This can be situated on several levels, including:
- Who is involved: the sales team, the HR team, the management team, other employees, partnerships,…
- What will be done: which actions to take and which to avoid
- How: which overall strategy, what kind of approach by individuals (and which support is needed regarding self-confidence, action steps, tools, …)
- Where: at events (self-organized or external), face-to-face meetings, online or rather via social media, telephone or e-mail.
- When: at which stages in the customer journey or recruiting process.
Before taking action, it is important to evaluate whether the current way of working of the organization on all levels supports or counteracts a networking or referral strategy.
That’s why these elements are explored with respect to their influence on the networking and referral strategy: mission, vision, values, mindset and involvement of top management, vision and mindset of the involved directors or managers, offering (products/services), employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, target groups, customer journey, targets of the sales or recruiting team, marketing channels, marketing materials, profiles of sales team and other involved employees, expectation management with regard to events (both self-organized and external), customer service channels, CRM system, design and management of self-organized events (including format, invitation management, hospitality, follow up), policy regarding external events (which ones and why), website, policy and support regarding LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media, mindset sales team and other involved employees (general mindset, at events, when in touch with customers), skills of sales team and other involved employees (including making contact at events, Elevator Pitch / Sticky Story, asking for referrals), in which way sales team and other involved employees are supported (tools, briefings, FAQ, helpdesk,…)
The way these topics are explored is a pragmatic one: interviews with involved managers or other co-workers who have a good overview of an organization’s way of operating.
In this way a description of the current situation (or the expectation regarding the future situation) can be formulated quickly and efficiently. In other words, no lengthy or time-consuming studies will be done. However, one of the recommendations could be to perform a deeper study or analysis of one or more topics.
The “Networking & Referral Strategy Scan” contains over 150 topics that influence whether or not a project that is based on the power of a network including referrals will be successful.
They are situated in these 6 key areas:
- Mission, vision, values, mindset sales strategy and employee satisfaction.
- Applied sales and marketing strategy.
- Event organization.
- Online strategy.
- Mindset sales team and other co-workers that are involved.
- Skills sales people and other co-workers that are involved.
Since every organization is different, with its own culture, own products and services, own level of employee and customer satisfaction and own sales and marketing approach, every Scan is customized. Only the topics that are relevant for the organization will be included in the Scan.
The result of the “Networking and Referral Strategy Scan” is a report with an overview of supporting and limiting elements regarding a successful referral strategy, including brief recommendations.
Based upon these recommendations action can be taken by the organization itself. When needed or desired, a consultant of the Soul Business team can be hired as a sounding board.