What is a referral partner?
A referral partner is a business or individual that refers potential customers to your company, typically in exchange for compensation. This commission could be a percentage of the sale, a flat fee, or other benefits, depending on your agreement. You may also hear referral partners called affiliates or influencers.
Let’s say you’re a SaaS company with a cloud storage solution. A referral partner could be another business, like a software consultant, that doesn’t offer cloud storage but works with clients who need it. They refer new customers your way, creating a win-win-win for the consultant, your business, and the end customers.
This is just one example. In the B2B space, there are many different types of referral partners, influencers, and affiliates, such as:
- Consulting firms
- Marketing agencies
- Industry analysts
- Industry thought leaders
- Academic experts
- Professional associations
A strong referral partner network offers many benefits, including:
- Tap into the power of word-of-mouth advertising: By building a referral partner network, your business can tap into the growing $21.1 billion global influencer market.
- Drive higher quality leads: According to Nielsen, 88% of global respondents trust recommendations from people they know more than any other channel. Extend this strategy with a network of trusted businesses, influencers, affiliates, and other partners.
- Extend your reach: Referral partners can help your business reach potential customers you might not have access to otherwise.
- Lower marketing costs: Referrals from trusted partners can be a more cost-effective way of acquiring new customers than traditional marketing methods.
Your relationships with referral partners, influencers, and affiliates will often be tailored to your specific industries and niches. The key is to identify and create relationships with referral partners who can authentically promote your products or services to a relevant and engaged audience.