3 Ways You Sabotage Your Sales Reps at Trade Shows


Sales rep and prospect conversation at trade show

Sales reps, by nature, are creatures of habit. As a sales rep myself, I know from personal experience that reps thrive on consistency. Most reps go through a familiar routine day in and out to engage with prospects and hopefully close deals. Personally, I’m in my element on calls with prospects, discussing pain points and finding solutions. Most reps would probably agree with me.

At trade shows, the dynamics change drastically. Sales reps go from a consistent, controlled environment to a chaotic one.

In the office, the average salesperson has 6.6 meaningful conversations per day. That number triples at events. Reps interact with hundreds of attendees. It’s beyond exciting to interact with so many decision makers to follow up with post-show—but it can also be overwhelming.

In a hectic, hurried environment, reps are out of their element. They have tons more conversations than normal. They capture lead information in a completely different way. They never know what to expect with the next conversation. And it’s next to impossible to keep all the different information straight. 

Reps need more consistency at trade shows to be most successful. With a simplified system, reps can get into the sales zone and engage more effectively. Here’s three major causes for reps struggling at trade shows: 


1. Switching from System to System

Consistency is key for sales reps to be at their best. This is especially true when it comes to lead capture systems.  When reps need to worry about learning new systems at every event, it just adds to the chaos. The way reps capture leads and have conversations is central to trade show success. For the most success, choose one lead capture method and stick to it from show to show. Once reps are comfortable with the process, they can better interact with attendees.

2. Inconsistent Messaging

In the office, sales reps have a set script for how they sell to prospects. Your sales team likely spends hour after hour crafting the right sales deck and messaging. It should be no different at trade shows. Since the setting is less controlled, practicing messaging will help your reps adapt to situations. For best results, train your reps before the event on the right language for every possible interaction. This will give your reps more confidence for conversations in the booth, as well as standardize your company’s messaging.


3. Manual Processes Instead of Automation

After the show, manual entry of business cards and spreadsheets slows follow up. Because of this, many leads fall through the cracks. According to a Hubspot study, 88% of leads never make it into the CRM. That’s a large portion of your leads wasted. Along with this, manual entry prevents your reps from capitalizing on hot leads right away. Since 50% of deals go to the first company to follow up, delayed follow up can cost you valuable deals. Through automation, like an intelligent lead capture solution, you can streamline the capture process, score leads, and capture qualifying information. With leads syncing straight into your CRM, your reps can follow up faster and focus on what they do best—closing deals.