OK, you just got back from a long week on the road at your favorite trade show. Now what?
The number one, patently obvious thing to do is direct sales team follow up with hot leads. In a previous post we cited a study that found that less than 70% of companies have a formalized plan to follow up after a show, less than 50% follow those leads through the buying cycle, and less that 30% track trade show ROI.
So we do not take for granted that companies do these basic tasks after a trade show.
The key principle when following up a trade show is speed. Do not wait for long to follow up. Be there immediately after the show with the resources and information you promised the lead at the show. Build your credibility with your speed and thoroughness of response.
I once led a team launching a major new product in a competitive field. Our key strategy was the speed of lead and sample request response. Our speed and high quality responses were the key competitive advantage used to launch the product, and it worked.
Post-show key lead management tasks include:
- Follow- Begin by following leads on LinkedIn and social media - use a tool like Sidekick or Rapportive to find them
- Delegate - Assign a specific follow up person to each lead
- Prep your in-house resources - Make sure sales and marketing knows who is doing what - who is calling and who is nurturing
- Score your leads - Create a priority or lead score based on where the lead is in the buying journey
- Segment your leads - Have segments based on urgency of follow up, know the best prospects and treat them accordingly
- Measure the ROI - use automation tools and CRM to the measure ROI of the show
- Identify influencers and connectors - Make sure you list the influencers and connectors you worked with at the show for a full ROI picture
- Build a schedule for contacting leads over time - Set reminders to follow up with these contacts and build value with each contact
- Add leads to your mailing lists - All leads get top level company communications
- Have a series of offers and emails that nurture them along the buying journey - Continue to be helpful and show your commitment to helping them even if they are not ready to buy now
Successful show follow up starts well before the show and is the best way to ensure a strong ROI from your trade show investment. Not sure how to craft your trade show plan, check out this post to see what your pre-show prep should include.