Most trade show exhibitors put the vast majority of their effort into creating their presence at a trade show – the trade show displays they build, the staffers they send and house, and for some, the promotions they do to create greater activity in their booth space.
Unfortunately, too many waste these valiant efforts, because they fall down on managing their trade show leads. That’s because there are more hidden roadblocks than they realize, obstacles to getting the full value from their leads.
So let’s bring those roadblocks out into the light. I believe the list below includes the 12 most common obstacles to effective lead management – how many of these are issues do you need to address?
1. Incomplete lead management process
2. No single person responsible for the entire process
3. No consultation with sales about what information needs to be gathered at the show
4. No training of trade show booth staffers about what makes a qualified lead, how to record lead quality
5. Qualifying information from leads is not captured with a lead card or a lead retrieval system
6. If complete information is captured, it is not conveyed to the appropriate sales person after the show
7. Slow, incomplete, or non-existent lead fulfillment
8. No computer system or customer relationship management software in place to facilitate lead management
9. Lead fulfillment packages not chosen nor prepared in advance
10. Lead fulfillment is generic and does not respond specifically to what individual attendees asked about while visiting your trade show exhibit.
11. No one pre-assigned to data enter and fulfill the large quantity of leads
12. No accountability for sales people to follow up on leads within a specific, short period of time after the show
Any of these sound familiar? Fixing this will take a team effort, including your sales, marketing, and information technology teams. Get them all in a room and work to knock down these obstacles. For motivation, bring to the meeting a pile of your latest trade show leads, a spreadsheet of the costs of your show, and the highest level exec you can get that these people all report to.
Then you can work to avoid all 12 of these obstacles and create a smoother lead management process that gives your company the full potential value of your trade show leads.
By: Mike Thimmesch –