July 10, 2018 // 3:00 pm

5 Unbelievable B2B Referral Incentive Ideas!

By James Snider

One of the most important things to get right with your new B2B referral marketing programme is to find incentives that will be meaningful to your potential advocate group. This is the only way that you’ll encourage them to translate goodwill into action. The trick lies in working hard to understand the motivations and drivers of your trusted clients and potential referrers. Speak to them to find out what would make a good incentive. Don’t just offer a £20 voucher here and there. Most of the best referral schemes steer clear of financial rewards and opt for more interesting approaches instead. You’ve come to the right place to get started, as we’ve got 5 unbelievable B2B referral incentive ideas for you!

Offer these B2B Referral Incentive Ideas:

The Chance to Join a Brand Development Community

Many of your advocates will already be engaged with your brand and inclined to support it without incentive. Once you give them the tools, information and processes that make it easy to ‘refer a friend’ they’re likely to do so. This group may also be motivated by having the opportunity to input into your brand’s development, service and product offering. Major retailers are already trialling this approach with online closed forums and a community of ‘trusted advisors’ who are asked to give their thoughts, ideas and feedback as to what’s going well and what needs to be improved. Sometimes there will be competitions or monetary rewards, but very often there will be discussions which simply seek to engage and converse. These can be surprisingly popular and further enhance that vital engagement. The trick is to make the conversation personal, meaningful and to show thanks in a special way.

The Chance to Speak at a Business Conference

Your B2B advocates may be particularly motivated by the chance to get close to your own network, so why not invite a trusted, strong referrer to speak at a conference or event. They can of course speak about your business and their experience with it but in so doing, they can also talk about their own offering.

A Discount on a Service or Product That They Already Buy

If your advocates are already regular buyers of your products or services, then a discount on the items that they buy the most will be genuinely valued and meaningful to them. You may also want to offer an incentive discount on a product or service that they have bought occasionally but are yet to fully buy into.

The Opportunity to Have Dinner With Someone Useful to Their Business

This links to the business conference speaker event idea and the objective of giving your most trusted advocates the option to engage with your own network. For a really good referrer you could line up a meal with your own business leaders and perhaps someone externally that you know could be valuable. Make it a good meal at a decent restaurant. The ultimate price is a prolonged period of referrals so that the cost / benefit stacks up.

Gamification and Tailored Rewards

This is a big buzzword in marketing, and the idea of gamification makes referral programmes fun and lively for the participants. Delivered by a digital platform, the approach awards ‘points’ for different levels of referral activity; a small number for sharing a tweet for example, and a larger number for providing a review or case study. The points mount up and can be converted into prizes that the advocate can choose. Again, it makes the referral scheme fun, interesting and sticky for the people you want closest to your business, and who can effectively act as extensions to your own sales team.

Which other B2B referral incentive ideas have you considered trialling for your own business? Let us know in the comments below.


To learn more about the benefits of client referrals and for tips on how to set up a referral scheme of your own, download and have a read through our free e-guide, The Sales Director’s Guide to Winning Referrals!

Winning Referrals


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