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Tip The Balance From Reference Customers To Advocates

Tip the balance from reference customers to advocates

March 12, 2014 - Intelligence

Most business-to-business (B2B) marketing budgets have a significant and recurring line item entitled “customer reference program”, which involves extensive spending and effort so the sales force and other buyer-facing teams can readily respond to requests for references. But marketers must face a new reality:

Engage early, and throughout the customer lifecycle

Empowered customers are educating themselves through professional and peer-created content that is available online. Many buyers claim to have a shortlist before they even talk to vendors. B2B marketers should adjust their investment mix between static customer case study collection (resulting merely in impressive collateral that nobody reads) and a more agile, digital advocacy program that engages with buyers as early as possible in the customer lifecycle.

“Working across marketing, sales, and other internal functions, you remove barriers to profitable growth at your B2B Company by using your customers’ needs as the simplifying focal point of your coordinated efforts. You’re responsible for managing and measuring the effectiveness of the full range of investments made to support revenue growth, both directly and through partners and from new leads through your strategy for growing your key accounts.” Steve Esposito, client persona representing Forrester focused Sales Enablement Professionals.

This report provides Sales Enablement Professionals with vital information on the shift to early life cycle engagement.

Jos Caelers

Director at Engagement Factory

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