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How To Measure Contribution To Sales Pipeline From Events

Events have always been difficult to track when it comes to their impact on the sales pipeline. But no more. Tech and systems change everything. Listen to learn more.

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Events have been a notoriously difficult marketing channel to measure when it comes to adding qualified leads to the sales pipeline. Much of that difficulty has been due to the limits of the technology marketers have used for years, but there are also shortfalls that have happened in the realms of strategy and planning that need to be addressed.

Bernie’s guest on this episode of Modern Marketing Engine is Corey McCarthy, CMO of Socio—a company whose customizable event apps are changing the way companies engage with and measure event leads. Listen to discover how to coordinate event lead generation efforts with sales, how to get marketing and sales on the same page for event planning and strategy, how to make sure event leads make it into the sales pipeline, and ultimately how to measure contribution to sales pipeline through events.

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Why Has The ROI On Events Been So Difficult To Track?

In the past, lead capture at events has not been easy or effective. Corey points out that the paper-spitting dinosaur marketers have used for years – printers – are still around and are part of the ongoing problem of tracking event ROI.

The good news is that events don’t have to remain on the fringes of effective tracking. This is the age of data and technology has changed in ways that provide options for capturing and integrating leads from events into existing CRM systems. There are also many lessons-learned from past failures that savvy marketing and sales leaders can implement to make event planning and strategy pay off more. Listen to hear how Corey leads her team to make the most of events through effective planning and the use of technology.

How To Effectively Tackle The Handoff Of Event Leads To Sales

To make sure leads collected at events make it into the sales follow-up pipeline, you have to start at the top. Corey says you must align marketing and sales at the highest levels so that everyone is pursuing the same goals for the event. Part of the problem in the past has been that while sales leaders have often set goals for events they have failed to clearly set KPIs for the sales team selected to attend the event. There has also been a failure when it comes to setting ground rules for event participants. An example that resonates with Bernie is that sales reps at the event should not be allowed to conduct sales calls or demos from their hotel rooms while at the event if that would require missing pre-assigned event responsibilities.

It’s also beneficial to understand the context of an event to maximize the spending and manpower invested. Event attendees are often decision-makers who are hard to connect with through traditional means, so wisely making a priority of connecting with them at the event is key to effectively creating sales conversations.

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How Marketing And Sales Can Collaborate For Events From A Planning Standpoint

Corey was kind enough to walk Bernie through her event planning process to demonstrate the pieces that make for effective collaboration and strategy.

Corey says that she (the CMO) looks at her calendar for the coming year so she can plan events the company will participate in— and identify the personnel that should be assigned to participate in those events. She’ll coordinate with sales leadership to select the sales reps for each event whose skills best match the needs of the potential attendees.

From there, Corey communicates with sales leadership so they can plan travel budgets and clear the schedules of sales reps accordingly. Once the top leaders from marketing and sales have chosen their team, they will pull together that team to discuss the event, their goals for it, and to communicate expectations and KPIs. They will assess prospects who are expected to attend and get their SDRs started with outreach to those individuals. They hope to book meeting times with those prospects during the event.

This kind of collaboration from the top levels of sales and marketing is essential. If a strategy doesn’t start from the top it breaks down quickly.

Make Sure Event Activities Fill The Sales Pipeline

Too often, those who are chosen to staff booths at events get busy chatting with each other or checking email on their phones while prospects are walking right by them. This behavior is detrimental to the goal of an event – to generate sales leads.

Corey suggests setting clear expectations and accountability to avoid this problem. She’s had success placing a respected Senior Marketer from her team as the lead person over the event, and she gives this person a vested interest in event-specific outcomes. This motivates the team from the inside and drives active participation. She also recommends setting daily goals for the event and coordinating end-of-day recaps to assess KPI achievements and make plans for the next day.

When it comes to making the booth appealing, she says you have to develop creative ideas that provide reasons for people to come to your booth. In this conversation, you’ll hear her describe two of the successful approaches her teams have taken in the past, including a “party bus” her company provided to shuttle attendees to the evening meet-ups—and the only way to get a pass for the bus was to visit their booth!

Listen to learn how you can make events pay off for your company in qualified leads and the ability to track the ROI of your event spend.

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Mark your calendars for February 26th and 27th in Salt Lake City at the Grand America Hotel for the XANT NEXT 2020 Revenue Acceleration Conference. Register now using the discount code ‘Vengreso’ and save 40% when you attend NEXT 2020. Click here to sign-up!

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By Bernie Borges

Bernie Borges is Co-founder and former Chief Customer Officer of Vengreso, the leader in virtual selling skills training and technology for today's modern sales rep. He was also the host of the award-winning Modern Marketing Engine podcast. His book Marketing 2.0, was an early playbook in social media strategy. Bernie is also a speaker and voice over talent. He has a passion for aligning marketing, sales, and customer success for great customer outcomes and sustained revenue results. Bernie is a fitness buff and enjoys kayaking with his family in Tampa Bay.

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