There are so many moving parts to an event and it is easy to lose track of potential sponsors, exhibitors, partners and attendees. How can you ensure you and your team manage leads well to ensure your event is a success?
In this episode:
- Defining the lead type
- And so on
- How you will track
- Your workflows
- Our lead funnel
- Our lead workflow
- Record and attribute
- Set a follow up action
- Review regularly
- Recommended apps
Takeaway: You can now put into place a workflow for managing enquiries, and a system for monitoring your progress.
Welcome to the Event Martech Podcast. This is your host Lee, and on today’s show we’re talking about managing multiple leads. So let’s set the scene. You are an event organiser that could be an expo, exhibition, conferenceetc. You may even be an event agency that runs multiple events. So how can you deal with the day to day planning and output of your event as well as make sure that you manage all of those incoming leads to ensure that you can fill the room and to ensure that you can meet all of those financial goals. So today we’re going to talk about lead management. First of all, we’re going to talk about defining the lead type and the different activities that might be needed, we’re then going to talk about the documentation of those leads. I’m then going to share with you our lead funnel. I’m also going to unpack our lead workflow and then I’m going to wrap up by recommending some apps that you can check out. So sit back, strap in and get your notepad.
The first activity you want to engage with is to define those lead types because depending on the type of lead will also dictate the sort of action and activity that you will engage with to ensure that you can convert that lead. Let’s use our event as an example Agency Transformation Live. We have attendees, we have sponsors, we have a small exhibition space and also we have partners. Now the partners are not a financial gain but we will certainly work with them to the equal benefit of both so they would still be classed as a lead for us. Once we’ve established our lead types, we want to then look at our documentation and our systems. So first of all, how are you going to track and monitor these leads? Near the end of this episode we’re going to recommend some apps for you to check out, but let’s again use Agency Transformation Live as an example and we used a CRM system to track all of our incoming leads.
An enquiry would come in that would be added to the CRM as an opportunity and then somebody from within our team would be assigned to follow that up. Now with regards to follow-up etc, you want to as well document the workflows, so what activities are you going to engage with when you are following up with these leads? So that could be sending them an information packet, could be giving them a telephone call. It could be arranging a demonstration, it could be sending out a flow plan. Whatever those activities are, it’s important that we establish what they are and that we also understand the workflow that we’re going to engage with. What is the order of those particular events as we move people through the sales process. Then with regards to the sales process, we also want to make sure that we’ve established our funnels and I’m going to share with you what we do in a second.
Finally, in your documentation process, you want to look at who is responsible for what, because it’s all well and good saying. Yep. All right. When an opportunity comes in, we’re simply gonna grab that and then we’re gonna send them this email and then we’re gonna send them this follow up and then we’re going to do a call and then at this point, this should be the close. You also want to establish who is going to be responsible for those activities to ensure that they get done and so that you can all hold each other accountable within your event organisation. Now the cool thing about documenting this once is that if you are a professional conference organiser or you do multiple events, exhibitions etc, then this is a process that you can then continue to apply to your different events. Now we’ve got our main flagship event every single year, but we also do lots of many events. So we’ve been able to apply the exact same process for our big live conference to the mini events that we do around the UK here.
So let me share with you some of what we get up to. So the first thing we have is our lead funnel. That’s the stages of an opportunity as we take them through. And initially we will probably have an inquiry. This could be an exhibitor who is interested in some stand space at our event. So from that initial inquiry we need to take them onto the next step which is needs analysis and we want to understand from that exhibitor what they are there to achieve. Are they looking to create sales? Are they looking for brand awareness, et cetera. This is going to allow us to be able to put something together that will help them achieve what they want. Next we’re going to provide them an estimate or a proposal and this is going to outline then from the needs analysis what we feel would best work for them and what price might be associated with that. Once they’ve received that, we’re going to take them on into the negotiation phase where we will discuss it, make any adjustments, and then hopefully finally take them to the last stage which is close. The close for us, a good result would be a close one where that exhibitor is now investing. It’s the same with the sponsor, same with an attending. Now you might think this is a little bit extreme for an attendee. Remember many attendees will probably come to your website and then purchase the ticket and a lot of that part can just be automated. You don’t need to go through that sort of extreme process for those. However, it is really handy to have this sort of process, especially when you’re dealing with either high price tickets for attendees where an attendee wants to make sure they buy the right type of ticket or attend the right days at your event. And obviously it’s perfect for dealing with potential sponsors, exhibitors and so on.
