7 Ways to Keep Track of Sales Contacts at Networking Events

Att träffa nya människor på en affärskonferens eller ett nätverksevent är enkelt. Att omvandla dessa nya kontakter till faktiska affärsrelationer är en helt annan sak.

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:

  • Översyn av talarlistan
  • Se vilka som twittrar om evenemanget
  • Gå med i ett evenemangs Facebook-grupp och kolla in medlemslistan

När du kartlägger målgruppen kan du planera i förväg så att du får möjlighet att träffa potentiella kunder personligen eller identifiera andra möjligheter till ny affärsutveckling.

Till exempel kanske programledaren för en podcast som är populär bland dina kunder inte är en bra lead för ditt företag, men att hitta ett sätt att presentera dig själv kan vara det första steget mot att skapa en värdefull co-marketing-relation.

2. Keep your customer success team in the loop

Om några av eventdeltagarna är befintliga kunder bör du se till att stämma av med ditt Customer Success-team i förväg. Det kan finnas möjligheter att personligen utbilda befintliga kunder om nya produkter eller säkerställa att de fortfarande är nöjda med era tjänster. Ditt företags supportteam kan ge viktig information om vilka som kan behöva särskild uppmärksamhet.

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.

Förutom snabb datainmatning kan ett mobilt CRM-system också hjälpa säljarna att prioritera sina insatser genom att förse dem med information om leads i realtid. Med mobila aviseringar kan du få meddelanden om säljadministratörer eller chefer kvalificerar några leads på hemmakontoret. På så sätt kan du följa upp dina nya leads personligen innan eventet avslutas.

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

Under många konferenser kommer du sannolikt att ha spontana möten med personer på din mållista, eller andra potentiella kunder som du råkar träffa. Alla dessa möten måste dokumenteras i ditt CRM-system för senare referens. När du antecknar bör du se till att ta med eventuella invändningar och frågor som ställs under samtalet, vilket kan hjälpa dig att snabbare få fram leads efter ett evenemang.

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

Innan ett event börjar bör en process finnas på plats så att alla i säljteamet vet vem som ska följa upp efter eventet och hur de ska prioritera leads.

‍“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.”

Uppföljningsprocessen kan också omfatta vilka resurser (dvs. innehåll, specifika erbjudanden) som ska användas för att nå ut. Om reps registrerar personliga interaktioner korrekt bör det vara relativt enkelt att skicka personliga uppföljningar 24 timmar efter evenemanget.

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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