How to Maximize B2B Sales at Trade Shows
According to a Response Point Survey, 80% of business respondents reported that trade shows remain a top 5 lead generating activity. Trade show participation for wholesale distributors and consumer product manufacturers can be a major expense so be sure to follow these tips to maximize value and lead generation. Trade shows are only worth the investment if your business successfully reconnects with existing customers, gain industry insights and trends, and increase brand visibility.
Plan plan plan!
Engage cross-functional teams – sales, marketing and customer service – to set metrics for success, develop a well designed, inviting booth and marketing materials for distribution, and have a concrete understanding of service and product issues to be able to address them confidently.
First, research who will be there. Engage with customers to find out if they are planning to attend and invite them to make appointments at your booth for a specialized presentation. This is an opportunity to offer solutions to any outstanding challenges, learn about organizational changes that may affect orders going forward, and introduce new team members, processes, products and services. Make sure that your team understands clients’ business needs and are prepared to offer customized solutions.
Make sure that your business gets the word out that your team will be participating in the trade show. Generate buzz by spreading the trade show’s hashtag, post on social media, mention in an email marketing campaign and blog posts. Remember, your customers are planning to maximize their time there as well so don’t surprise them. Grant them the opportunity to engage with your team ahead of time. Lure them with giveaways, samples, and scheduled, personalized demonstrations.
Set up call-to-action and success metrics
In order to evaluate ROI of participation, your firm must set up metrics to measure success. One idea is to set up a landing page on your company website to announce a contest/raffle offering in exchange for email addresses of prospects. Add a calendar for presentation appointments to be set up ahead of time. Your team can track the results of those presentations after the show
Diversify team members in booth
Include members from different departments who exhibit different skill sets at the booth. Customer service representatives can address any outstanding issues or concerns about processes, services and product features with existing customers to regain or reinforce confidence in your business. Marketing team members are best at communicating product attributes and distributing information on new products or services. The sales folks are there to collect leads and close the sale. Remember, the inSitu Sales app is an amazing tool for recording prospect and new customer information, sharing product information with an e-catalog and processing sales orders right at the booth.
Conduct a post-mortem
Gather staff who attended the trade show to review successes, metrics, missed opportunities, feedback from attendees, and ways in which value can be added at the next show.