Follow this Closed-loop Strategy in your next trade show!
In the context of a trade show or a similar event, people matching is about connecting people to create opportunities, and the role of sales is to pursue those opportunities. When the two work together to accomplish mutual goals, trade shows yield excellent returns, and revenue. The following tips will help you and your collaborators put together a closed-loop strategy to keep track of meetings held with prospects, which ones were converted into customers and what revenue was brought in.
Establish a quantitative goal
Whether you do this with your booth staff or on your own, your goal for leads should be specific, time bound and measurable. Doing ambitious research or gathering your best team for your meetings won’t be that effective without a concrete objective. No wind blows in favor of a ship without direction.
Promote before the show
Use pre-show promotions to position yourself in the eyes of the prospects you have pre-arranged meetings with. Ask those in charge of people-matching to provide you with as much info about your prospects as it is available. Your best results will come when you work together to find the companies that are pre-qualified for the products and services you sell or wish to buy. Determine your key messages and consider different types of pre-show promotions such as a hospitality suite, special offers, gifts… You can also publicize these through your social media, adverts or sponsored content on relevant industry blogs.
The follow-up activity should be consistent with your prospects expectations after your meetings. Do what you promised them. A lasting impression on your prospects will be highly dependent on your capacity to meet their expectations. Set specific timing for feedback and follow-up. Without feedback on prospects contacted, those converted to sales and the resulting revenue, you won’t be able to calculate the return on the show.
Track, track, track
Establish your buying cycle—the length of time it takes from initial contact with the prospect to the moment he or she makes a decision. Depending on your products or services, your buying cycle could be measured in weeks or months, or even years. Tracking data will allow you to see how many leads were converted to customers, and how much revenue was generated as a result.
You can project how much business you will generate with new customers during the course of the year after the show, if after one buying cycle, you track actual revenue from leads converted to new customers. You can also come up with a projection of how many additional customers will stem from meetings at the show, whenever that may happen. Some meetings may yield an operation in six months, and some may take six more.