Every business strives to create and retain partners. The Referral Partner Program is a tool that companies use to identify, attract, motivate and retain other businesses that sell their products or services. The program should aim to create long-term relationships between the company and its partners. To be successful, the Referral Partner Program must have clear objectives, identify the right target market, offer attractive benefits, and be properly managed. So, how do you build a Referral Partnerships Program that will be successful in achieving your company’s objectives?
There are four key steps to building a successful Referral Partner Program:
Define the objectives of the program.
A company’s objective is the reason why it has designed the program. It should include a list of all benefits that the program can offer to its partners, such as customer referrals and increased sales. When the program’s objective is well-defined, the company will have a clear blueprint for success. Usually, the objective is to seek out other businesses that offer complementary products or services, so that the company can gain more customers.
Identify the target market for the program
Target markets differ in size – small, medium, and large. A small target market may be comprised of local businesses and individuals, whereas a large target market may include businesses across the country or overseas. The program can also be designed to target a specific service area, whereby one business seeks out another to work with it towards a certain project or campaign. When the target market is well defined, the company will have a clear idea as to how many partners it needs to attract.
Determine how to pay for the program
Some benefits can be offered to partners, such as offering advice and guidance on how they can promote their business using forward-thinking programs. Or the benefit can be in exchange for ongoing services. These benefits should outline the costs associated with joining a Referral Partner Program, allowing the company to decide whether it wants to invest in a program or not.
A company will want to offer partners the best benefits possible so that they can reap the most rewards. Benefits will vary depending on a company’s budget, but they should always be attractive. The more attractive the benefits offered, the higher the chance of the program being successful.
Manage the program
The program should be properly managed, or it can become unwieldy very quickly. The company should have clear procedures in place that outline how partners will be recruited and how they will be rewarded for referring customers to the company. It is also important to assess whether there are opportunities to expand the partnership program by adding new benefits and more partners, to enhance its success rate and make it more attractive to prospective partners.
The key to successful Referral Partnerships Programs is to have strong execution and a keen awareness of market trends. The program must be well-designed and implemented quickly and effectively with clearly defined rules, procedures, and expectations for both parties. A good program will form the cornerstone of your business’s strategy to seek out new customers in an innovative way.