What does a customer reference management job entail?

OpportunityCustomer reference management is certainly not a new business concept, but until recently, it wasn’t common to see companies recruiting specifically for the role of customer reference management. So, if your company is starting a formal customer reference program, what would a job description of a customer reference management role entail?
Like most jobs, there are entry or associate levels all the way up to VP and director roles. In this post, we touch on some of the main characteristics of a customer reference management professional.

What is the main objective for a customer reference management professional?

Just like the main goal of sales is to land new clients and meet targets, customer reference management professionals also have a main objective: Create and drive a strategic, top-tier customer reference program that drives revenue.

What are the primary duties of a customer reference management role?

In other words, how do they manage all aspects of these strategic, top-tier references?

Although it varies from company to company, in general, the primary responsibilities include the following:

  • Recruit and manage high-touch reference relationships for strategic customers
  • Create and maintain in-depth customer profiles and contacts
  • Manage reference request fulfillment and track reference activity and outcomes
  • Drive opportunities for promotion and broad-based leverage of customer success assets
  • Interface with sales to analyze their strategy and advise them on how/when to use references
  • Develop strategies for integrated customer reference engagement plans that showcase customer success via a variety of deliverables including: written, video and peer-to-peer customer stories, quotes, business and technical case studies and slide-ware
  • Increase program adoption and visibility
  • Produce monthly/quarterly reporting and regular communications to stakeholders
  • Report outcome metrics for strategic customer engagement, and
  • Foster and promote long-term, mutually beneficial customer relationships
  • Ability to understand and articulate the value of the program to a variety of internal and external stakeholder audiences

“A key factor is the ability to serve all of your stakeholders – both internal and external. It’s about finding the right customers for the right situation, and also enhancing your relationship with your customers and preventing their burnout.” – Abby Atkinson, Senior Customer Reference Manager, FireEye

What are the skill sets of a customer reference management professional?

Skill sets and desired attributes and experience depends on the level of the position and the size and scope of the company. Smaller companies may not require much, if any, international experience, while large enterprises will most likely make it a requisite. Generally speaking, customer reference management professionals possess the following skills and experiences:

  • Excellent verbal and written skills
  • Superb presentations and client-facing skills, particularly at CXO level
  • Strong project and program management skills
  • Two to several years’ experience in sales and marketing
  • Good analytical skills
  • Candidates need technical / computer skills which will undoubtedly include a fluency with the Sales CRM (like Salesforce)

Launching a Customer Reference Program?

This best practice eBook is designed to help B2B sales, marketing and customer reference managers work together to create a thriving customer reference program. When customer references are easy to access, the result is not only happy, engaged customer references, but a surge in revenue influenced by your company’s best assets – your happy customers.

Download the Best Practices Guide Now
Nichole Auston
Director, Content Marketing at RO Innovation
Nichole Auston is the Director of Content Marketing at RO Innovation. With a background in digital marketing and nearly a decade of experience managing marketing programs for a variety of SaaS companies, she’s passionate about sharing insights, best practices and stories about sales enablement and customer reference management, and the people and technology that power it.
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