Sales Tools to Increase Tradeshow ROI

There’s been a lot of excitement around Sales Enablement solutions (for the purpose of this post, I’m referring to solutions that help sellers find and deliver the right content for each prospect). Marketers are realizing that it’s not enough to create content, they have an obligation to make sales collateral and marketing content more easily available to sellers. After all, why create all that content if:

  1. You don’t know which content works
  2. Sellers don’t know which content to use for what circumstance
  3. Sellers can’t find it
  4. Sellers can’t easily deliver it to prospects

All are great reasons to consider a Sales Enablement solution for any organization.

Lately, I’ve seen specific functionality come to the forefront—features that make it easier to deliver content to prospects at tradeshows and to follow-up afterward. Alice Heiman of Trade Show Make-Over says, “TradeShows can be a dependable source of qualified leads but for most companies they are not. One of the key reasons is the lack of information collected from each conversation. That’s because the scanners that come with the show are not adequate to capture insight on which leads are qualified.”

Tradeshow specific features not only provide better insight on event ROI they help to actually ensure a higher ROI.

Here are a few key areas these solutions improve.

Lead follow-up:
In order to follow-up quickly and effectively, a couple of things have to happen. First, you need to get the lead names quickly. That’s difficult to do because, more often than not, attendee lists or badge scan files don’t arrive until several days later. Then, Marketing has to upload them into the marketing automation system or CRM before outreach can be made. In those cases, no customization can occur because you have only the basic lead contact data – not what was talked about, or what the prospect’s interests were (or whether there is interest at all).

There are a few ways sales enablement solutions can help overcome those problems. For one, many, like Bigtincan and Mediafly offer forms on a mobile device for sellers to enter information. It can be the actual contact information as well as any qualification fields you make available.

Zuant’s Customizable Lead Forms

These forms can also be made available for self-service whereby a prospect steps up to a kiosk and enters their own information.

More specialized Sales Enablement providers like Zuant and Modus also offer badge scanning capabilities and/or business card scanning. This helps busy booth staff immensely. Instead of scanning with the event organizer’s device, each seller scans badges with their mobile phone or tablet device. Forms appear after the scanning process so that sellers can tick boxes—customized fields for information you want to gather, like company size, interest areas, or contact location (handy for lead distribution purposes).

In either scenario, the lead information can be automatically synced with your organization’s marketing automation and CRM solutions.

Market Intelligence
It’s great to have names of leads. It’s powerful to have names of leads with answers to questions like:

  • What were they interested in most?
  • What collateral were they shown?
  • What challenges are they looking to solve?
  • What’s their timeline?
  • Are they considering competition?
  • What is the size of their company?

Imagine receiving a thousand leads with the above information appended. From just that data alone (and you can gather much more), you would know which product lines were of most interest at that specific event, how interest varies by company size or industry; which salespeople had the most conversations, when the peak traffic periods were, which competitors came up in conversation most and more. I like the ability to see how many leads are captured in real-time.

Event ROI

Event ROI is often difficult to quantify. The formula often goes like this: Event cost/by number of leads.

We all know, the quality of leads can matter as much as or more than the quantity of leads. Unfortunately, we can’t normally know the quality of leads until weeks or months later, after a salesperson’s time is spent following up to determine who is interested and to what degree.

With the right solution, you can pinpoint ROI much more precisely and sooner. which means you can spend your tradeshow dollars more wisely going forward. You can analyze ROI in several ways, cost/leads, cost/opportunities, cost/closed-deals, cost/leads-in-your-ICP, cost/qualified-leads.

I mentioned that the right solutions can help you to actually increase your ROI (not just to measure it). The reasons are that faster follow-up and more targeted follow-up increases conversion of leads-to-opportunities. You and your salespeople will be much happier.

The booth staff must be armed with technology to collect pertinent information that will tell a salesperson if it is a qualified lead, how eager the prospect is to continue the conversation and some important information from the conversation that helps in the follow up. If you want ROI from trade shows, you need qualified leads that turn into sales opportunities. Purchase technology that makes it easy to collect the right information and to do great follow up.”

Alice Heiman, Cofounder TradeShow Makeover

Sales Effectiveness

Booth staff can execute more consistently if there is a standardized process for the 3 most important tradeshow tasks; asking questions, qualifying, and presenting. Furthermore, with access to the right content on a tablet device, sellers can add the most relevant content to the prospect’s “shopping cart” which will automatically send the materials to the prospect the minute the conversation is over.

As a prospect interacts with those materials (opens, reads, forwards, etc.) sellers and marketers can see which content is consumed and when.

The content itself can be more powerful as well. Digital content can reduce the number of printed materials needed (and the high cost of printing and shipping). If a prospect is interested in a product or brand other than those you have printed collateral for at the show, it’s no problem. You can house all the digital content you want on the tablet device.

That’s not all; digital content can be more dynamic and powerful than a 2-sided printed piece of paper. It can include 3D animation and interactive content.

If there are last-minute content updates or additions, it’s super easy just to add them to the dashboards on every staff-members devices.
Tradeshows and events often have networking opportunities where sellers meet and discover prospects. They can’t be carrying around printed assets to hand out. Digital content makes it possible to benefit from spontaneous opportunities.

It’s time to stop relying on old-fashioned booth tools like scanners provided by the booth organizer, printed materials, and hand-written notes on business cards. Event-provided scanners give you no ability to customize the form, you don’t get lead lists fast enough, and you aren’t able to customize follow-up based on what each prospect cared about.

With year-round trade-show seasons, it’s time to take a look at solutions that can give you a much better ROI.

Here’s a brief check-list of functionality to look for:

  • Ability to use full functionality even when offline
  • Lead forms
  • OCR Business card scanner with instant field population.
  • Photo capture of business card for back-up.
  • Badge Scanning
  • Ability to  park leads during busy periods (scan, park, repeat. Leads save locally to finish up later.)
  • Brand it in your own colors.
  • Present brochures and select the ones to send (immediately) to the prospect as a follow-up.
  • Leads integration with your marketing automation system and CRM
  • Automatic marketing outreach follow-up
  • Interactive content
  • 3D Content creator
  • Real-time insight to the tradeshow lead status.
  • Tie individual users to specific events so they only see the information for the events they’re going to.
  • Insight on busy times for booth scheduling
  • Ability to schedule mtgs quickly on site
  • Easy to add and manage content
  • Contest Creator (for booth give-aways)
  • Hidden lead scoring (prospects don’t see on the form)
  • Kiosk presentation and form-fill mode

Look for the right TradeShow Sales Tools to get a bigger return on your investments. For more tips and strategies to effective event participation. Personally, I highly recommend contacting the team at Tradeshow Makeover.

 

This week’s post is Nancy Nardin, Founder of Smart Selling Tools.