Driving customer leverage for organic growth
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Business Issues

Applying a Customer Leverage Perspective to Reference Customer Issues

Applying a customer leverage perspective means developing a mutually beneficial relationship with reference customers that represents a powerful asset for the company vs. simply maintaining a library of success stories and case studies. 

Most of the challenges facing reference program management stem from taking a tactical approach to reference activities. Tactics may still result in deliverables, but companies that can’t see the forest through the trees face a wide range of issues that not only threaten the ability to create those deliverables, they threaten the entire customer relationship and the company’s ability to grow.

Customer leverage as applied strategically to reference programs helps enterprise technology vendors address the following issues that are common today:

  • Our referencable customers are defecting at a faster rate
  • We need access to higher-level executives at our reference companies
  • We need to focus on the customer relationship rather than just the reference as a tool
  • The current demand for references exceeds our capabilities
  • Customers want more for being a reference
  • We are competing against other vendors for the same references
  • Traditional tools like case studies and success stories no longer carry the same weight
  • Our executive suite wants ROI on reference program initiatives
  • We are abusing our best customers as references
  • The customer intelligence we gather isn’t shared throughout the company
  • We don’t know who the best reference customers are
  • We don’t have control over who in the company is talking to customers


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