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So you are ready to host a field marketing event with the right quantity and quality of registrants. Great job!
To maximize ROI, your sales team needs a plan.
It’s not enough for you to fill the room with the right people, deliver compelling content, and run flawlessly through the program.
Prepping your sales team is what turns your event into new revenue opportunities. You need a detailed plan that spells out how the sales team will prep before, act during, and follow up after the event, making sure roles, responsibilities, and expectations are crystal clear.
BEFORE THE EVENT, communicate clearly the time commitment you expect from your sales team. For example, each sales person should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the event start time and plan to leave at least 30 minutes after the event ends. “I need to leave during the event to catch my plane” is not acceptable! In those 30 minutes following your event, the entire sales, marketing, and thought leadership teams should formally meet in a debrief where each attendee is discussed, notes are taken, and followup activity is agreed upon. Do not settle for a meeting the following week – it’s human nature to start forgetting the details of conversations that may be the key to personalized followups. All of this fresh data needs to go into a CRM system such as Salesforce.com and be coded in a way that you can track and measure results over time.
Prior to traveling to the event, the sales representatives should recieve a full registration list so they can analyze the individuals, the represented companies, and any existing relationships. This way, they can easily research the registrants and attending companies (LinkedIn or Google both work well) so they are better prepared for introductions and conversations during the event.
DURING THE EVENT, the sales team should be actively networking with attendees, not talking with each other. Instruct them to actively listen, and be a sponge- the more the attendees share, the better prepared you are to focus on their needs and convert them to new customers. Take care to set boundaries with your team- during the event, they shouldn’t spend too much time talking about your company or your products. Instead, it’s a valuable time to listen and learn- they’ll soon find themselves armed with more than enough business development intelligence to build real relationships.
AFTER THE EVENT, it’s critical that followup is done within 24 hours, so the attendees’ experience is fresh in their mind. Our data proves that the success rate is greatest within 1 day of the event and goes down as time goes on. It’s also important that any and all followup activity is logged in your CRM/Salesforce system so that both the marketing and sales team can measure and quantify the results and ROI of the event.