ensure event follow-up success
Have you ever participated in a trade show and fell horribly short on your lead goals?
We’ve worked with many companies over the years and have seen some consistent challenges in attaining lead targets that could have been avoided with the right processes in place. We’ve seen everything from not collecting leads, not investing in lead scanners, not training exhibit staff on the lead process, to not following up on the leads, or even worse, leaving leads at the show…
When you are developing your show goals, the lead strategy and process should be wrapped into this.
so what might a successful lead process look like?
First you need to make sure you have a core theme or message that truly engages with your audience. The theme focus should be consistent throughout the pre, live, and post event communications so there is an awareness established.
Then make sure you know what the calls to action are before, during and after the show, and that the sales team is aware of these wrapping them into the process as required.
After your calls to action are in place, you should set up your CRM system appropriately for the program. It’s so important to remember that your CRM system is the place where Sales and Marketing come together. So it’s critical that the CRM system processes integrate with both the marketing and the sales operations, or it can truly cause lost opportunities, neglected leads, embarrassing duplicate communications and generally just make you look pretty hapless to your customers… In short, there should be no data silo problems if you have successful cross processing set up between sales and marketing.
Next it’s important to ensure you have a dedicated team at the show that will collect leads via a show scanner. It’s critical that you have relevant key questions set up on your scanner as well. A well trained team should have no problem getting through the questions quickly so they can move onto the next lead. If possible, we highly recommend importing those leads nightly into your CRM system with any critical notes.
*Don’t forget, educating your show team (including Marketing, Sales, PR and everyone else participating) on the goals and process for lead acquisition is also crucial to follow-up success.
Be sure to let your teams know that if they collect cards or share leads with partners, they still need to be incorporated into the lead process so they can be properly tracked. It’s bad news for a company to pay the high costs of attending a show, and then to have some of the leads plucked out by whoever, so they can’t be tracked. This can reflect an especially large loss when it’s a lead that may yield to a larger post show ROI report. Senior management not seeing the full picture, and therefor not seeing the full benefits of attending the show, could lead to not attending again. We’ve seen this negligent, lead plucking behavior for all sorts of reasons and excuses, but we know that everyone either follows the process or the system can’t show an accurate picture.
Once all the leads are in the CRM system, a timely follow through with the post show program communications to those leads is extremely important. If you have a call to action for the post show, even better to get some dialogue going. During this time and depending on your lead process, the leads can be ranked and relevant teams should be notified of the status to take further action as required.
Checking back on the leads for the first few months is a great idea to just keep tabs on the follow through so a more accurate follow-up show report can be completed.
With these important steps in mind, the lost opportunities will be cut down to a minimum. The more data you have, the better you’ll understand the customer, what communication resonates best and how best to nurture those leads through the sales cycle.
We hope this info benefits you for your next event! If you’re still overwhelmed and in need of some event help, let us swoop in and save the day.
STAY TUNED FOR THE FINAL ARTICLE IN OUR EXPO SERIES…
Post Show Reporting