Trade shows are very effective marketing initiatives, but only if accompanied with a good lead management plan. According to the Center For Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), almost 80% of leads generated at a trade show are never contacted for a follow-up. Trade show ROI (return on investment) depends on timely and effective lead follow-up. These trade show lead management strategies will help you get the most out of your next trade show exhibiting initiative.
Effective Lead Management Strategies
- Whether you use an electronic lead management system or use a traditional lead generation form, make sure your sales team gives input regarding the content. They are the ones who will be using it so their “buy-in” is important. (see our sample trade show lead generation form)
- Train your staff to use the lead form and to know what information is most important to the sales team for follow-up.
- Use a simple system to categorize your leads and prioritize interest. Discipline your booth staff to indicate "A", "B", "C" (or another system) on each lead sheet as they are generated. Also, review and organize all of the leads for the day each evening of the show while the information is still in mind and add any additional info that will be helpful in the follow-up process.
- Plan your lead follow-up and fulfillment before the show begins. If your literature will be sent with a letter, prepare the letter so that you can use a text merge in your word processor to print the letters. Make sure that you have enough printed literature (if applicable) to fulfill the leads. If using electronic documents, prepare them for easy fulfillment.
- Create a system to manage the leads after the show. How will the leads be delivered to the sales team? Who is responsible to delegate the follow-up? What methods will be used for follow-up (phone calls, email, letters and printed literature)? Who will do the lead management reporting? How and when will the sales team report the results? To whom will the lead management results be reported?
- Plan your follow-up so that your leads receive contact the week after they return to their office. This gives them time to clear their desks and email and makes contact while they are still mindful of what they saw at the show. Timing is very important and can make or break your ROI.
Most trade show exhibitors attend shows to accelerate and boost the sales cycle. A well planned lead management system is vital to successfully accomplish this goal. Genesis Exhibits offers complete trade show and face-to-face marketing services, including lead management planning, execution and staff training. Give us a call and see how we can help you reach your trade show ROI goals at your upcoming events.