Gartner Research

How to Manage B2B Customer References

Published: 02 May 2016

ID: G00305318

Analyst(s): Adam Sarner


Few B2B marketers would debate the value of customer references, yet most manage them in an ad hoc fashion, limiting their application to sales opportunities. But when managed as a broader management initiative, customer references add payoff to a wider range of investments.

Table Of Contents


  • What Is a Customer Reference Program?
    • Customer Reference Program Definitions
    • Maximizing Return
  • What to Do Next
    • Set Goals and Recruit References
    • Manage the Program
    • Automate and Measure
  • Conclusion

Gartner Recommended Reading

©2021 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Become a client

Learn how to access this content as a Gartner client.