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					                                                     LEAD MANAGEMENT




                                                                                                  ou went to the show,         painstakingly collect at      making the expense of             the leads we provide don’t

                                                 Follow My Lead                              Y
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               A
                                                                                                  wowed attendees              shows might just as well go   exhibiting difficult to justify   turn into sales, for whatever        ccording to a study by the Center for
                                                                                                  with your impressive         directly into the trash —     in an era increasingly            reason, it negatively                Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR),
                                                                                             exhibit, gathered hundreds        along with 80 percent of      driven by ROI.                    impacts the perception of
                                                 Nine ways to increase lead                  of leads, and passed them         your program’s value.            “Ultimately we do get          our program’s value.”                80 percent of leads generated on the
                                                 fulfillment and protect the                 on to sales. Your work here          You might think it’s not   evaluated, rightly or wrongly,       From organizing your         show floor go unfulfilled. Essentially, eight
                                                                                             is done. Or is it?                your responsibility to        based on how good of a            attack to resuscitating
                                                 value of your trade show                       According to a study by        worry about whether or        job sales does on following       dead leads, here are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               out of every 10 leads you painstakingly
I L LU S T R AT I O N S : B R I A N B I G G S




                                                                                             the Center for Exhibition         not the sales department      up on the trade show leads        nine ways that you, as          collect might just as well go directly into
                                                 program. By Travis Stanton                  Industry Research (CEIR), 80      does its job, and maybe       we provide,” says Bob             an exhibit manager, can
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               the trash — along with 80 percent of your
                                                                                             percent of leads generated        you’re right. But if your     Milam, trade show manager         help increase lead fulfill-
                                                                                             on the trade show floor go        leads go unfulfilled, it’s    for Kerry Americas, a             ment and protect the            program’s value.
                                                                                             unfulfilled. Essentially, eight   nearly impossible for them    Beloit, WI,– based food-          value of your program in
                                                                                             out of every 10 leads you         to translate into sales,      ingredient developer. “If         the process.

