Trade Show Sales Lead Management
"80% of leads gathered at a show are not followed up."
-Center for Exhibition Industry Research (ceir.org)
Julia O'Connor, renowned trade show training consultant, says this lack of follow up equates to wasting 80% of your money. It is imperative that sales leads gathered at a trade show be followed up. Common sense dictates that you must have a sales lead management system and process in place to capture and track sales leads from a trade show. Common courtesy dictates that you must provide feedback by way of literature, product information or a simple thank you to anyone that takes the time to visit your booth at a trade show. LEADTRACK sales lead management software with built in mail program will do this for you - before the show is over.
Trade shows are one of the few places where you and your competitor are in the same place, at the same time as your common prospects or customers. This is your opportunity to shine because prospects have a chance to measure you against your competitors. LEADTRACK has been working with companies to capture, track and follow up leads from trade shows for almost 30 years. We have found that companies with the largest display, most unique talent or prettiest greeters are not the ones that win. It is the companies that have a solid sales lead tracking and measurement program in place that succeed at trade shows. Those companies that follow some basic trade show rules are the ones that have the competitive advantage.
1. Define Goals & Objectives
Prioritize answers to the following question: Why are you exhibiting?
- To close a sale?
- To create a database of sales leads?
- To make contacts?
- To establish a presence?
All of the above is probably the answer. LEADTRACK will tell you at a glance how you did in each category immediately after the show and for months to come.
Tip: It costs $997 to close a field sale lead V. $550 to close a trade show lead (Source: Center for Exhibition Industry Research)
2. Select the Show & the Space to generate the most sales leads
Contact show management to learn: How many attendees? How is the show being promoted? Who has attended in the past? Will the people I want to reach attend?
Negotiate for the best booth space by first determining: How much space you need? Who will be near us? Do any obstructions or restrictions exist? Where should the booth be positioned - Inline, peninsula or island?
Tip: Ask your best customers which shows they visit as attendees.
3. Set a Realistic Budget - Average budget allocation in parenthesis
Exhibit Design, Construction, Prep, Refurbishing (18%)
Space Rental Costs (29%)
Freight Transportation (including Drayage) (12%)
Show Services including Electrical, Rentals, Labor, Water (18%)
Renting or buying a lead capture tool to scan badges and business cards (½%)
Sales Lead Management software to process, assign and track sales leads. (½%)
Other-Presenters, Accommodations, Entertainment, Training, Promotion (21%)
Source: Center for Exhibition Industry Research
Fact: 99% of expenses are for design, shipping, travel, wages and staff while less than 1% is spent on sales lead capture and sales lead management.
4. Design the Booth
Your goal should be to communicate your primary message in 3 seconds. Remember we live in the visual bite generation and you are competing with hall clutter. You must be able in 3 seconds to draw people in. Your draw could be your features/benefits, a pre show promotion, entertainment, product interest, trained staff or booth design. Once you draw them in you must be able to track who they are, what their product interest is and when they will make a buying decision. Your booth should be designed to make the collection of this information easy and accurate.
Tip: 75% of attendees come with a prepared agenda, knowing what they want to see.
5. Train the Exhibit Staff
Review show & staffing goals
Create & communicate a schedule
Role-Play the sales pitches
Hold accountable for lead generation or sales
Train on use of the sales lead capture and sales lead management tools
Tip: Hire a trade show sales coach to lead your team through role-playing.
6. Manage the Sales Leads
Create a sales lead for each visitor and record it. At a minimum you must note vital contact information as well as product interest. Do the best you can, while things are fresh to determine the sales lead quality (no interest, warm, hot, current customer) and record it.
It is imperative to have a sales lead follow-up system, like LEADTRACK to ensure your visitors get the information they wanted and that your sales team gets the sales lead detail so they can follow up and close sales. LEADTRACK has numerous reports to help manage leads by territory, product and campaign or trade show.
Sad fact: 80% of trade show leads do not receive follow-up.
7. Evaluate the Show's Success
The adage inspect what you expect should definitely apply to trade shows. Remember you set goals now it is critical to measure how well you did against those goals. LEADTRACK has a Campaign Effectiveness tool that will help measure ROI for every trade show event. With this information you can determine if you met your goals for the trade show. It will help with business decisions on whether you should do the show again, get less or more space, increase staffing or get a different location. With LEADTRACK you will know for every trade show the number of sales leads generated, sales closed, cost per lead and cost per sale.
Tip: LEADTRACK sales lead management solutions will improve your trade show ROI with improved follow up, higher closing ratios and better decisions about show selection, booth size and staffing.