So, you’ve booked your annual trade shows, you’ve made sure that your pop up display banners are in perfect working order from last year (or ordered some great new ones from http://thedisplayoutlet.com), you’ve got your sales team primed and ready and you’ve got a superb choice of products or services ready and waiting.
Trade shows are one of the best ways to generate qualified leads for your business – but then comes the tricky part of managing those leads to convert them into sales. Successful trade shows can help to generate hundreds or even thousands of sales leads in a very short space of time and how you manage those leads can make a big difference to the success of your business.
The first rule is to act fast – you’ve got to strike while the iron is hot and convert those sales leads before somebody else does. Your trade stands and sales people have generated the interest, they may have converted that interest into a need and now it’s time to convert that need into a sale. There are a couple of main methods which many businesses use in which to organize and manage their trade show leads. Let’s take a closer look.
Many trade show exhibitors find that collecting business cards is a tried and trusted method of managing sales leads generated at the show. This is one of the most popular methods but it isn’t perfect by any means. There are a few problems you need to overcome when choosing this method of managing sales leads:
1 – Space – business cards are small which makes them easy to carry around and hand out, but that also means that there isn’t much space to write any information on them. This can put your sales team at a definite disadvantage when they attempt to follow up the leads after the show. They will have very little information to go on before making the follow up telephone call.
2 – Some businesses utilize both sides of their business cards which means that there is nowhere to write information at all. If this was your primary method of collecting and managing contact information you are about to come very unstuck.
3 – Some forward thinking businesses these days have electronic business cards – now you’re really in trouble if you thought you could jot a few notes on the reverse of the card.
4 – Some businesses take a tremendous amount of pride in the design and appearance of business cards and may be offended if you start to scribble all over them.
iPads, Tablets and Laptops
New technology has been embraced by many trade show exhibitors who now collect and manage their lead information using an iPad, laptop or tablet. There are countless benefits to getting up to speed with this new technology including:
1 – You have a method of instant data collection
2 – You can use apps and programs to create surveys
3 – Leads and all of the necessary information which goes with them can be instantly retrieved by yourself or other members of your sales team
4 – You can demonstrate any new electronic products your company has to offer
5 – This type of equipment can also provide useful sales and product information right there and then for your customers to see
6 – There are many apps and software available which can make this type of information collection even faster and better. Whether you choose an iPad, laptop or some other tablet there are plenty of great apps to choose from.