Use your first reference

Go to Market strategy

Reputation and customer references serve the same purpose and are highly effective tools for attracting new customers. In a busy marketplace, where there are tons of vendors available claiming to provide the right solution, it often gets confusing who to trust.  According to KPMG, 84% of executives are influenced by customer testimonials in their B2B purchasing process and peer recommendation is the primary decision factor. How to make a difference ?

Think duplication first

From the success you had locally and the existing references, you can define a framework with similarities in the market you are willing to target. Obviously, the verticals are identical as you tackle the same pains. The buyer personae can be analyzed, and you can ask for advice to find its duplicate in the region. This will help fine tune the segmentation and set up the right goals to achieve. Building a customer reference Playbook is therefore relevant to the extent that it demonstrates the value delivered to the customer and bring the basis for the development of efficient value propositions. Customer value calculators and value case histories are also effective sales tools.

Another way to duplicate past success is to find international subsidiaries from your existing customers. This can help gaining the first reference and speed up the sales cycle. 

Also asking for customers to refer verbally is one thing. But if you have a set procedure and guide them through it, there’s nothing like it. Introducing them to your customer referral program would help you win their confidence and trust.

B2B reviews is an important emerging customer reference asset, especially when the reviews are in-depth with substantial content. What enterprise tech buyers want is smaller number of reviews relevant to them, that they can actually believe and get unbiased insights.”

Build a customer reference program 

Prospects always love to hear that there is a successful example close by. All of them are not early adopters. 

To get the first reference in the new region is probably the bigger step to success. Once you have a local presence with an existing customer, things may become easier. To leverage this valuable asset, you may want to offer your first customer additional benefits so that we will be positive to carry the right message.

Someone who uses your solution probably knows another set of people who are within the same industry and in may be interested by  a solution such as yours. Referral marketing allows you to tap into this potential audience by allowing you to incentivize a share. It is often a win-win program. A well-coordinated customer reference program can help a salesperson to spend less time searching for suitable customer reference. Also, make sure you treat your reference well. Remember, they are volunteers who give up their free time to help your business achieve its goals.

Don’t forget to define the competitive landscape in region. Some competitors may have a strong presence in Great Britain but very weak in Germany or Benelux. This will drive your segmentation and market approach and ultimately select the best powerful reference that will leverage your sales operations. 


“The faster you can help customers understand and extract value from your solution that is in line with their business goals the stickier and more successful they ‘ll be. And to do that, there is no better example than a successful reference.”

CEO at Praxeo



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