You’ve invested the time, energy, and budget to generate valuable leads at trade shows, and while it’s easier said than done, it’s imperative to follow through with your connections in a timely manner. Undoubtedly, there can be some hurdles to cross in order to get the qualified leads into your account executive’s hands:
1. Wrong Information was Recorded:
If your booth staffers weren't trained properly to ask the appropriate questions to qualify leads, your sales team will not have the information needed to follow up and will not deem the lead as sales-ready.
2. No Information was Recorded:
Your booth staffers didn't take the time to write down the pertinent information to inform the account executive on what the attendee was interested in and their level of interest.
3. Lack of Familarity with Lead Recording:
Lead systems can change from show to show as can the booth staffers. They may be a new hire or temp who has no experience with qualifying leads.
4. Busy Playing "Catch-up:
Once the show is over everyone is back to work trying to catch up from getting behind while out of the office. The stack of leads may sit on the Trade Show Manager's desk until they get a chance to enter them into the company's CRM, or the AEs are too busy to sift through all of the leads to find the best ones.
5. Follow-through was Unplanned:
There wasn't a plan to prepare follow-up packets to send out immediately after the show.
With a bit of planning, training, and teamwork all of these hurdles can be negotiated successfully. Be sure you provide your booth staffers with the training and information needed to determine what makes for a qualified lead. Your lead cards or the show's electronic lead retrieval system should be set up to record the appropriate data.
Coach your booth staffers to take a minute following their conversations to write down key points that would make for good follow up by the account executive. Teach them to record the prospect's product interest level and what was promised as the next step (i.e., phone call, send a brochure, etc.). Review your expectations with the booth staffers just before the show opens so they are familiar with that particular show's lead retrieval system.
During the show, monitor leads for complete information. If there are staffers who are not fully recording the lead info, re-coach them to take the time to write down the all-important qualifying information.
A higher level of planning is key to getting better information and more qualified leads. Plan your lead follow-up before the start of the show, and take the time to assign the roles of who will enter the leads into your CRM and prepare the follow-up materials to be sent out. With a well thought out strategy you will obtain more qualified leads, better data, confirmed appointments, SALES, and a higher ROI for your trade show marketing efforts.
This article was inspired by "Overcoming 5 Common Obstacles to Trade Show Lead Follow Up" by Mike Thimmesch