Top Lead Generation Ideas for Your Next Trade Booth

Top Lead Generation Ideas for Your Next Trade Booth

In the world of cutthroat competition where businesses are increasingly turning their heads to online advertising and social media marketing- It may leave us wondering if live events such as trade shows or exhibitions are still relevant

Well, the answer is Yes!

Though businesses have endless options of marketing today than what they had a few decades ago, they shouldn’t ignore the massive power of trade shows and exhibitions which can help them stand out amidst high competition. There is no denying that these live events do involve high costs, but with right steps and team on board they can turn out to be attractive lead generation opportunities.

Being themed events, trade shows or exhibitions help in garnering the attention of customers who are interested in services or products being offered. Moreover, these allow businesses to expand their customer base in a very short span of time. All one needs is to cleverly sift through the crowd identifying hot leads from the sea of people!

Here I have come up with some creative ideas that will help you turn attendees into leads, ensuring the best return of your investment.

1.Choose Strategically: Research is the Key

Exhibiting at a trade show is never a cheap deal-hence thorough research beforehand on choosing the right place, convention and the type of trade show to attract maximum leads is prerequisites to successful business marketing at live events.

For instance, say, your target audience is small business and they are on the lookout for knowing more about a particular industry at trade shows. Find out what they are looking forward to know and then equip them with some insightful information. Capitalizing on this opportunity and acing your presence at the trade show will leave a lasting impression of you as a business expert that will help you in future too.

Hence, know well in advance, what you want and then craft those details to delivery properly.

2. Invest in Pre-Event Promotion

The trade show is going to be your showcase event, hence you must ensure it is pre-promoted heavily.

Make sure to update your contact details to reach as many customers as possible. Make use of social media, update information on your website, create event landing pages to segment your contact lists and automate emails.

Another good way practice pre-event promotion would be to create a door of enticement. Send out just a particular piece of information to your contacts that may prove valuable to them, thus urging them to come and claim the full portion while attending your booth at the actual event.

3. Keep the Booth Designs Attractive

Your booth design will go a long way in attracting visitors hence make sure your booth appearance is professional yet attractive. Keep the design in line with your buyer persona in mind. Don’t include things that have nothing to do with your business and services. Invest smartly in building the brand so that your booth stands out: a nicely designed background, highlighted bold banners, some extra lighting (not too gaudy) and may be some unusual chairs.

Consider ‘installing call to action elements’ at your trade show booth such a screen asking visitors to fill a survey along with their contact details. You can install vending machines where you can ask visitors to equip it with their business cards. Such elements at your booth design will help you generate leads while encouraging participation from visitors.

4. Equip Your Booth with the Right Staff

Staffing your booth with enthusiastic, kind and inviting staff is one of the prerequisites to gauge solid leads.

The people at your booth are your brand representatives who know your services inside out. Hence, it is important for them to be assertive, friendly and professional in their approach and not behave like employees sitting behind tables who are bored and drained of energy.

Hence, be selective about selecting your staff and look for people who can communicate well, are willing to participate in the goal of bringing benefit to the company. They should also have a warm smile and pleasing personality. Taking a technical guy with no communication skills to represent your booth who can answer the toughest questions will never serve any purpose. Lastly, ensure that the staff manning your booth are trained about the products and well aware of your business objectives.

5. Hand out Freebies, Keep Giveaways

Freebies can instantly catch visitor’s attention, provided they are aligned well with your lead generation strategy.  Consider keeping giveaways that are related to the services you are offering such as a pen drive for a software company, a wooden showpiece for a furniture company.

Also, make sure to give your gift items to qualified leads and not just for the sake of giving. Make them work to earn it like keep a prize draw as this will keep them engaged and offer a more time span to discuss your product value to them. 

Though we are living in the age of digital, keeping some form of paper collateral such as a leaflet, a catalogue is good. Don’t forget to include details of your company logo, services offered, website etc. with everything you plan to give away.

6. Nail your Live Presentations and Product Demos

Doing a live presentation or a product demo would be one of the most effective ways to generate crowd at your booth.

However, make sure to keep it short and engaging keeping it for 10 minutes at most.

  • Keep a good presenter who is confident as well comfortable addressing the audience.
  • Doing a recurring presentation say every hour or at frequent intervals will be helpful in telling people about your products and inviting them to your booth.
  • Make sure to indulge or invite people after your presentation so they don’t end up leaving your booth. You can make them fill a form, participate in a competition or speak to your sales personnel so they can qualify them further.

7. Focus on networking, Visit Other Trade Booths Too

Exhibitions and Trade shows are not just about hype or making money, but also connecting with like-minded people, networking and having some fun!

Visit other booths, introduce yourself to people who might turn into your prospective leads. Strolling out can help you understand what your competitors are doing in keeping attendees engaged thus proving out a valuable tactic.

