84 Percent of B-to-B Deals Come From Referrals

What are you doing to focus on this majority? Are you creating marketing budgets to focus on the influencers, the referrals and the fans? 

“Ring, ring, ring--this is your wakeup call.” This rang through my head as I soaked in a slide that a marketer put on the screen at a meeting I attended.

It read: “According to the American Marketing Association, 84 Percent of B-to-B Deals Come From Referrals.”

Sure, you are probably saying, that makes sense. But, purely making sense was not my official wake up call. The wake-up call came from the facts.

I am in the business of strategically aligning my client’s marketing efforts to drive leads for their businesses. I am in the business of lead generation. Yet, most of my efforts--in fact, at least 84 percent of them--focus on going after the 16 percent. Our agency coaches our clients into spending millions of dollars on the 16 percent. And, many of them are spending all of that money on the 16 percent that is made up of prospects fit for all of their brands--the qualified and ready to buy target.

Before I focus on the 84 percent, let me make it clear that I think there is tremendous value in the 16 percent. The 16 percent are those who didn’t know your brand existed, have the money, just haven’t decided what opportunity makes most sense for them. The 16 percent are expensive, unpredictable, yet the real reason marketing, public relations, and advertising exists. You have to create as many impressions as possible to this qualified category of candidate.

But, 16 is less than 84.

What are we doing to focus on the majority? Are we creating marketing budgets to focus on the influencers, the referrals and the fans?

That was the wake-up call. We need to put a focus on the larger category of buyers--focus on exciting our referrals to be more enthusiastic about our business.

Now, it’s not like we have ignored this group. We host dinners and parties and events--but in many situations, we have looked at this budget bucket as focused on lead generation versus referral nurturing.

What are you doing to focus on the 84 percent? Are you nurturing them? Are you hosting events and signature moments for those who influence your business the most?

For us, we could do a lot more--and will do a lot more.

This is our blue ocean of opportunity and we must own it. All sales goals can be achieved with great validation, great partnership and great friendships--you just need to know how to budget and market to this important group of leads.

I am awake.

This column is syndicated from 1851 Franchise.