
To help with this, create slogans and value statements for every team member to know in order to speak accurately and knowledgeably about your company. Use strategic internal communications with mixed media, including short videos, desktop dimensionals and iconography, to transform employees into evangelists.
One easy way to start is to add a call-to-action into your email signature.
Encourage Content Creation
From the accountants to the programmers, everyone in your company is an expert at some aspect of what your company does. And an incredible amount of that information can be useful to prospective clients—not only does it give prospective customers an incredible swath of information to answer any questions they might have, but it proves that you’re a thought leader in your industry.
Encourage your team members to write a blog post that addresses something about their job a potential customer would be interested in knowing. Or, if they’re not too handy with a keyboard, have someone from your marketing department sit down and interview them, then turn that information into online content that prospective clients can find and use in their decision.
An added bonus: the more relevant, valuable web pages you have on your site, the better your search engine visibility will be. That makes it easier for potential clients to find you.
Employee Advocacy on Social Media
Everyone has their own personal network. It’s the people you see in the community, in the industry and in your life. Sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn allow us to leverage and monetize the exponential value of personal networks. Relationships have staying power when reconnecting is a mouse click away. Within seconds your company’s achievements can be in front of millions of people.
Employees of socially engaged companies are 57% more likely to align social media engagement to more sales leads.
Encourage your employees to leverage their online and in-person networks to create a massive communication funnel for your message.
Have a Tool to Track Leads
It’s a fact that marketing people know well—all leads are not created equal.
They’re in all stages of the marketing funnel, with seniority ranging from CEO to intern, with both steak-dinner and ramen-noodle budgets. It can be difficult to manage them all and sort them in a way that makes sense.
Consider a smart, adaptive lead tracking tool that allows for a higher degree of technological integration to save you time and headaches. Make sure it integrates with your current marketing tools, promotes trust and allows users to rank leads.
Offer Incentives and Rewards for Business Referrals
To really inspire your team to contribute to the referral effort, you need to inspire them. And a tried-and-true way of doing that is through recognition and incentives.
Make your recognition proportional to the result achieved, make it fair for everyone, make it memorable and make it experiential—and you’ll get repeat performances.
Sound difficult? Don’t be shy about seeking professional advice. When recognition and incentives go wrong, they can have the reverse impact you were looking for.
No recognition is complete until we bring people together to share in the celebration. Recognize your top employees, treat them to rewards for a job well done, and you’ll see your company culture transform into a sales engine with exponential power.
More awards, more referrals, more sales. That’s a win-win for everyone involved. Start building a strong employee referral program today by checking out another post that offers some can't-miss tips on recruiting with employee referrals.