8. Keep the Atmosphere Lively, Indulge in Fun

The experience of meeting people in person at a real event can be overwhelming, especially when you can control the experience you want for your visitors. It can actually be energizing meeting leads face to face, knowing about them while adding a little flavor of fun while interacting with them.

In order to make your event memorable that can leave a long lasting impact in the minds of attendees, you can:

Consider doing a stage talk, or perhaps walk through a product demo answering questions and asking them, you don’t have to only focus on gaining customer attention but also in making your message stick longer with them.

Investing in some form of entertainment, music, food, and drinks will also make the environment more comfortable for your team boosting up the enthusiasm to work actively towards closing deals.

9. Collect Data and Follow Up Timely

Given the huge stake involved at your trade show event, it is important to collect all the data of your prospective leads who may be interested in your services in the future. Make sure to have a robust method for collecting the data.

Make use of productive CRM tools that can directly feed data to your smartphones or tablets ready to be launched in your customer database, it will save in a lot of time and manual effort.

Moreover, following up with leads in a timely fashion is crucial to keep the conversation going. Left attendees will forget you and grow cold in today’s’ fast paced environment or they may get wooed by your competitors who are faster on their feet. Reach out to leads through social media, connect them up on LinkedIn. Reply and Respond to every query and request to establish credibility and authority.S

Trade shows can be fantastic opportunities for you to increase brand awareness, multiply leads and maximize ROI for your business. All you have to do is understand what visitors are looking for, man your booth with the right staff, craft an attractive booth appearance, nail your live presentations, focus on networking and follow up in a timely fashion.

Ultimately the planning, thought and participation you put into your trade show will have a direct impact on the leads you will generate. Formulate your strategy based on the tips and suggestions outlined above and walk confidently in the direction of making your upcoming event a success.

10 must have characteristics of sales teams

10 Must-Have Characteristics of High Performing Sales Teams

Despite the churn and the complexities that our business ecosystem has witnessed in recent years, there is one fundamental truth that remains true till date- “nothing can happen unless somebody sells something.”

If you wish to have a sales team that can deliver consistently high results, you must begin with creating a high-performance sales organization.

What are the Key Characteristics of the highest performing sales team?

Let’s have a look at the key traits of the high performing sales team and what differentiates them from the average ones.

Working on them will not only help you foster a culture where people are passionate to achieve their goals.

#1. Define your sales culture and hire according to it

What is your sales culture?

Is it collaborative or competitive or a healthy mix of both. What is your salespeople’s attitude towards the prospects and clients? Does “helping clients succeed” takes priority over “meeting quotas at all cost” or the other way around? How important is the element of fun?

Once you nail down the culture, hiring the right people who fit your culture becomes easy.

#2. Have Structured Sales Processes

According to research by the Sales Management Association, 90% of all companies that use structured, guided and formal sales process are ranked high performing.

(A sales process typically consists of 5-7 steps: Generating Leads/ prospecting; Qualifying leads, recognizing needs; providing the solution; managing objections, closing and supporting.)

Why sales structure is a key characteristic of high performing sales teams:

  • A structured process will help in clearly breaking down the steps of selling while identifying the best practices for each stage in the cycle.
  • A high performing sales team involves reps who are extremely driven and goal oriented. A structured sales process makes it more satisfying for the team to track progress in a concrete way.
  • Having the sales steps clearly laid out in a detailed manner makes training new hires much simple for managers and less overwhelming for salespeople.

#3. Equip Your Team with Enablement Tools

Once the groundwork of hiring the right people for your sales team and process mapping is complete, it’s time to equip the team with smart tools to ensure they are able to manage the timelines and deliver quality work.

While there can be no dearth of smart technology-driven tools you wish to provide your sales team with, make sure not to miss out on these essential tools that will leverage technology to more win-win deals. These are:

CRM: CRM (customer-relationship-management) software’s with facilities such as email management and tracking, SMS functionality, phone-calling are a lifeboat to any sales team.

Smart Contact Management: These take away the daunting task of manual entries allowing sales reps to give more time to selling.

Productivity Suite: These tools can enhance sales performance and are a must to have for your sales team. Some popular productivity tools are:

  • Business email such as Gmail
  • Document Management Tools such as PandaDoc
  • Video Conferencing tools such as Zoho or Slack
  • Cloud Storage Google Drive, Dropbox
  • Calendar Solutions such as Zoho Calendar

These tools can help in turning sales conversations into pitches,  reducing the sales cycle, identifying potential leads, and more.

#4. Employ a Robust Coaching Methodology

Roughly three fourths (74 percent) of leading companies have said that regular coaching and monitoring are crucial for the sales team to perform well consistently.

In order to get a better sense of what a strong sales coaching looks like, here are some examples:

  • Reviewing a call session with the salesperson on what went wrong and coming up with areas where improvement can be done
  • Conducting a weekly in-meeting-talks about the areas of sales where reps are less confident and then discussing strategies to boost confidence
  • Accompanying reps on the field for mentoring and motivation

Ask your sales team if they are being trained and coached well and if they can tie to it to accelerate performance.