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     LEAD MANAGEMENT




 1                               2                                                              3     Appoint a
                                                                                                                                                                   4     Score Your
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5     Keep an Eye
                                                                   Vibeke Arentz, president                                     But what Milam found had                                           company isn’t a potential
       Organize a                      Define Your
                                                                of Vibeke Arentz Marketing,                                     nothing to do with his show                                        client, the lead is not
       Plan of Attack                  Customer                 a Boulder, CO,-based                  Lead Sheriff              strategy or the company’s                Lead                      recorded. If the company               On the Leads
 “Many marketing groups          A lead is little more than a   consulting firm, suggests                                       marketing message.                 Stevens advocates working       is a potential client, but the
 simply pass a disk full of      business card if it doesn’t    meeting with sales to find                                         One of the last questions       with sales to develop a         attendee isn’t a decision
 leads from the scanning         provide information about      out how they define a                                           students asked was simply,         scoring system, assigning       maker, Milam tries to obtain
 machine to the sales team,      the prospect, including        qualified lead. To facilitate                                   “Did booth staff make you          weight to each qualifying       and record the decision
 but there’s no organized        his or her needs, buying       the discussion, Arentz asks                                     a promise?” Based on the           criteria so individual leads    maker’s contact information.
 plan for following through,”    influence, budget, and time    the following questions:                                        exit surveys, 850 attendees        can be analyzed and             If the attendee is a decision
 says Mike Mraz of Exhibit-      frame. This information,          Must prospects be looking                                    reported being promised            given point totals. For         maker and represents a
 ing Excellence Inc., an         usually obtained through       to purchase within three                                        some sort of follow-up             example, if your criteria are   potential client, the lead is
 independent training and        a series of qualifying         months to make them                                             action. But when Milam             based primarily on budget       categorized as hot or cold
 consulting firm.                questions, is what helps       qualified leads, or is six to                                   counted the leads with             and buying power, a lead        (both of which he passes             “If companies are seri-
                                 you and your sales depart-     12 months more realistic?                                       actual recorded promises,          from a decision maker           on to sales). Hot leads          ous about their trade show
                                 ment learn about your             What types of need should                                    there were less than 150.          with a large budget would       represent decision makers        marketing investment, they
                                 prospects, customize com-      the prospects demonstrate                                          “What we discovered             receive a higher score than     who are currently looking for    have to hold the follow-up
                                 munications, and prioritize    in order to qualify them?       You can’t keep a promise you    was that no one was writing        a lead from someone with-       something Kerry provides.        team accountable —
                                 follow-up. To help ensure         Should the prospects be      don’t remember making.          anything down. They weren’t        out the authority or means      Cold leads represent             almost at gun point,” Mraz
                                 that your sales department     buyers or influencers, or       That’s why Milam laid down      recording 80 percent of            to purchase your product.       decision makers who are          says.“If I’m giving you 10
                                 will actually follow up on     can either position qualify     the law in his company’s        the promises they were             This scoring process helps      not currently looking or lack    leads and you don’t follow
                                 the leads you provide, the     as a lead? For example,         exhibit at the 2005 Institute   making to attendees, so            prioritize the most valuable    the budget or approval to        up on them, I’m not going
                                 qualification criteria must    does it need to be a com-       of Food Technologists           those promises were never          leads, along with those that    buy at this time.                to give you any more. I’m
    “Sales and marketing         meet their expectations.       pany-wide purchase, or is       (IFT) show.                     being fulfilled. That was          are most likely to convert          Arentz, who suggests         going to give them to
 need to get together on             Mraz calls the sales       individual or small-group           Milam was getting push-     the real reason we weren’t         to a sale.                      scoring each lead and            people who will follow up
 the issue of lead fulfill-      team “an incredibly vital      need sufficient?                back from his internal          seeing as many show-relat-            Mraz considers all inter-    only passing top leads to        and turn them into sales.”
 ment, because there’s no        component” in the process         Do the prospects need        stakeholders regarding the      ed sales as management             actions at a trade show         the sales department says,           Arentz suggests distribut-
 way to pound that hammer        of developing qualifying       to have defined budgets in      company’s participation in      wanted — not because               “contacts.” Based on his        “By working with sales to        ing leads using a customer-
 unless there’s accounta-        questions. He suggests         order to be qualified? If       IFT, Kerry’s biggest show of    the show was bad or our            approach, the contacts that     develop the definition of a      relationship management
 bility on the sales side,”      working with sales to          so, how large of a budget       the year, because it wasn’t     strategy was flawed,”              meet your target profile        qualified lead, and then         (CRM) system, then tracking
 Mraz says.                      identify the five to seven     is needed?                      producing the kind of leads     Milam says.                        are known as “prospects.”       keeping your commitment          follow-up and creating
    Sit down with your sales     bits of data that they must       Once you know how your       sales management wanted.           To alleviate the problem,       And only prospects that         to send sales only leads         reports that state how
 manager to determine            have to qualify or discount    sales department defines a          Concerned that his          Milam designated one of the        are interested in taking        that they define as quali-       many qualified leads you
 how sales associates will       leads, then crafting ques-     lead, you’ll know exactly       trade show strategy wasn’t      company’s administrative           post-event action are           fied, you will help them         generated, how many
 follow up with leads after      tions to help obtain that      what information you need       hitting its intended target,    assistants as the exhibit’s lead   considered leads.               sell and build a stronger        were handed off to sales,
 the show. Will they call or     information from trade         to obtain from attendees in     Milam hired three students      sheriff. Her responsibility           Milam takes yet another      relationship with them in        and how many leads they
 e-mail contacts? Approxi-       show attendees.                order to qualify them.          to stand in the aisles sur-     was to observe interactions        approach. If the attendee’s     the process.”                    followed up on.
 mately how long after                                                                          rounding Kerry’s exhibit        in the exhibit, and following                                                                           Milam is in the process
 the show will follow-up                                                                        at the 2004 show and            attendees’ conversations                                                                            of developing a similar
 take place?                                                                                    conduct exit interviews with    with booth staff, approach                                                                          reporting procedure. His
    This information allows                                                                     attendees. The students         the staff member to make                                                                            lead sheriff is responsible
 you to be more specific                                                                        watched for attendees           sure the lead was recorded,                                                                         for tracking leads in the
 with the promises you                                                                          who interacted with Kerry’s     along with any promises                                                                             CRM database and creating
 make to attendees (e.g.                                                                        booth staff. Then, as the       made, immediately following                                                                         a monthly report.
 “A sales associate will                                                                        attendees left the exhibit,     the conversation. The lead                                                                              “People continue to
 contact you next week to                                                                       the students asked ques-        sheriff helped Milam                                                                                question the value of
 answer your questions”),                                                                       tions about the company’s       increase the number of                                                                              exhibiting. The criticism falls
 and it creates a set of                                                                        marketing message, and          recorded promises from                                                                              on us, but the responsibility
 expectations you can use                                                                       whether the exhibit and its     150 at the 2004 show to                                                                             for success lies elsewhere,”
 to hold sales accountable.                                                                     staff fulfilled their needs.    more than 700 in 2005.                                                                              Milam says.

