In the marketing space, there is constant talk about customer advocacy in social media, making moments matter and all things surrounding the digitally-based customer conversation. However, I believe that we tend to get wrapped up on all things digital (maybe because it can be measured, or get large budgets) and we tend to forget the most standard of marketing channels – the customer referral.
I keep a library of old sales books, a hold-over from sales trainings and my early career choices. I refer to them often, as I find that the more I develop in digital marketing, the more instruction and wisdom is available in traditional (old) sales techniques. At its core, sales training is about learning about the customer and helping them find a solution. The more the customer talks and explains their situation, the more information you are able to work with to find them a solution.
Digital marketing can learn a lot from established sales principles.
Today, studies and research consistently present us with digital channel comparisons, sometimes it may include offline channels. But a recent study caught my eye, as it presented comparative measurements showing that Customer Referrals, by a large margin, were the #1 conversion channel.
In this client survey from Implicit of nearly 500 clients who also use Salesforce as their CRM system, 3.63% of leads from customers and employees resulted in a sale. The word-of-mouth referral rate doubles the conversation rates of website and social media leads, 1.55% and 1.47% respectively.