What is the main reason your company exhibits at trade shows? Answer: To get leads! Because lead acquisition is so important, you need to make sure your lead management processes work smoothly before your next big event. Here are six tips to improve your lead generation strategy.
1. Use the Right Lead Management ToolThe first step to improving your lead management process is choosing the right software. There are lots of tools that can help you improve your exhibition marketing, automate lead management, and see better results from your efforts. The following tips will help you make the right choice for your brand’s needs:
- Ask for Recommendations: Do you have any colleagues who regularly attend trade shows? If so, get a recommendation from them to narrow down your list of options more easily. Ask them what kind of lead management tool they use during their events. Find out what they like and don’t like about the platform and consider whether or not it would be a good fit for your team as well.
- Consider Your Goals: It’s also helpful to think about your specific trade show goals. Beyond just helping you with generating and managing leads, what else do you need your software to do? Do you need it to work online and offline? Do you need it to scan badges or generate reports for easy data tracking? Knowing what you want to get out of your lead management software will help you figure out what kinds of features you need and which ones you can get by without.
- Look at Features Lists: Speaking of features, your next job is to review the features lists for different tools. Most software tools will offer a long list of features and, at first, you might assume that you need every single one of them to be successful. But some of them might not be relevant to your business or your trade show goals at all. Do your best to avoid “shiny object syndrome.” Focus on what you need, not just what sounds cool at the moment.
- Read Reviews: Finally, read reviews from third-party sites. This is an especially good choice if you don’t have anyone you can talk to for a referral. Reading reviews provides you with an objective idea of what each software has to offer, as well as how useful it’s been for different types of businesses.
2. Offer Lead Generation Training to Your Booth StaffThe right lead generation tool can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you when it comes to generating and managing leads. At the same time, that doesn’t mean you can neglect your booth staffing decisions and let just anyone be in charge of your displays. Talk to your staff in advance and offer training to help them generate the greatest number of leads at each event. You may even want to put them through some mock trade shows so they can practice interacting with attendees before the big day arrives.
3. Know What Makes a Qualified LeadAnother important part of your training process is making sure everyone on your team understands what makes a qualified lead. The answer to this question is different for every business, but the following are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind:
- Must be looking to purchase within a specific time frame (3 months, 6 months, etc.)
- Must demonstrate specific needs that your business can solve
- Must have a defined budget
Once your staff knows what makes a qualified lead, they also need to know what kind of information to collect from each attendee (phone number, email address, etc.) to qualify them.
4. Only Pass Along Qualified LeadsInstruct your staff to only pass along qualified leads to the sales team. This sets your sales team up for more positive interactions after the event is over and will yield better results from your trade show exhibit.
5. Always Follow-UpIn general, it takes at least a few follow-ups to close a deal. Not everyone you talk to will be willing to purchase something on the same day as the trade show. However, if you follow up with them a couple of days after, they might be ready to move forward. This is why it’s important to schedule follow-ups for after the event has ended. Your lead management tool can help you with this process and ensure you don’t forget to check in with any of your prospects.
Level Up Lead Management at Events TodayAs you get ready to set up exhibits at future trade shows, make sure you also set aside time to evaluate and improve your lead retrieval process. Follow the steps listed above and you’ll have no trouble utilizing lead management technology and setting your team up for maximum trade show success.