(This is the second in a series of articles for the MC2 eConnections Newsletter)
The sales team is the internal customer of the marketing function. Marketing is employed to generate sales opportunities and to increase the probability of sales. These same objectives apply to a marketing event. So, what information can you supply that will be valuable for the sales team?
Beginning with the planning phase, define for the sales team who is “addressable” at the upcoming event. The correct strategy, messaging, products and content can be determined by knowing the target audience available at a marketing event. This information is valuable in choosing which products to feature and even which sales team members will participate. You might also identify who among your existing customers are likely to attend. This information is often available from the event organizer and from your own measurement records from the last event cycle.
Second, give the sales team a forecast of how many participants are expected at your booth or event along with their demographics. Suggest that the sales team use this information to determine which demonstrations and other experiences to include. Forecast the number of expected engagements and estimate the number of committed leads that should result. From there the sales team can help you estimate the “sales opportunity” value for the event.
You should not only give information to the sales team, but you should also seek it. Ask the sales team to define the steps that an interested, targeted visitor should be asked to take. This will become your definition of a qualified lead, i.e. someone who is committed to take those steps with your company.
Finally, report the actual attendance at your event in the same way you defined the forecast. Who visited? Define your visitors by the following:
• Company type,
• Relationship to your company (such as customer, prospect, supplier, partner, etc.)
• Company size
• Level of decision authority individual contact information
This information comes from your scans or leads documentation and may also be supplemented by an exit survey of visitors who have completed their experience.
Of course, the golden ticket for the sales team is complete documentation of well qualified leads. Work with sales to determine how much information is really required to support an effective follow-up. Requiring too much information will clog the process and dissuade prospects from participating in documenting the lead. Too little information makes it less likely that sales will want to follow-up.
You want to confirm the specifics of the follow-up step with the visitor before you pass this information on to sales. Clarify the following:
• “Who”- As in the visitors name and organization
• “What”-As in the nature of the follow-up expected
• “When”- What is the mutually agreeable time frame for the follow-up
Your lead system should have a place for all of these data points. By keeping this data in a common database, you can analyze and report how well your events have provided the sales team with access to qualified targets over the year.
Your personal influence will increase considerably if you are seen as a manager who can deliver a well-targeted audience at your events. A good measurement program shows you how to improve upon your accomplishments in every category. I hope you tune in each month as we expand on the knowledge and skills to justify and improve your events and elevate your status in the organization.
Please contact me if you have questions or ideas you would like to share at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 770-391-0015.