Multi-audience referral incentive program grows revenue and expands market share

How a leading telecom company automated the referral process and gained customers by using segmented engagement strategies to incent internal and partner audiences.

man viewing telecom company channel incentive platform on iphone

A top telecom brand faced fierce competition and customer churn. To combat the business challenges, they wanted to increase revenue and grow market share through referrals from employees, customers and independent channel partners. 

But without a centralized system or referral process, harnessing the full potential of multiple audiences posed a significant challenge. The organization sought a solution that could:

  • Integrate with existing internal systems
  • Create a seamless experience for referring partners and their sales representatives
  • Optimize program performance for long-term engagement with collaborative, ongoing reviews

The telecom brand chose ITA Group as a consultive partner capable of managing complexities and delivering a technology solution backed by a scalable strategy.

Tailoring earning structures based on audience type 

Five distinct audiences (a mix of external partners, customers and employees) added up to 100,000+ participants, all with relationships that could generate customer referrals and grow the business. Potential referrers wanted an easy-to-use submission and tracking process, while sales reps preferred leads to arrive in their CRM like any other opportunity.

With no existing earning structure or awards in place, building a referral community hinged on delivering relevant experiences for all audiences. To accommodate various audience needs, user research like discovery and program design strategy sessions took place before implementing program rules. 

Based on the findings, tailored earning structures, customized technology, segmented communications, and well-aligned awards and recognition helped meet audience expectations while motivating each participant to promote the brand and support sales. This helped cut through the complexity of managing multiple audiences while also capturing referrers’ attention. 

examples of communications tailored to channel program audiences

Automating referral workflows to maximize sales potential 

Prior to program implementation, the organization operated referrals on outdated forms routed through emails. The new, streamlined referral platform replaced manual processes with automatic referral routing through various workflows, offered local variations, and efficiently handled complex participating audiences, while also updating their internal CRM. This strategy set up a positive experience from partner recruitment to rewarding for closed sales. 

Benefits of a streamlined referral platform

  • Pre-configured program rules informed automated routing
  • Warm leads automatically distributed to assigned sales reps
  • Referral data refreshed every few minutes
  • Numerous integrations allowed for timely status updates, so reps quickly became aware of opportunities and could track the process 
  • Reps could view all associated leads and information in the sales CRM and stay in sync with submitters

Referral workflow

Mapping processes between the referral portal and the CRM clarified back-end integrations that simplified administration.

graphic of channel partner workflow
Program communications explained how to use the platform.
Communications also detailed how to get the most from the program.
example of channel incentive program on ipadRegular touchpoint emails help to keep the program top of mind.

Segmenting communications for ongoing engagement

Creating a strong value proposition for all audiences helped advance goals through regular touchpoint emails, keeping the program top of mind. Current business needs and trends guided the segmented content, while refamiliarizing participants with system features and prompting them to log in to the portal to: 

  • Submit new referrals 
  • Track submitted referrals
  • View or update payout information 
  • Contact their assigned sales representative 

These touchpoints are part of an ongoing feedback ecosystem that uses participant data to inform program changes and enhancements. 

Sustaining program engagement to realize results 

The brand infused a top performer loyalty program to not only attract and retain top performers, but also drive incremental leads and sales activities. And it’s making an impact. Ongoing analysis of program results and participant engagement ensures the program remains relevant in an ever-evolving industry. 

Leveraging warm referrals from multiple audiences yields incredible results. The 11:1 lifetime program ROI is proof that investing in a referral program demonstrates a real return. The referral program produces higher quality monthly recurring revenue quicker and easier than other methods.


11:1 ROI

1M referrals

$2B in revenue