7 Ways to Keep Track of Sales Contacts at Networking Events

Conocer gente nueva en una conferencia de negocios o en un evento de networking es fácil. Convertir esos nuevos contactos en verdaderas relaciones comerciales es otra historia.

Sales teams often attend conferences and networking events “just to get their name out there,” with no strategy for what to do and how to keep the contacts they collect. Trying to prospect for leads among the masses of a conference hall can be an overwhelming experience.

Here are five things sales reps can do to get the most out of conferences and networking events and come away with more than just a stack of business cards.

How to keep track of networking contacts

Here are seven things sales reps can do to get the most out of conferences and networking events, and come away with more than just a stack of business cards.

1. Find out who’s going

Understanding the event’s audience can help you zero in on your goals. Is the event specific to a certain industry? What topics are people paying to learn more about? Many events and conferences offer ways for sales reps to find out who will be attending. With an attendee list in hand, you can create a targeted list of people to email pre-event.

Ways to discover attendees include:

  • Revisión de la lista de oradores
  • Ver quién tuitea sobre el acontecimiento
  • Unirse al grupo de Facebook de un evento y consultar la lista de miembros

Al trazar el mapa de la audiencia, puede planificar con antelación para tener oportunidades de conectar con clientes potenciales en persona o identificar otras oportunidades de desarrollo de nuevos negocios.

Por ejemplo, el presentador de un podcast muy popular entre sus clientes puede no ser un contacto viable para su empresa, pero encontrar la forma de presentarse puede ser el primer paso para establecer una valiosa relación de marketing conjunto.

2. Keep your customer success team in the loop

Si algunos de los asistentes al evento son clientes actuales, asegúrese de coordinarlo con antelación con su equipo de éxito de clientes. Podría haber oportunidades para informar en persona a los clientes actuales sobre nuevos productos o asegurarse de que siguen estando satisfechos con sus servicios. El equipo de asistencia de su empresa puede proporcionar información importante sobre quién puede necesitar atención especial.

But beware of a common pitfall: overspending your time talking to chatty clients. Make sure you have an exit plan in place for customer conversations so that you can maximize your time during the event. Connecting with new and existing clients should be a secondary part of your strategy; pursuing new opportunities should come first.

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3. Use a mobile customer relationship management (CRM) platform

After an event, many sales contacts slip through the cracks when a rep does not enter the information into their CRM. Having a mobile CRM at your disposal means that you can add your new contacts directly after each meeting—and at the touch of a button if your CRM app happens to have a business card scanner.

But what if potential leads don’t have a business card on them? “Take out your phone and open LinkedIn. Hand it to the person you are talking to, and say, ‘It’s been nice speaking with you. Would you mind looking yourself up?’ Invariably, the person does, and you make a connection,” advises Mike Schultz, President of RAIN Group.

Además de la introducción puntual de datos, un CRM móvil también puede ayudar a los representantes de ventas a priorizar sus esfuerzos proporcionándoles información sobre clientes potenciales en tiempo real. Con las notificaciones móviles configuradas, puede recibir notificaciones si los administradores o gerentes de ventas califican algún cliente potencial en la oficina central. De este modo, puede realizar un seguimiento de los nuevos clientes potenciales en persona antes de que finalice el evento.

4. Give out a memorable business card

Make your business card more than just a piece of paper, instead turn it into a conversation starter. Experiment with creative designs, incorporating vibrant colors, unique shapes, or even unconventional materials that resonate with your business. Consider functional designs, such as a business card doubling as a bottle opener, ensuring it lingers in the memory of those you meet.

Beyond aesthetics, make your card personal. Add a brief, personalized message like one of your favorite quotes that resonates with the person you’re handing it to. A memorable card increases the chances of being top-of-mind when they need your services, turning a casual connection into a potential business opportunity. This is a quick yet effective way to transform your business card and make it more special.

5. Take notes on every meeting

Durante muchas conferencias, es probable que tenga reuniones improvisadas con personas de su lista de objetivos u otros clientes potenciales con los que se encuentre. Todas ellas deben documentarse en su CRM para su posterior consulta. Al tomar notas, asegúrese de incluir todas las objeciones y preguntas que surjan durante la conversación, lo que puede ayudarle a hacer avanzar a los clientes potenciales más rápidamente después de un evento.

Remember, all interactions should be documented in your CRM as quickly as possible. Once the meeting leaves your memory, the opportunity drifts away.

6. Assign follow-ups and prioritize leads

Antes de que comience un evento, debe establecerse un proceso para que todos los miembros del equipo de ventas sepan quién debe realizar el seguimiento tras el evento y cómo dar prioridad a los clientes potenciales.

‍“If they came by just for swag, that’s not a hot lead,” says Carrie Simpson, Founder of Managed Sales Pros. “They’ll be in our marketing cadence, but our sales team will not be wasting their time on them. Our best leads say at some point during the conversation at an event they either want to work with us, they’re talking with a competitor, or they’re trying to do it in-house.”

El proceso de seguimiento también puede abarcar los recursos (contenidos, ofertas específicas, etc.) que se deben utilizar para llegar al cliente. Si los representantes captan con precisión las interacciones en persona, debería ser relativamente fácil enviar seguimientos personalizados 24 horas después del evento.

Make sure to tie your new contacts to the right event. Many CRMs have tagging features that can be used for this very purpose. You won’t have any way to measure your ROI on events if sales reps aren’t attributing first contacts to each specific event, and that information is critically important to determine how much money your company should spend on event attendance in the future.

7. Evaluate your networking impact

Keeping track of your networking contacts goes beyond collecting business cards and information. The final thing to remember is to regularly review your networking journey, from identifying potential contacts to converting them into customers. Utilize key metrics like acquired contacts, effective messaging, engagement levels, interaction quality, and referrals received.

This consistent evaluation is a crucial step in refining your networking skills. Understand what aspects are working well and where improvements are needed. By incorporating feedback and analyzing metrics, you not only keep tabs on your connections but also enhance your ability to convert them into valuable, long-term customers.

Looking for software to help you manage business relationships?

When it comes to making the most of the contacts you make at networking events, having the right CRM can make all the difference. CRMs manage your customer data and help your team strengthen relationships with leads to close more deals. An effective, powerful CRM is an essential business tool for making more sales and improving customer relationships. 

If you’re looking for a CRM that makes it easy to track metrics through reportinggives you powerful features to help all of your teams, and provides easy-to-access help from support when needed, consider Nutshell. Nutshell offers robust reporting, a lineup of helpful features like sales automation and email marketing, and free support to all our customers. 

Interested in seeing how Nutshell can help your team work smarter? Sign up for a free trial today!

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