Many businesses leverage CRM (customer relationship management) technologies and tools, like Salesforce or HubSpot, to better understand their sales processes; keep track of conversations with customers, prospects and partners/vendors; keep leads better organized in a centralized system and more. These tools can be extremely helpful in understanding how “hot” a lead is, when your salespeople should follow up with a lead and what type of content those leads have shown interest in over time (helping sales staff make informed communications in the future).
These benefits and more explain why an overwhelming majority of businesses (91% of companies with more than 11 employees) now use CRM technologies. But, as we’ve helped companies to execute various event marketing strategies, we’ve realized how many companies are underutilizing these tools—ESPECIALLY those with an active trade show program.
As we’ve mentioned above, a major benefit of using CRM tools is gauging the value of each potential lead. But keeping unique lead information clear, accurate and readily available within a CRM tool can become a challenge, especially when companies use trade shows as a major lead generation source. Why? Two words: Lead quality. Keeping leads segmented according to the quality of that lead is essential in leveraging the power of CRM tools (and improving your closing rates). So, how do trade shows complicate the process of determining a lead’s quality? Hold on a minute…I think I hear a practical example coming this way!
How Trade Show Leads May Dilute Your CRM Data:
Your organization recognizes the value trade shows offer to exhibitors. And knowing that value, you’ve lined up a robust trade show schedule for the year: You’ll be exhibiting at all the hottest conferences, meetings, exhibitions and the like across the country (maybe even the world). At all these outings, your sales team has been extremely effective at capturing intel on potential new business opportunities (collecting leads). But…you’re at a trade show. And anyone who’s been at a trade show knows that sometimes the new “lead” whose badge you just scanned really just wanted that free tchotchke (which isn’t all bad; at the least you’ve selected your event promotional material wisely!).
If someone gave you their information because they really, REALLY wanted that kick-ass branded hoodie you were giving away, does that mean they should be ranked in your CRM the same as a potential client who your sales team has been in back-and-forth communications with for the past year and who is FINALLY about to pull the purchase trigger? No. No, it does not. (This isn’t exactly a realistic comparison of lead scoring methods. There are innumerable factors which can make an impact on lead score, but for the purposes of our example, we’re keeping it simple.)
Instead of adding that list of trade show leads directly into your current CRM tool—and adding potentially inaccurate information as well—collect them in a different CRM tool first. Then qualify those leads collected at the trade show BEFORE adding them into your organization’s main CRM tool.
You may be thinking, ‘Great. Now I’ve been told that learning one CRM tool isn’t enough; that I’ve got to learn ANOTHER one just to keep the data I’ve collected on my leads clean.’ Good news: that’s NOT what we mean! (Well, not exactly.)
Trigon Creative offers clients access to our own CRM tool to separately manage those trade show leads. After we’ve integrated the leads collected at a trade show outing into our CRM tool, we can help you create a marketing campaign based on your services/products designed to determine the quality of those leads. This campaign can use the same lead scoring metrics that are used in your current CRM tool, so you know that the lead is “hot” by your definition, not ours. While the campaign unfolds, we’ll be able to confirm which leads you collected at the trade show could be “hot” and which ones are, well, not so hot. And after the campaign has concluded, we’ll give you a detailed report describing our findings (and suggested next steps, if desired) before porting those contacts over directly into your CRM tool.