In past blogs, we’ve discussed how important it is to get your team members and experts to meet with conference attendees. Now we’re going to discuss the importance of scheduling sales meetings at events.
Considering their formidable people skills (meeting, greeting, conversing, and presenting) and how critical sales are, your sales team can turbo-charge any event and boost the top line.
Your sales team is the high-octane fuel you need.
At conferences and events, timeframes are compressed, so it’s especially important to use your sales team fast and furiously. You may only have a day or two for meetings and seminars so that’s why pre-conference planning sessions are so very important. An upcoming conference or event might be the first or last time a sales person will meet with a prospect – they need to be ready to make a good first impression or ready to close a sale. Either way, make sure you prepare your sales team and measure the event’s success.
Build a plan for race day and stick to it
Set internal meetings months in advance with your team to plan sales-specific events for your sales force. First, determine key messages, based on sales funnel data, upcoming product launches, marketing campaigns, price promotions and so on. Then identify the people you want your sales people to spend time meeting. Decide what factors to use to prioritize whom they meet with – prospects, current customers, small or big opportunities and key client influencers. All of these criteria weigh into your decision on whom to target. You may also want to limit those meetings to qualified personnel, such as buyers or established vendors. A solid plan will allow sales people to make the best use of the precious few minutes they have with each person.
Part of this process will be to determine the venues, meeting sizes and durations that will work for the goals you want to attain. Organizing all this can be easily accomplished with Meeting Automation Software, which can help you with hundreds, if not thousands, of sales meetings at hundreds of events, from one-on-ones in coffee shops, to golf tournaments to seminars with thousands of people. In every case, you should have clear goals for your meetings and a means for follow up. This is the in-depth planning that will make your conference even more successful.
If meeting planning is like a grand prix race, then it’s important to finish strong. You can’t afford to crash before the finish line. Obviously, the most important reason to engage your sales staff is to drive sales. But even without immediate, on-site sales at the event, it is important to measure the event’s success using a variety of metrics.
With a Meeting Automation software like Hubb Meetings, you’ll be able to track meetings, new face-to-face conversations, length of interactions and more. In the weeks and months that follow, you can analyze the events that triggered the closing of deals: where initial meetings took place, with whom, for how long, topics covered, etc. That information is connected together with other data about subsequent interactions (again, with whom and where), and soon you’ll have more color to your sales funnel – and how marketing helped. The importance of this data cannot be understated as it’s critical for resource planning. Modern sales and marketing teams rely on this information and the world’s top companies use it to make their sales and marketing continually more efficient and productive.
Remember the details and don’t forget your pit crew
When it comes to scheduling and managing sales-oriented meetings at events, many of the same principles that apply to experts are the same for salespeople:
- Ensure your team meets with only qualified attendees.
- Give them collateral so they can make the very best first impression and are prepared for follow-up meetings – or to close the sale then.
- Be certain all your product offerings are covered. That may mean having several salespeople attend who sell to different market segments or who have experience with certain products or services.
- Offer something free. Attendees love freebies, whether it’s a doughnut, coffee, product samples or a free service trial.
- Your sales people need support – rely on your pit crew to help with set up, take down, collecting names, or handing out materials.
- Communication is a great way to leverage your event investment, not only during the event but afterward as well. Make sure your sales team is active on social media promoting your success and all elements of the event. Attendees will track your activity and will propel your brand. During the event, critical updates for the event or meeting can be broadcast. Post-communication promotion gives your event continued coverage for days and sometimes weeks. This builds a community, a loyal following of supporters and begins to lay the groundwork for your next event or meeting.
“Hubb Meetings offer all the tools I need under one platform, such as set-ups of multiple meeting types including one-on-one and one-to-many attendees, separate location inventory planning, combined breakout session scheduling with conflict management, administration of complex approval processes, and integrated invitations with Microsoft Outlook. I also enjoy the scalability of the tool that provides flexible support for small and large events. Having the ability to manage meetings within the same catalog as breakout sessions provides my team a full-service suite for successful event content management.”
Kyle Shaughnessy, Strategic Technology Analyst, Maritz Travel – A Maritz Global Events Company
Want to have sale people at your next conference, but overwhelmed by the scheduling nightmare? A meetings management tool may be just the thing to help you organize it all (and prove ROI).