If you want to generate referrals, you need a solid, reliable process. Here’s how to start building one today.

When it comes to referral selling, are you “all in” or just trying it on for size?

Unless you have a systematic, disciplined program in place to ensure your reps are asking for referrals from every single client, your team is likely leaving money on the table.

So what does it take to implement an effective referral program ASAP?

Strategy

Every sales professional understands the power and value of referral introductions. Everyone (yes, everyone) tells me that with referrals, you arrive pre-sold, quickly develop trust and credibility, shorten the sales process and convert prospects into clients more than 50% of the time. And did I mention that that it also lowers the cost of selling? Referrals are free. You can actually extend the reach of your sales team by drafting satisfied clients and colleagues into your referral army.

[Related: Get growing! 10 ways to jump-start agency growth]

Accountability

Look back at your own sales history. How many times have you been to a training session and left all hyped up and eager to get started? Then a week later, you realize you’ve abandoned or forgotten most of what you learned. Perhaps you tried to apply those lessons but were told to continue doing what you used to do. Before long, you’ve abandoned the new approach because it’s just easier to do things the old way. We’ve all been there. Salespeople need sales managers to support and coach them, especially when learning new prospecting strategies or sales processes. They also need to be held accountable for results.

When you adopt a referral process, the way success is measured changes. You establish metrics for both referral-selling activities as well as referral-selling results. Set goals around both — for your team and each individual. Then follow up on a regular basis to ensure they have the skills and resources needed to meet those goals.

The truth is that transitioning to referral selling can be hard work. But once you have a referral system in place, your sales will take off and your team will thank you for ensuring they never have to cold call again.