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Marc Goldberg's Articles

Lead Management.  Itís a problem.



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Why is there so much difficulty with lead follow?  There is no lead management plan, there is no system in place to manage the leads captured, and there is not enough good information for field sales to treat it as anything than a "cold call" and therefore no commitment on the part of the staff to take lead capture seriously.

A plan for lead follow

Before even thinking about a lead management plan, you need specific, focused, quantified and measurable objectives,i.e., 150 A leads that can be converted into $750,000 in sales within 6 months of the close of the show. 

1.  Define for your organization what a qualified lead is and what differentiates an A lead from a B lead or a C lead.

2. Train your staff to engage, qualify, engage in a two way dialogue based on needs uncovered in the qualification process and close on a
     commitment for the next step in the sales process.

3. Use a two step process to capture lead information (a) pen and paper to record information generated during the interview and (b) some
     form of electronic lead capture to obtain the visitors contact information.  If you are at a show without badges, part (b) is a plan to capture
     business cards or record contact information.

4. Design your post event follow-up process before going to the show and communicate this plan to the staff working the booth so they know
     post event lead management has been thought through.  They will take the process more seriously.  Post event planning might include:

   a. Sorting of leads by category 

   b. Having a specific plan for follow-up for each category, e.g., for A leads send a thank you email the night of the engagement, have
       a follow-up communication prewritten with appropriate collateral attachments planned to arrive the week after they arrive home from the
       show. A phone is placed the week after to pick up the conversation from where it was left at the show

   c. For A and B leads conduct some post event requalification by phone gather additional information for the field sales force to make the lead
       "warmer".

   d. Have a closed loop designed so that sales is committed to reporting 30/60/90/180 days after the show, the status of the lead.  By doing this
       you can assess the effectiveness of your lead capture activity and take corrective action if necessary.  But most of all you can generate an
       estimate of the return on your exhibiting investment. 

   e. Communicate this plan to your event team so they know you are serious about the objective of sales lead generation.


© 2011 by Marc Goldberg