Carol Blumberg on The Value Of Getting Together With Your Peers

Thank YOU so much! It is really a terrific group and I always learn something new! I have met so many wonderful people and the community you have developed is really making some inroads in this paradigm!
Carol Blumberg, Corporate Communications Manager
Epicor Software Corporation

How do you place a value - in a time of hectic schedules and tight budgets - on getting together with your peers from time to time to share ideas and develop best practices? Carol Blumberg, Corporate Communications Manager at Epicor Software Corporation shares her experience. "I attended my first Customer Reference Forum in San Francisco last March, and came away with several ideas for addressing difficult issues I was having."

Act as if Everyone is a Stakeholder

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."

A Big Help in Growing Her Program

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 business."

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 our blog post, here.