Trade Show Lead Capture: Technology VS Tradition
All roads lead to Rome.
Yet, some are easier, cheaper and faster to walk. Let’s review the differences between traditional trade show lead capture and its digital counterpart.
What is traditional trade show lead capture?
When you exhibit at B2B events, one of your goals is to acquire new business. To achieve that, you must take careful notes of your conversations with booth visitors. Such notes will then be used to follow-up with prospects with the aim of turning them into customers.
Traditionally, such leads are captured with three tools:
The sales would take pen&paper notes (called lead report) and use the stapler to attach the business card to it. In average, the operation takes about 1.5 minutes.
Once the show over, someone (sometimes the sales who captured the lead, often someone else from the same team) will transfer these reports to digital format. Here again, it takes in average 1.5 minutes to transfer major elements from paper to computer.
In the end, the lead will be followed-up through email. The person in charge will write a personal email to each visitor, enrich it with details and documents and suggest next steps. This last part takes an average of 4 minutes per lead.
Ultimately, the whole process takes about 7 minutes for each lead to be handled, spread over multiple days.
How does technology change trade show leads capture?
In the same situation, a sales person using technology will trade pen, paper and stapler for a phone, a tablet or a laptop.
The conversation with the visitor will be handled the same way it has always been, but what changes is the data capture that comes after.
The booth staff will take the business card and scan it, using only his mobile device’s camera. The data it contains will then populate a digital form. The sales will tick a few checkboxes to qualify the lead, add photos of the booth, the products or even a selfie taken with the visitor. Last, he will choose an email template from a list of pre-written dynamic emails he had prepared before the show, customize it a little and then send a follow-up email instantly.
The whole procedure takes 40 seconds in average.
What difference does it make?
Using the traditional method, a booth representative spends an average of 7 minutes per lead, spread over multiple days. If this person had captured 50 leads, he would have spent a total of 6 hours to complete the task over the course of 7 days.
With technology, the same person would have spent only 30 minutes and finished everything before the end of the show.
The difference is huge. Why?
First of all, technology brings speed.
Studies show that 35 to 50% of the contracts signed post-event go to the exhibitor that follows up first. Being able to follow-up on the same day is a huge advantage.
But more than that, the person using technology saves multiple days of work. Instead of spending another week away from daily inquiries, the sales is focusing solely on his customers and not on admin tasks.
Technology complements trade shows, reducing costs (less labor intensive), increasing efficiency and improving chances of signing deals post-show.
Which one are you?