Often, company goals and compensation plans drive counter-productive behavior between sales and marketing when events are involved. Sales people are driven by individual revenue contribution while Marketing efforts are measured overall. Both entities need to collaborate to genuinely analyze event revenue impact and influence. How can you get your sales team to trust your marketing efforts, cooperate for the greater good, and convert leads to opportunities? As a former receiver of tradeshow leads and user conference traffic contributor, here are my top three (3) tips for Event Marketers to establish trust and cooperation with your sales team.
- Allow Sales to provide event content input
Whether your exhibiting at a tradeshow or producing your own proprietary event, it’s always a good idea to illicit feedback from your sales team on how they are using your content. Your best sales people make this content their own and construct messaging that works for them. Listen to them and you’ll get some great feedback to incorporate into your product and session presentations.
- Prepare your lead management foundation with your sales input
Back in the day when my sales team worked tradeshows, we pocketed leads; a natural tendency for any sales person that is being measured and incented by revenue production. This is not helpful when you need leads and renewed interest turned into opportunities and measured against a campaign within your CRM and Marketing Automation systems. Prepare your campaigns before the event begins and make sure your sales team is on board with your lead capture and post event lead distribution plans. With trust, comes cooperation!
- Allow Attendees to Opt-in and Opt-out
Tradeshows: So you’ve decided to provide incentive to drive traffic to your booth; perhaps give away a squishy ball, iPad, Surface or even a car. Always a great idea unless you’re expecting your sales team to follow-up. When capturing their contact info, please allow your leads to “opt-out” if they stopped by for incentive;
It’s better to incubate these trinket seekers with Marketing Automation versus giving them to a sales person to call 5 times only to learn they want to know if they won the prize.
Breakout sessions: You’ve just nailed a new product presentation to an audience of 200 customers and prospects; the audience is very excited and energized. When capturing feedback, always allow attendees to “opt-in” within your session evaluations;
If your attendees have questions and want to continue the conversation, let your sales team know by sharing this information. Many event producers use evaluation data to gauge their performance and bypass thinking of sales entirely.
With collaboration you build trust. Back in the day, I did not take kindly to event leads. These three suggestions would have helped. What suggestions do you have? Reach out if you’re looking for tools to help improve your event measurement efforts.