5. December 2012 02:51
According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), the average exhibitor invests 39% of their annual marketing budget on trade shows and events. But there's a lot of frustration around how to demonstrate results from that investment. Part of this no doubt has to do with the fact that – according to a study from CEIR - most companies do not have a tracking system in place to monitor the performance of their events which directly affects their ability to measure ROI.
You'll want to get a formal lead tracking system in place, but until that happens, make sure to take care of these basic lead tracking issues:
Establish WHO is responsible BEFORE the show. Yes it takes a village to go from show to sale. Don’t leave room for assumptions. Appoint individuals to perform the functions of a closed loop system: Who will collect all of the leads” Who will fulfill them? Who will enter or upload them into your database, and who will provide the follow-up? According CEIR’s exhibitor sales lead trends study, 45% of companies send their leads to sales for follow-up while 39% send them to marketing.
Define WHAT information to collect from visitors. Your sales team can help you define this more specifically.You have only a few minutes with each visitor so develop a few questions that will provide the answers key to qualifying them. CEIR’s exhibitor lead study confirms that only 30% of the companies surveyed qualify leads at their first encounter. Train your booth staff to incorporate those qualifying questions. Print them on your lead card or program them into your lead reader. The answers can be used to rank leads and formulate your follow up plan.
Define WHEN to follow-up. The same study by CEIR shows that 42% of survey respondents followed up within one week, and another 38% follow up within two weeks. My advice is to get started immediately. Research indicates that the average sale happens after the fifth contact so continue the momentum started at the event. At the very least, send them a short email to thank them for visiting you and let them know what to expect as the next step.
What strategies have you used to make sure your leads don't fall through the cracks?