Stop Squandering Your Sales Opportunities—80/20 Your Trade Show Leads

As a marketer, you may have heard of the 80/20 Rule, or the Pareto Principle. An Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto developed the concept in 1895 (hence the name). Since then, it has been adapted time after time by modern executives, marketers, salespeople, etc. 

The 80/20 Rule is often applied to a broad scope of topics, from sales to time management. The core concept is that 20% of input results in 80% of output. For example, 20% of your clients account for 80% of your revenue. Or 20% of your work activities amount to 80% of your results. 

Let’s take a look at how the 80/20 Rule operates at trade shows, how to ramp up your event ROI, and major mistakes to avoid. 

 

The 80/20 of Trade Show Leads

The 80/20 Rule also translates to trade show leads. 80% of your trade show ROI comes from 20% of your leads—your SQLs. The trick is locating that 20% and pushing them to the forefront of your sales efforts. 

80/20 your trade show leads for more deals

In a mass blur of attendees, how do you target the 20% hot leads? Through lead scoring. At the booth, you want to score each lead as a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), or a Marketing Lead (ML). Then your reps have a clear path ahead to follow up with SQLs. Meanwhile, you can plug MQLs and MLs into different nurture campaigns. Eventually, some of those leads will convert as well, accounting for the rest of your event revenue. 

Booth questionnaires are the primary way to qualify and score leads at events. Your reps will have a set list of questions to ask an attendee, as well as predefined values to determine a lead’s quality. For example, your rep might ask for the prospect’s timeline; an immediate buying timeline would translate to an SQL. Other questions your reps may ask include pain points, job title, product interest, budget, etc. For best practice,  track lead qualification through digital or paper forms, or an automated lead capture solution.

 

Don’t Squander the 20%

Since the 20% is so valuable for a positive event ROI, you must do all you can to capitalize on them. Here’s the biggest obstacles to dodge as if your life depends on it (your sales conversion certainly does)—

 

Ineffective Lead Scoring

What happens if you skip lead scoring and put all your leads in one bucket? Well, you end up with zero visibility into what leads matter most. As a result, you treat them all the same: same emails, same deliverables, and same generic follow up. Your reps back home also have no idea which leads to follow up with first. So instead they are forced to call leads at random. From our experience, most reps give up after a handful of dud calls. Which leaves those high-value SQLs lost. And leaves your sales reps feeling this way about the entire experience:

 

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Slow Follow Up

Did you know that 50% of deals go to the first company to follow up?  That’s half your deals dependent on one thing: speed. In today’s digital world, prospects lose interest faster than ever. To beat out your competitors, as well as retain prospect interest, you must reengage quickly. Our research has found that the optimal time to follow up is within 48–72 hours. If you wait a few weeks, months, or 32 years, the hottest leads will have gone cold—and your event ROI will plummet. To avoid this situation, you can leverage lead capture automation to accelerate your follow up. 

 

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One Single Marketing Campaign

The final nail in your trade show coffin is using one single marketing campaign for all your leads. Since your leads are at varying stages of buying, you must meet their expectations. MLs, MQLs, and SQLs all have different understandings of their pain points, needs, and your company itself. Sending highly specific content to everyone will only alienate leads instead of nurture them. And you definitely don’t want to send one generic blast across all leads—that won’t touch anyone. These methods will just leave your prospects feeling like this: 

 

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Instead, you will want to craft specific, personalized campaigns for SQLs, MQLs, and MLs, based on your lead scoring in the booth. Using multiple campaigns will—

  • Improve your conversion rates
  • Educate your leads
  • Help prep prospects for sales conversations
  • Route more nurtured leads to sales

Like much of the business world, the 80/20 Rule applies to trade shows and events. Because 80% of your event revenue comes from 20% of your leads, you want to devote your sales team’s time and energy to the 20%. Through lead scoring, fast follow up, and multiple marketing campaigns, your team can capitalize on the hot leads and win on the trade show floor. 

Interested in learning more about intelligent lead scoring and trade show automation? Talk with one of our trade show experts today.