7 Ways to Keep Track of Sales Contacts at Networking Events

Nieuwe mensen ontmoeten op een zakelijke conferentie of netwerkevenement is gemakkelijk. Die nieuwe contacten omzetten in echte zakelijke relaties is een heel ander verhaal.

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:

  • De sprekerslijst doornemen
  • Kijken wie er over het evenement tweet
  • Lid worden van de Facebookgroep van een evenement en de ledenlijst bekijken

Als je het publiek in kaart brengt, kun je vooruit plannen zodat je kansen hebt om persoonlijk in contact te komen met potentiële klanten of om andere mogelijkheden voor nieuwe bedrijfsontwikkeling te identificeren.

De presentator van een podcast die populair is onder je klanten is bijvoorbeeld misschien geen haalbare lead voor je bedrijf, maar een manier vinden om jezelf voor te stellen kan de eerste stap zijn naar het vormen van een waardevolle co-marketingrelatie.

2. Keep your customer success team in the loop

Als sommige van de deelnemers aan het evenement huidige klanten zijn, zorg er dan voor dat je dit van tevoren afstemt met je customer success team. Er kunnen mogelijkheden zijn om bestaande klanten persoonlijk te informeren over nieuwe producten, of om ervoor te zorgen dat ze nog steeds tevreden zijn over je diensten. Het supportteam van je bedrijf kan belangrijke informatie geven over wie speciale aandacht nodig heeft.

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.

Naast het tijdig invoeren van gegevens kan een mobiel CRM verkopers ook helpen bij het prioriteren van hun inspanningen door hen te voorzien van realtime leadinformatie. Als je mobiele meldingen instelt, kun je meldingen krijgen als verkoopadministrateurs of managers leads kwalificeren op het thuiskantoor. Op die manier kun je nieuwe leads persoonlijk opvolgen voordat het evenement is afgelopen.

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

Tijdens veel conferenties heb je waarschijnlijk spontane ontmoetingen met mensen op je targetlijst of andere potentiële klanten die je toevallig tegenkomt. Deze moeten allemaal worden gedocumenteerd in je CRM voor latere referentie. Als je aantekeningen maakt, zorg er dan voor dat je ook eventuele bezwaren en vragen die tijdens het gesprek naar voren komen opneemt, wat je kan helpen om leads sneller te laten doorstromen na een evenement.

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

Voordat een evenement begint, moet er een proces zijn zodat iedereen in je verkoopteam weet wie er na het evenement moet worden opgevolgd en hoe de leads moeten worden geprioriteerd.

‍“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.”

Het follow-up proces kan ook betrekking hebben op welke middelen (d.w.z. inhoud, specifieke aanbiedingen) te gebruiken in het outreach proces. Als vertegenwoordigers persoonlijke interacties nauwkeurig vastleggen, moet het relatief eenvoudig zijn om 24 uur na het evenement gepersonaliseerde follow-ups te sturen.

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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