Collecting leads on a show floor is a normal process. Using these leads and having a way to catalog, cross reference, and follow up on them is another job. Many times leads are handed over to sales people and no one in the Marketing Department has a way to track them to see if the show was successful.
There are ways to keep the information available centrally to all company personnel in a manner that can track ROI for the marketing department and provide access for the Sales Staff. In my opinion, a company should invest in a CRM Software program that allows a Marketing person to upload the information into a client data base and provide levels of access for Sales people to use this data. If it is the Marketing Department’s budget that funds the trade show effort then it is even more important to monitor follow-up sales to get accurate ROI data.
Ok, I need to explain a couple of quick terminology definitions. ROI means “Return on Investment.” In other words, you invest money to be in a trade show, and you need to find out if it was worth the investment – simple as that. The other term is CRM. That stands for “Customer Relationship Management.” It usually relates to a software system.
There are companies that can help identify the best type of software system that matches your budget and needs. Exhibit Edge uses a program called InfusionSoft. There are many others out there so you will have to do your homework. We like InfusionSoft because it provides many resources that fit our needs. You can develop marketing programs called campaigns. It has an e-commerce and shopping cart feature, and it has the ability to cross platform with Outlook to store customer emails and files for quick reference just by typing in a customer name. You can be on the phone with someone and put their name into the system and see their entire history of product inquiries, follow-up, email trails, past sales, etc., at your fingertips.
The key benefits of a CRM system are increased sales and better productivity which means lower costs for marketing, sales support, and customer service. Another huge value is increased customer satisfaction which leads to repeat sales and referrals. CRM software for marketing provides targeted launches and streamlines the delivery of a more unified message.
Bottom line, the entry costs to subscribe to a system have never been lower, and the missed opportunity costs of individual hit and miss sales strategies has never been higher. We will continue a look at ROI by seeing some of the new trends for trade show lead capture next week.
As always, please respond with your questions or comments and let others know about EXHIBITOR LOUNGE.COM. We will see you next week. Until then, I am your host Michael Gray telling you to RELAX in the Exhibitor Lounge.