Originally published February 13th, 2013
A couple of weeks ago I published a blog about the importance of data quality. Now that we’ve established the importance of quality lists and target accounts I’d like to talk about specific strategies. Over the next few months, I’ll be releasing parts of our Data Generation Series, starting today!
In part 1 of our series, it’s time to talk Target Account Profiling for Trade Shows. With all of the money companies spend on presenting at trade shows it’s surprising to see how poorly they plan for them.
According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, it costs 22% less to contact a potential buyer at a show than it does through traditional field sales calls. Building a complete profile for every attendee you’d like to target at an event is the best way to maximize your investment. These are the questions you need to ask in order to build an actionable profile for your prospects going into a trade show:
Who Are They?
Many trade shows will give you a list of all of the attendees. If not, you can also use the list of speakers the event displays on their website as a starting point. These lists are usually incomplete or provide very little useful information. To counteract this, have your inside sales team do a little digging to generate more information about the attendees. Knowing relevant contact information, job title, and company will help you pre-qualify them before meeting at the event.
Can you help them?
Anybody who’s worked the booth at an event knows that the vast majority of people who stop by do not fit your qualifications. If you spend your time at the event qualifying every visitor to find out if they are a good lead you will be wasting your valuable trade show time.
Pre-qualify your attendees to find out whether they have a need for your product or service. If the moment you meet them at the event you can recall what their company does and specifically how you can help them it will make for a much more promising meeting.
Better yet, have a meeting already booked. Use your inside sales team to leverage the information they’ve developed on attendees and do some targeted prospecting to contacts that look promising. Introduce your company, promote your presence at the upcoming show and book a meeting for your sales team. (We’ll talk more about this soon!)
Can They Help You?
Not only should you be qualifying the attendee’s company and pain points, you should be qualifying their authority too. Knowing what level of the decision-making process the attendee is on can help you take the next step with them.
Should you be trying to set up a meeting with them to talk pricing? Do you need to get referred to a higher decision maker?
Depending on whether they are an IT Professional or a Manager may dictate whether you start by offering them a demo or by focusing on the pricing side of things. Creating a baseline understanding of the prospects perspective before speaking with them allows your conversation to go further in a shorter amount of time. By identifying your leads ahead of time you are saving your expensive trade show time for moving forward with the sales process.
Target account profiling has uses beyond trade shows. These will be covered later on in our Data Generation Series. We’ll also cover contacting attendees’ pre-trade show to get the most benefit. I hope you found this post valuable and I hope you are looking forward to the rest of the series!