One insight she gleaned from a presentation by Lucent's Barb
Krasner: act as if everyone in the company is a
stakeholder in the reference program. Then organize your
stakeholders into a community of interest. “That’s just what I
did,” says Carol, who built bridges to other groups at Epicor
such as consulting, tech support and product development.
“Consulting, for example, had never been involved with
references, but now I’m included in their meetings because
they know if they recommend a customer where things are
going well, I’ll pursue the lead and get the reference."
In addition, these other groups are using Carol's
reference database to see whether a customer they’re
working with is in the program and make sure to treat them
accordingly. "It’s a clear win. I get invited to the meetings of
these groups and get a steady supply of fresh leads, as well
as recognition for bringing new references into the fold.”
This and other ideas
she got from her peers at the San Francisco event "were
crucial in helping me grow our program from zero to
more than 350 references since March," says Carol, "as well
as coming up
with a credible measure for showing their impact on our
For more tips Carol gleaned from the San Francisco
Forum -- including how she overcame sales resistance to her
efforts to formalize Epicor's reference process, gain their
trust so they would provide more references, and measure
the effectiveness of her program, check out my blog post,
By the way, Carol will be presenting at our upcoming Fall
US Customer Reference Forum in Dallas (please see below),
where she'll provide specific tools showing how she achieved
US CUSTOMER REFERENCE FORUM, DALLAS, NOVEMBER
Meet, exchange ideas, develop a support network, and take
away specific tools you can use from other reference
professionals at top firms such as
Altiris, BearingPoint, CA, Convergys, Dell, EMC, Hewlett-
Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, Hyperion, IBM,
Intel, Lucent Technologies, Microsoft, Oracle, PolyServe, PTC,
Qwest Communications, Red Hat, SAP, Software AG, UGS,
VeriSign and others.
For more information on the US Customer Reference
Forum in Dallas, please click here.
To register, please click here.
Please note: Our hotel has agreed to leave the room block
open for a few more days (until Friday,
October 20) so if you're planning to attend but haven't yet
secured a room, please do so. My understanding is that
Dallas hotels are crowded that week and our hotel in
particular is filling up.
To reserve a room, please call the Adolphus Hotel at one
of these numbers:
800-221-9083 (continental US only)
214-742-8200 (outside continental US)
EUROPE CUSTOMER REFERENCE FORUM, LONDON,
There is still time to register for our London event, where
you can join reference professionals from SAP, EMC, SAS,
Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Business Objects and several other
top firms. To register and
to find out more about the event, please click here.