SalesTech Star

B2B Marketing Hacks: Lead Follow-Up at Shows…No Excuses!

zuant logoWhy not indeed! There’s no excuse for waiting until you get back in the office to follow-up with prospective buyers. The B2B Marketing technology is there to do so as soon as the prospective buyer exits your booth.

Let’s pause for a moment to consider why Salespeople and Marketers wait to follow-up after a show if they even follow-up at all. It is truly befuddling as timely follow-up has proven to be critical closing Sales and driving Revenue. Every other form of Marcom is tasked with showing ROI so why would Event Marketing be anything different? Truth be told, there is no explanation except ignorance or laziness.

Bottom line: They are getting away with murder!! Here’s why.

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Quantity Trumps Quality in B2B Marketing

Tradeshows are typically the largest line item in the B2B marketing budget, often exceeding more than 50 percent of the total B2B budget. And yet, have you ever seen an ROI report on tradeshow activity proving this huge investment is paying off?

Sadly, most Event Managers focus on creating great looking booths and, in some cases, coming home with a bucket load of leads afterward. There’s no regard for quality. It’s all about volume because unfortunately because quantity (vs quality) is how their organization measures success.

Those tasked with this job have no interest or time for lead follow-up or ROI; they’ve already flown on to the next show’s location to do the same all over again. Add into the mix that there’s been a marked resurgence in tradeshows and events. Absolute Insanity!

Silence or Generic Follow-up Kills

Let’s look at what happens to leads after an event. If you are like me, you’ve experienced the same treatment at a show that you find when visiting a company’s website. You leave a request for information and get no response.

The same is often true when you visit an exhibitor’s booth and although you might have a meaningful conversation with one of the company representatives, your actual request for follow-up never happens. Or, if you’re lucky, you receive a generic email a few weeks later.

The beauty of modern lead capture systems for salespeople is everything a show worker requires for effective face to face interactions are in one app as a complete digital platform:

  • CRM data, following the badge scan, enable the booth staff to know exactly who they’re talking with, and who the sales executive is so that they can make a personal introduction in the booth. People appreciate being recognized and treated with respect. With today’s technology, this is such an easy thing to do – no excuses.
  • Digital content to use for in-booth presentations and to send immediately as your visitors walk out of the booth.
  • Properly qualified leads – What exactly does your visitor want, and what is the best way to follow up?

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Post-Event Lead Capture to Conversion

So that’s the show sorted out with no excuses for a poor lead performance. But of course, when it comes to leads, the show is only just the start. From our experience, a typical breakdown of leads captured at a show usually fits into one of the following three categories:

  • 5 percent are immediate, Sales-ready hot leads for Sales follow-up
  • 20 percent are fully qualified, but the timing is just too early, go to Sales for them to keep in contact as warm leads
  • 40 percent are fully qualified but are long range ‘nurture’ leads to be managed internally

Most clients get excited about the 5 percent who need to be converted quickly; the problem is that they are often being picked up right at the last stages of a prospect’s buying cycle, and other competitors may be involved at this stage, which further diminishes the opportunity.

As in other parts of B2B Sales and Marketing, the magic is found in the 20 percent warm leads; those who are fully qualified on your lead capture app, and need unpressurized, high-quality follow-up to close the deals. The rub here is that most Salespeople are too busy to manage this process.

Zuant’s most successful clients issue these leads to their inside sales team, or external call center, to ensure good quality contact until the buyer is ready to purchase. This may take a year or two, so updated CRM reports at least on a monthly basis are the final, absolutely vital ingredient to show true ROI data ‘by sales executive’ and ‘by the show’.

This becomes a continuous quality monitoring and improvement process in B2B Marketing; especially if you have many events and shows to support. And, an individual Sales lead goes from being warmed up pre-show, to be presented in the booth, to nurtured until ‘Sales-ready’ and then bounced out to Sales to close the Sale and generate that top-line revenue for your organization.

This is often a long journey, requiring modern Marketing Automation to successfully manage and prove ROI over time. Sadly, the little effort it takes to put these processes in place is the reason that ‘why not’ tends to be the default setting for most exhibitors. Today there is simply no excuse to waste event marketing dollars by failing to follow-up quickly and properly after an event.

Those companies who do this are the clear winners and will continue to outperform their competitors, driving predictable revenue, today and into the foreseeable future.

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