Now that we have our lead funnel, we understand the process that we want take people through. We also have a workflow and this is a really, really simple for us it’s a three step workflow that just continues to repeat as we take people down the sales life cycle. So first of all we record and attribute. That means that we will record what’s going on. We will record those conversations into our CRM system and we will also attribute those to the relevant client and also to the person who is owning the lead at that particular stage. Then what we’re going to do is set our follow up actions so every time we have an interaction, every time we have another touch point, we are going to make sure that we set our follow up action and assign that to the relevant person. In many cases it’s going to be me to follow up with that exhibitor in a couple of days to see whether they’ve had time to think about the estimate. If we don’t have these follow up actions, it’s really easy for us to leave these conversations and then return to them in several weeks time. The best time that we can close these deals is going to be when we have those conversations when we’re responsive and within a few days. So we record an attribute. We then set our follow up actions and finally we review regularly. That means we’re gonna look at our to do list every single day and make sure that we are on top of our game. Are we looking at those follow up actions? Are they due today? Do we need to be making telephone calls with potential sponsors, with potential exhibitors to see if we can help them with their decision to see if we can offer them anything else that might be appropriate. So simple workflow of taking them through that funnel and repeating this process of recording, setting a follow up action and reviewing that process regularly.
All right, let’s dive in to some apps because you are going to need to be able to track this. For us, we really believe in the power of a CRM, that’s a customer relationship management system and that allows us to keep track of everything that we’ve talked about so we can see the status of a lead, we can see the lead type, we can see where they are on that funnel and we can also see what our follow up actions are and who is going to own those. The two CRMs that I would personally recommend from my experience, and please do your own due diligence to ensure that the CRM is right for you. The two would be Salesforce an extremely powerful CRM. It can be quite pricey, but we know a lot of other event organisers in our industry that swear by Salesforce. Be sure to check the link in the show notes for more information and also Zoho CRM. Zoho is a more budget friendly version of Salesforce and still has so much power inside of it. Of course there are a whole range of CRM platforms out there for you to check out, so like I said, go see what’s out there, see what would help with your workflow and then grab it. I’d always recommend that, first of all, you document how you are all gonna work together before you go and look for your CRM system because you want to ensure that that CRM system can be moulded to match your own workflows rather than you having to make sacrifices for whatever system you choose in the end.
Another thing you should look at is having a calendar and that’s a shared calendar. You could use something like Office 365 as well as G-Suite and so on. You can put your reminders on your calendars, your to do lists, etc. Even before you have a CRM, you can set an appointment to follow up with somebody etc. Then finally, if you just want to grab something right now and start tracking all of this, you can open up a spreadsheet and you can start putting in tabs for your opportunities and take people through that sales process. You can at least start somewhere so that you can establish what your workflow is going to be and that you have that single source of truth. And then you can slowly migrate onto a system such as a CRM like Salesforce or Zoho CRM that will help you manage your entire sales process.
So folks, we’re gonna wrap up with a recap. First of all, we talked about defining the type of leads that was the attendee, sponsor, exhibitor, partner, and so on. Then we talked about documenting the processes that you are going to engage with. How are you going to track your leads, what are your workflows, the activities etc. Who is responsible for what? We then shared with you our own lead funnel and how we assign a lead status each step of the way, and then finally we shared our repeatable lead workflow that we attribute to every single step along that funnel. Then we recommended a couple of apps for you to go ahead and check out. So all of this is in the show notes.
Please do engage with us on social media or in the show notes. Let us know what CRM you use. Let us know what stood out from this episode. What did you learn? What did you already know? I’m sure this is pretty simple information to a lot of people, but sometimes it’s just great to be able to hear this simplified again to really get your butt back in gear and to get back on top of this. A lot of the times we know all of this information, but we don’t do anything about it. And when we can hear a simple process, when we’re reminded of how important is that actually lights a fire in us and we do start to get these things sorted out. I hope you’ve had value, I hope you’ve learnt from this episode. We will see you in next week’s show.