|It’s hard to believe, but there are
times that as a client you really want to be contacted by a
salesperson. In fact, many trade show attendees will often go to a
show in hopes of finding relevant products that can make their lives
easier or help them to better serve their clients. What they don’t
want is to take too much time having to read through irrelevant
information in order to get what they need. Worse, attendees don’t
want to have to wait too long to get the information or phone call
they were promised.
where good lead management comes in. When you have done your
homework to find out who the client is, asked the right questions,
and recorded and analyzed the answers, you can ensure that that
relevant information gets to someone who can help that client in a
We all agree that collecting
qualified leads is often the primary exhibiting objectives.
Unfortunately, sometimes these leads are not properly qualified,
classified, or contacted. Statistics show that over 60% of
exhibitors still rely on business cards as a way to gather lead
information (Exhibitor Article by Travis Stanton –
The Myths of Lead Management). While there is nothing wrong with
a business card as a supplementary, and undeniably convenient way to
gather potential client information, it is insufficient at best.
Business cards can be lost, outdated and most importantly do not
have enough information, or room to record pertinent client data, to
properly follow up on a lead.
A lead at a show may be the first
opportunity your company has to begin a positive customer
relationship. If the information you provide to sales is limited to
just a name, email and a phone number, then you are limiting their
ability to make a positive connection.
Here are 7 steps you can take to help
your sales or marketing team make the most of the leads gathered at
- Start gathering
information before the show – If
you take the time to send out a pre-show promotion to clients
attending the show you can use that as a way to ask your
prospective clients two or three questions regarding their
needs. Make filling out those questions a pre-requisite for a
giveaway or raffle at the show.
- Link lead
information to your corporate Customer Relationship Management
system (CRM). This way it is easy
for your sales representatives or marketing to find out more
information about the client and to record additional
information they may discover when they follow up.
- Let your sales
teams know you will be checking up on results from leads
assigned to them. This way they
will be motivated to follow up on them before you contact them.
You may want to send them an email reminder before you call them
so they have an opportunity to ensure they will have something
to share when you do follow up.
- Set ROI (return on
investment) expectations about how these leads will be measured.
Do you expect 1 of 10 leads to convert? Is your conversion rate
closer to 20% – 30%? How do you define conversion? Is a quote
request sufficient or will a sale need to close before you count
it? What time period are you evaluating? The time period will
have to take into account your sales cycle. How long does it
typically take from an inquiry to a sale?
- Dedicate one
person or team to distribute
leads to the appropriate departments and to manage tracking and
ROI calculation. Ideally this same group should be the one
responsible for the trade show budget.
- Follow up quickly.
An email or phone call by someone qualified to help the client
should happen in less than two weeks. The longer you wait to
follow up, the more likely the prospect will be to start working
with a competitor or find another solution to their problem or
use for their budget.
technology for lead capturing. By
using either the shows’ badge scanner or lead capturing
application, you may save time recording contact information
after the show and be better prepared to follow up with
potential clients faster. One advantage to tablet or phone lead
capturing applications is that you can take notes and record
comments from your conversation directly into the client’s
information that you just scanned. You can also reach out to the
client immediately by attaching pdfs of brochures or information
that they requested, and copy the salesperson simultaneously.
While taking all these steps may not
guarantee a sale it will ensure your staff has a better opportunity
for proper lead management and follow up and an opportunity to
create a lasting business relationship.