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 6      Warm Up
                                                                    7     Put a Price
                                                                                                                                      8     E-mail Your
                                                                                                                                                                                                       9     Resuscitate
                                 after the show, but before                                                                                                            generated, post-show                                              additional qualifying infor-
                                 the follow-up call from                                                                                                               interaction with your brand.                                      mation about your prospects.
        Cold Calls               sales. Six weeks after                   Tag On It                                                         Attendees                  But Lazarev says, at least            Dead Leads                     “Marketing’s job is to
 “Our salespeople hate to        GlobalShop 2004,                   Without an understanding                                          According to Ivan Lazarev,       anecdotally, that the follow-   What happens to a lead            deliver qualified leads to
 make cold calls on trade        Winntech, a Kansas City,           of the investment involved                                        president of Bethesda,           up step can increase the        that doesn’t turn into a sale?    sales. If a lead is not
 show leads,” says Kimberly      MO,-based retail, fixture,         in generating trade show                                          MD,-based event-marketing        likelihood of converting a      According to Stevens, many        qualified yet, that nurtur-
 Meyers, marketing director of   and merchandising-design           leads, it’s hard for your                                         technology and services          lead into a sale.               are discarded altogether.         ing process belongs in
 XMPie Inc., a printing-soft-    firm, sent each of its 200         sales associates to see them                                      company ITN International            “Is it a science? Do we     But according to her, even        marketing,” Stevens says.
 ware company specializing       qualified leads a direct           as more than names and                                            Inc., there are four steps to    have hard numbers? No.          these so-called dead leads        “Marketing should assess
 in variable-data publishing.    mailer that contained a            contact information. To                                           effective lead management:       But the big macroeconomic       still provide value in the form   the leads after the show, give
    So to help sales avoid       fresh orange inside a box          overcome this hurdle, Mraz                                        capture, qualify, follow-up,     analysis indicates that         of potential future sales.        the ones that are qualified to
 the dreaded cold call, give     featuring artistic photos of its   advocates analyzing the              If you went to the show      and distribute. “Most people     following up within a week
 them a good reason to pick      employees. The mailer also         total investment to identify      with multiple goals (gener-     skip follow-up. They do          of the show is better than
 up the phone. When XMPie        contained an accordion-            the true value of each            ate leads, build brand          the capture step, and are        following up within six
 sales associates followed       fold card with pictures of         individual lead and then          awareness, launch new           getting better and better at     weeks,” Lazarev says.
 up on leads gathered at         Winntech’s design projects         passing this information          products, attract media         the qualification step, but          According to Lazarev,
 PRINT 05 in Chicago, they       and a thank-you note with          to the salespeople at the         attention, etc.), assign        they skip the follow-up step     each e-mail should thank
 invited the prospects to a      the firm’s contact informa-        same time you distribute          each goal a percentage          because they confuse follow-     the attendee for visiting
 Webinar on the power of         tion. The orange tied to           individual leads to them.         representative of its portion   up with distribution,”           the exhibit, establish a
 variable-print technology.      the theme of its exhibit,              “It’s important for sales     of your total objective at      Lazarev says. “The follow-up     basic expectation (e.g.
 The tactic, which was           which featured 1,174 fresh         to know how much it costs         the show. For example, if       step is simply making sure       Someone will be in touch
 designed to build long-         oranges hanging from an            to generate these leads,”         lead generation and             the attendee knows that          shortly to follow up on your
 term relationships with         overhead truss.                    says Mraz, who claims that        brand awareness are your        you have registered his or       conversation at the XYZ
 attendees, as opposed to           Winntech’s sales team           understanding the size of         company’s goals, and are        her request. It’s the ‘Thank     show…), and include a              “Studies have shown that       sales, and begin nurturing
 focusing on offers that         contacted each prospect            the investment inspires           equally important to the        you for visiting our exhibit’    link to a Web site where        45 percent of business            and developing those that
