7 Ways to Keep Track of Sales Contacts at Networking Events

Il est facile de rencontrer de nouvelles personnes lors d'une conférence d'affaires ou d'un événement de réseautage. Transformer ces nouveaux contacts en véritables relations d'affaires est une toute autre histoire.

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:

  • Révision de la liste des orateurs
  • Voir qui tweete sur l'événement
  • Rejoindre le groupe Facebook d'un événement et consulter la liste des membres

En dressant la carte du public, vous pouvez planifier à l'avance les occasions de rencontrer des clients potentiels en personne ou d'identifier d'autres opportunités de développement commercial.

Par exemple, l'animateur d'un podcast populaire auprès de vos clients n'est peut-être pas une piste viable pour votre entreprise, mais trouver un moyen de vous présenter pourrait être la première étape vers l'établissement d'une relation de co-marketing précieuse.

2. Keep your customer success team in the loop

Si certains des participants à l'événement sont des clients actuels, veillez à vous coordonner à l'avance avec votre équipe chargée de la satisfaction des clients. Vous pourriez avoir l'occasion d'informer en personne les clients existants sur les nouveaux produits ou de vous assurer qu'ils sont toujours satisfaits de vos services. L'équipe d'assistance de votre entreprise peut fournir des informations importantes sur les personnes qui pourraient avoir besoin d'une attention particulière.

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.

Outre la saisie rapide des données, un CRM mobile peut également aider les commerciaux à hiérarchiser leurs efforts en leur fournissant des informations en temps réel sur les prospects. Grâce aux notifications mobiles, vous pouvez recevoir des notifications si les administrateurs ou les responsables des ventes qualifient des prospects au siège de l'entreprise. De cette façon, vous pouvez suivre vos nouveaux prospects en personne avant la fin de l'événement.

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

Au cours de nombreuses conférences, vous aurez probablement des réunions impromptues avec des personnes figurant sur votre liste cible ou avec d'autres clients potentiels que vous rencontrerez par hasard. Ces rencontres doivent être consignées dans votre CRM pour pouvoir être consultées ultérieurement. En prenant des notes, veillez à inclure les objections et les questions soulevées au cours de la conversation, ce qui peut vous aider à faire progresser les prospects plus rapidement après un événement.

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

Avant le début d'un événement, un processus doit être mis en place pour que tous les membres de votre équipe commerciale sachent qui doit assurer le suivi après l'événement et comment classer les prospects par ordre de priorité.

‍“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.”

Le processus de suivi peut également porter sur les ressources (contenu, offres spécifiques) à utiliser dans le cadre de la sensibilisation. Si les représentants saisissent avec précision les interactions en personne, il devrait être relativement facile d'envoyer des suivis personnalisés 24 heures après l'événement.

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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