#5. Implement data-driven accountability

It is important to build a common understanding of core metrics with your sales team.

Developing a clear understanding of sales metrics brings every team member on the same page.

The right metric can depend on sales organization, company or industry. I am listing down some important sales metrics that matter the most:

Quota Attainment: This refers to the percentage of sales reps meeting the quota that reflects if the quotes are too low or high.

Going by the rule of thumb, the quotas are considered to be unrealistic if less than 60% is met. This also lets you decide to whether to hire better salespeople or fire the underperformers.

Average Deal Size: This is calculated by dividing the total amount of deals (in dollars) with the total number of deals closed.

Looking at this metric tells whether the contracts are getting larger, smaller or are still the same.

Moreover, if you find that the average deal size of a sales rep is less than the team average, it could mean the person is going too fast with low payback customers and needs to push aggressively towards more competitive or large customers. It could even mean he is discounting quickly.

Conversion Rates: Also called the “win rate”, this measures the percentage of leads turning to customers.

This metric lets one calculate how many leads need to be converted to meet the revenue targets. For e.g.:  If your monthly team quota is $600,000 and the average deal size is $1000, the team need to close 600 deals.  And if 10% of your leads are turning to customers, you need 6,000 leads per month.

#6. Allow Some Room for Growth

Being a sales leader, coming out with solutions to every problem is not very impressive, on the contrary, it’s obsolete and wrong.  

To improve engagement, ask your sales team to come up with their own solutions.

For instance, you can say “Team, we have scored low on this aspect, what should we start doing or change to improve?

Also, do not forget “not to sweat the small stuff”, be comfortable with the 10% that did not go according to the plan as it will make the 90% that went well more enjoyable for everyone around.

#7. Arm your team with true feedback

Sales leaders often fail to give the time on feedback, however, it can bring a great difference not only for individual reps but also for the team as a whole.

Most often we think of feedback as positive or negative, but here’s a new way to consider while giving employee feedback: redirecting or reinforcing.

Reinforcing feedback is when we want someone to keep doing a particular positive behavior. In other words, giving it means verbally reinforcing the positive effects of an employee action.

On the other hand, if we are sticking only to negative feedback that means we are only telling them to stop doing a particular action. With redirecting feedback, we are telling a rep to stop doing X and start practicing Y.

Examples of Feedback:

1. Something that I really appreciate about you is the knack to approaching problems and the zeal to come up with witty solutions! [Reinforcing feedback]

2.  I strongly feel you have a superpower around making customers feel convinced and influenced while selling products. [Reinforcing feedback]

3.   Do you have a minute to catch up on how X went? ( This is a good way to get started after a sales project or presentation and then come up with areas of improvement you wish to direct your team.) [Redirecting feedback]

#8. Share positive customer stories to instill motivation

Are you familiar with the phrase, “Sales is the hardest easy job in the world?” Behind every cold call, there is a challenge waiting to get solved.

Given the enormous dedication with which salesperson is constantly trying to get their numbers down, it can sometimes feel like a vicious cycle of thankless grind!

Having a regular meeting to share positive customer stories and how the company’s product is improving the lives of thousands around, can go a long way in much-needed motivation for sales reps.

It can help the sales team to push themselves while facing new challenges and reminding them what they are doing really makes some difference in the world and lives of people.

#9. Modernize Your Approach to Leadership

A sales leader or manager is the often considered responsible for ‘raising the bar of the company’.

With engagement and feedback culture increasingly spreading, any modern-day sales team requires proactive and responsible leadership.

Modern-day sales leaders need to be emotionally intelligent to break through the “quintessential mold of rigid sales leadership”.  

They should be assertive enough to state what they need clearly and at the same time should combine it with empathy to make tough conversations whenever necessary.  

Leaders should focus on empowering teams through monitoring, coaching, support that can shape their team’s success while bringing milestones for the organization.

#10. Do not forget to have fun together

A high-performance sales team is not limited to the competency of individuals comprising it but a spirit where collaboration is appreciated to achieve shared gain.

The best teams are not willing to just work together but also enjoy and have fun together.

The bonding can happen by allowing a fun environment to prosper from time to time. The approach to creating it can vary, say some companies do it through their an annual sales kick-off event, some do it by hosting a sports match at tropical locations while others do it by conducting a fancy dress day in office.

Whatever be the way, the goal is to foster better relationships among professionals giving them space to build rapport outside their work environment.

Summing Up

Having said enough, it’s not hard to understand that why teams selling works exceptionally well for some companies and is a complete failure for others. The keys to success for modern-day sales teams begins with identifying sales culture and hiring accordingly; incorporating structured processes; employing robust coaching methodology; implementing data-driven accountability; allowing room for growth; giving consistent feedback and modernizing your way to leadership.

Employing the above strategies will not only help in building high performing sales teams for your organization but also fuel in new energy and zest ensuring that the overall atmosphere of the company is positively impacted.