 generate one-time sales,        within 24 hours of the             sales to follow up.               company, they each make         e-mail, and it should be         attendees can get addi-         inquiries eventually result in    are not yet qualified. Once
 also gave sales associates      mailers’ expected delivery             If lead generation is         up 50 percent of your           done before the lead is          tional information about        a sale,” Stevens says, citing     they become qualified leads,
 an initial talking point        time. The creative and             your sole objective at the        total objective. However, if    distributed to sales.”           your company, its products,     a report by the Marketing         pass them on to sales.”
 they could use to get the       memorable post-show                show, take the total cost of      your primary goal is lead                                        and/or its presence at          Management Journal. “They             While there are no hard-
 conversation rolling.           promotion provided the             exhibiting at that show and       generation, with secondary                                       the show.                       may not be ready to buy now,      and-fast rules for how or
    Or, if a Webinar isn’t       perfect ice-breaker for sales      divide by the number of           goals of generating media                                            But your e-mails are only   or maybe they don’t have          when these communications
 appropriate, consider           associates during their            leads you collected. That         exposure and launching                                           effective if they get read.     the budget, but eventually        should take place, Stevens
 sending a direct mailer         post-show follow-up calls.         gives you the total cost          a new product, lead gen-                                         Lazarev has two pieces of       they’re going to make a           suggests varying the timing
                                                                    per lead.                         eration may represent                                            advice, to help your message    purchase. You need to stay        to avoid making them look
                                                                        “If I spend $10,000 to        60 percent of your total                                         avoid the dreaded delete        in touch with them so that        like auto-generated e-blasts.
                                                                    exhibit at a show and I           objective, while the other                                       button. First, keep your        when they are ready to pur-       “E-mail them a case study,
                                                                    generate 100 sales leads,         40 percent is split between                                      e-mails simple. Lazarev has     chase, they buy from you          call and invite them to an
                                                                    there is a $100 cost per          your other two goals.                                            seen significantly higher       instead of your competition.”     event, send them an
                                                                    lead. If I give you five leads       In that case, take 60                                         response rates for text-based      Referred to as lead            announcement about a
                                                                    to follow up on, that’s $500      percent of the total cost of                                     or basic html e-mails, as       nurturing, lead incubation,       new product,” Stevens
                                                                    of our marketing investment,      exhibiting at the show and                                       opposed to e-mails with         and/or lead development,          recommends. “Don’t just
                                                                    not just five pieces of paper,”   divide that by the number           But what impact does         rich-media components.          this idea represents a            send a ‘Hi, how are you’
                                                                    Mraz says. “If you don’t          of leads generated. This        this follow-up step have on      Second, work with a pro-        deliberate marketing strategy     e-mail. Send them useful
                                                                    follow up on those leads,         process will give you a fair    lead fulfillment? In a sense,    fessional e-mail marketing      to stay in front of prospects     information to help move
                                                                    it’s the same as taking,          and accurate measure of         it instantly and automatically   company to help you avoid       with repeated communica-          them along in the decision-
                                                                    say, a digital camera the         how much of its marketing       increases fulfillment rates      firewalls and keep your         tions (via phone, e-mail, or      making process.” E
                                                                    company owns and running          budget your company             to 100 percent, meaning          message from being flagged      postal mail) designed to
                                                                    it over with your car. You’ve     invested in order to generate   that each prospect is            as spam and relegated to        keep your company top-            Travis Stanton, editor;
                                                                    destroyed that asset.”            each sales lead.                receiving at least that auto-    the junk-mail folder.           of-mind, and to glean             tstanton@exhibitormagazine.com


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