Referral Marketing

Why Group Buying Gets B2B Referrals

84% of B2B buyers said that word-of-mouth referrals are the most important factor in purchasing decisions. Leverage group buying to drive revenue.

The success of group buying in the B2C market is pretty well established, but can it work the same magic for B2Bs?

Group-buying sites, such as Groupon and LivingSocial, allow consumers to buy in bulk, even though they’re buying only one product or service individually. If a certain number of customers sign up for the deal, then everyone gets a discount. John Mills would be proud.

It’s simple to understand how this arrangement drives revenue. However, B2C companies deal with gym memberships and retail clothing. With a B2B, we’re talking about thousand-dollar sales and investments. Plus, the lead sales cycle is much longer and more complex.

What’s a B2B to do? Luckily, the principles behind referral marketing provide a solution for any B2Bs that may be hesitant to jump into the group-buying game.

Group buying is inherently social, allowing peers to be directly involved in the selling experience. The sites act as recommendation engines by bringing customers together in a central location to generate reviews and discussion.

We know that offering incentives to entice customers to refer their industry peers drives new sales and revenue. Studies show that 84 percent of B2B buyers said that word-of-mouth recommendations are the most important factor in making purchasing decisions. Therefore, creating a space in which to facilitate these referrals would serve to make the word-of-mouth sales process as frictionless as possible.

This plays to the issue of trust. B2B buyers want to know that the service they’re getting is effective for their brand. Similar to referral programs, group buying allows a business to provide different kinds of offers that can be a crucial step toward establishing these types of relationships. Many B2B group-buying sites offer deals such as messaging services, Web design, and printers—whatever might strike the fancy of a B2B buyer.

Consider it part of the one-two punch of referral sales: you’re offering existing customers not only an incentive to refer their peers or continue their subscriptions (in the case of SaaS companies), but also a secondary incentive in the form of a tangential product or discount through bulk sales.

Group buying is a relatively new concept in the B2B world, but it’s gaining traction and would certainly work perfectly with a referral marketing program.

B2B buyers: What do you think? Is group buying effective for your business?

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